Dismissals of Various Sorts

1.  Jayne’s grandpa died.

2.  La Chola has been covering Andrea Smith’s failed tenure bid.  Yes, you can be nominated for a Nobel prize and that’s not good enough for Michigan.

3.  But now the Chronicle is writing about it and, god damn, will someone explain to me where all the fuckers on that site come from? It’s like a breeding ground for high and mighty idiots.  I swear to god, someone just said, “It is interesting that the websites ThinkGirl.net and La Chola have no clue about whether Dr. Smith deserves tenure or not. Her support is strictly based on her background.” and yet, like you now know because you looked at La Chola’s website in the last link, La Chola has a big clue about whether Dr. Smith deserves tenure.

I don’t know what you call this, other than an asshole move, but I see this frequently in academia from members of certain groups, where they are so used to having their positions taken as gospel that they can tell you to look at something then make a statement that is directly contradicted by what you just looked at and they have this kind of smug expectation that you will defer to their lie (something they have got to know is a lie because they pointed you to the information that disproves what they’re saying) rather than stand up for the truth.

And what pisses me off about this in myself is that I often don’t make an issue out of it.  I just keep my head down and nod like I agree, while trying to take solace in the fact that at least I know it’s a lie.

4.  Oh, Viking Cat, consider me pillaged!

I Should Be Goofing Off But I’m Working Instead

Bleh, who wants to spend Friday afternoon working? Not me. I want to put on some medium old country music and sing along–Take my ha-and and you’ll feel that feeling. I said, yes, just lead me on.

Woo.

I always thought that that song should always be paired with this song. When you listen, the real treat, I think, is the way Twitty says “Lay” then a slight pause then “you” then pause “down” and then he slides right into “and softly whisper pretty love words in your ear.” Bleh! It gives me the fun heebie jeebies just thinking about it. I swear, all of Twitty’s best songs could be summed up as follows “Man who’s slept with thousands of women defiles virgin or near-virgin and then sings about her like she’s the only woman on earth.” If Trace Adkins covered either or both of these songs, I’d have to ask you to excuse me while I spent some alone time with my iPod.

But, hey, why don’t you have some fruitful alone time with this blog? Just hit play and imagine I’m there with you, loudly and, perhaps drunkenly, singing these songs in your ear while you try to get work done.

Ha.

Here’s T.G. and here’s Conway.

*As always, I have no speakers at work, so let me know if the songs aren’t working.

The Tiny Cat Tries an Alternative Lifestyle

I’m here on the computer.  The dog is asleep on the couch.  The tiny cat is sitting at the dog’s food bowl, trying to eat the dog’s food.  I have drawn this illustrative picture to, uh, illustrate the problem.

 cat-diagram.jpg

And, also, may I just say, first, that I kick butt.  Look at the scientifically accurate drawing I was able to render with my right hand.  And second, damn, right handers, no wonder you’re all the time running around so fucking grouchy.  Writing with your right hand is hard.  I’ve come to believe that we lefties have shorter life expectancies because y’all, in your seething anger at our abilities to write without suffering, kill us off.

In Which I Yet Again Argue that Firing Hobbs is BS

Braisted is reporting that Hobbs is on his way out at the TNGOP and I have to say that it’s wrong for Hobbs to take the fall for this.

See, firing Hobbs makes it seem like the TNGOP was wandering along, innocent as can be, and they accidently tried to smear Obama as a covert Muslim, just because the didn’t quite get the importance of this issue, and now the person who’s the problem has been let go and everything’s fine and dandy again.

As Olbermann suggested, it lets them try to just claim stupidity.

But people have long memories and nothing on the internet is exactly lost and those of us sitting her in Tennessee (and one in San Francisco) remember why Hobbs lost his job at Belmont.

Hobbs has always been an anti-Muslim bigot.  He was an anti-Muslim bigot when the TNGOP hired him and he’s an anti-Muslim bigot now that he’s trying to “help” his cause by making voters think that Obama is some kind of secret Muslim*.

The TNGOP knew when they hired Hobbs that, when it comes to Muslims, dude is a dumbass.  He drew a cartoon of Muhommad holding a bomb with the caption “Muhommad blows” under it**.

And that’s who the TNGOP puts in charge of crafting their “Maybe Obama’s a Muslim” message?

It’s like leaving a heroin addict alone in the methodone clinic.

It’s so monumentally stupid to expect any good to come of that that I cannot believe the talk is of Hobbs losing his job and not talk of anyone who hired him in the first place having to stand in front of the State Capitol wearing a sign that just says “Sorry.”

No, I’m sorry.  Getting rid of Hobbs does little to fix whatever problem brought him there in the first place.

If the TNGOP is serious about appealing to voters based on issues, not innuendo, then they need to clean house, not just dump Hobbs. 

 ————–

*I suppose I should make clear that this is my opinion, based on evidence, and not a fact. 

**As a gut check, imagine how you’d feel if someone in the TNDemocratic party made a cartoon captioned “Jesus sucks.”  Or, say, this picture.

Shorter Campfield: Obama Was Asking For It

Y’all, I am neither a brilliant enough feminist theorist or awake enough to give this the attention it deserves, but I point it out in hopes that you can do something with it.

That charmer Stacey Campfield, who, I remind you, can’t even locate Memphis or Chattanooga on a map, says:

And the Photo, If he didn’t want it out there then he shouldn’t have dressed up like that. It may not be complimentary but at least it was an honest non doctored photo. The same people who are screaming all sorts of stuff are the same people who completely, out and out, doctored a photo of me to paint me in a bad light.

America, I repeat, “If he didn’t want it out there then he shouldn’t have dressed up like that.”

Is it any wonder we have the kinds of legislation we have in this state?

Also: Please note how much of his post seems to amount to “whaa, the people we hate hate us, too” and “hey, people hate me and you don’t hear me whinging about it, except for right now.”

In Real Life, It’s a Country Full of Women Who Can Kick Your Ass

GoldenI (which, is clearly pronounced Gold-en-eye, but in my head, until recently, I’ve been pronouncing it Goldini, like Houdini, but… well… not) has a great post today on how weird it is that the pro-Israel conservatives* are so in love with Israel, when, if we tried some of the stuff they take as a matter of course there here, the above-mentioned conservatives would have a stroke.

I keep trying to think rationally about why this is, but I have to admit that, when I think of Israel, the first thing that springs to my mind is a picture from one of those Illustrated Stories of the Bible that I used to sit and look through while I was waiting for my dad to do his rounds at the hospital when I was a little girl.  In it are Joseph, standing, and Mary, on a soft, sturdy donkey, looking out over a tiny Bethlehem made of something like adobe under an enormous sky.  Joseph looks kind and caring.  Mary looks tender and delicate.  The donkey, like I said, soft, and the houses look like a strong rain would melt them.

Now, in my head, I know it’s an artist’s imaginings of a scene from 2,000 years ago–so, obviously, things weren’t like that even then and Bethlehem isn’t even in Israel.  But that is the first connection my brain makes when I think of Israel–to that picture from when I was a kid.

And I can’t help but sometimes think that it’s that imaginary place some conservatives are so infatuated with.

*That’s not quite a satisfactory term, but it’s the best I can do right now.

The Second Hand Comcast Story

So, we were missing random channels from our cable package.  At the same time, our hippie neighbors decided to get basic, basic cable.  Whatever fix the Comcast dude had to do resulted in our channels all coming back and also appearing on the neighbors’ tv as well.

The neighbors, being good-do-bees, explained to the Comcast dude that they were now getting channels they weren’t paying for.

He went out again, looked at the cables, jiggled some things, looked again, looked at our set-up, looked at the neighbors’ set up, and declared, “Well, fuck if I know.  You both are hooked up right and so that shouldn’t happen.”

After fiddling around a while more and getting nowhere, he said, “But you’re getting the channels you want, right?” and the Butcher and the neighbors both said that they were and, supposedly, he gave them a big wink and said, “Then I’ll just trust you not to watch the ones you aren’t paying for.” and with that, he left.

More On Hobbs

This is the other thing I’ve been thinking about in terms of the whole Obama-Farrakhan thing and what the TNGOP flaks are up to in this press release.

And here is my question:

Do you think that the Beatles are responsible for what Charles Manson’s followers did?

By all accounts, Manson loved the Beatles, Beatles lyrics were left in the homes of Manson’s followers’ victims, and, if I’m remembering Helter Skelter correctly, Manson found meaning and direction in “The White Album” when plotting the murders.

So, since Manson loved the Beatles, I ask you, are the Beatles responsible for those murders?

I assume you believe that they are not.

And, as such, how in the world can Obama be responsible for inspiring Farrakhan?

I knew a hardcore white separatist* who was greatly inspired by the Minnesota Vikings, believed they were a symbol of the strength and power of the white man**.  I believe he and his friends were responsible for spray-painting racist graffiti on Lincoln’s tomb decades ago.

Do we hold the Minnesota Vikings responsible for not repudiating the actions of those evil, idiot children?

I assume you can see how that would be ridiculous.

And here’s what strikes me as most curious about this whole affair.  If the TNGOP is so concerned about anti-Semites who think the U.S. as it is now sucks and who have close ties to domestic terrorist organizations giving any sort of positive reaction to Obama, why didn’t they include anything about David Duke in that press release?

You’re telling me they couldn’t spin this

“I don’t think Obama will be any more negative for the United States than Hillary or John McCain,” explains Duke. “In fact,” he added, “we probably have less preference for a European like a John McCain or a Hillary who has betrayed our interests, our heritage, our rights.”

–into an endorsement?

I’m not buying it.  Farrakhan and Duke may come at it from different angles, but they end up in very similar theoretical spaces.

So, why, when “informing” the Republicans of Tennessee about Obama’s “ties” to anti-Israel factions, was Hobbs all over the Farrakhan “connection” and not the weird, if tepid, preference Duke shows for Obama?

Could it be because Hobbs is well aware that the folks he ultimately crafted that press release to appeal to have much more of a problem with Farrakhan than they ever will with Duke?

—————————- 

*Using that term to mean someone who not only thought white people were better than everyone else, but that he had a right to live in a community, if not a country, free from non-white people.

**I can only assume he’d never seen a football game in his life.

We’re All In It Together.

Apparently, poor people get that illegal immigrants are not stealing our jobs.

This historic softening of attitudes toward illegal immigrants may be due to many factors including: greater familiarity with – and hence comfort around – such groups and publicity surrounding the fact that sufficient numbers of workers for some jobs such as storm cleanup have been hard to find in areas that have cracked down on undocumented immigrants. [emphasis mine]

(h/t Carter)

Breaking News about Hillary Clinton!!!!!!!!

I was reading along to Bill Hobbs, as I regularly do when I need a laugh, and he’s trying to defend himself from the accurate charges that he’s attempting to make hay out of the fact that Obama’s middle name is the same as Mohammad’s grandson’s first name (and the same as a certain dictator’s last name) when he says:

Run a Lexis-Nexis search for the number of times the media has used Hillary Rodham Clinton’s middle name, often to underscore her feminist leanings and independence from her husband.

Except, as anyone who gives it half a thought knows “Rodham” isn’t Clinton’s middle name–it’s her original last name.

What’s Clinton’s middle name?

Diane.

As in Dianic Wicca.

See?! SEE?!

Sure, both Democratic candidates claim to be Christian, but their middle names reveal the truth!!!! Obama’s going to hand us over to the Muslims and Clinton is going to hand us over to the feminist witches.

So, surely only John Sidney McCain can save us, except, if Sidney doesn’t mean “wide, well-watered land,” it might come from a shortening of St. Denis, Denis being, itself, a shortening of Dionysus. Dionysus being a god other than the Christian one.

Argh! Is no one safe?

What about Michael Dale Huckabee? He must be a safe, Christian candidate, right? Well, except that the word “Dale” appears to be older that Christianity…

Whew, I hope Hobbs gets on warning his fellow Republicans about the polytheistic plot to take over America!

Everyone has been all over this. See Mack, NiT, Tiny Pasture, and Brittney.

Edited to Add: This is turning into the best political nonsense in our state in some time. Via Tiny Pasture, we learn that, when asked about this controversy, the head of the TNGOP said, and I quote, yes, a real person in my state said this with a straight face, I kid you not. No, I know. Okay, here:

When asked if Obama’s middle name though – the same name as former Iraqi president and tyrant Saddam Hussein – gave off a different connotation than others, Smith suggested that Obama’s parents needed to be contacted.

“You can call his momma and daddy on that one,” Smith said.

Seriously, you could not make these people up.

Edited to Add Some More: Rachel, of Women’s Health News fame, just emailed me to remind me that the best/worst part of Smith’s comments are that Obama’s parents are both dead.

Edited to Add, at Last:  Aw, Lamar Alexander has stepped in to put an end to the ridiculousness.

Just a Quick Question

When did the tiny cat become the type of cat who wanted to sit on your lap at all times?

Why, I remember the good old days when she would live in my closet for months on end, hissing if you got too close to her.

Random Bits of News Collected in One Place to Simulate a Post

Mag has some great news!

Theriomorph has some great news, too!

–If you haven’t, even once in your life, longed to be a luchador, I don’t even know what to say to you.

One thing immigrants don’t do better than us native born folks.

Dangerous rolls on the loose in Memphis.

Yes, this means I’ve finally finished a draft of my play about the invention of the vibrator.  I was telling my dad about the difficulty of ending the play in a way that would both reaffirm and undermine the patriarchy and he was all “You’re writing a play about the invention of the vibrator?  Why don’t you write something I can tell folks about?”

For Whom are We Fixing Things?

When I don’t pay attention, I feel pretty good about the Democrats and this election.  We have two interesting and compelling candidates, both of whom have devoted and excited bases.  And it seems like, no matter who we end up with as a candidate, it’s going to be pretty okay.

Which is why I am growing more and more grossed out with what I see when I do pay attention.  Folks on one side saying racist things because the other side is sexist.  Folks on the other side saying sexist things because the other side is racist.

I just wanted it to be different.

I know that’s naive, but these past eight years have been a heart-hurting, Constitution-shredding mess, and I really want to see something different.  I want to see candidates engage in civil debates.  I want to see liberals make reasoned and informed votes, but then get behind whoever becomes the eventual nominee.

Because we’re going to have to work together after this is all over.  We still live in a conservative state, where our basic citizenship is under constant threat.

We know and have known for ages that the people in power need us to be too busy fighting with each other to turn our attention to them.  And yet, here we are, bickering over whose turn it is to be president, who has suffered the longest, who deserves it more.

Am I alone in thinking, “Fuck that shit.  I’ll vote for a black man this time and a white woman next time and a brown woman after that (or whatever other confligration they give me).”  I mean, truly, what’s with this notion that this is it, this is our shot, as if this will be our only shot?

Have we really been fighting only for us?

Because I didn’t get that message, that I was working for the day when a woman could be president, but that, if it didn’t happen in my lifetime, my cause is a failure.

And, honestly, and I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, but come on.  I’m not working for a day when the rich puppet of corporate interests who sits in the White House looks like me.  That, to me, will be a pleasant symbolic gesture, but it isn’t my end goal.

See, It’s Okay Because They’re Only Talking About Folks from the Holler, Not Everybody from West Virginia

Yes, it’s true, the Appalachians are full of quaint little hollers filled with deformed blind witches and inbred abnormalities due to all the incest.  And what’s even scarier is that they don’t have the cable tv or the internet or radios or even phonographs.  Why, they don’t even know there’s an outside world, except when some Hollywood beauty comes through to be summarily either worshipped or defiled or eaten or some combination of the three.

Why, I remember when Bill Monroe first came to town.  They had to put him out on the Opry stage three days early just to let him acclimate and even then, he’d be interupting his songs to beat his wife or fuck his cousin or get drunk on the moonshine.  Don’t even get me started on Earl Scruggs.  That man still calls all the guys he sees “Son” and all the girls he sees “Darlin'” because he’s in awe and confused by all the different names in the world.

I, myself, just to be safe, carry a stick so that I can protect myself from all the hillbillies ’round these parts.  I’ll beat a hillbilly.  Shoot, I’ll beat a Bill or a William just to be on the safe side.

Return to Paranormal State

Did you ever see a TV show so bad that you thought, “Who in the world is stupid enough to watch this shit?” 

I feel that way about Paranormal State and yet, I must tell you, America, it’s me.  I’m watching it.

I don’t know why.

It’s terrible.  I mean, really, terrible. 

If you have a problem with ghosts in your house, you would literally be better off to do exactly the opposite of everything they do on that show–and yet (or maybe because of that) I cannot turn away.

Last night’s episode saw them wandering around a haunted old insane asylum with a dude who had what they call a “Frank’s Box” which was some kind of radio receiver that supposedly fed the signal back in on itself and through which they could hear the voices of the dead.

No!  Don’t think too hard about how a radio might produce voices.  Argh.  It’s too late, isn’t it?  You thought about it.

Anyway, this week again there was a demon and this week again I was cheering for the demon. 

First, because the demon stopped the Frank’s Box from working, and, really, ten minutes of static and playing “pretend we all heard audible complete phrases out of that noise” was more than even I can take and I’m not a minion of Hell.  Second, because it brought that Warren woman and any time she shows up I get the giggles.  If she walked in to just one place and said, “Nope, not feeling a single evil thing,” I think I would faint in surprise.

But, most importantly, the demon possessed the Christian medium…

And just for a second, can we talk about this?  I have no doubt that there are Christian people with spiritual gifts and I have no doubt that this gift may often include receiving messages from spirits.

But I also think that it’s pretty clear that the Bible frowns on consulting with spirits.  And so, if you’re going to call yourself a “Christian Medium,” you’ve got a little theological problem.  I think there are ways around it.  You might, for instance, believe that it’s okay to open yourself up to messages from the dead, especially to help them achieve some goal they can’t rest without achieving (so being a psychic detective might be okay).  And you might draw the line a little closer, saying that you accept messages that kind of find you, but you don’t put yourself in situations in which you are looking for those messages.

And, hell, maybe you even just go for being a Christian who consorts with the dead.  But, if you’re going to do that, I kind of want to know how you came to the understanding that it was okay.

Of course, no hint of that from Chip, the Christian Medium on Paranormal State.

Where were we?

Oh, the demon.  Yes, so the demon possesses Chip and then, in what is clearly the highlight of the season so far, the demon/Chip yells “fuck you” at the director dude, who doesn’t even flinch, and then the Warren chick slaps Chip!

Okay, it wasn’t high drama, but it was certainly the best thing to happen on this show.

And then, I thought they were going to get all of the investigators together to “raise a cone of power” or some such other almost Golden Dawn nonsense, but it turned out that everyone just had to sit around and watch Director Dude, Chip, and Warren “open a vortex” so that the spirits could pass through.  That amounted to them holding hands and demanding that the spirits basically have the balls enough to leave.  Because nothing says “Go into the light, go to a better place.  Escape the demon that’s tormenting you and ascend into Heaven.” like open hostility.

I swear, that show’s motto should be “The Least Amount of Good with the Most Amount of Idiocy.”

Werman

Tiny Pasture reminds me of a question that cannot be asked enough:

Since ‘man’ is historically gender neutral, and it’s only because the werman have decided that they represent all of mankind that we associate ‘man’ with only the wermen, how is further retreating from “man” a better strategy than just calling the wermen wermen?  Why do we acquiesce to that nonsense?

Ha, ha, ha, ha.

It begs the question of whether a female werewolf ought to actually properly be called either a wowolf or a wifwolf.  Both of which are words I’m going to say out loud to myself all evening…. 

What’s With that ‘Procreant Urge’?

So, today I’ve received over a hundred hits for folks looking for some variation of Walt Whitman’s procreant urge. I assume some large U.S. lit class must have just gotten an assignment.

I thought I’d mull it over, too (wink, wink, spoilers ahead for those of you who haven’t read ‘Song of Myself’).

This ‘procreant urge’ comes up in the third section of ‘Song of Myself.’ To bring you up to speed, in the first part, Whitman is loafing around and getting ready to start his poem. In the second section, Whitman starts in with how wonderful it is to be alive and how wonderful it is to enjoy being alive, without looking for the deeper meaning in it, and the importance of trusting the authority of your own experience and not relying on anyone else, even him, to tell you what things mean (which is, in part, why it’s so cute that folks are searching for someone to tell them what Whitman means when he talks about the procreant urge).

Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? have you reckon’d the earth much?
Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?

Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,

You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look
through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self. [emphasis mine]

Which brings us to the third section, where Whitman is going to start teaching us how to look through our own eyes at the world. First, he acknowledges that we often rely on folks we think are smarter than us to tell us how to interpret things:

I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end,

But he doesn’t bother with all this talk of the beginning and the end. He says, basically, that it’s a waste of time.

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

Okay, but if we don’t have ‘progress’ in the sense of there being more things being invented or more young people or more old people or better things or worse times, what do we have?

Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.

Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always substance and increase, always sex,
Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed of life.
To elaborate is no avail, learn’d and unlearn’d feel that it is so.

Yes, what’s driving the world is not ‘progress’ but horniness, the constant urge to fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuck fuck.  Now, Whitman says that there’s no use in elaborating–that we know this is true, because we feel it–but it’s never that easy with Walt, especially because when, at the end of part 3, he gets down to post-coital bliss, he’s deliberately vague about the gender of the person he’s just been fucking.   And, when his soul is busy ticking his beard, I think we have to assume his soul shares his gender.

I mention this because I think, for Whitman, this procreant urge is not simply about the urge to make a baby.  To me, the emphasis in these lines is on that “always a knit of identity, always distinction.”

I’ll admit, I’m not sure what he means by “always a breed of life,” but “always a knit of identity, always distinction”?  That’s a kind of truth I feel in my bones.  Which is, of course, the kind of truth Whitman wants us to learn to value.

He devotes the rest of this section to pointing out that we spend a lot of time divvying up the world into what’s good and what’s bad and what has value and what doesn’t and he doesn’t see any use to it.  As he points out, when you’ve just been properly fucked by a person who also leaves you towel-covered baskets of goodies around the house, why would you waste time turning your attention away from them to sit down and sweat over whether having two cents is better than having none?

If I had to translate what Whitman is getting at when he talks about recognizing the beauty of the procreant urge into language you youngsters could understand, I’d say that, in this section, what Whitman is saying is “Dude, it’s all good.”

In Which I Say Something I’m Bound to Live to Regret

My dad just called.  He’s alone in the house up in Illinois and he’s wondering if I remembered to put his pain pill in his morning medicine (which I laid out for the week before I left).

My uncle didn’t come, because he’s sick and doesn’t want to risk getting my dad sick.

And I wish my dad was closer, in case he needs me.

Starting From the Position that Tennessee (and North Carolina) Women are Just Lying Liars Who Lie

I know we already talked about this, but it makes me so mad that I wanted to do it again.

Making women pay to process their own rape kits is beyond the pale, even if you reimburse them.

The Vol Abroad makes this important point:

If I were one of those angry, radical feminists – I might say the link between these two stories is the presumption that all women are whores. Sluts who lie about sleeping around in order to screw some poor guy in the first case or some poor guy and the taxpayer in the second by reporting a rape. She must be a lying hoor, so why should the state pay? But in the case of paternity testing, she must be a lying hoor – so why should the poor, cuckolded schmuck have to pay?

See Rachel, more Vol Abroad, and Feministing.  And Mack.