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A heavily edited version of this is on Splice Today, but I don’t like how they edited it, so I’m posting the full version here.

Meghan Daum recently announced her retirement from writing think pieces because, as she puts it, “after a quarter century of thinking on the page, I often literally don’t know what to think anymore.” The line between fact and opinion has blurred so much that it’s hard to know what the truth is anymore, according to Daum; everyone would rather have their preconceived notions confirmed. …


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Half of this list previously appeared in an old Splice Today article.

Let’s be honest: most Christmas music sucks. Either the songs are overplayed (do we really need another cover of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”?), overproduced (Gwen Stefani’s cover of “White Christmas,” I’m looking at you), or just plain bad (“The Christmas Shoes”). Yet even within the great garbage heap that is Christmas music, there are still a few good songs. These are the songs that actually psyche us up about Christmas. Here are my top 20 picks.

20). “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney

I know a lot of people hate this song, but I fucking love it. Sure, it has that cheesy echoing synthesizer, it’s repetitive, and the lyrics are so simple a five-year-old could write them. Even the promo video is corny with its animation, 1980s-era special effects, and that weird conga line McCartney leads around the pub. But it’s just so damn happy and cheery that I can’t help but smile whenever I hear it. And after a shitty year like 2020, I’ll take all the happiness and cheer I can get. …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com on December 24, 2020.

Earlier this month, Caitlin Flanagan of The Atlantic took a break from bashing feminism to bash the animated Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. She argues that the cartoon is too disturbing for kids to watch: Rudolph’s father is ashamed of him, Hermey faces workplace harassment, and the Abominable Snowman knocks Rudolph out with a stalactite in one scene. If this is Flanagan’s attempt to satirize “Woke” culture by pointing out how “problematic” Rudolph is, she should leave satire to the professionals. …


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CW: Alcoholism, self-harm, suicidal thoughts

Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

Red lines on my arm drip onto the gray bathroom floor. I quickly improvise a makeshift gauze out of cheap, thin toilet paper. Another day, another meltdown at work. Too much noise, too many tasks, and not enough resources to do the work. It’s no wonder Brenda Ann Spencer didn’t like Mondays. A co-worker swaddles my arm in cloth. “Please text me when you get home,” she says. I promise her, but first a quick visit to the Medicine Man.

He always has the cure: rows of his special elixirs neatly lined up on the shelves. What’ll it be today? Something to hide in a messenger bag. No one needs to know I failed again. A pint of Jim Beam it is, then! It tastes like paint thinner, but it’ll do for now. …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

Working at a grocery store during Thanksgiving week is like working in retail on Black Friday, except that it lasts from Sunday to Wednesday. No matter how many stockers and cashiers are there, it’s never enough to satisfy customer demands. As a “Quality Assurance Assistant” (QA for short), it’s my job to both be the janitor and stock milk, eggs, and water simultaneously. I’m mostly able to balance both roles, but some days, when no one’s working in dairy and the milk section is bare, I spend the entire time stocking and restocking milk, frequently interrupted by customers asking for items we don’t have and managers informing me of another spill to clean up. …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com. They took out the last sentence, but I’m adding it here.

The 2016 presidential election ended my certainty about everything. There was no way that Donald Trump would be elected president, not with the blatant lies, racism, and sexism displayed during his campaign. Hillary Clinton had baggage, but America had to be smart enough to do the right thing. Reality punched me in the stomach the night of November 8th when all the key states turned red. Eight years of progress made under the Obama administration were suddenly gone, even before Trump’s inauguration. …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

CW: Creepy behavior and TERFs

Melissa Febos did a TED Talk years ago about the liberating power of confessing secrets. She tells her creative nonfiction students to look at themselves not as how they want to be seen, “but to look until all of that superficial layer falls away and we can actually see something.” Febos used her first book Whip Smart -a memoir about her years working as a professional dominatrix while struggling with heroin addiction-as an example. At first, she was afraid of how others would react, but the book brought Febos closer to her family, and helped her forgive herself. …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

My phone loses power quickly if it’s not constantly recharged. It started a few months ago when it’d suddenly die right in the middle of scrolling through Twitter. Now my phone is mostly plugged into either a wall outlet or laptop. At work I switch it to low power mode until I can charge it during breaks, but the battery still goes from 100 percent to 65 percent in just half an hour, even without using it.

I’m on low power mode, too. The managers have given me longer hours at work for the past month, along with more responsibilities. Even with more hours, though, there isn’t enough time to finish everything, so there are usually at least three things left undone by the end of my shift. Meanwhile, a nagging voice inside my head says, “Everyone hates you. You can’t do anything right.” …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

I used to think bisexuality meant being straight but liking a little extra something on the side. The mainstream discourse about LGBTQ rights in the 1990s focused exclusively on the L and G, and all the other letters were just footnotes. Straight people saw bisexuals as sex freaks who’d fuck anyone. Gay people questioned bisexuals’ inclusion in the movement because of “straight-passing privilege.” Both groups questioned whether bisexuality even existed. I internalized all of this as a 16-year-old closeted bisexual and never told anybody because I wasn’t “queer enough.”

Discovering the online bisexual community at 29 finally got me to come out. Watching Verity Ritchie on YouTube led to meeting fellow bisexuals through Bi Tumblr, which then led to discovering an entire history of bisexual activists no one told me about. Bisexuals have been part of the gay liberation movement since the beginning; it was polyamorous bisexual feminist activist Brenda Howard that came up with the idea of having Pride be a week-long celebration. Yet the same biphobia from the 1990s still exists today. …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

New York City felt like an imaginary world that only existed in my mind. It was an Oz that offered a colorful alternative to the dull black-and-white world of Smalltown, USA, where nothing ever happens. It was the promised land for young writers, painters, and actors who wanted their voice to be heard. Every major cultural event happened in NYC. Yet because of a combination of bad choices and uncontrollable circumstances, I never moved there to pursue my dreams, so the city was always more of a wish than an option.

I did go there once. After graduating high school in 2001, Mom and I celebrated by spending a weekend in Times Square, a lifelong dream for both of us. We took a train from DC, and after three hours we saw the Twin Towers outside our window, confirming that this place was real and not a fantasy land. We got off the train at our destination and took a cab to the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. When we arrived, the hotel doorman opened our door and said, “Welcome to Times Square.” …

About

Tris Mamone

LGBTQ News Columnist and Journalist. They/them. Bylines: Splice Today, Rewire, Swell, HuffPost, INTO, etc. trismamone@gmail.com

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