Today, upon awakening, I splashed my face with my elixir of Tibetan Baby Tears, meditated with my live-in shaman, worked out with Gunther — my half-man/half-tiger personal trainer — had my farm-to-table egg white frittata lovingly prepared by my chef — then joined my conference call with the rest of the H-Wood Elite. It was a rousing conversation. How, today, can we further our agenda of making people Lesbians and babykillers? How can we insure that the incompetent take jobs away from good, hardworking people? And rapists and terrorists, where are their visas?And there’s not enough porn in schools! HaHaHa it makes us laugh.
That’s me, right? No wonder people are so angry.
What brings this on? Well…
Recently, Lisa Edelstein, star of Girlfriend’s Guide, tweeted about the death of Alan Thicke and drew the wrath of many Trump supporters. As a fellow writer, I might have given Lisa a few clarity notes, but I did know what she meant — that in 2016 we’ve lost a disproportionate number of beloved celebrities before they could feel the potentially devastating effect of Mr. Trump’s policies once he’s in office.
It would be nice if we knew what Trump’s policies really were, rather than that he’s mad at Vanity Fair and Bill Clinton and not so much with the DC swamp… And because we don’t know — it’s scary. Lisa is a deeply caring and sensitive person who, like many of us, is feeling that fear. It’s hard to keep our heads, what with the bizzaro world we find ourselves in today. Up is down, a reality star is about to be our President and many people seem to prefer often repeated lies to cold, hard facts.
What happened in response to her tweet was pretty stunning.
Because Lisa also retweeted something about my movie, To The Bone, I started to get fire from haters and get copied on responses to her. People were telling us both to die from anorexia, sending us pictures of dog shit, calling us cunts. Lisa got horrible antisemitic death threats. I can’t imagine what it was like to go through the hatestorm she dealt with, but just a small taste of it (hmm, do I detect le assaisonnement of dog poopy??) was perplexing and threatening.
It’s not the first time haters have come after me, but certainly this was the most vile batch of messages. Some may be from trolls, but some are clearly people who are furious and feel entitled to attack.
The really ugly stuff, I try to ignore. Or I attack the attackers with measured responses which don’t give them much fuel. Most kind of disappear when I stay respectful. It’s no fun to rage at somebody who is saying “I’m sorry, I’m trying to understand you”.
And I am trying to understand the justified anger of some whites in the middle class, who are feeling the heat from all sides and are especially angry about insurance premiums they can’t pay.
For context, I was raised in an upper middle class family.
My father worked for public TV and my mom was a teacher. We were better off than some, but after my parents split up, money was tight. I had jobs from the time I was a teenager. And I was completely on my own financially from the time I graduated. I worked hard. I was a waitress, an assistant, a temp… I racked up credit card debt. And in my spare time I hustled — trying to become a paid writer.
But my parents paid my tuition for college. As importantly, I knew I had a safety net. If the worst happened, I had family who would care for me. That alone puts me in the elite. Because more and more families don’t have that. There’s no reserve if something goes wrong.
And knowing you have a place to land in a time of crisis can make the difference between being willing to take a risk on a potentially lucrative creative career and not.
The thing is, you shouldn’t have to have a highly lucrative career to be able to afford a comfortable life and good insurance. The greed of companies owned by people like, say, Trump — represented by their dark money pumped into the government — has put a stranglehold on hard working people. This is factual. Just is. Not “libtard” spin.
I risked because, on some level, I could afford to. The sad part is that shouldn’t be the realm of the elite.
Income inequality refers to the extent to which income is distributed in an uneven manner among a population. In the United States, income inequality, or the gap between the rich and everyone else, has been growing markedly, by every major statistical measure, for some 30 years.
Wages in the United States, after taking inflation into account, have been stagnating for more than three decades. Typical American workers and the nation’s lowest-wage workers have seen little or no growth in their real weekly wages.
Productivity has increased at a relatively consistent rate since 1948. But the wages of American workers have not, since the 1970s, kept up with this rising productivity.
Worker hourly compensation has flat-lined since the mid-1970s, increasing just 15.5 percent from 1979 to 2013, while worker productivity has increased 132.8 percent over the same time period.