state 49

Flower Beds in Holland (also known as ‘Bulb Fields’)
Vincent van Gogh - 1883
National Gallery of Art - Washington DC (United States)
Oil painting
Height: 49 cm (19.29 in.), Width: 66 cm (25.98 in.)

This work from 1883 marks the first time we really feel Vincent’s expert use and knowledge of color. There are a couple more examples from earlier, in ‘82, but for me, this is the physical representation of the beginning of his mission to work only to let God move through his vessel and leave something timeless behind. 

Vincent painted and drew (and wrote letters) voraciously from here on out, compiling over 900 paintings, at least that many letters, and even more drawings.

“Trump is a cancer on this country and resistance is the remedy”

“After Ronald Reagan, a celebrity-turned-politician, carried 49 states in his devastating defeat of Walter Mondale in 1984, Democrats were whining and moaning, shuffling their feet and scratching their heads.

Reagan had done particularly well with those who would come to be known as Reagan Democrats — white, working-class voters, particularly in the Rust Belt, whom a New York Times contributor would later describe as “blue-collar, ethnic voters,” who were drawn to Reagan’s messages of economic growth and nationalistic pride.

But just like Donald Trump’s path to victory, Reagan’s was strewn with racial hostilities and prejudicial lies.

While Trump’s tropes involved Mexicans and Muslims and that tired euphemism of disastrous inner cities, Reagan used the “welfare queen” scare, as far back as his unsuccessful bid for president in 1976.

As I have written before, Reagan explained at nearly every stop that there was a woman in Chicago who “used 80 names, 30 addresses, 15 telephone numbers to collect food stamps, Social Security, veterans’ benefits for four nonexistent, deceased veteran husbands, as well as welfare. Her tax-free cash income alone has been running $150,000 a year.”

But it was not as it seemed.

As my colleague Paul Krugman wrote in 2007: “Reagan repeatedly told the bogus story of the Cadillac-driving welfare queen — a gross exaggeration of a minor case of welfare fraud. He never mentioned the woman’s race, but he didn’t have to.”

As Gene Demby perfectly summed up on NPR in 2013: “In the popular imagination, the stereotype of the ‘welfare queen’ is thoroughly raced — she’s an indolent black woman, living off the largess of taxpayers. The term is seen by many as a dog whistle, a way to play on racial anxieties without summoning them directly.”

So, then as now, economic anxiety and throbbing xenophobia were convenient shields behind which brewing racial animus could hide.

Indeed, Trump’s slogan “Make American Great Again” was first used by Reagan.

And yet, Democrats in 1984 were quick to look for the lessons they could learn on how to reach out to the Reagan coalition, instead of condemning it.

In the days following Reagan’s win that year, The New York Times reported:

“Democratic Party leaders began yesterday what they foresee as a long and agonizing appraisal of how they can renew their appeal to the white majority in presidential elections and still hold the allegiance of minorities, the poor and others who seek federal assistance.”

In a telephone interview with The Times for the article, then-Representative James R. Jones of Oklahoma, a fiscal conservative, said, “I think we should adopt the slogan of compassionate conservatism.” He continued, “We can be fiscally conservative without losing our commitment to the needy and we must redirect our policy in that direction.”

But in truth, there was no compassion to be had in that conservatism then — and definitely not now.

In 1981, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., who was then president of the National Urban League, stung the Reagan administration:

“I do not challenge the conservatism of this administration. I do challenge its failure to exhibit a compassionate conservatism that adapts itself to the realities of a society ridden by class and race distinction.”

But while Reagan at least operated under the veneer of positivity and hopefulness with the language of a “shining city on a hill,” Trump has pursued a blatant appeal to anger and hostility with his talk of a nation in decline.

Over the years, compassionate conservatism has had its moments, including being espoused by Jack Kemp and President George W. Bush. That all feels like quaint, retrospective ephemera now.

Compassionate conservatism is dead; Trump and his band of backward-thinking devotees killed it.

Trump is rushing headlong into Muslim bans and mass deportations, wall building and Obamacare dismantling. Indeed, it feels like the campaign promises Trump is keeping have to do with cruelty and those he’s flip-flopping on have to do with character.

For instance, it is now abundantly clear that Trump had no intention whatsoever of draining the swamp in Washington. He is simply restocking it to his liking.

This is why I have no patience for liberal talk of reaching out to Trump voters. There is no more a compromise point with those who accept, promote and defend bigotry, misogyny and xenophobia than there is a designation of “almost pregnant.”

Trump is a cancer on this country and resistance is the remedy. The Trump phenomenon is devoid of compassion, and we must be closed to compromise.

No one need try to convince me otherwise. The effort is futile; my conviction is absolute. This is a culture war in which truth is the weapon, righteousness the flag and passion the fuel.

Fight, fight, fight. And when you are finished, fight some more. Victory is the only acceptable outcome when freedom, equality and inclusion are at stake.”

—from the article The Death of Compassion by Charles M. Blow

it would be really weird if someone time traveled back just to make it so we never annexed hawaii so that we only had 49 states.  i wonder if in that universe we would invade someone else just so we could even out the number.  what i am really asking is would the us government spend billions of dollars and kill people just to even out the number

Good, now maybe we can start working on the problems that are jeopardizing the lives or LGBTQ people who aren’t white, cis, gay and middle- to upper-class! 

Like the genocide being committed against trans women of color, or the fact that 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ teens - most of whom were kicked out of their homes for being LGBTQ, or maybe the fact that 41% of trans adults report attempting suicide while >70% report facing workplace descrimination for being trans, or maybe the fact that the “trans panic” defense is still usable in 49 states, or that it’s still legal to discriminate against trans people in terms of housing, employment, criminal justice and medical care, or maybe the fact that trans people still struggle to get medical care coverage through insurance, even with the gains that we’ve made with ACA.

I’m sure those white, wealthy, cis gays will stick around and fight with us since we worked so hard on getting them married, right? Hey … where are you going?!

REST || mgc

Originally posted by calumxhoood

811 || “His first proclamation of love was unconventionally timed and yes, maybe there was a small part of him that wished on all of the shooting stars that you heard him.”

warnings: none, really, just pure cotton candy fluff

a/n: inspired by michael’s tweet :((( my poor bby boy. special thanks to @assholemalums for beta’ing it <3

It wasn’t your fault that you were tired. Michael hadn’t been able to sleep last night until you coaxed his head onto your lap, carefully running your fingers through his dyed hair. Your ministrations had carried on through the hours before dawn, and only when the clouds were tinged a peach pink was he able to slumber peacefully.

Now here he was, occasionally swaying in the back of the tour bus, on the way to somewhere new with your head in his lap. The clock glared at him with bright numbers stating 11:49 PM. Not that late by his standards, but considering the amount of sleep he got (which was more like a nap by definition) and the exhilarating show they played, he should be knocked out. In the same way you had done for him in his sleepless sessions, he was carefully sifting through your strands, untangling whatever stopped his path. Little snores escaped from your mouth, and the rush of affection he felt for you was overwhelming. The bus bumped along, lights blurring past the window. Shadows casted themselves over the two of you, and words drifted into his mind.

Hmm… Could be new song lyrics, Michael mused, continuing his actions. The air conditioning hummed, providing the white noise to keep his thoughts in check. He was so busy staring at you that he didn’t realize the time passing by until a soft tap on the sliding door sounded. It hissed open, revealing a concerned blue eyed blond.

“You should be sleeping, not watching her sleep,” Luke whispered, smiling through a yawn. He leaned on the wall, rubbing his eyes tiredly.

“Can’t sleep,” Michael’s voice sounded incredibly dull to his ears, and Luke’s sigh made him feel a tinge of gloom. Why couldn’t he just be normal?

“You can take the sleeping pills, you know. Doc said that-”

“They don’t work as well anymore. I had to stop them,” Michael cut in before he could finish. Luke stared before nodding solemnly. He turned away and walked down the hall, and Michael looked back down at you. So beautiful. Rustling could be heard, and Luke returned with the blanket from Michael’s bunk.

“Here, take this at least,” he murmured, handing it to him. Michael mumbled his thanks, hoping that the sincerity could be heard. Luke’s small smile reassured him, and he walked out the door, pressing the button. It closed behind him.

1:40 AM.

He watched the text blink. His fingers twitched, one hand mechanically going through your hair, the other still gripping the cloth. His eyes were closing to be glued shut. Sleep teased him, but it never came close enough.

1:41 AM.

He hadn’t moved from his position since hours ago. It wasn’t uncomfortable, no, but he couldn’t feel his legs. It didn’t matter. Michael didn’t want to risk the chance of waking you.

1:42 AM.

You were shifting around anyway, but he couldn’t tell if you were truly asleep. His heart swelled with fondness and his eyes teared up in exhaustion and his tongue rubbed over his cracked lips. The words were ready to burst from his lungs.

1:43 AM.

“It’s 1:43 AM and I wanted to say I love you,” his voice cracked, but he soldiered on. “It’s so damn cheesy because of the time but I know, right here and right now, that I really do. I love you for sacrificing your sleep just so there was a chance that I could. I love you for always giving me the fries from your meal. I love you for keeping me standing when all I wanted to do was collapse. I love you for sitting through all of my random guitar sessions. I love you for always caring for me. Fuck, I love you so much.”

1:44 AM.

You stirred, and he held his breath. His first proclamation of love was unconventionally timed and yes, maybe there was a small part of him that wished on all of the shooting stars that you heard him.

Sometimes, the shooting stars are kind.

“Michael Gordon Clifford, I love you, too,” you murmured into the still air, clutching his leg softly. “But maybe next time, wake me up so that I could hear all of that properly.” His laugh is shaky, but you felt the release of all the tension in his bones. Eyes fluttering open, you searched for his green ones in the dark. They glistened back. You sat up from your position and smiled at him sleepily but genuinely. Your hand reached out to caress his scruffy jaw, and Michael leaned into your touch. Tugging at his sleeve, you dragged him over to the wider side of the sofa. You were first to plop down and lie on your back, Michael following after draping the blanket over your bodies. He turned and scooped you up into his arms, becoming the big spoon without question.

1:45 AM.

No other words were exchanged. With you by his side, Michael finally got the rest he needed.

The streetlights illuminated his dreams.

masterlist || just a lil thing i felt like writing :-) honestly worried for michael tho… i just hope he gets enough rest.