Tag Archives: Politics

Open Letter From the Militant Pacifists of America

PeaceIn light of America’s 154 mass shootings since January of this year (in which four or more people were shot), we in the Militant Pacifists of America would like to openly express our adamant distaste for violence in all its forms. As pacifists, we want peace in every aspect of life, and seeing as that is less and less likely with each passing mass shooting, we are breaking from our flagship organization, the Flaccid Pacifists of America, and are starting a new party. It’s time to take pacifism seriously, and we mean dead seriously.

Jesus once said that those who live by the sword shall die by the sword. But Jesus died by the cross, and it is our belief that dying by a sword is much better than crucifixion.

Obviously, other pacifists have made great strides in violently opposing violence. For example, we praise Bernie Sanders for being one of two senators to vote against new sanctions against Russia and Iran, and we are even more grateful for Sanders for, as implied in a recent New York Times article, providing the pacifist rhetoric for yet another gun-involved shooting implemented by an angry man. In truth, we think that Sanders does not go far enough with his militantly pacifist rhetoric. He refuses to do what all democratic socialists secretly want, which is to first make people aimlessly enraged about what the NRA calls the “gun-hating political elites” and “radical billionaires” and then arm said people with assault rifles to protect them from those elites and billionaires. By not living by the sword, Sanders is much easier to crucify.

We in the MPA advocate militant peacefulness. We want to move on from our history of chanting “Give Peace a Chance” while aligning our chakras and stuffing roses in mailboxes, and instead want to incite mob violence against people who advocate violence (excluding ourselves, of course). Early pacifism was about advancing alternatives to the military-industrial complex and critiquing state-sanctioned forms of violence like police militarization, removal of medical insurance for the victims of various shootings, and of course Sarah Palin, but now we’d like to take a page from the NRA: directionless rage.

Our official stance to advance peace, love, and solidarity among all peoples is to heavily arm those people and tell them that love is tough. We’re starting a war for peace. If people won’t give peace a chance, we’ll have to force them to. Had they lived a little longer, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Emile Arnaud would have seen that while there obviously is no just war, if we have to go to war to show how unjust it is, that’s okay too. We pacifists are tired of being crucified and stabbed by swords. We want in on the action and, of course, the millions of dollars the NRA spends during any given campaign season to keep everyone armed and angry.

Peace, love, and ammunition!


Invite List of the Men’s March


Protestors in Flagstaff, AZ, Winter of 2009, who just so totally accepted (without complaint or whiny over-dramatic public display) the election of Obama, courtesy of Lost Compass Photography.

To begin with, organizers would disagree about who to invite. Percolating through social media spontaneity, the Men’s March would draw folks who (apparently unable to cope with the emotions they felt at the sight of women moving forward in a linear direction expressing a desire to not be assaulted) would want to band together and reclaim their long-lost manhood.

Robert Bly would be there of course, but because Manly Men © have been defunding the humanities for so long, nobody would actually know who he was, and he would sit in a corner shirtless beating a drum, alone.

There would be a substantial debate about inviting women. Sarah Palin, Kellyanne Conway, Michelle Bachman, and other female meninist allies would show up, but would be accused by a few marchers of preventing men from enjoying their bro-friendly safe spaces.

Glenn Beck would show up and, within ten minutes, begin crying. Even though his tears would be patriotic and cowboy-like, a few hardliners would dismiss him. Attempting to recover their lost ideal manly hair-sweat manhood, organizers would publicly invite Nick Offerman, only to realize that he attended the Women’s March, thus disqualifying him. Organizers would desperately tag alt-righters with questions about which men they would invite to help recover America’s manly bearded manhood.

Ernest Hemingway? dead. Evel Knievel? dead. Charlton Heston? dead. John Wayne? dead. David Foster Wallace? dead. Elvis Presley? probably dead. George Washington? very dead. Freddie Mercury? queer and dead. Muhammad Ali? Muslim pacifist and dead. Johnny Cash? advocated for Native Americans too often and dead. Roger Goodell? too many penalties. Nick Offerman? feminist. Robert Bly? poet. Clint Eastwood? old Hollywood elite. JFK? dead cuck. John McCain? living cuck. Mike McCarthy? did you even see the Falcons game? All the oldschool manly male beer-stained men would be either dead or somehow disqualified. Organizers would realize this too late, but could easily tweet photos of the Women’s March and call it the Men’s March as a convenient alternative.

In the end, the number of men fitting the standard would be thirty-seven. Those in attendance would chant about being persecuted by society’s trends, like all the feminists not in congress, not passing laws requiring men to father children even if they don’t want to. They would complain about the woman who is not President and who was never recorded bragging about grabbing men by the purifier. Marchers would lament their dead sense of manhood in a prolonged circle-jerk of one another’s angst (but not in a fun way).

There would be many issues marchers would not discuss. Mike Pence would not mention mental illness among men or alcoholism or drug abuse. Franklin Graham would not mention institutional poverty or suicide rates among men, boys, and gay youths in particular. Piers Morgan would not bring up the consequences of concussions for football players or the fact that male rape victims tend not to be taken seriously. From the start organizers would be unconcerned with men as a totality. They would not care enough to lobby for men who are gay, foreign, disabled, or suffering a mental illness. Instead, they would see only themselves reflected in a wilderness of mirrors as they marched, self-consciously alone.


Silence in the Classroom


It was only by coincidence that my class’s week on  ecological nonfiction essays coincided with the first presidential debate, back in September. That week, I decided to overwork my students by asking them to watch the debate and research issues not discussed in it to present informally to the class. This was in addition to numerous readings by environmental writers, including Terry Tempest Williams, Donna Haraway, Edward Abbey, and Alison Hawthorne Deming. My students watched the debate, but we did not discuss it extensively. Instead, at the end of a long week about nuclear testing, the meat industry, and communication between species, my classes presented numerous, often unspoken issues.

Many of them chose to research declining bee populations. Some researched eroding coastlines, others the Dakota Access Pipeline. Alongside these topics, the debate somehow felt too disheartening to discuss. I did not assign the second debate; I have avoided discussing the content of the presidential election, because much of it is ugly and dehumanizing.

I think I can take a lot, intellectually speaking. Maybe it’s numbness or being a grad student, or the erosion of my soul to coffee and rum. It’s not that ugly and dehumanizing rhetoric is unimportant; it’s that, lately, I’m having a hard time stomaching it, as well as the important environmental and geopolitical issues that are too frequently sidestepped in order to create more time in the media for quotes, scandals, emails, videos, or tweets. Such issues are important, but hideous, and I don’t know if I can impose them on my students if I myself am frustrated by their imposition on me.

Me! I’m not a cynic, but I read about atrocities with considerable ease. I can sit through a Werner Herzog documentary and feel only minimal anxiety about the impending digital apocalypse. I can stomach a lot. What I find frustrating is that the capacity to discuss serious issues remains very much a choice, but not for long. Even now, classroom discussions about climate change take place in the present tense and not the future tense; women’s suffrage could soon become a past-tense moment; digital public shaming over five-year old tweets could become a common, inescapable practice. I don’t want to be silent about important political issues in the classroom, but I now recognize the comfort of silence.

It’s easy. It’s pleasant. It’s satisfying to turn off the noise, the rhetoric, the verbal and psychic and physical violence. Silence may be irresponsible, but now I understand its appeal. We are only halfway done with the semester, and there is still much left to discuss. Silence is appealing, but dangerous.


Campaign Trails: Debates

Continuing my policy of writing fiction about subjects I have no authority to write on, here is the second installment of my surrealist retelling the 2016 Presidential Election. Feel free to read part one, “Decisions,” to catch up.


Megan began introducing each candidate at the first GOP debate at 7:00 PM sharp, and by 7:30 she had only introduced the first seventy-three candidates. One by one they marched onto the stage, gazing into the mess of lights and wide eyes in the audience.
Getting on stage was, to begin with, not easy. Before being granted access to the stage, the candidates had to go through several checkpoints. First, GOP armed guards asked for each candidate’s GOP credentials and had them sign paperwork, at gunpoint, pledging support for their party’s nominee no matter who he or she (with the phrase “lol” next to the second pronoun) would be. Next, the Koch Brothers personally shook hands with each candidate and slipped them a red pill and a blue pill, telling them to make the right choice; the blue pill was, of course, wrapped in several hundred dollar bills.
Lastly, four NRA officials stood at the stage’s edge and asked to see each candidate’s weapon of choice. This was the last test candidates had to pass before being allowed to enter the debate, and it was often a difficult one. For instance, Ben made the mistake of bringing his water gun. He began quoting several founding fathers and later Albert Einstein to justify his choice. Unable to tell what he was actually talking about, the NRA officials decided to let him pass.
Donald was 366th in line. The stage was filling up with heavily armed candidates brandishing their fancy speeches, and Donald, as far removed from the party’s rules and regulations as he was, had not known to bring a gun.
“I never got that memo,” he told the NRA officials.
“We’ll have to kick you out for that. Rules are rules.”
“You can’t do that,” Donald said, thinking as rapidly as he could for a way out. “Ted told me not to bring it.”
The officials turned to see Ted on stage leaning two AK-47s over his shoulders.
“He lied to you? Why would he do that?”
Donald thought for a second, and the answer seemed obvious.
“He doesn’t like me. He’s biased. He wants to win by lying.”
“But you still don’t have a gun. We can’t let you on stage without one.”
Behind him, the rest of the candidates waiting for the first GOP debate–about six hundred or so–grumbled and shifted their guns. Donald turned around and glared at them. Speechmakers, they were. Speechmakers with props. They had policies, plans, sketches, and verbal magic tricks. Donald didn’t even have a water pistol.
Donald was learning how this game worked, and found he didn’t like the rules. Immediately behind him was Marco, practicing a speech intended to make bricks fall out of people’s noses and then form into a short wall between audience members to highlight his immigration policy. He looked Donald in the eye and grinned.
“Hey, Don, forget something?”
“What are you up to?”
“Planning how I’ll win the debate.”
“How are you gonna win? You’re too. . .”
“Can’t think of a word?”
“Shut up.”
“Use your words, Don. Like this.”
Marco began reciting a talking point, just a little one, and its power made a brick fall out of Donald, but not out of his nose. Donald’s face turned a sharp shade of Republican red as the brick slid down his pant leg. Marco was not an experienced public speaker, but even he had the gift of turning words into actions. He recited another policy on immigration, and two more bricks fell out.
“You little rodent,” Donald snapped.
“What are you gonna do, little Don? You’ve never given a good speech in your life. We’ll whoop you out there.” Another brick.
Donald could not think of anything to say. It was true, he could not transform words into actions. But he was aware of a few actions he could easily produce without the need for communication. He leaned forward and punched Marco in the face once, twice, then once in the stomach. Marco fell down, but not before Donald could reach over and pull up the AK-47 he had slung around his shoulder. Swinging it over his own, he turned around and faced the NRA officials.
The NRA officials decided that they liked Donald’s style and let him on stage. Marco would still be allowed to debate (he brought grenades in his pants, a “nice touch” the officials thought), but spoke through a broken, bloodied nose.
Three hours after Megan began introducing the candidates, all of them were on stage, totaling 956. They were crammed shoulder to shoulder, ignoring the twenty-nine podiums. Megan glared at them all and wondered why they didn’t just have two debates, or three or four.
“Well, ladies and gentleman,” she said, “I’ll address the first question to you, Governor Perry.”
The hundreds of heavily armed candidates shifted on stage, rocking back and forth trying to maintain a comfort zone. Beneath them something cracked. They all heard it, even Megan. “Now, you’ve been very critical. . .” she continued. More crackling. A few pops, a few snaps. “Do you hear that?”
“Hear what?” asked Rick.
“Just that creaking. Any idea what that is?”
“I don’t hear anything.”
After that, the weight of the 956 Republican presidential candidates combined with the weight of their numerous weapons broke the stage. It collapsed in the middle, and the rest followed into the basement floor beneath the studio. Along with the fragments of the stage went the Republicans pummeling onto one another into the basement, until the room filled up. Then they toppled into one another, bodies upon bodies, suits upon suits. When the dust cleared and the mostly middle-aged men grumbled and moaned, the audience wasn’t sure if they should cheer or boo.
“Anyone ready to drop out yet?” Megan asked.
About one hundred candidates responded affirmatively to what turned out to be the first question of the first Republican presidential debate.

Bernie got a text message from Hillary while he muddled his way through the summer heat in Georgia campaigning door-to-door.
“Wanna debate or something?” read the message.
Confused, he texted back, “Am I invited?”
“Nobody else wants to run. I heard you were thinking about it. We need a few more good candidates,” she replied.
Bernie blushed. Somebody was finally acknowledging his campaign. He texted back “Yes!” then added several more exclamation marks. He had to follow up with “Can I get a ride over to it, though?” and went back to work knocking on doors for support, swimming in the new validation but ultimately wishing Hillary would become the nominee early on. He knew he couldn’t make it far the way he campaigned, and knew she was a good candidate. Hillary, for her part, privately wished it would be Bernie, or Joe, or Elizabeth, or anyone else. But almost every Democrat she texted responded with support for her campaign and a casual dismissal of the Presidency: “No thanks.” “Not in my lifetime.” “Have you seen Obama? He looks like he’s 90! I’d rather stay young.” She wanted a more diverse pool for voters to choose from, but was glad there would be more than one candidate, at least.



Campaign Trails: Decisions

To celebrate the 2016 Presidential Election, I’ve elected to write a series of short stories retelling the campaign. I hope you enjoy it.


One cold day early in 2015, Bernie awoke to a surprise: the fancy new digital clock, the kind that told the date, told the wrong date: January 12, 1942. He fumbled for his glasses and looked at the calendar on the wall, which also said 1942, and had a portrait of FDR instead of the snowy field he recalled for January.
Bernie grumbled out of bed, shivering. He knew it wasn’t 1942; he still had his smartphone. But the fact that the smartphone said “January 12, 1942″ was worth considering. He tried fixing it, but the year wouldn’t budge. Increasingly excited, he pulled a map of the US out of his desk drawer. 1942: FDR was President, the Nazis had invaded Soviet Russia, fascism was hurting the world. We had to stop it. He took a blue marker and drew a line on the map southward from Maine, planning his strategy. And FDR had vision, real vision. Bernie thought he knew what it all meant.
He put on his black trench coat and pork pie hat. He drank black coffee, smoked a cigarette, and caught a bus to Maine. He had to start somewhere, and he figured the best way was the old-fashioned way. He would begin in Portland, Maine, working southward to Florida, then northwest into the South, then westward into the Midwest, and in a year and a half, he would end his journey in Portland, Oregon. Naturally, due to budget concerns, he would go on foot.
It was cold in Portland, so Bernie buttoned his coat. He started on Brighton Avenue, hoping to work his way door-to-door southward. He could hear the jazz music of the early ‘40s in his head as he knocked on the very first door.
“Hello,” he began when it opened. “My name is Senator Bernie Sanders. I’d like to tell you about Democratic Socialism, and I’d like to be your candidate for the 2016 Presidential Election.”

John was delivering a speech on public school policies to a group of Ohio teachers when, in the heat of his modest passion for the subject, everything around him turned black and white, like a 1950s sitcom. He looked around; he was pleased. People looked cleaner, sharper, richer. The police sirens that had been outside stopped.
“Now this is beautiful,” he said, and the audience agreed.
“It’s a shame,” said an elderly lady in the audience, wearing an apron and pulling a fresh apple pie from her purse for a snack, “that so many Americans these days don’t have this. . . this. . . oh, fiddlesticks, what’s the word, Mr. Kasich?”
“Gee, I don’t know,” John said. “But I sure know it’s a good feeling. I wish I could share this feeling with everyone.” He paused, smiling.
“It’s time somebody did something about that,” he said. “We can make this country. . . good again? Not good. Better.” He remembered hearing somebody say something like that recently, using a bold, daring word. John was neither bold nor daring, but he had heart. He wanted this for America, this simplicity. He hadn’t noticed that most women and all people of color had vanished from the room while giving his speech; all that mattered was his sense of American. . . better-than-goodness? Who had said it the other day? Make America better than good again.
“Sure sounds like a good idea,” he said. “Maybe I. . . well, shucks, I really can do it. Maybe I can make America better than good again.” He paused. “And that’ll be my campaign slogan! You know what, folks? I’m going to run for President to make America better than good again!” They cheered pleasantly.

Ted stopped kissing babies’ foreheads at campaign rallies once his curse began to spread. He froze in frustration when the forehead of a Midwestern mother’s infant sprouted a starchart of the Zodiac constellations, spreading slowly down the baby. He knew, from his own tattoo-like curse, that it did not hurt. The real problem was that it glowed in the dark. First the stars glowed in bright shining obsidian on the baby’s skin, and then lines grew to connect the stars. Within seconds, the baby’s body was a pudgy, giggling map of the sky.
“You’ll want makeup to cover that up,” he said as the mother gaped at her child. “Sorry. I still have your vote, though, right?”
He moved on to the next patrons in the crowd, frowning but still positive.
It started when he was thirteen after a family argument. His father cursed him, citing the verses of the Old Testament in which Noah cursed Ham for stumbling in on him drunk. A young Ted had always been a misfit, struggling to fit in a dominionist church that he felt suffocated his social standing. One night, he declared himself free of his family’s deathgrip in order to go to a popular kid’s birthday party, so his father cursed him, making the Zodiac constellations appear across his body. He hid it with makeup and conservative clothes, but lived in continual fear that his sweat would reveal the markings.
If he could win the White House, he could prove that he was more than a misfit. But now that his curse was spreading, he refused to even shake voters’ hands, which was immediately suspicious among conservative voters. To win the nomination, he would need a scapegoat from the GOP, somebody even worse than a perpetually awkward man covered with infectious Zodiac tattoos. Fortunately, there would be plenty to choose from.

Hillary slumped into an armchair and made up her mind then and there: she would not run for President.
Instead, she wanted peace. She had just returned home from the Senate where she spent thirteen days listening to a prolonged character assassination attempt. Each day, a GOP leader stood before her and made fabulous accusations about her and Benghazi, and at the end of each lecture, the GOP armed guards let her speak a few words. When she did, calmly, the GOP leader of the day coughed and sputtered, and his (always his) face turned a deep shade of blue. They never choked to death, but briefly lost their ability to speak when she disproved them with a few easy, cutting rebuttals. Such a talent took decades to cultivate. The problem she faced were the sheer numbers of people trying to dismantle her not even as a politician, but as a human being. It was nearly impossible to keep up.
Now she leaned her head back and closed her eyes. Such endless cruelty, and the GOP armed guards condescending her more than usual when she went in and out of the Senate. Enough, she thought.
And then it happened. A bird rested on the windowsill across from her and pecked gently at the glass.
“Not again,” she mumbled, rising sorely to open the window.
The bird met her long ago. In college it brought library cards for sources that helped her research papers or scraps of newspaper articles about successful social movements. Here it was, again, a little bird looking up at Hillary with round, eager eyes.
“What?” she asked. It scratched its feet back and forth. “Run?” It nodded its head. “No. I’m sorry. I need a break. Please.”
The bird shook its head.
“Why?” she asked after a moment. “Why me?”
The bird’s neck bulged, and it coughed up a newspaper clipping. She unrolled it like a cigarette and read, “Secretary Clinton Pushes Back Against GOP Military Occupation of Congress.”
“You really think I should?” she asked. The bird nodded vigorously, and choked up another clipping, a list of GOP leaders who declared their candidacy. She knew each one; many of them were present at the Senate hearings, and she knew how to silence them. The bird began hopping up and down.
“Dammit,” Hillary mumbled, pacing around. “You really think I can?” Nodding. “Do you know the ugly things they’ll say about me?” Solemn nodding. She sighed. “Fine. I’ll run.”

Donald was about to make the announcement, but stalled, pacing back and forth backstage. It was all too much, the crowds, lights, cameras. So many distractions, so many possible ways to mess up. panicking, he called his mentor, a public speaking professor from his Ivy League days.
“I’m, uh, I’m. . . I’m scared,” he said in a hushed voice into the phone. “I don’t know, even, like, what am I even supposed to, y’know, even say out there?”
Professor Huntington cooed for him to calm down.
“It’s okay, Donald. Just breathe. You know what to do. How do you give a speech?”
Donald recalled his training.
“Be confident,” Donald recited, “show them your confidence, and use lists.”
“What are you going to list?”
“Things I’m great at. Things I’m spectacular at.”
Calmed, he hung up.
Donald breathed in, told himself he was wonderful, he deserved this, he wouldn’t let anybody take it away from him. He’d seen politicians use speeches to move people to tears, laughter, enlightenment. He had seen politicians make flowers grow from listeners’ heads. He had once seen Nancy Reagan tell a joke that made everyone in her audience each sneeze an entire cup of Earl Grey tea. Bill Clinton famously made doves fly from his saxophone at his inaugural address. Jon Stewart had made the sun shine out of people’s ears. Donald, however, had never once accomplished such feats with his speeches. They stumbled along, barely arriving at a conclusion.
But he went on stage to announce he was running for President, to prove you didn’t have to know such verbal magic tricks to win. He could not impress anybody with any fancy speeches; instead, he did the best he could with the only real skill he shared with the other candidates: self-commercialization.


Acknowledging Wrongs of the Past


SS Komagata Maru, 1914. City of Vancouver Archives

Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that in May, he would make an official apology in the House of Commons for what is commonly known as the Komagata Maru Incident. In 1914, a ship (the Komagata Maru) of Indian passengers sailed from Japan to Vancouver, where the Canadian government refused to let almost all the passengers enter Canada. Most of the passengers were Sikhs, though there were a handful of Muslims and Hindus aboard, and Trudeau intends to address his apology to the Sikh community as a whole.

At first glance, this may seem like a strange transnational incident. 1914 saw the beginning of World War One, which in part contributed to Canada’s restrictions, but most of its limited immigration policies were grounded in xenophobia similar to that in the U.S. at the turn of the century, and Canada passed laws restricting immigration form Asia just as the U.S. did.

The passengers aboard the Komagata Maru argued that they had a right to enter Canada because they were British subjects. India was still a British colony, and both countries would supply troops to Great Britain in the First World War. Nevertheless, national fears of Asian immigrants persisted in 1914. The Komagata Maru sat in port in Vancouver for months before finally leaving.

Over a century later, a different Prime Minister of a different political party hopes to make amends. Formal apologies on behalf of governments to historically persecuted groups are not unheard of. In 2008, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a similar formal apology to the indigenous population of Australia, but Trudeau’s comments come at a unique political moment.

Trudeau will apology for Canada’s suppression of immigrants, and he intends to do so after his party, the Liberals, ran partly on a platform of allowing Syrian refugees into Canada, while political parties in Europe and the U.S. discuss either similar or opposite measures. Many politicians have advocated restricting and even halting immigration, and have used xenophobic rhetoric almost identical to that used by the Canadian government in 1914.

Trudeau’s apology is, of course, a highly political statement. It is not simply a matter of saying sorry, but of acknowledging what is now considered a broken logic, and with that acknowledgment comes a subtle declaration that such logic no longer has a place in his government. It admits not just past wrongdoing, but decries the possibility of future wrongdoing. The apology is a policy statement, an act of historical legislation that does not wipe away but makes an example of one of Canada’s worst actions, and in doing so, Trudeau invites others to listen, to introspect, and to follow suit.


An Apolitical Post About Pie


Lately I’ve been active in national politics, attending rallies, volunteering at caucuses, even taking more drastic, desperate measures like voting. But I’ve tried to keep those politics away from this blog, especially because the Presidential campaign has been so ugly. As it gets uglier, I find it more and more difficult to write apolitical posts, so to celebrate Pi Day, I made a blackberry pie, and I promise I will do my absolute best to make this a strictly apolitical post.

Here’s a fun fact: the Latin word for pie, and baked goods generally, is crustum. Obviously, pie sounds a lot less disgusting, though crustum is not as disgusting as the Presidential debates have been. There are plenty of reasons to make and eat pie; today is Pi Day, for instance. Alternatively, pie is a symbol of peace, because if you throw pie at people instead of punching them like a total moron, that’s basically offering them free pie, because we need peace offerings and not unrequested face-punchings.

I went with blackberries for my pie, but you can use any berries, as well as a variety of fruits, Autumnal squashes, nuts, or the U.S. Constitution, because nobody else is using it these days. For the crust, you’ll need the following:

IMG_2343½ Cup Butter
3 Tablespoons Margarine
½ Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
5 Tablespoons Water

Mix the flour and salt. Cut the butter and margarine into the flour mixture until fine and crumbly like a group of protesters under police brutality. Mix in the water, roll out on a floured surface, and beat the dough to a flat level playing field, unlike the current economic system.

To make the filling, you’ll need the following:

3-4 Cups Blackberries
1 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Water
1/4 Cup Flour


Pour the water into a saucepan on the stove on medium heat; add the sugar, then the berries, then the flour to thicken it up. You can add corn starch if you really, really want to, even though there are much more sustainable thickening methods if we’d just bother to limit our dependence on foreign crude corn, but I’m sure Big Corn is paying off all the pie contest judges anyway.

After the berries have been cooked into a mushy pulp like women’s rights under you-know-who’s hypothetical Presidency, pour the mixture into the pie shell. Cover it with the remaining  dough in any fashion you choose (a plain circle, crisscrossing strips of dough, the symbol for Pi, a plea for divine intervention, etc.). Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen to twenty minutes, which should be the amount of time it takes for us to realize how brainless these candidates are, but no, Marsha just eats up the idiocy like the delicious pie you’ll have in fifteen to twenty minutes or until golden brown.

Once your pie is done baking, I hope you’ll reflect, as I did, on how difficult it is not to think about politics. Some people can do it, and I admire them for it, but I am not one of those people. I don’t know how to be apolitical, and I apologize to my loyal readers who just wanted a simple pie recipe. Please make pie for your friends and enemies, though. Make peace offerings with pie, because all I can conclude from the news I neurotically (perhaps unhealthily) watch is that we need a good, heaping, dripping, hot dose of compassion and kindness right now. Share pie. Don’t punch people in the face.

Carpe Crustum, folks.


P.S. This particularly cool performance of “Celebrate” by Dark Dark Dark is good music to bake, consume, and digest pie to. It’s also a good example of people working together not punching each other in the face, but I digress.