When is a joke not funny?

I got kicked out of a group I liked because I literally could not understand how a Dad joke was racist against the Indigenous people of North America. The joke doesn’t even mention Indigenous people. If you want to help me understand feel free to break out the crayons and colouring paper because I really don’t understand and you’re likely going to have to bring it down to kindergarten level. Conversely, if you don’t see the racism, especially if you’re Indigenous, please let me know this as well. Here’s the joke:

nonbinary joke

I’d seen this joke in Asexual Aces earlier that day, where it was liked, and thought it was a pretty typical “Dad Joke”. I even shared it myself. Then I saw it in A Group For Only Cute Queer People and that’s where the shit hit the fan.

Almost immediately there were posters demanding it get removed due to the racist content. I had no idea what they were talking about. It was explained that prospectors killed Indigenous people so any joke that mentions prospectors is racist. I could not grasp that and still can’t. Does that mean talking about settlers/colonizers is racist as well? Are my friends being racist for joking about the Oregon Trail? Is mentioning my family’s background racist (they didn’t kill the local Natives)?

Chances are it’s probably the autism that’s sticking here. I tend to see things in black and white. But I do honestly want an answer. Feel free to put your answer below or, if you came here from Facebook, on my Facebook page.

Thank you!

Edited to add: Apparently it’s not just me. I had quite a few people comment on Facebook that it wasn’t racist at all and that’s with me promising I didn’t mind people disagreeing with me. Not a single person said it was racist.

Saying goodbye to a decade…

Kathleen and Kait 2009It was 2009. I had a 14 year old and a 12 year old. Both seemed so old then and so young in retrospect. That New Year’s we went to my parents’ house for a family celebration that including a bonfire and cousins running everywhere.

 

Maybe it’s just me but I find that how things are now feel like forever, as if nothing’s going to change. And yet it does. Sometimes glacially slow and sometimes in the blink of an eye. Colin and I moved into what was my dream apartment (complete with pool) and he finished high school after many years of turmoil, mostly involving pronouns, his stims, and his love of math. Kait started dating her boyfriend and eventually had a baby with him. Kittens were adopted and adult cats grew older. The kittens did too but they’re still young. The adults are getting elderly.

I went to a friends’ apartment today and we were talking about the next decade and how old we’d be when 2030 rolled around. Sixty seems so far away but it’s coming closer in increments. Most of our time was spent chatting about happier things, stuffing our faces with food, and singing karaoke but sixty tugged at my brain. I’ve never pictured anything past 2020 so sixty is a novel concept and a not entirely welcome one. I can barely wrap myself around turning fifty.

I mentioned a few of my goals in an earlier post. Things like exercise three times a week and try to make friends. I want to get back into writing. I miss writing. I miss having a brain with an attention span too. I will definitely have to write in shorter chunks. And I need to make at least one friend. I don’t know how. I’m good at chatting with strangers but don’t know how to bridge the gap between chatty neighbour and friend. And I want to get back into cooking. Colin keeps putting stuff on the kitchen counter, which makes it difficult to prepare food. He has a lot of stuff, none of which belong there.

It is going to be so odd moving into an apartment just for me. I have never, in almost 50 years, lived totally on my own. Will I still be there on New Year’s Eve 2029? Who will be with me? Oh my goodness, my tiny toddling grandson is going to be in late elementary school! Our lives are going to change so much.

I’ve already had my New Year’s Eve celebration so I’m going to curl up in my swing chair and read a Patricia Briggs novel. Happy New Year to you all and I wish you all the best in 2020!

Kathleen, Allison, and Sean

Myself, Allison, and Sean about to sing karaoke

Coda…

There’s one short week between Christmas and the New Year. It should be a celebration. A goodbye to the old year and a welcome to the new. Instead it’s filled with the minutiae of our lives. When was that dentist appointment? Did I take the tofu out to thaw? It’s less a poignant goodbye and more, oops, someone stepped on the bagpipes.

!BLAT!

When you get right down to it, even New Year’s isn’t very relevant for us. It was chosen because January was named after the Roman God Janus, who had two faces, one looking forward and one looking behind. But you’d be hard pressed to find someone worshipping Janus these days. I have to admit, the whole concept of a totally clean slate and our best future is appealing. We get to say goodbye to what’s hurt us this past year and look forward to better things.

I’m looking at 2020 with a mixture of anticipation and dread. I’m looking forward to moving. I have bought so many cute little things; items that will make me feel happy when I see them. And I’m going to have a new apartment that’s just for me. No one’s ever lived there before, I’ll be the absolute first. I’m also panicking about the move. I’m still waiting for my move in date, sometime this February. And I’m used to having so many things close to me. Three grocery stores, three drug stores, a Giant Tiger, and a Dollarama. I’ll have most of that… if I walk a half hour from my new place. That’s pleasant in the summer and hellish in the winter.

I mentioned some concerns to my psychiatrist and he commented that with my level of severe anxiety, it is common to have agoraphobia. I’m not sure how I’ll manage walking thirty minutes from home to face crowds on my worst days. There’s options like door dash and grocery delivery but I don’t want to rely on them too much to the point of avoiding everything and everyone. That’s not healthy and only makes agoraphobia worse.

This is the year I turn fifty. I don’t feel half a century old, despite having a grandchild. I’m planning on celebrating it at Ste. Anne’s Spa with my Mom and sister. It’s going to be so peaceful.

I do have several goals in mind for 2020. I’m going to sign up for Planet Fitness and I want to get there three nights a week. They have massage chairs which will provide incentive for me. The spa has massage chairs and I fell in love with them. I want to make sure I walk to the grocery store once a week, saving grocery delivery for the absolutely abysmal days, like -40C before the windchill. The easiest one of all, don’t check out the troll site. It’s been over a month since I’ve last been there. It’s hard when I’m depressed to stop myself and a lot easier when I’m feeling good about myself. But they’re not writing about me. They’ve made an almost unrecognizable caricature of myself then act if they know the truth. I spent my childhood being badly bullied, I don’t need to seek out bullies in my adult years. They’re not worth my time. Instead I’m going to focus on making IRL friends. I don’t know exactly how yet but I’ll do it, even if I have to set out snares.

Now to count the days down to when the calendar changes. I wish the best to everyone in the coming decade!

New Year wish2

Merry Christmas!!!

Our stockings are unstuffed and our presents opened. Poor Colin’s coughing up a lung and has a fever, I hope he doesn’t have bronchitis. He’s staying home and resting today while I go visit family at my sister’s place. Despite Colin not feeling well, Christmas has been good this year. My parents got me the cutest rhino sheet set and I’m looking forward to spending time with family.

This is the last Christmas song until next December and I think then I’ll try a more manageable 12 days instead of a month of song. And I’d like to say it looked like Christmas out but we’ve got bare ground and sere grass. It feels like Christmas though, and that’ll be good enough.

Our last song this year is White Christmas as sung by Bing Crosby. Enjoy and have a wonderful day!!!

Tomorrow’s Christmas!!!

And you know what that means? It’s Blackie Boo’s 13th birthday!!!! Okay, that might not be what you were thinking about. I can’t believe I have another teenager cat (Angel turns 14 years old in February).

She’s currently drinking a small bowl of milk. Bad for her I know but Colin introduced it and both her and Oreo beg for it now. And she’s been a real suck all day… which lead to me cradling her in my arms while singing Happy Birthday.

blackie-using-lara-as-a-pillow

Blackie using Lara as a pillow

I’ve shared so many Christmas carols that it’s getting hard to think of ones I haven’t shared. Luckily there’s lists of songs to Google and I found a song sung by Pentatonix. I hope you enjoy it as much as Blackie’s enjoying her milk.

The magic fizzled…

Colin’s voice was laden with sleepy satisfaction.

“Mom,” he said. I looked over at him, taking in his sweet smile and slightly too small dinosaur pjs; ones that had fit perfectly just a week ago. His smile widened, “I bet Harry Potter wished he lost his first tooth.”

There had been a mishap at toothbrushing time that night. Colin tried to pry a flip top toothpaste lid open with his wiggly tooth. The lid won. It took a fair bit of cheerful congratulations on my part to keep him out of tears. And now he was pleased as punch and, for a short time that evening, was cooler than Harry Potter. He had lost a tooth!

Harry Potter was our go to bedtime story. We snuggled up under a blanket in the winter and carted at least one book with us on camping trips. I wasn’t as enamoured of the series as my kids, as I found Harry Potter to be a bit too whiny, but they adored the books.

I hadn’t really thought of Harry Potter in a while. My kids are grown, I think my daughter has the books now. I cringed when JK Rowling announced that Dumbledore was gay. It felt like she was saying it just to get in the news again more than any real thought regarding his sexual orientation. If she wanted him to be gay, she had seven books to out him. That would have been a lot more meaningful.

Then came her liking transphobic posts. I believe her publicist blamed those on “middle aged fingers”. I’m turning 50 years old this year and have yet to like a transphobic comment. Just saying.

So it wasn’t much of a surprise when friends started posting about JK Rowling and her transphobic tweet. My first thought was for the people I know who live and breathe Harry Potter. Thankfully all were fine. Then I thought of my trans friends, who were quite pragmatic about the situation. Colin summed it up nicely when he said, “Mom, it’s not a surprise. She’s been like this for years.”

I know where I stand. JK Rowling is a dumpster fire who endorses bullying and harassment in the workplace. She’s like the racists in the 50’s. Trans people are okay as long as they’re not uppity and know their place. Said place being preferably far from her. She is more than willing to stand up for rights as long as the person in question is white, straight, and cis. Because you know how much support they need.

My trans friends matter a whole lot more to me than a fictional world and a has-been writer. I have stood up for my friends before, not just online but in the real world. And I will do it again and again. JK Rowling will never see this but, if she did, I’d tell her that she made the worst decision of her life and is standing on the wrong side of history.

And Colin, you have always been cooler than Harry Potter.

Two more days until Christmas…

One of my favourite Christmas carols is I Saw Three Ships. I could almost see the harbour, nestled in a bay, a road sloping down to the docks. And under the blue sky, three ships, white sails billowing in the wind. What could be in those ships? Of course it fell apart after that because then it got religious and I’ve never been religious… even as a child. But I sure loved the music and the imagery.

I went looking for a good version of the song and found one by The Piano Guys. You enjoy the song and I’m heading out for a mild December walk.