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 2019-05-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

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

Second City's Salute to Pride to Bring the Party to UP Comedy Club this June 2019-05-24 - ( CHICAGO, IL - April 3, 2019 ) The Second City is proud to announce the return of The Second City's Salute to ...


Gay News

May 22 celebration of Tracy Baim's 35 years in LGBTQ press benefits Windy City Times 2019-05-24 - A celebration of Tracy Baim's 35 years in LGBTQ press was held May 22 at Sidetrack. She was co-founder of Windy City Times ...


Gay News

Five reasons the Gilead deal is a steaming pile of Truvada 2019-05-22 - Gilead Sciences, the pharmaceutical that makes Truvada, the only FDA-approved drug for PrEP, is having a great week in the public relations department. ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Princess, maiden fall in love in new children's book 2019-05-22 - A maiden falls in love with a princess at a multiracial royal court in a delightful new children's book that adds to the ...


Gay News

Lightfoot signs first executive order 2019-05-21 - In her first hours after being sworn in as the 56th mayor of the City of Chicago, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot signed her ...


Gay News

Lightfoot sworn in as Chicago Mayor 2019-05-20 - Attorney Lori Lightfoot became the 56th mayor of Chicago the morning of May 20. Accompanied by her wife and family, Lightfoot was sworn ...


Gay News

Van Ness, Gadsby at Chicago Theatre in June 2019-05-18 - LGBT celebrities Jonathan Van Ness and comedian Hannah Gadsby will be performing in separate shows at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., ...


Gay News

Honorary Pride Parade grand marshal named 2019-05-16 - PRIDEChicago has announced that the honorary grand marshal for this year's Chicago 50th Annual Pride Parade will be newly elected Chicago Mayor Lori ...


Gay News

Lightfoot names senior staff, finance positions 2019-05-15 - Mayor-elect Lori E. Lightfoot made the first announcement of key members of her administration's leadership team. The senior staff announced May 15 ...


Gay News

CEO to speak on food distribution issues 2019-05-14 - Beth Ford, president and CEO of Arden Hills, Minnesota-based Land O'Lakes, Inc., will speak on Thursday, May 23 at noon at a meeting ...


 



Copyright © 2019 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 publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.