Anniversaries, Atrocities, and Activism.

It was late afternoon on Saturday March 14, 2020 and I was in my Korean language class at the Korean Culture Center in Koreatown in midtown Manhattan. Only 4 people had shown up, so the teacher had the rest of the class on her laptop on something called “Zoom”. 

By then, the New York governor had already declared a “state of emergency” and had cancelled the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan for the first time since 1762. On March 12, he had shut down all the theaters on Broadway, and had “contained” an outbreak in New Rochelle in Westchester County by quarantining the town and sending in National Guard troops to direct traffic away from the hot zone.

I thought the actions were drastic but necessary, as precautions against the spread of this new virus but, since I’m not a fan of the St. Pat’s Day parade and I rarely bother to go see anything on Broadway,  and I lived 35 miles away from New Rochelle, I felt that my life would be largely unaffected, except that I’d be washing my hands a lot more often and for a lot longer.

The Korean class ended, and I walked to Penn Station to get my train home to the north shore of Long Island.

That was the last time I had a normal day.

The next day, the mayor of New York City closed all the schools, including my Korean school, and on March 17 he issued a “shelter in place” order for all five boroughs. 

Lastly, by order of the governor, all of New York state went into lockdown at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

The face masks, the isolation, the one-way aisles in the grocery store, the plexiglass partitions everywhere…that’s normal now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, I’ve stayed pretty normal during this past year. As you know, a new kitten came into our lives last Summer, and she’s a delight, but she’s taken a tool on our den couches. these couches were already the cat’s favorite scratching posts and they looked really crappy, but Kimmy likes to get INSIDE and tear out the stuffing. So, in order to prevent her from eating the insides of our couches, I’ve had to take drastic measures:

Here the culprit, posing with her “work:”

Since last March 14, I have taken 45 Korean classes. It’s really thanks to Korean that I have had something to keep my brain engaged while in isolation.  It also means that, for this class alone, I’ve spent 67. 5 hours, on Zoom.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Reader Jeanie was right: if BTS had won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by Group or Duo last Sunday, you wold have heard me scream all the way to Michigan. But, alas, the award went to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande and in response, the people at TOPPS candy came out with a commemorative Garbage Pail Kids collectible card:

The Garbage Pail Kids are for, uh, kids, and they are supposed to be satirical and a little gross, but the image of the members of BTS being hammered like Whack-A-Moles was Not Right. I found out about it on Twitter, actually from a BTS fan in Israel, that BTS fans around the world were already organizing a protest. I did my bit, and emailed a short message to TOPPS that the image was offensive and requesting that it be removed. I got this reply:

Later the same day, my Twitter tl informed me:

Five hours after I had sent my email to TOPPS, the company replied to me:

I give TOPPS credit for taking responsibility, for removing the image, and for contacting me.

You might be wondering why would I and a few million others would bother about a Garbage Pail Kids card game:

You know…it’s always this fucking guy, ALWAYS. Some fucking guy has a problem, and it’s the fault of women, and the solution is to go kill the people who are responsible for this fucking guy’s failings. ALWAYS. Women always pay for men’s sexual frustrations and if you ask me, that’s the whole reason behind religion and the Republican party but let’s not digress. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many people complained about this police spokesperson, Captain Jay Baker, and his “had a bad day” speech, that the county put out a press release:

 

 

 

It was a big deal that Korean musicians had been nominated for an American music award, and it was a big deal that a Korean-American movie, Minari, had been nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture , along with a nomination for Best Director for its Korean-American director Lee Isaac Chung and two Korean-American actors from the movie for Best Actor, Steven Yeung, and Best Supporting Actress, Yuh-jung Youn. It had been a good week for Korean-Americans, and by extension, to all AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders). And then this happened.

It’s also wrong and racist to keep referring to the spas as “massage parlors”, and for the narrative to be around “sex addiction”. 

 

We all know that this violence agains Asian women didn’t come out of nowhere. There have been over 3,400 hate crimes against Asian Americans since Trump started talking about the China virus. And, of course, it’s usually men who take out their anger over COVID’s affect on all of our lives in cowardly attacks on elderly Asians:

 

 

Are white men the problem? Here’s your answer:

And, while we’re dismantling white supremacy and general human stupidity, for god’s sake, let’s get this done:

 

 

 

Over 300 people have been arrested for their “alleged” participation in the riot during the insurrection in Washington DC on January 2, and then there’s this fucking guy:

Right. The Republican senator from Wisconsin says that Black Lives Matter protestors are scary, but the Trump rioters were “patriots” who ‘loved America”.

Well, Senator Shit For Brains, I’m a black Lives Matter protestor. I’m a 65-year old white lady from the suburbs. Do I look scary?

(Insert photo of me taken on my 65th birthday, and the correct answer is yes, Vivian, you do look scary.)

This is where my internet and/or WordPress crapped out, so I’m going to bring it to a finish with little further commentary and a bit less content than I had planned.

Let’s get back to the good news that over 300 of those insurrectionist fucks have been hunted down and arrested by the FBI:

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the face of Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold:

This is Merrick Garland, our new Attorney General, whose nomination to the Supreme Court by Barack Obama was held up forever by Mitch McDonnell. I know I say it too much, but Fuck You, Mitch.

How’s the rest of the Republican party doing?

 

 

 

Kevin McCarthy, leader the Republicanism the House of Representatives:

Liar and sex pest Madison Crawley Republican from North Carolina gets lesson in constitutional law from Ted Lieu, Democratic house member from southern California:

 

That’s the week that was, Dear Readers. I’m sorry I’m late today — my internet froze for an hour and I got up late.

Enjoy some cats and dogs and some interesting trivia about earthworms, for Dear Reader Steve, whose husband makes a mean earthworm chili and which apparently is not as icky as it sounds:

 

The caption for this snapshot: Only one of them knows they are going to see the vet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Thank you for reading, and for being here each week during the pandemic. Let’s keep each other sane.

 

 

13 Comments, RSS

  1. Rachel Scott

    Vivian, I don’t even know what I was doing a year ago when the pandemic shut down the world…..or should have, so we could recover quicker than we have. Don has gotten both shots and been “safe” for several weeks. I finally get my second March 26…wahoo!…even tho we have to drive about an hour north to get it. Texas has done such a poor job of getting the vaccine to it’s citizens. I am/was on three lists and finally had to fend for myself. And, now Gov. Abbott has opened everything up and there is no mask mandate!! Love your animal photos….the contemplating cat is our Dudley! I have always loved Japan and Asians….find their traditions interesting….partly from seeing the movie Sayonara in 1958. I had a Japanese pen pal from 7th grade until a sophomore in college. My Dutch pen pal and her husband adopted 2 Chinese boys. I do not understand this violence against Asians….it breaks my heart that some Americans have this mind set and are committing these crimes. Thank you for pointing out these transgressions. Rachel

    • Vivian

      It’s March 26! Congratulations! And I’m with you: what did Asia ever do to you that you have to attack random members of its community? And note that they always pick on the old, not on anyone who can give them a fair fight…but if Republicans wanted a fair fight they wouldn’t be trying to steal so many elections and suppress votes.

      Dudley is a provocateur? And he has such an angelic face!

  2. Megan

    Hi Vivian, Thanks for another interesting and informative blog post. I appreciate your hard work battling technology. Well once again I awoke on a Saturday morning and was educated on many things. Some I was not aware of, and I was glad I was ignorant but it is good to know what things are afoot in the world. I am more convinced that I do not like people, cats I love and dogs and all creatures even earthworms. Earthworms are more important than people by a country mile. I love that that cat is contemplating his sins at all, even if he is firm in his resolve to do it all again. Now I am being educated by you but I have a question what the hell is Antifa? Surely all our fathers and mothers fought fascism in WWII? What are people getting all up in arms (literally in the US) about? It makes no sense to me. Stay safe stay away from stupid. Much more to comment on but I will let someone else have the floor. Keep Taffy safe from the burrowing Kimmy, that is too frightful to contemplate.

    • Vivian

      About Antifa: it’s part of the Republican message that up is down, truth is fiction, and black is white. OOOOPs, not that last one — black is Antifa and white is supreme…get it? God I am so tired of those people.

      and yeah, I’d be pals with an earthworm before a Republican. I thing theorm would be smarter as well as better-tasting.

  3. Oh, please let John Dean be right.

    Please let Kimmy learn behavior modification.

    Please let that idiot sheriff get fired.

    Last night we had (vaccinated) friends for dinner. Inside. Without masks. It felt very weird. A little naughty. And such a relief.

    Well done with Topps. Of all the stupid times to do an already stupid thing — so glad you and others were on the case — this is the first I’ve heard of it.

    • Vivian

      Top Cat is in California this week. I am still not eager to get on a plane with — ugh — PEOPLE, but I hope to travel again in the Fall.

      Congratulations for the mask0free gathering! I know you’re a very sociable person and this is a big deal for you!

  4. Kirra

    What a reflection from last year, hope you’re still doing okay a year on. It seems men all around the world are being idiots at the moment, in England and Australia as well. They do terrible things then other men say stupid stuff about what they did, no matter people dying. It’s outrageous but totally predictable that they are so hopeless.

    Thanks for the cat pictures!

    • Vivian

      If you like cat pictures, you’re in for a treat this week. Somehow, Australia managed to stay out of the news on this side of the world, and I can only assure you that that’s a good thing.

  5. Judy Jennings

    Hi Vivian,
    I’m always excited when FRIDAY rolls around, because VIVIAN!
    I wanted you to know that I’m still not seeing comments. No problem really, except all I’m doing anymore is: Sit, Read, Eat.
    Now awaiting the next Friday. 💕
    PS Getting ready to ZOOM with Beth!

  6. That Topps whack-a-mole card is pretty awful, even without considering the news events of this week. Thank goodness they pulled it from production. What are people thinking?!?!

    You also prompted me to get some background on those Florida political races that are now being investigated for fraud. Hadn’t heard about THAT little issue. Miami is never boring!

    • Vivian

      It was a brilliant scheme, but why didn’t anyone see through it at the time? Two candidates with the same last name, one a Democrat and the other a no-show “Independent” must have raised some red flags, or are the Democrats really that dumb? Anyway, the operative is under arrest and maybe there are grounds for another lawsuit to overturn the results, having been obtained by illegal methods. And all it cost was $50,000!!! Man, buying a Republican is cheap!!!

  7. Ruby

    Hi Vivian! I love your blog. I’m trying to get a hold of your books but as I mostly live out of a suitcase, I prefer ebooks (even for illustrated ones, though I know that’s not ideal). I was wondering if you would bring your books out in digital versions? And make them available either via your website or the usual places so I could buy them using PayPal (or international credit card)? Thank you!

    • Vivian

      Thanks for your question Ruby. I am not in control of the copyright of my books. My publisher Bloomsbury still has dibs and they decide whether or not it will be re-printed or sold for foreign language rights or e-book edition. My books are old — I published my last one in 2016 — and I’m a mid-lister (not bestselling) author so I doubt that they will bother re-issuing any of the books in e-format. I’m sorry for the inconvenience! My next book, if there is one, will not be traditionally published. I hope to be able to self-publish, and decide the fate of my words.

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