December 31, 2016
I don’t think I’ve ever seen people so angry at a year, a manmade block of twelve months, like it was some independent actor. “2016 kicked my ass!” Granted, 2016 was the year that took away Carrie Fisher and gave us President-Elect Donald “Pussy Grabber” Trump, but it’s not the damn year’s fault. We’re all glad it’s over, but there’s little hope that 2017 is gonna be any better as America suffers the results of the greatest con in history and deals with even more cultural icon deaths. (Can I get $20 on Hugh Hefner by Valentines Day?)
On the home front, it was a wonderful year as I watched our daughter Cozy go from a toddling toddler to an articulate 2-year-old who is happy to argue that Mickey and Minnie Mouse are really the same person/mouse and knows the proper usage of no, nope, and “No way, Mommy.” She can also sing “Hey Jude” all the way through. (Well, at least the good bits.) It’s been an insane year watching her transition from “baby” to “person.” A highlight of each day has been picking up Andrea from her job at the law firm and relaying what amazing feat she’s accomplished that day. Yesterday she put on a dress by herself and then put a little Santa figure on a spinning turntable and screamed, “Help, Daddy!” over and over again. Poor Santa.
This blog has been a great way to chart both her development and the development of the world she is growing up in. I’ve been able to bounce back from macro to micro on a weekly basis. From her potty training to the terrorist attack in Brussels, it’s all been here, warm and fuzzy moments and moments of shear horror. Of the 54 posts in 2016, the most popular (over 9,200 reads) and discussed (30 comments) was one of my several pieces on rape culture, entitled Why we can’t have good things: Men and rape culture (June 2). My favorite piece was actually written by Andrea, a powerful guest essay on her border crossing, that was latter published in the collection, A Journey of Words.
Donald Trump’s name was in the title of seven blogposts but, in a way, his tiny fingers were in all of them as he is the figurehead of the cultural backlash that our Cozy must live in. If Russian Stooge Trump (or Crooked Trump, either works) makes it to the end of his first term, Cozy will be six-years-old and we’ll be hoping there will still be public schools to send her to. Let’s hope there’s still a United States, as well.
There has been plenty of commentary on Cozy’s gendered (or non-gendered) development, as well as commentary on shows we watched while she was asleep or at her abuela’s (The Walking Dead, The Good Wife, Stranger Things, etc.). A little bit about sports, Sigmund Freud, and maybe not enough about why saying “all lives matter” makes you sound racist.
The blog has really helped me with my writing. The piece on Bowie’s passing was published in a magazine and two of my pieces on Trump, “Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity” and “Who the hell is supporting Donald Trump?”, were published in Counterpunch. Three of my favorite pieces were written far from Portland. My piece on Patti Smith was written in a coffee shop in Greenwich Village, New York that she hangs out in, the post on the Orlando gay bar shooting was written in Washington, DC, and the piece about sexism in Cuba was written on a flight from Havana to Mexico. Like a rolling stone.
Who knows were 2017 will take us. It feels like the Trump trolls, Trump billionaires, and Trump generals want to roll America back to a dark time where the freedom of anyone who wasn’t a straight white cis-gendered Christian male was just a far off dream. But I think they underestimate our will to defend what we’ve won and fight on every single front, including on-line. My sincere hope is that Donald will realize this job is a bit harder than he hoped and go back to his tacky gold castle after a few months of trying to understand how the Constitution actually works.
In the meantime, we will be raising our daughter to stand strong against the next generation of pussy grabbers that Trump has been fostering. We will travel, write, make art, and continue to rage against those in power who rage for the machine. And maybe dad will take a great job somewhere on earth to help move the wheels of justice in the right direction.
Here are the Watching the Wheels posts of 2016. Thank you for letting me share these thoughts with you.
My Little New York Patti Smith Dream (January 9)
How David Bowie Bent My Gender (January 11)
What does the Bundy militia really want? (January 25)
Violence is the answer: I’m over football. (February 2)
Pushing back against trolls (February 10)
A Valentines Poem for My Beloved Wife (February 14)
18 thoughts for Cozy’s 18-month birthday (February 17)
Who the hell is supporting Donald Trump? (March 10)
Me and My Shadow: More baby brain fun (March 17)
Living in an age of terror: Brussels (March 22)
A Year as a Penniless Writer (April 6)
Farewell to my Good Wife (May 4)
Sometimes you really need a moment. (June 12)
Ode to a Gay Bar (June 15)
Dad Love 8 – I’m on drugs (June 30)
Feministing in Havana (August 14)
I found a 2-year-old! (August 22)
My Unintended Gap Year: The humility of looking for work (September 1)
So I Married an Alien (September 8)
The Princess Problem (September 15)
How Donald Trump makes me a better feminist (September 28)
The Dream Police Are Inside My Head (October 6)
Donald Trump for President of Rape Culture (October 10)
What drugs go well with a toddler? (October 26)
11/8 > 9/11: Trump’s body count starts now (November 10)
Bring on the anal phase! (November 15)
Watching the Wheels turns 2 and can use the potty! (November 23)
Butterflies for the Children of Aleppo (December 1)
Delayed gratification and Santa’s Advent calendar (December 7)
Writing to Live: The birth of the “rock novel” (December 14)
Trump Lessons 1: Is this sexist? (December 22)
Father Randy’s Top 20 for 2016, Back to Vinyl (December 27)