pollychromatic

the world through rainbow eyes


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I’m Here From the Future

I’m going to tell you something that I find personally embarrassing and shameful. It’s not a thing I generally discuss, and when it gets brought up in discussion I generally talk around it rather than admitting it.

In November of 2000 I was 28 years old, and I voted for George W. Bush.

I had floated into Libertarianism for a while and was steeped heavily in the values there that big government was a big bad. That the Federal government was overreaching, and that it kept people from acting in their own best interests.

I wish I could explain how I got there, but I’m not entirely sure I could recreate the twisty logic that led me to there. I know what led me out, and maybe I’ll talk about it some other time. Suffice it to say, when I was Libertarian D.C. “business as usual” was a deeply upsetting thing to me.

I found politicians as a whole duplicitous and absolutely not concerned with people like myself, nor most average US citizens.

To my distrustful and cynical eyes, George W. Bush looked somewhat refreshing. He looked kind of aww shucks. His words seemed unscripted, and genuine. I didn’t like all of them, but at least he seemed to be saying what he wanted to say rather than what had been passed to him by various speech writers and spin doctors.

I felt sure that if he made it to the White House, he would shake things up, at least. He wasn’t in the pocket of Washington, despite his own familial ties. Everybody everywhere has a father, but not all of us agree with our fathers, and he certainly did not seem to be echoing his own father.

At the time I had no idea who Dick Cheney was. I knew a bit about politics, but I didn’t research that much. I just had my own ideas and felt like I had a logical head on my shoulders to interpret the information I had without too much additional delving.

This was not really pre-internet, mind you. I was on the internet in 2000, but the 24 hour news cycle had not really gone into full swing yet, and being able to research a candidate, their legislation, and their history more fully was not a thing easily done by non journalists. Most of political talk on the net in 2000 was homegrown usenet style debate and discussion.

So Dick Cheney was pretty much an unknown to me, and just a guy who was picked as a running mate, without a lot of news cycle time devoted to him.

I’m pointing all this out for a reason.
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It’s 2016 now. My 20’s, and even my 30’s are behind me. As the internet has grown, so has my ability to do my own research. I love reading legislation first hand. Love reading deliberations. The vast majority of news has gone from journalism to opinion rags. So my opinions have longer legs, for sure.

Here we are again at that same type of crossroads, though. A presidency is winding up. A new president will take his place and make it their own. Once again we were given the decision of a career politician who seems to represent “more of the same,” an upstart crusader who wanted impossible social justice, and a guy who seems to be an outsider that is ready to shake things up.

In 2000 it was Gore, Nader, and W. In 2016 it’s Clinton, Sanders, and Trump. Sanders has been eliminated and his platform has been integrated into Clinton’s. So what we have left are Trump and Clinton.

One represents a lifetime of politics. One represents an outsider who says what he wants to say and is poised to shake things up.

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I want to travel back in time and tell my 28 year old self to look behind the man who is talking in such ludicrous ways that I take it for honesty. Look at Cheney. Cheney was everything that I thought W wasn’t, so why did I not see that W’s choice of Cheney was simply a continuation of the policies of the GOP. I know that because I can look at Trump and see Pence behind him.

Trump doesn’t seem truly interested in the work that goes with being the President of the United States. Other than the ego boost of saying “President Trump,” the man doesn’t seem to care at all about the actual issues. He certainly hasn’t researched any of the myriad things he makes daily gaffes and attacks on. No more than he was interested in actually doing any of the work of any of his businesses. He sticks his name on it, makes some deals, then walks away leaving others to manage or mismanage.

Pence, on the other hand, seems deeply interested in the GOP platform. He also shows it’s serious shortcomes and pitfalls.

One in three Hoosiers families live at or below the poverty line.

Pence’s record investment in education was made by finally making a pre-k program for the state. Not one that serves all children, but some, at least. Pence turned down federal funding that would have served all of the children.

Indiana does not feel thankful in that lack of concern for their future citizens and workers. Indiana ranks 40th in adults getting an education beyond High School.

Indiana had a budget surplus. It created this surplus through a complete lack of investment in social services and infrastructure. Such a complete lack that when the infrastructure critically failed, the surplus had to be tapped so deeply to aright the crisis that Pence is now also claiming out of the other side of his mouth of a record investment in infrastructure.

That investment never would have reached the penny wise-pound foolish point if the Pence administration had been invested in infrastructure slowly and surely along the way. You can save a lot of money on your household budget by not getting maintenance or repair work done on your car, too.  Eventually that bill will come due, and it will be larger and more critical for the care you neglected along the way.

I see the echoes of Cheney, down the halls of history, in Pence. Pence will not focus on foreign policy, though. Pence wants to focus on domestic affairs. With his abysmal record in Indiana, that makes me worry greatly for the US. We are already in a critical state with infrastructure, and the US educational system is quickly falling behind in a global market that is expanding it’s reach. Innovation comes from education, and we are not educating.

The educational policies begun under President Obama have not been in place long enough to take root and produce new results. We must push forward now, and Pence is not looking forward. Trump surely isn’t either as he has said that the Department of Education can largely be eliminated.

Ask a hiring manager how they look at applications from people who have attended non Federally accredited schools. A system of regulating and ensuring that a standard benchmark is true of a graduate from any state of the Union is precisely why we have a Department of Education.

So I want to go back. I want to shake my 28 year old self. I want to tell her to look at the man behind the man who speaks so outrageously that he must be “shooting from the hip.”

I want to show her sights from her future and tell her what came of an administration with that fool as the figurehead. It’s not enough that she won’t repeat her mistake in four years. She needs to understand the deep shame she will feel that she ever made that mistake to begin with. That she will feel she has blood on her hands. That she will have blood on her hands.

I want to tell her that in just a few short months the worst foreign attack on US soil will happen and that buffoon was utterly bereft of the ability to soundly engage in the subtleties of foreign policy that would limit the loss that will reverberate for decades to come. That we are still suffering, 16 years later, from a man who didn’t understand the difference between fear of threat and reasoned threat.

I want to tell her so much.

I can’t. She’s gone.

Instead the wheel has come round and this time it has spiraled yet tighter. As it does. Trump is not just a fool. He’s a fool with a temper. Pence isn’t just an opportunistic warhawk. He’s a deeply flawed fanatic.

Clinton may represent business as usual to many, but to what is left of the 28 year old in me I can also see Hillary as the continuation of policies that were going right back then. Of policies that are going right now.

The deeply cynical hunger for upheaval that led me to longing for the outsider that W seemed to be led me to starvation.

It took me years to see the outcome of that bad decision. Please do not repeat my mistakes.

I’m here from the future and I have to tell you something. Look to the man behind the man.


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The Lines In Her Mind

Her hands are tiny birds that fly from here to there. The nimble fingers are bird wings that fly her to this wall, then to that one, over her shoulder to the counter next.

“She’s always dancing,” we tell people, and smile. We think of her inability to sit still as a precocious mind unable to be quieted, always moving. So she moves with it.

It is tiring, though. I just need her to brush her teeth so she can take a shower and get on pajamas and go to bed. Still, a half hour later, her hands are in flight. Her toes dance, too. Daintily she touches her toes to the floor in specific rhythms only she hears. Tap here, tap there. Twirl. Tap there. Her belly follows as she touches her body to the wall carefully.

I stand there holding the toothbrush with toothpaste already on it. “It’s time to brush your teeth, Pi,” I say for what feels like the hundredth time. She doesn’t hear me, it seems. Continuing to dance around the 5 by 2 feet of bathroom space.

“Pi? Hello? Let’s get your teeth brushed.” She startles but continues to dance. I get down on the floor, putting the toothbrush down.

“Why are you doing this?,” I ask her. “Is there some reason?” I caught her right after the last set of dancing hand flights. She looks me square in the eyes, and her eyes widen in shock. She crumples.

“Okay. I’m going to explain it,” she says. “There are lines I have to follow…”

She then went on to explain that she “sees” lines everywhere. That she feels she must follow the lines with her hands, sometimes also her feet or body. That she knows she doesn’t have to, but also knows she must. That she knows the lines aren’t there, but also knows they are.

She says the lines have always been there.

She says she’s sorry. She cries.

I hold the tiny 6 year old body that is my beautiful, intelligent, and yes, always sensitive and anxious daughter and tell her that it’s okay. That she can do the things she needs to do and it isn’t wrong. That it is her brain that is firing incorrectly, and not a thing that she is doing wrong. My smart girl understands this as I explain. She is relieved.

I tell her that we can do something to try to stop this. The next few days more things spill out.

The glow in the dark stars that we carefully set around her bed have been keeping her up at night wondering if they are maybe-possibly lasers. She knows they are not, but considers what if they were? The intrusive thoughts of Maybe They Are, But I Know They Aren’t fight it out for hours as she tries to go to sleep.

We remove the stars. We make appointments. I am heartbroken that such a heavy burden has been put on such a small child.

I am angry that she has to first see a counselor because that is all that is available to her in network. Yes, therapy perhaps, but also medicine. OCD is not something she is doing wrong. It’s something that is working incorrectly in her brain. While diabetics do need nutritional therapy, no one suggests that as a first and only step. Their pancreas is not working. They need insulin, and they need to be able to process it. Medicine helps both.

Why do we not treat the brain as we treat the body? It literally is the body. Why is this so confusing for so many people? Pi understood it immediately.

Our first appointment is on Thursday. Today is Saturday.

I’m waiting on some thing. Some solution to her flying bird hands, and laser stars. She’s waiting.

We wait together.


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The Herd of Gazelles at the Bus Stop

Pi and Phi are 5 now. They attend Kindergarten (two different classes so they can both shine their stars individually as bright as possible). They both insisted that they are old enough to ride the bus to school, and because the bus is actually available to them now that they are in Kinder, I agreed. So they ride the bus to school every school day morning. 

I drop them off and watch them interact at the bus stop with the other kids. They’re the only Kinder kids in our little neighborhood, so mostly the big kids are leaving them alone and letting them run around like animals waiting for the bus. 

Run around they do, too. Every single day, they drop their packs in the bus shelter and then have races from one sign to the other. About 200 feet of a race they do over and over until the bus gets there. Squealing, rambunctious, and overall dorky. Phi runs with his hands clutched high to his sides, a bit like a T-Rex. A smile of pure happiness. His feet hit the ground with the strange, awkward, delicate gait so familiar to other parents who have children on the spectrum. Toes pointed down, still somewhat clompy somehow. Like an elephant doing ballet. So happy.

Pi’s arms are thrown back and her clomping hits whole foot down, her face also has the same smile. So happy. She is a gazelle. 

The other kids are mostly silent while Pi and Phi enact these daily races. Pi and Phi encircle them, run between them, around them, near them. You can see the other kids pull back, stare at them. I want to tell Pi and Phi to chill. Be cool. The kids are judging them. I keep my mouth shut. One kid does a mock tiptoe of Phi to his other friends, and they cover their mouths to smile behind their hands. They know better than to laugh where parents can see them. Phi doesn’t notice, just keeps running. Keeps being happy. 

I want to scream at these kids. You think it’s awesome that you can run better than him? Running is hard for him. He’s a different animal. You are gazelles, and he is an elephant. His squealing trumpet of glee comes from a differently shaped throat than your own. Is it such a point of pride that yours was shaped different? Do you work for hours to make your gazelle throat shape the sounds that all the other gazelles make? 

No he does not have grace. What he has, instead, is hard work. He has perseverance. Thank goodness that’s part of the package with Autism. The same thing that makes him line up puzzles for hours is what makes it possible for him to make words that others understand. He works past the point of wanting to stop. I am furiously proud of his words. 

I remember his testing, and them asking us for a list of his words. For a week we tried to put together even ten words that he said at the age of 18 months. Duck. Ball. … Umm.. Daddy? We struggled to find any words that he had actually said. Now, at age 5, his vocabulary is huge. He inherits the wide breadth of spoken word that his father and I use daily, and it shows. 

But the kids at the bus stop don’t see that he is a hard working elephant stuck in the land of the graceful gazelles. They see that he is not part of their herd. They close ranks. 

So he runs with Pi. Pi who doesn’t care, yet, about gazelles and elephants. All animals are different to her. She takes it in stride. 

I want the other kids at the bus stop to see what she sees. I want them to feel the pure joy that he feels. 

I’m proud of my mismatched animals, and so furious at the herd that closes them both out. I know that in their classes there are other mismatched animals, and they find them and befriend them. The herd at the bus stop is not their whole world of experience, but only a small window onto it. 

I also know that the herd at the bus stop is going to grow. That as they get bigger, it will become more and more evident how different they both are to the herds they encounter. Him for his everything, and her for her acceptance of these things and for her own differences. That the ruthlessness of peers will run their world for the next fifteen some odd years. There is not a thing I can do to change it. 

I know that they are going to spend their lives collecting their own herds of mismatched animals. I hope they do not spend too long trying to assimilate into herds that are not their own and do not accept them. I also feel sad for the limited scope of the herd of gazelles at the bus stop. They have not yet learned the value of the different animals. I hope they learn it someday. 


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Dreams of Softness

Dear Children’s Authors,

I need to make a plea to you. I’m a mother of twins you see. One boy and one girl. Now, many parent’s have girls and boys, but not as often do they have them at the same time, at the same stages, and I tell you, it awards me an interesting perspective. Also, I’m a feminist. So I tend to seek equal opportunities and futures for my kids. Not the same, because they aren’t the same kid, but equal, you know?

So I’m here with kind of a weird plea. See, because of the circles I run in (parents, feminists) I’ve found a lot of really beautiful books for girls. Books about being who they are, and cherishing that. Books about how they can want anything for their future. Books about being any kind of girl they want to be.

Which is great. Yay? Definitely yay.

But hey, again this is kinda weird. My son, he needs these kinds of books, too. He needs books that celebrate whatever kind of boy he is, and that tell him his trajectory is his alone to decide.

And I tell you, as much as it is a man’s world, those books are hard to find. There’s plenty about being brave, and being rough. There’s plenty of books that celebrate being a knight. Or being an adventurer.

Few that celebrate being a father. Or being a chef. Or just being a good friend.

Write these books for me, children’s authors. Please. Neil Gaiman, you gave us a Blueberry Girl. I’d really love something for my Blueberry Boy, too. Jane Yolen, dream up nurturing stories for my son as well as my daughter.

All you writers, write. Remember that the little boys love cuddles and dreams as much as the little girls do. Be soft to my son, please. So when I lay my head down on his pillow next to him at night to read him a story to send him off to sleep, the stories I read him will make soar with feathered wings. Give my son softness.

Sincerely,

A Mother


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Clarity In the Checkout Lane

I was standing in the checkout line waiting my turn. Bored. Looking at the magazine covers rather than making eye contact with the other people in line.

As you do.

I was doing this, and something really clarified for me.

See, there was this horrible rag cover. Globe or National Enquirer, or Star, or something. It had the title of “Worst Beach Bodies.” There’s Kim Kardashian’s butt, front and center, titled “Double Wide.” Ha! Ha! Because Kim Kardashian has a butt that is wide, you see. Oh, and we all agree that big butts mean fat, and fat means ugly err, I mean not healthy. So we can all make fun of her butt being big because really we’re just concerned about her health and fuck if she doesn’t deserve it because what the hell is she doing thinking her big butt is okay to show off to the world as desirable! How dare she?! The nerve!

NEEEEEXT!

People I don’t know, people I don’t know, people I don’t know and… what? Is that the little person from that tv show? Amy Roloff? What in the actual fuck? They’re making fun of her? Because her body is different? And she dared to show it on the beach?

Are you fucking kidding me?

You know that point when your ears start to make that whooshing sound and your vision narrows, and you realize that you might just actually be one ragequit away from a for real stroke because you actually got that pissed off?

I was there. Right there.

And I want to use nicer language. I want to not use curse words, because I’d like for you to pass this around, and I know that using curse words makes that harder for you to do. I know that curse words are the retreat of a small vocabulary and that it takes finer skill and creates more power to write without them, but I am so enraged by this.

But it made something clear.

See, I’ve grown desensitized to the fat shaming. Every now and then it’ll get my ire up, but I have come to expect it. It’s what our media does. It’s what people in our culture do. It’s what our coworkers and friends and family do. Not all of them, sure, but enough. We can spread the body positivity from here to eternity, but the streak of shame and blame that we place on people, and ourselves, for fat, for daring to be fat? That’s wider than all the fat combined. It’s heavier, meatier, and I am here to tell you uglier.

Gabourey Sidibe can make her speeches about living past the hate and finding her own beauty, but at the end, we know, we all know, there are a world of comments that will come after about how she should still lose a few pounds. At the least, “for her health.”

And we’ve come to expect that, if not accept that. We don’t, as a culture, accept that fat is a genetic difference, we don’t, as a culture, accept that fat is just another one of the facets of beauty that exists in our species.

But.

I did not expect that to be put on a little person. I didn’t expect the highly critical eye of the media to turn to a person who was born with the genes that express themselves through one of the many varieties of drawfism. Amy Roloff is a little person. Her body is different. Making fun of her body for being different makes as much sense as making fun of Stephen Hawking because he’s in a wheelchair.

Here’s another horrible part of this. They cropped the picture carefully. They didn’t make fun of her husband for daring to be a little person on the beach. All the hate was reserved for her. Because that’s what we do.

And I really should have known better. Because we know better, don’t we? Of course the media is going to make fun of Amy Roloff. Just like they make fun of Gabourey Sidibhe. And it really is all the same. And it isn’t about a focused set of standards of beauty. It isn’t about the overuse of photoshop. It isn’t about fashion. It isn’t even about attraction, or health.
It’s about being bullies.

We’ve accepted a culture that bullies, especially, women. We take part in it. We consume it and regurgitate it and spread it far and wide on Tumblr and Pinterest and blogs and Instagram.

And god. I sort of want to thank that horrible magazine for clarifying it for me. Because damn if another picture dissecting what parts of whichever actress they took apart this week for being too fat was going to get through to me.

If you are a woman, you are less than. You are a consumable product. Here are your array of products and services to purchase so that you can be consumed. And you will consume it. $20 billion a year on the diet industry. $34 billion a year on beauty products and services  (I’m sure there’s some overlap there on beauty services/products and the diet industry, but you get the idea). There’s a lot of money to be made by telling you that you look like crap. And when you get fed up and feel down and depressed about it, there’ll be a whole row of magazines at the grocery store, and entire blogs dedicated to ripping apart actresses and female celebrities who didn’t live up to the expectations that you haven’t been able to live up to either. And maybe you’ll rip them apart, too. So you can feel better about how shitty you feel about yourself, inevitably.

And maybe it’s time that we see that we feel like shit because we have been consumed and processed through a machine that digests us to turn us into ready consumers for their products and services. Maybe it’s time we realize that this media machine is not celebrating the beautiful life, but the impossible life, simply so we will consume it and be consumed by it. That the reason will feel like shit is because we have been shat.

And maybe we need to step away from the bullies and stop giving them our voices and ears to use. We need to stop consuming this. There’s just no world where it is acceptable to make fun of people’s bodies for being different. We need to turn it around on ourselves. There’s just no world where it is acceptable to make fun of our own body for being different.

Dammit, we are the expression of a beautiful conglomeration of millennia of evolution. We are life. We are living, breathing, thinking, dancing, rolling, wrinkling, jiggling, taut, stretched, bunched up, beautiful life. In myriad forms. We are life.

And that is beautiful.


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Let Them Eat Cake, pt. 2

Not that long ago or far away, I worked in a bookstore. It was good work. Intellectually stimulating in spots. Physically demanding in others. Emotionally satisfying most of all. It was good to help people to books. Help them find the books that would entertain or educate. Good to work around other people that felt as strongly about books as I did.

I didn’t really know what I was getting into when I started working there, but by the third year I knew I had found my niché. The thing that makes my heart sing, you know?

What it didn’t do is pay the bills. Not even as I climbed the ladder into management did it do that.

During most of my tenure as a bookseller I shared living spaces with anywhere from 2-6 other people. Sharing bills is how you get by at minimum wage. None of my roommates had children, so we all sort of stayed above water. Barely. A few didn’t.

The homes were somewhat revolving doors of changing circumstances.

This is the kind of lifestyle that we are led to expect of our college years from the generation that has come before us, but for most of us, we were in our late 20’s and early 30’s. One of my roommates worked in the IT industry and brought home an above average salary of anywhere from 60-80k a year. Utility bills were made out in his good credit name. The rest of us were minimum wage service industry, with a few pink collar specializers floating in and out with their “good money” of 30-40k a year.

I was one of the lucky ones. The very few. In a store that employed 30 or 40 people I was one of around 6 that broke 20,000 a year in wages. Gross income. Pre-taxes. This is what climbing the ladder of management means. If I went much higher I would be salaried, and that would mean all my overtime would suddenly be gone. I would work the same grueling overtime hours, but without the perks in my paycheck. A small nod of a few extra thousand would be added to my salary, but the overtime generally meant a lot more. So I didn’t fight that hard to climb higher. My elevated position meant I was granted overtime far more often than those beneath me.

This is a sweet spot in the retail and service industry that’s rarely understood outside of it. Shift managers, assistant managers, supervisors, team leaders – all different titles that generally mean: I can’t afford to make less money, and I can’t afford to make “more.”

Again, I was one of the lucky ones. I was surrounded by coworkers who did not get by.

During my time working with books I had coworkers who lived without gas for years because no one in their house had the credit to connect that utility, nor the money to pay the extra that gas companies ask for if you don’t have it. They took cold showers in the Winter, and used space heaters well into Spring. I had coworkers who squatted in abandoned houses without water at all. I had coworkers who had teeth rotting out of their head because dental insurance was just one extra too many after paying for groceries. I had coworkers, so many, who worked 2 and even 3 jobs trying to hobble together enough to pay for a simple life. Coworkers with no cars in a city that had very limited mass transit. Coworkers who worked only for the insurance because they were cancer survivors, and insurance companies would no longer take them and their preexisting conditions. Everyone skipped meals there. Everyone.

The vast majority of those who I worked with were not teenagers. They were not bored spouses filling up their empty hours. The few teenagers I did work with were not making pocket money. They too were just trying to pay their bills. Heck, some of the people I worked with were well degreed people. Teachers, engineers and lawyers who had left their professions when times got tough. Service and retail was what could be found. So we worked shoulder to shoulder. A goodly portion of my coworkers had children to feed and clothe.

The public perception of what it means to be poor is somehow “other,” but 57% of families in the US are below the poverty line, and having lived there I can tell you: poverty is everywhere.

The cheapest new car starts at $17k. Most new cars are closer to $30k. That’s more than or almost a year’s salary for most people. For most of the US a new car is stratospherically impossible, a bizarre castle in the sky that is referred to but never seen.

I’ll tell you, the new dream of this coming generation isn’t home ownership. From their homes with roommates or the basements of their parent’s home where they still live? Simply buying a new car is the new dream. “Someday I’ll buy a car that isn’t already broken. That I don’t have to spend a quarter of every paycheck to keep running.” That’s what Lennie and George would be talking about in our brave new economy instead of their far off dreams of a small farm to own and live off of.

 

During one of the regular “charity drives” that our chain of bookstores had wherein customers would buy books off our shelves to donate to children who are in need (a self serving charity if there ever was one, but one that did indeed get books into the hands of children who had never had a book of their own outside of a library) I had a customer look at me in her multi-thousand dollar coat, clutching her hundreds of dollar purse and tell me of course she wouldn’t buy a book to donate to local children in need. There were no local children in need here. No one was in need in her community.
She honestly believed it. It was all she knew. She was not mean spirited, she just could not see what was beyond the doors of her own house.

People don’t walk around telling you that they are in poverty. Even when we are, we rarely say it. We make do and get by. We skip meals, and juggle bills. We don’t go to the doctor or the dentist. We share homes and stretch our dollars.

We are decimated by furnaces and cars that need repair. School loans that automatically deduct our money. Accidents and illnesses that chip away the foundations we stand on.

No one is in need in our communities. We all are.

If you don’t see that, you Paul Ryan’s of the world? It’s because you have closed the door on the rest of us.


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Just the Facts.

I’m going to say something here that is sort of unpopular right now among the people I know.

Science is not the place to debate theology.

Just quit it. Stop debating Creationists.

Bill Nye, I love you. I love what you stand for. I love science and reason. Heck, to be quite honest, I even love theology and world religions. But please, quit it. Stop giving airtime to theological belief structures that have been patently disproven.

Creationism isn’t a competing scientific theory. It can not stand on the same platform as evolution, or membrane theory, or the big bang theory, or the laws of thermodynamics, or the search for the unified field theory, or any of the thousand and one different scientific theories that work at explaining our universe and it’s rules. To pretend otherwise elevates it beyond what it is, and lowers all of those.

Creationism is a belief structure. One that at it’s heart relies on ignorance or cognitive dissonance towards the facts as they are known and proven.

If you’re hoping to catch people before their ignorance trips them into Creationist beliefs, debating those that have a theological imperative to believe in Creationism is not the way.

Teaching is the way.

And you know that. You know that, especially Bill Nye. Hell, that’s the entire life purpose that you have operated on. Teach them. Teach them about rational thinking. Teach them about science. Teach them about the passionate love of learning the mechanisms of observation and rational thinking.

Don’t try to go head to head with their belief structures. There can be no quarter there. And when you back them into the corner of pro and con that debate makes, where science stands on one side, and belief on the other? You lose. And in losing, you will lose them.

Fairly soon, March 2014, a new generation will be exposed to a new iteration of Cosmos. Sagan’s great work, and a true labor of love will again light sparks in people’s heads. Your bromance love, Neil deGrasse Tyson will present what is not a debate, but instead, intriguing answers and intriguing questions.

Because that’s what science does. That’s what science is. 

Creationism has no place there. It’s not science. It’s flat-earth mumbo jumbo. You might as well present it along with heliocentrism if you go that route.

Theology goes about explaining the Why? That’s not science. Science asks What? and How? Leave the why to the theologians and storytellers. Don’t debate them.

Just stick to the facts.