Not entirely ready to forgive Roseanne (but I’m going to try)

February 11, 2023

I’m not entirely ready to forgive Roseanne. I think she’s rewriting history a bit. I don’t believe that she didn’t know that the target of her Twitter “joke” was Black. Her apology doesn’t sound sincere, after seeing the clip of her show. She def had Clinton derangement syndrome and had been mean and nasty for a long time toward anyone who supported the Clintons. It was only a matter of time before she crossed the line into something completely unacceptable, like a racist tweet.

Photo: Jonathan Mauer

On the other hand, canceling her show was a bit over the top, and an overly harsh sentence can obliterate feelings of contrition. Her comment could have sparked the “national conversation about race” that Obama said we needed to have. We’re not having the conversation. People of all races are mostly too afraid to question or to discuss racism freely, while the most psychopathic among us indulge in unproductive character assassination to play for the crowd.

I don’t know Roseanne and haven’t followed her closely enough to know if she’s a racist. (I read her autobiography, which was interesting.) I certainly can’t defend what she tweeted, though I’m not onboard with the “woke” definition of racist, which seems to be any person who makes any comment which betrays ignorance of any piece of Black history or culture or sociological statistical studies. I have run across too many people who really do believe in the superiority of the “white race” to countenance the word being irresponsibly disseminated (and potentially watered down) as fodder for Robin D’Angelo’s corporate-sponsored moral industry.

And I am very upset about problems in the US being racialized in order to be non-addressed. Poverty and income-inequality (related, but not exactly the same) contribute in a big way to problems facing the majority of African-Americans, as they do most Americans, and the US really really doesn’t want address poverty. The wealthy and well-connected want to racialize it – to police language and educate individuals with no clout in the system about systemic racism. I can understand why orgs devoted to addressing political issues of African Americans would be specifically interested in Black poverty and Black victims of police brutality and Black preventable health problems. But I see what universities, corporate media, and the men who control this country’s wealth are doing here, and I call foul. They don’t really want to address poverty or incarceration or violence or infant mortality. They want to Christian it a Black issue and prescribe another anti-racism seminar for the cogs and proto-cogs in the corporate machine. They want to crow with the Twitter mob and pat themselves on the back for being “progressive.”

I guess I do want to forgive Roseanne, because I want to move on. I hope she doesn’t make any more thoughtless racist remarks, though I’m not hopeful. She doesn’t strike me as a person who lives a self-examined life, and yet she lives under a public microscope more than most celebrities. She’s old and fat and loud and disagreeable and men of all classes – but especially rich white men – don’t like her.

Which is why she’s such a conundrum when she’s also wrong.

Full Moon Eclipse: It’s all about me

June 5, 2020

Full moon eclipse in Gemini this week, and while a partial eclipse in this sign isn’t necessarily the most powerful, other astrological features are intensifying things. The longer-term square between Saturn and Uranus is magnified by retrograde Venus squaring Mars, inching up to a Venus-in-retrograde conjunction with the Sun.

The dominant social feature of the moment is protests against police homicides of Black people, sparked by the murder of George Floyd. Law enforcement has remained stuck in its abysmal patterns, racism being the pattern highlighted by the protests, and people of all races are sick of the willful refusal of this segment of society to change. This is a widespread issue, social in nature, not really about any one person (although it’s important that certain high profile people in the incendiary event be held accountable).

The trouble is that eclipses, even though wide ranging in effect, are personally felt. The moon is the quintessential personal planet, ruling and fueling emotions, and detachment in favor of the greater good is almost impossible. I have felt myself being drawn into my frustration with White people on the Left, particularly the “Right-on Lefty Dudes,” for the self-aggrandizing way they capitalize on other people’s pain. I’ve seen others become distracted over the stupidity of Trump’s comments in response to the protests or the clueless-as-usual way the elite journalist class tries to interpret the situation for us. Trump’s decision to involve the military should be roundly criticized, but the heart of the protests can be whitewashed by focusing on tangential issues. Troublesome moon energy demands attention to personal feelings, however inappropriate or inconvenient they appear to the intellect. I believe the best way to handle this is to recognize the myriad of personal issues surfacing and prioritize what belongs where and what is important now. The personal is political, but not every personal issue belongs in every political response.

Of course, other important things besides the demonstrations are happening on the planet. There’s still COVID-19. I’ve seen people complain that Americans can’t think about more than one issue at a time because the attention of the moment in the US has moved from the pandemic to homicidal racist police. Well, we get to decide where we put our attention. At the same time, a popular medical vlogger in England got pulled up by Americans for ignoring police brutality on his vlog about COVID-19! Did I mention this is a self-centered transit? Me-me-me. With a solar eclipse at the Solstice, and another lunar eclipse on July 5th, expect the emotionally intense self-absorbed energy to last until at least the July new Moon on the 20th. Remember: your emotions are valid; you only need to be mindful of how they’re directed.