All articles by madge


Madgecast 17 – We Won! Let Us Gloat, and Talk About How

This week the resistance won a historic battle, and this podcast is all about analyzing how that happened, and what we can learn from it: The Republican Party is nothing without a figure to focus their hate on. Republican Representative Tom Rooney from Florida came right out and said this in The Atlantic The GOP either


Madgecast 16 – How Do You Solve a Problem Like Rich White Dudes?

This week on the Madgecast we talk about: Self care, and how we can break the cycle of activism, exhaustion, depression, and guilt. Stare at the Need to relax? Try staring at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Live Jellyfish Cam for a while, it might help How the outsize influence of rich white men on our culture


Madgecast 15 – Down With Bullshit Made-Up Hierarchies

This week we talk about an ACLU Resistance Training I attended yesterday — you can watch the broadcast here and read more about their Freedom Cities project here the fact that protest not only impacts policy; it also shapes the narrative how much of our culture is built on bullshit made-up hierarchies, and how we can


Madgecast 14 – Who Runs the World? Hermione

This week we discuss Why we shouldn’t fall for false equivalence arguments like “Angry protesters are just as bad as the things they are protesting” — and how this kind of tone-policing dismisses important voices in our movement How enraging it is when less-informed men come at me with condescending arguments as though I just need


Madgecast 13 – Unapologetically Intolerant Liberal Seeks Realists of Larger Reality

This week on the podcast I’m a little fired up about being asked to reach out to the moderate Trump voter (does this even exist pretty sure no) about being asked to be nice about ANY of this, because niceness and tolerance are irrelevant — what we want is justice about what the fuck we are


Madgecast 12 – The Donald Is America’s Abusive Boyfriend

This week on the Madgecast we discuss The concept of a circle of care or concern, and how we can and must expand what we care about to include vulnerable people on both sides of the political spectrum How I found a bit of red state in me, with a friend’s help How so many


Madgecast 11 – We Will Not Go Away / Welcome to Your Every Day

This week’s podcast has it all! There’s a little bit of me talking a little bit about how the shit show that is America right now is triggering AF. And then there’s an interview with my new pal Katie Farnan, one of the leaders of Indivisible Front Range Resistance, in which we discuss: the Indivisible principles and methodology


Madgecast 10 – Shit Is Complicated But Glossing Over It Isn’t the Answer

This week we talk about a known bug in the human brain called the Fundamental Attribution error, and why insisting on ideological purity is a mistake. The answer to complexity isn’t to shut it out or deny it; it’s to develop our capacity for handling it: The Folly of Purity Politics is an interview with Alexis


Madgecast 9 – White Women: Let’s Love Solidarity More Than Our Privilege

Intersectionality: it’s not just a fancy word made up by progressives to drive nice white women crazy. It describes the way that different forms of oppression intersect and can’t really be divided in how they show up in the lives of individuals and groups. This is the video from Robin DiAngelo, coiner of the phrase White Fragility,


Madgecast 8 – Getting Around Big Daddy

This week, we talk about how conservatives are much better salespeople than liberals, and how we can change that: George Lakoff’s essay on A Minority President: Why the Polls Failed and What the Majority Can Do Women’s March on Washington Statement of Guiding Vision and Defining Principles Thanks for listening! Would you consider leaving me a


Madgecast 7 – How To Become An Activist

This week’s podcast is about A simple 3-step process for becoming an activist, or re-engaging with activism Step 1: Find a way in Step 2: Show up Step 3: Keep showing up Why it’s good to be a satisficer rather than a maximizer when looking for a way into activism If you are looking for an


Madgecast 6 – We’re Our Only Hope

This week we discuss the radical value of simply taking care of other people. Sick Woman Theory — this is an important read, especially if you, like me, have fallen into the trap of de-valuing the feminized work of care-taking The quote “Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female’”


Madgecast 5 – Why Don’t You Run For Office?

Show notes Alex Steffen’s outstanding story on the Carbon Bubble: Trump, Putin and the Pipelines to Nowhere Indivisible: A Practical Guide to Resisting Donald Trump, all about how to work with and influence our legislators Introduction to Gerrymandering, with good reference links The GOP’s Attack On Voting Rights Was the Most Under-Covered Story of 2016


Madgecast Episode 4 – Love Doesn’t Just Win

On this week’s podcast: An activist training I attended and what I learned from it Why we need to stop using cliches like “Love wins” The End of Protest by Micah White, one of the co-founders of Occupy Wall Street Don’t forget you can subscribe on iTunes here. You can also leave a rating and


Madgecast Episode 3 – Of Many Minds

In which we discuss How weird it is to be perfectly happy and completely terrified at the same time Looking at some of the maps by which I navigate the world, and how they, and the ground they describe, are changing Trumpgrets, and how some of them are hard to enjoy This article informs some


Madgecast Episode 2 – What Would Olamina Do?

In which I talk about How to process feeling like I NEED TO DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO! Octavia Butler, brilliant author and apparent psychic (Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Talents) And why it’s super important that we not abandon “identity politics” in an attempt to win


Madgecast Episode 1 – Holding It Together

I started a podcast today, to get some thoughts out on how I’m holding it together in the space after this fucking bananas election. If you get a chance to listen, let me know what you think? Xox


Fuck Fish, or What It’s Like To Be a Hummingbird

When I was nine years old, I learned about a way to twist up different colored pipe cleaners into spirals, then combine them to make cute designs. I soon started making refrigerator magnets and selling them to all the grownups I knew … but a few months in, I got bored and started collecting weird stamps


What’s Happening?

A month or so ago, my website was hacked and I lost a year’s worth of posts 🙁 so allow me to recap. Last summer my husband and I got rid of a great many of our belongings and hit the road. We spent about six months rambling around the country, from Portland to NYC, and finally


Self Improvement for Rebels

I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. Even when I was still “good,” like in high school before I discovered sex / drugs / rockin out, I was always questioning the validity of rules and kind of being a pain in the ass. So when I took happiness heavy-hitter Gretchen Rubin’s online quiz about how I


The Best Time I Basically Believed In A Fictional Religion

Have you ever been reading a sci-fi book, and one of the characters creates a new religion, and it’s so close to what you think about life/the universe/our place in it that you are basically ready to sign up for this fictional religion by the time you’re done reading the book? No? Just me? It


Do You Believe In Magic?

One Sunday morning when I was 7 or 8, I got up early. Everyone else was asleep, so I grabbed some Corn Chex and turned on the TV. There was this guy in glasses and a brown suit, talking fervently about how God always answers our prayers. You only need to believe hard enough and


Crazy Compared to What?

Short answer: Compared to how you want to feel. Long answer: This is all subjective. One person’s mildly crazy is another person’s normal and yet another person’s completely out of control. So I’m not here to judge. Sure, I might see patterns in how people are behaving, and I might talk about those patterns, but


Who Gets To Decide Who You Are?

Lately I have fallen into Octavia E. Butler’s dimension, and it is a mind-exploding place to be. Her novel Kindred is about a young black woman named Dana who mysteriously disappears from her own world — 1976 Los Angeles — and finds herself in Antebellum Maryland. After this happens a few times, she figures out





Want something better? You Gotta Ask For It

When my grandma was alive, we had a lot of fun together, but when we did run into problems, it was generally because she was a Guesser and I am an Asker. By that I mean that Ma wanted me to guess what her needs were. In the time and culture she was raised in,


Do You Want To Be A Badass? Me Too

Badassity. Noun. The state of being a total badass. The level to which a life demonstrates the qualities of competency, determination, and willingness to engage in hard fucking work. And if a person wants to pass their time on this planet in a happy and useful way, badassity is also a good metric to track because


How I Got This Way, Part 1: The Power of Choice

Alaska is where my consciousness came online. I remember dark wood paneling and dazzling bright snow and Sesame Street with my mom, who was super smart and had already taught me how to read. My dad was big and funny with golden red hair and a hard hat because he worked on the pipeline. My older


That Space Is Everything

I shared this quote on Be Less Crazy’s Facebook page over the long weekend, and I wanted to make sure to post it here, too, because it basically encapsulates everything I’m thinking about/trying to do: It’s funny, because just before seeing this on Facebook, I’d been watching this video from Dr. Mike Evans about dealing


The Monsters In Your Head Belong To You

It’s true! Whatever monster, specter, obsession is haunting you right now? It lives in your very own head. Which means it belongs to you, and you can do what you want with it. Dress it up in your grandmother’s hat, put roller skates on all of its legs, shrink it down to 1/10th of its


Be Less Crazy About Your Body, Carnaval Style

Well, hello, dear reader. I’m writing to you today from my hotel in São Paulo, Brazil, where I arrived Saturday after two stellar weeks in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa. Yes, it has been a helluva trip, and I am fully aware that I am basically the luckiest bitch alive. (So are


Getting Ready To Get Ready

Getting ready to get ready is that thing people sometimes do, when we really want to do X, but we build it up in our heads that before we can begin, we must first do A through W. Usually when I find myself getting ready to get ready, it’s because X is something big and


It’s Called Gratitude

Aaaah! Work has been chapping my ass lately! I’ve been on the road a lot, busting my hump ten or twelve hours a day, and taking responsibility for a lot of big projects. I’m not averse to hard work, and I like my job a lot … but there is also this situation where my


A Year and A Day

One year and one day ago, I got married to this wonderful person. And now that I sit and have a think about the last year, I realize that Year One of our marriage has been kind of bananas. Here’s the highlight reel: Got married!! Went on a Costa Rican adventure for a month Started


Escaping the Beauty Trap (You Don’t Have to Chew Off Your Leg)

Last week, I read a beautifully written piece on The Toast about a young woman’s experience with beauty … how it feels to be beautiful versus not beautiful … how feedback on our looks seems to severely impact our choices even when we don’t want it to … and, most poignantly, how to deal with


My Dance Space, Your Dance Space

Do you ever wish the world was different? I sure do. Like … I want it to drive less like an asshole. I want it to stop imposing to boner-killingly impossible deadlines on me. I want it to value endless income less, and quality and friendship and gratitude more. Sometimes all this wishing and wanting


Career Planning With Your Middle Finger

Yesterday I had coffee with one of my best besties, and she was describing to me some of the horrors of her workplace … which I have a feeling won’t be her workplace for too much longer. As she told me about having to apologize to people who fly off the handle for no reason,


Movin’ On Up

The first time I visited the little house on Grape Street, it was May of 1999, and the man who is now my husband was marrying the woman who was once his wife. I walked to their wedding, because I lived in the same neighborhood, Mount Oliver, just a few blocks away. Back then, our


Guaranteed Or Your Money Back

For many years, I have sought clarity, sanity, and peace of mind. I have desired efficiency of thought, and I’ve worked to cultivate the ability to appreciate my emotions without capitulating to them. And on this quest, one thing I’ve noticed is how much my mental state is about context. Like, when I am looking


What’s Going On

Life has once again done that thing where it changes everything on you all at once, and I find myself in the strange peace that descends after a storm. My grandma passed away about a month ago, while I was thousands of miles away on business, and I haven’t quite known how to write about


How Culture Makes Us Crazy, and Vice Versa

Here at Be Less Crazy, where we’re all trying to master our minds for sparklier lives and a more reasonable world — that’s what we’re doing, right? — we’ve talked a lot about how culture makes us crazy, and how we make it crazy right back. But we haven’t gone into a lot of detail


Be Less Crazy With … A Bike!

It started on our honeymoon in Costa Rica. Most tourists rent a car, but we chose not to, because our beautiful rental house in the jungle came with two bikes, and they became our main mode of transport. Every day we’d take a quick ride into Manzanillo to pick up the day’s provisions of Heineken


Springtime Decrazification – LET’S DO THIS

Open the window in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out. – Rumi I don’t know about you, but life has been a little nutty this winter. My brain has been soaking in stress chemicals, and my executive functions haven’t been all that “executive” – too much TV and chocolate


How To Stop Raging Against Reality

My grandma is hurting again. Last Sunday, she leaned over in her recliner to rearrange some books and she slid out of the chair onto the floor. And her hip broke. This is the latest and maybe the gravest incident in a string that started about a year and a half ago, and I gotta


Be Less Crazy About Your Body, Injury Edition

Twenty thirteen got off to a pretty productive start for me. January 1st I slept in after a late New Year celebration, but January 2nd I got up at 5 am to meditate, do some yoga, and write. I’ve had this kind of routine before and it works beautifully — I love the feeling of


New column on The Hairpin today!

In which I talk about Buffy Summers, brain re-training, and the inherent unsavability of the world. Check it out!


Wedding Photos! Finally!

It has taken me a godawful long time to do this — I’ve been married for three months already! But better late than never, right? So here are some pictures from one of my favorite days ever, the day my brilliant handsome fiancé Rich became my brilliant handsome husband Rich. The weather was great, everyone


Two Things I Recently Learned Which Made My Life A Little Less Crazy

1.  Use a brush to clean a colander / strainer / sieve, not a sponge. Because the bristles go in the little holes and poke out all the crud! When I think of the dozens of minutes of my life wasted for lack of this knowledge, my heart aches (just a little). 2.  Feeling stressed


Riding the New Year’s Boost

Good morning and happy 2013 and God bless Hillary Clinton! I came across this video about New Years Resolutions last week after watching its creator’s famous pro-exercise classic 23 ½ hours. It talks about a study that tracked people who made positive changes to their lives, and found that those who started around the New


For God’s Sake, Sort Yourself Out

Mornin, loves! I saw this video last night and thought of you. SORT IT OUT! (Lol)