Everything is going to work out in the end. I keep telling myself that, because it is in the nature of things to be transient—as we are, ourselves, all transient. Everything changes, so when things are feeling crap I remind myself that hey, it can only be this way for so long, that the pendulum will swing the other way soon. One of the very best things about being older is the realization that nothing lasts forever, especially feelings— agh, that’s something to add to the every expanding list of Things I Need To Make More Serious And Longer Posts About, but that it isn’t for today. Today I want to tell you about my friends.
First up are Higgins & Maeve; really good people who are just not having a banner year, culminating in Higgins being jumped last week by a group of people while walking home. They didn’t take anything, just knocked him down, kicked him in the face, smashed his glasses, and stomped on his chest until they broke his collarbone. A passerby walking his dog helped out, thank glob, but Higgins’ primary profession involves holding up really large cameras with one arm, so the whole “looking for work” thing is on hold for the moment. He’s been working on his bachelors while doing occasional National Guard weekends and taking on side jobs, but with a completely broken collarbone he’s been worried about making rent, paying his medical bills, replacing those glasses, etc. Higgins is looking for work he can do with a jacked up wing, but with more time left on his degree it’s slim pickings; his fiancee, Maeve, is already working her lovely tail off. Friends have set up a GoFundMe to help them get by for the moment, and if you’ve got a couple of bucks to spare, hey, I would personally appreciate that. (Anything that comes in and isn’t used to help the two of them make ends meet while Higgins is on the mend heads out a Baltimore youth charity, but I kind of don’t see much surplus coming along, you know?)
Yeah, it’s an awful thing to have happen, I know. People can be shitty. Then again, people also sent food and support and love to both of them immediately afterward, so, while I’m at it: people can be pretty great. I keep thinking that Higgins & Maeve are really nice, sweet, good people- folks who care about other people, who care about the city and the politics of the city and their friends and art and you know, just care. Caring, btw— that’s a skill, and it gets overlooked; it can be easy to stop caring, especially in a city. You get busy, you get overwhelmed, you get overbooked, you get blunted. Caring matters, folks. Giving a damn about where you live and what you do is always cool. That stands out.
This shouldn’t have happened to them but in reality, it shouldn’t have happened to anyone, because violence is bullshit: I wouldn’t want this to have happened to a jerk, either. Not even the jerkiest of jerks from my way- back past: I’m not into violence. Higgins’ curse upon his attackers- that they be caught and be forced into a future working as osteopaths- that’s so more my style.
Here’s something happier that’s happening: the brilliant Acacia Sears put up her Yes Means Yes Kickstarter this month, supporting her album of progressive feminist children’s music and it is going really, really well. (Some of you might have met Cacie at a show or in the studio. ) She’s getting a serious amount of buzz and we are all watching this, crossing our fingers and— I don’t know how to explain it. It’s amazing, witnessing someone you care about reach out and snatch up their dream: she’s so good at what she does, she has a clear vision, she’s very focused, incredibly driven and then… cover it all in whimsy and top it with a flower crown. It’s perfection, and it’s a privilege to see this take off.
There have been trolls, because it’s the Internet. Also, hey, let’s be real: ” fun, progressive music for children: songs about consent, ableism, anxiety, non-binary gender, dinosaurs, robots, and more!”… What isn’t there to troll over in that, right? Of course, right. Agh. You can’t begin to talk about feminism, racism, or equality in any form online without being targeted. She’s taking it well, but it’s scary stuff. I’m glad she has songs about dealing with anxiety, because some of those comments were just walking proof that her work is necessary.
One of the lighter examples. People can be gross. (Also, please don’t make your kids hug people, folks.)
We skipped most children’s music when Kiddo was little; so much of it contains gender stereotypes, weird religious overtones, violence, etc. She grew up dancing to The Cure, Pet Shop Boys, Tupac, Eve, Dropkick Murphys, Billy Bragg. I would have loved a resource like this when she was little, and I’m so glad it exists for my new baby niece, Alyssa. I’d love to see this as widely available as possible.
So: yeah, I know. I just asked you to support my boy Higgins a second ago. It’s cool. Nobody is made of money, but if you can? It’s one hell of a project, seriously, and her rewards are great- a $10 donation gets you the album, she has some amazing ideas for stretch goals, and just a couple of bucks is a huge help to artists trying to get a project started.
See what I mean? Higgins got jumped (so not okay) but friends came together to help him & Maeve (so very good). Cacie’s Kickstarter is beginning to get some really awesome positive attention (Dan Savage promoted it! Amy Poehler favorited it on Twitter! Kickstarter made it their Staff Pick!) but also TROLLS, and (that can get weird and scary and always gross). It’s like that here lately. Very eeeeuuurrgh where’s my blanket fort/ oh wait, maybe it IS a finger painting and playground day after all. I’m guessing it’s going to shake out on the finger painting and playground side of things. OPTIMISM, it’s my thing.
So I have that Gregor Samsa packed and in my car, ready to go except for a shipping label. I’m not putting up a new giveaway until I reload the Etsy shop; I need to take a moment and take stock, see what I’m putting up, etc, but I’ll do that soon, too. In the meantime, if anyone wants to leave their favorite comfort behaviors below? I offer my gratitude in advance. Here’s hoping your July is much more playground than blanket fort.