Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-08-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THE AMAZON TRAIL The terlet
by Lee Lynch
2018-05-02

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


When I objected, starting around the age of four or five, to commercials on the radio, I had no idea what the future of marketing would hold for us all. Why, I asked, was "The Lone Ranger" interrupted to sell Silvercup Bread? Was it because of his silver bullets? Well, yes, it was considered a terrific marketing tie-in. I hated ads then and I hate them now when the once open internet has become a mammoth shopping mall for which we pay with our privacy.

At a rummage sale yesterday, I snagged a couple of Red Star Lilies. When I asked Google to tell me about the plant, what I got was sellers who shared some information along with their big fat click-here-to-order ads. The same happened with browser DuckDuckGo, but at least no companies grabbed my height, weight, and IQ to use in further marketing. You really have to know to use sites like Wikipedia and WikiHow ( and support them directly with donations ) so they don't have to push ads or sell your information to survive.

Some of my favorite lines from the poet Wordsworth can be found at www.poetryfoundation.org . "The world is too much with us; late and soon,/Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;/Little we see in Nature that is ours;/ We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!"

Now, doesn't that just sound like Facebook, which has been carelessly selling our affectional and political preferences for years and years? I used to think, what the heck, I have nothing to hide. I can't get much more out than being a lesbian writer who proudly uses her legal name. As the internet has gotten more powerful, though, anyone who's read George Orwell's prophetic 1984, is noticing the potential for extremely sordid uses of our information.

Like electing the Unfortunate Current Occupant ( UCO ). Unfortunate for us, that is.

And now, the census wants us to bare all. According to pewresearch.org, the US Census will ask if we're married to or in a domestic relationship with a person of the same binary gender. Given that UCO, his all too "competent" V.P., his narrow-minded Attorney General, and the wacko conservatives in Congress, are in power, this data, whether in the hands of Snapchat or the federal government, is especially fraught for gays and other target groups. I'm going to fess up on the census, but not without feeling like I'm signing up for Saddam Hussein's Golden Hit List.

It's like a neighbor said of our community newsletter, "No religion! No politics!" From the state of our planet, getting along is not something we've got down pat at all. I was brought up by parents who considered both subjects to be private. I'm of a generation which shouts our politics and spiritual beliefs on bumper stickers and T-shirts. Who knows what's next? If we don't at least try to vote, we'll be forced to show our colors: pink or Black triangle badges and tattooed ID numbers.

If our votes count any more. How about, in this consumerist society, we get receipts—paper ones—for our votes so no one gets into office through a back door. If little mom-and-pop stores can manage this, if the cash register industry has made it so very easy… Never mind: Just because we pull the right levers and get accurate receipts, doesn't mean the hackers won't hack us over into the column that pays the most.

My sweetheart and I, a bit despairing, switched obsessing about the state of the world to spiffing up our home a little, making equipment more accessible and shrinking our footprint. Not that it can get much smaller, as we own an infinitesimal fraction of an acre just large enough for our manufactured home, a one-car garage, and a margin of space for the birdbath, some bushes and young trees.

We're quite excited about our shiny new faucets, though. They have lever handles that don't require twisting and grasping. It's much easier now to decrease the flow of water. One is deliciously art deco. After that, my sweetheart tackled what we came to affectionately call our bathroom fixture, with a nod to Norman Lear's Archie Bunker: the terlet. With back and knee problems, it's not as easy as it once was to sit down and get up from anything.

Manufactured homes are notorious for small bathrooms. Not as small as the one in the 27-foot trailer I used to live in, but palatial it ain't. The terlet is lower than the standard 15 inches tall, a so-called normal height designed to accommodate everyone from kids to basketball players, all able-bodied. Ridiculous! To our good fortune, a friend down the street, who recently fractured his leg in a few places, extolled his 17-inch commode. Ours is now on order.

Then there's the outside. We added cinderblock pavers to the driveway, so passengers will no longer step out into the Oregon mud. We moved the birdbath to replant, in a sunnier spot, the three-foot Western hemlock we've been nurturing since it wasn't much more than a twig. Now that I can't use a shovel anymore, we've been scouting garage and store sales for big, colorful flower pots our Red Star Lilies can inhabit.

Our little toothpick house, as my sweetheart named it, is shaping up, maybe not a showplace, but a homey, lived-in, always-in-progress, sometimes higgledy-piggledy, much beloved Pacific Northwest homestead.

Making all these decisions has given us months of distraction from the UCO. Advertising had not a whit of influence on us; we did it all without resorting to internet coaxing. We did use the web to comparison shop and order what we needed since nothing we wanted was available in our rural community. The internet, like the government, should belong to the people, not corporations and marketers who offer top dollar for our consumer profiles.

Commodifying everything from the halls of Congress, to supposedly private messages to loved ones, to "The Lone Ranger," "we lay waste our powers." When our very identities are for sale, really, so little is ours.

Copyright Lee Lynch 2018

April 2008


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

PASSAGES Women's music leader Esther Anne Fuller dies 2018-08-15 - Esther Anne Fuller, 82, of Whitestown, Indiana, has died. She was a past president of Women In the Arts, a former National Women's ...


Gay News

VIEWS Cardinal Cupich on sexual abuse: Clerical culture, not gay priests, at fault 2018-08-15 - A top U.S. cardinal has expressed strong skepticism that gay priests are the cause of clerical sexual abuse, saying instead the problem stems ...


Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Calling for change 2018-08-15 - Dear Editor: Recently, Pope Francis changed the catechism of the Catholic Church to make the death penalty entirely unacceptable, saying it is ...


Gay News

Ruby Rose to play lesbian superhero Batwoman 2018-08-15 - Orange Is the New Black alum/LGBT actress Ruby Rose has been cast to play lesbian superhero Batwoman ( a.k.a. Kate Kane ), Entertainment ...


Gay News

Eighth Annual Chicago SlutWalk is a Success 2018-08-14 - For about an hour in late July, shoppers, pedestrians and tourists all stopped and shifted their attention to the mob of nearly 100 ...


Gay News

Lesbian Native American candidate Sharice Davids wins KS primary for Congress 2018-08-08 - Washington, DC — Congressional candidate Sharice Davids won a crowded primary in Kansas Tuesday night and will now face anti-LGBTQ incumbent Kevin Yoder ...


Gay News

Women's March Chicago Returns to Grant Park Oct. 13 2018-08-08 - Women's March Chicago ( WMC ) will once again take over Grant Park on Oct. 13, 2018, calling upon women and allies to ...


Gay News

Youth activist Mack Guthrie talks 'My Body, My Story' campaign 2018-08-08 - In the months after the November 2016 election, Mack Guthrie decided he had to get involved with issues he was passionate about. That ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Creator of study on LGBTQ familes talks about new findings 2018-08-08 - Thirty-two years ago, Nanette Gartrell, M.D., launched a project to follow the first wave of lesbian families created through donor insemination. Now, her ...


Gay News

Local women arrange Italy LGBTQ adventures 2018-08-08 - Chicago's Lesley Pritkin and Rosanne Cofoid are offering LGBTQ-specific adventures in Italy with unique venues for same-sex wedding celebrations and honeymoons that cater ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.