Public Parks, On Private Land!

Date: May 9th, 2017

There are those who say that if we, as the species of engineers we are, do not strip something from the land, whether it be an animal for food, or a tree for a lumber, or a mineral for mining, then we are missing out on valuable resources. But public lands, lands that exist for the people and other species that roam this Earth rather than for companies or development, are some of the most valuable resources we have. There is a quote by Theodore Roethke: “Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light.” Famous, slightly vague quotes can have a slightly different meaning for everybody. I won’t tell you my understanding, I’ll just let his words sink in. Ever since humans started thinking, we’ve found joy and peace in nature. Using it as a remedy for depression isn’t a waste of your time. Obviously, medicine created to combat depression works directly and chemically. But this doesn’t disprove that there is an inherent “light” in nature. Speaking from my own experience, I use nature as a solvent for negativity. In the future (hopefully this behavior will start sometime soon), nature will be looked at as a necessity, not just for recreation, within and outside of all our cities. It is just as much of a needed thing as electricity, copper, or a citrus farm is.

The fact that there is an entire branch of federal government devoted to our emotional wealth is a fact that I love to think about. The federal government has a lot of problems – but this is one of the upsides to having a nagging mother, always present, that is obsessed with red tape.

There’s just one problem.

What if mother goes back on her promise to uphold one of the only purely good things she does for us?

Normally, when a particularly rich person owns a swath of land, it is for them and them alone. There is a gate around the entire thing, with a sign at the entrance reading “Private” or some variation of that word. But what if the sign said “Part of the Private Lands Conservation group. Please park around corner after entering through gate. Two dollars for parking. Enjoy”? (The Private Lands Conservation group is real thing, I’m positively ecstatic to admit that this is not my original idea: https://www.nature.org/about-us/private-lands-conservation/index.htm – I’m just writing about it!)

What if mother doesn’t want to hurt us, but is being forced into going back on her promise by a giant orange crayon?

As Elizabeth Warren reminded me when I went to see her speak, the government is not evil. You are not immediately mean and sour if you work for the government, and you are not weak if you rely on the government. The government does indeed have many dangerous flaws, but ones we can fix over time if we work together and diversify. Examples? Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Yates, the Obamas, Hillary Clinton (she ain’t perfect but she works hard and tries to be there for us, which we need right now), Bernie Sanders, and the thousands of relatively – sadly – unknown people working to undo damage and prop us up. Most of them are just in the wrong positions (Elizabeth Warren for President!)…or maybe the exactly right positions. Most things can take time.

Global warming and conservation can’t. Which is why I say we rip our “valuable resources” out of the orange crayon’s hands as soon and as painfully as possible. And no, it’s not just the orange crayon! It’s just that people like me have to keep mentioning him when something comes up because he’s the Big Loud Orange Megaphone for everyone we’d mention if he wasn’t sitting right smack dab in the middle of the Oval Office! Where was I? Ah yes. Hit him where it hurts and save the world at the same time.

As some of you may know, I plan to own and operate a bed-and-breakfast (small hotel) as my base career to earn enough money to write and design when I want as opposed to on a deadline.

The bed-and-breakfast will be in an area populated enough that I earn money from it, but secluded enough that I can make the area around the bed-and-breakfast a giant public garden, roughly the size of the smaller state parks.

Ambitious? Hell yes. A bit daunting? Maybe. But for those looking out for me, this is a good investment: Conservation should not only be in the hands of the government, a thing which noticeably changes every four years, even after Mr. Orange Crayon leaves office. If we truly want to save this world from environmental catastrophe, the right type – a philanthropic, environmentally sound type – of private ownership should be more common.

This “privablic” land would be private in the sense that there is a person, family, or even corporation who owns it, but public in the sense that anyone can come and enjoy it. How do we further incentivize this already existing approach? Larger tax deductions for private owners who donate their land for public use would be helpful. Also, some cities require that for large developments, per a certain amount of private space developed, a portion of it must be allotted to public access. All cities and states should require the same.

I enjoy being hospitable and taking care of people (as well as meeting strange folks from across the country and world), and I’ve also started a financial plan earlier than most people my age (emphasis on most), concentrated on saving money and remaining stable throughout my adult life. I have a strong belief that the bed-and-breakfast will work out for me, that way I can do odd jobs when I want without losing money.

I do not doubt that the public garden will work just as well, but just in case I can’t pay for it with the money I make, I hope the Nature Conservancy will have my back.

#goprivablic

Fuckface Von Clownstick Has Won

Date: November 9th, 2016

Donald Trump has won the election. (Fuckface Von Clownstick is Jon Stewart’s nickname for him. I find it delightful. Gosh darn it, I miss you, Mr. Stewart.)

What now?

Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, so I’ll say what I did this morning: I made a playlist. (Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/lionesseye/playlist/1YADwgoVAxb4J30FM11AFK) An awfully simple thing to do, isn’t it? Especially for such a horrible event. You’d expect a bigger reaction. You’d expect some screaming and crying.

That playlist is just part of my reaction as a whole. There are different levels to “my reaction” that can be unlocked, you see. (Just kidding.)

To me, music is important. It is an opinion of mine that humans are at their most beautiful doing two things: making or listening to music, and comedy improv. To me, music is so, so important. The rhythms and melodies and patterns and tones…it is therapeutic in many ways. You don’t have to listen to the playlist, it’s for your enjoyment anyways.

Back to the election results.

First of all, what the fuck.

Second of all, what the fuck!

I’ll say it – I’m devastated. Absolutely devastated.

But you know what? This isn’t over.

I know what my name is. My name is Zoe. Zoe means “life” in Greek. (As opposed to it meaning “life in Greek.”) Zoe means life, the force that drives people, the force that keeps people going. I am purity and chaos, souls and cells. I am the organs in a body, the veins and arteries. I am necessary. My initials are ZMKF. ZMKF, now those are some damn cool initials, I told myself when thinking of a name, for myself within the world, fluctuating and growing as the world does. Now ZMKF means rebel. Not trendy rebel, not the one who wears rebel on a shirt. I wear rebel carved into my heart.

Trump may have won.

We will overcome this.

Not alone. Definitely not alone.

The people who voted for him, they will stand by him – but we will not stand down. We will not let him bully people.

ZMKF is no longer a person. I am a person, and I am ZMKF. But ZMKF is a symbol, an entity. Not necessarily related to fire. Fire’s already been done, with Katniss and her Mockingjay. Honestly, I don’t care if you compare me to neutrinos. ZMKF should one day strike the same fear in Fuckface Von Clownstick’s heart that he struck in mine.

My mother, last night, when we didn’t know for sure but it was getting close, said to me “Maybe it’s time for a revolution. Maybe it’s time for California to secede.” My mother. A – relatively – calm, kind woman.

Maybe it’s time. And I can totally do a peaceful revolution. In fact, that seems like my strength. I’m hardly a fighter.

But I am a thinker – a writer, a maker.

ZMKF is a symbol that says “This is not the end of it.”

I’m hardly a fighter. My heart is filled with love. We can get through this together, all of us, we hold on to each other for dear life, we’ll be okay. Even if okay is “on the next flight to Canada.”

I AM A REBEL.

AND A LOVER.

Election Night Is Tomorrow – I Am Scared

Date: Monday, November 7th, 2016

Election night is tomorrow night.

Why shouldn’t I be scared?

Found this on Instagram and screenshot-ted it. Read please. 

I don’t care if that person was paid by Hillary to write that. I really don’t. Because all of that is true. The person’s not wrong. And I’m sort of “100% done” (as the people of my generation say) with the hate on Clinton. Listen – we aren’t supposed to hate the presidential candidates we disagree with.

We just aren’t. The idea that you throw a literal party if “your side” wins, and scream and cry and feel as though the worlds ends if you lose…that’s not average (I resent the word normal) in any way. It’s become that way, all over the world, but I guarantee, it’s not supposed to be. When I say “supposed,” I’m not talking about any laws, spoken or unspoken, that you have to be following.

I’m talking about human decency.

I haven’t been around for that long (although I suppose people who know me say I have an old soul), but I do know – the country has never had a demagogue rile up this much anger and lack of civility.  I suppose it’s always been a rule to never talk about politics during dinner, but it never used to inspire such vitriol.  I mean, we are like gladiators today! An election is supposed to be about issues and policies and shaking hands, and meaning it, before a debate!

There weren’t too many good things about the early days of the U.S.A, but basic civility (between rich and middle class cisgender white men only, yes I know) was one of them.

But then again, there has never before been a candidate like Donald. Never ever ever. Maybe a few Roman emperors and dictators, but never any American presidential candidates.

This election is historic.

All of them are.

But this one in particular could go down so many ways. Here are a few scenarios (excluding the victories of the third parties) I can think of:

Number One: My mom vocalized her opinion; “I know Hillary’s going to win, I’m worried about the Trump supporters going all freaky.” (Paraphrased, no one remembers these things exactly.) She means, of course, that Hillary is victorious in the election process but with Trump’s gentle prodding, his supporters will rebel against her, unwilling to except her victory as fact. And by rebel I mean rebel. Those folks are 1) warning about revolution and 2) behaving with intimidation.

Number Two: The same thing happens, in reverse. Trump vs The People Of The United States. Except instead of the rebellion being quelled easily by Clinton’s calming and respectful nature, as well as the forces of the government, Trump inspires further anarchy, martyrdom, and violence by utterly destroying the rebel movements without caution or mercy.

Number Three: There is a mass migration as about half the country “moves out” – in fear of either of the two main candidates, and unaware of (as well as not faithful in) the others, they choose locations like Mexico, Canada (to the immediate South and North of us respectively), the Netherlands, and the U.K. The people who choose to stay are left with a greatly imbalanced political community, and too many problems to deal with on their own, but with no other country to look to for help – they have been left behind by most other large nations and countries, with the officials in charge of them wanting about as much to do with the U.S as the people who moved out – they begin to succumb to the imbalance. What happens exactly, in the aftermath of this, is left to speculation.

We cannot let Trump win.

And I mean, can not – he is quite literally dangerous.

He might even be worse than this guy.
He might even be worse than this guy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You want to know what happens when a man filled with hate is elected to power? Not the “hate” Trump says Clinton’s heart is filled with, the real kind, the kind that feeds him. He practically lives off of insulting others. This is no exaggeration, heck, I give you permission to ask him about me, I bet he has plenty to say! You want to know what really happens?

Not progress.

Pain.

 

img_4487
My own picture, from my Model UN class I take on Wednesdays (as of this year).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elie Wiesel. Yes, that Elie Wiesel. Holocaust survivor. And no, I’m not trying to downplay what he or any of the others went through. I’m not trying to normalize it. And I’m definitely not trying to use him or disrespect him. I’m saying, this is what happens when a guy says a certain group is unsafe and that he’s going to fix it all for you!

People compare him to Adolf Hitler as a joke.

I say, it’s no joke.

I say, it’s life or death. For so many.

Election night is tomorrow night.

And I am scared.