My Favorite Sound

One good thing about being a minister’s kid is that you have access to a lot of empty churches.  My absolute favorite sound is the quiet of an empty church.


Many times, I’d have to run over to the church to bring something to my dad, and rather than go around to the back where his office was, I’d go in through the front or through the basement just to spend a moment listening to the big old emptiness. 


It’s not silent.  The heater kicks on and rumbles around and spews out some air and then, with a belch, shuts itself off.  The buzz of the kitchen appliances is always there in the background like insect noise.  The building itself groans and sighs as it stretches out and settles in.  But it’s empty in a way that has always seemed very sacred to me.  It’s empty in a way one lone person cannot fill.


You can stomp loudly down the aisle or whistle or sing to yourself “Amazing Grace” but the noise bounces around a little and then fades back into emptiness.


After a while, you stop trying to fill it.


Which is why it’s so disconcerting to move to the back of the sanctuary, slip out the door, and to hear the noises of other humans typing bulletins and writing sermons and talking on the phone, and to suddenly feel back down to your regular size.


—–

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Email from The Butcher

This is the complete contents of the email the Butcher just sent me:

As long as there’s welfare the phrase "jobs Americans wont do" shouldn’t exist

 

Which raises this question: isn’t he supposed to be at work?

In Which I Boss You Around

I often get called bossy, and yet, I think, if I really were bossy, some folks would have a car, others would get off my back about the whole "why aren’t you married yet?" shit, and I would be rolling in the dough.

Still, I’ve decided that part of why I don’t get what I want is that I don’t really articulate it–not to others, and certainly not to myself.

Which is why I feel pretty indebted to Jon Jackson over at Crap & Drivel.  Here was a blog so outrageous, so ridiculous, that my fear of meeting strangers was not greater than my curiosity about meeting this man.  And he bought me drinks!  Since then I’ve met a lot of other bloggers and, even though I get all nervous and weird about it beforehand*, I really like it.

So, here, in no particular order, are the five bloggers I’m dying to meet at the moment**:

1. Peg–She’s been reading here and commenting almost forever.  I’m almost certain she was my first reader who I didn’t know.  Peg, if you really go to Manchester this summer, you’d better stop by and meet me.

2.  Yankee Transplant–She comes across like the biggest hearted-est person in the world and I find her compassion really moving.

3.  Lindsey–She’s wicked smart and funny and articulately feminist in a way that just does me in.  And, shoot, if I could arrange it just right, I could drive over to Memphis*** and meet her and the Yankee Transplant both at once.

4.  Lucky Buzz–I think we’d either hit it off like crazy or immediately hate each other.  But I’d like to see.

5.  Adam C. Kleinheider–There is no excuse.  You’re going to work with Brittney and you’ve met Katherine.  I’m not as intimidating as either of them.  We can meet like spies.  We’ll agree on a place and a window of time.  I’ll leave a small chalk x on the side of the building when I get there.  You’ll come in and look for the cute, weird girl holding a copy of Leaves of Grass.  You carry a blue umbrella.  Sit two tables away from me and, when the waiter asks what you’ll be having, say "None of your nonsense, sir!" and get up and leave.  That’s all I’m asking for.

 

 

 

*As is my way.

**Not counting Bridgett, since we’ve made tentative plans to meet.

***One one of those days when I have the car, I guess.

Random Things I Love

  1. Staying late at the office, waiting for the Butcher to come and pick me up.  Obviously, not all the time, but on days like today, when everyone else goes home and it’s very quiet and I get work done and don’t feel bad about surfing the internet between tasks.  Plus, we usually have Jack in the Box for dinner.
  2. The way the tiny cat will come bursting into the bathroom when I’m trying to shit.  She just rushes in like there’s some big emergency, and now she’s gotten it so Mrs. Wigglebottom will follow her, and so there will be three of us in this tiny bathroom, just hanging out after the urgency dissipates.
  3. How bright my bedroom is in the morning, when the sun rises over I-440.
  4. Watching the construction workers tear down my old building.  Can I heckle them?  Is that impolite?  It’s all I can do to not shout out "Hey, Baby!"
  5. That new Gretchen Wilson song, even though I can’t decide if I’m one of the people from whom she can’t get no respect or if I’m one of the people she’d be for.
  6. Judas Priest.  I’m sorry.  They just could not be any greater.  For one, they suck, but in the most fun way ever.  Then their lead singer turned out to be gay.  And, when their songs come on the radio, the Butcher always changes the channel, I always say, "Hey, that’s Judas Priest" to which he replies, "Like I’m old enough to give a shit about Judas Priest," which always cracks me up.
  7. Looking at album covers in The Great Escape.
  8. The way Nashville smells in the spring.
  9. The soft spot right above Mrs. Wigglebottom’s nose.
  10. The awesome cheap old plastic red pot I bought to put my Jade plant in.  Ha, I guess I’m just digging red lately.

Blogger, Farewell!

Aw, y’all. I’m a little sad to be leaving Blogger. It’s been a fine place, but the weird outages with no one to bitch to and the lack of categories and just my general wish to have something a tad spiffier that I could change as I liked without having to worry that I was ruining things forever means that I’m hitching up my skirts and tromping over to Squarespace.

Go on over. See what you think.

This stuff is all staying up right here, so we can always come back and visit when I want to prove to you how right I remain about something.

Anyway, as soon as I can, www.tinycatpants.com will point over there. It doesn’t now. Right now, who knows where it points? Probably still here. So, that’s going to be hinky for a whole (sorry, Brittney), but bear with me.

It won’t be better or worse, just different.

Welcome!

So, yes, all the old stuff is still over at Blogger.  I guess it can’t hurt to leave it sitting there.  But here’s where all the new stuff will be. 


I’ve still got some sprucing up to do, like finishing up the blogroll and such.


But, all in all, I like it.


It’s got some drawbacks, like no HTML in the comments, but they promise that they’re working on it.  You’ll just have to find some other way to connote snark.


And, if you want to include a link, just type the website address and it will create a link.


Let me know if things seem funky or if you have any problems.


Oh, and if you like to post anonymously, just type anonymous in as your name.  You know I don’t give a shit.

Not Paid for by the Committee to Elect Bob Krumm

Nashville, I think it’s time we talk frankly about Bob Krumm.

Not about any issues or where he stands on them. But about the man himself.

I have met Bob Krumm on one occasion and my first impression of him was, “Wow. He’s really charismatic and charming.” He’s very personable and has a kind of presence that connotes authority and ease with that authority. In person, Bob Krumm comes across like someone you could not help but vote for*.

If you look at the picture on the front of his website, you can get a hint of that. That’s a photo that says, “Yeah, I’m kind of a cutie in a weird way and the sun is right in my eyes.” But you look at that photo and you kind of get what kind of personal energy he has.

However…

Yes, I think we both knew there was going to be a “however.”

However, the picture on his blog does him no favors. He looks fine; he looks like himself, but he also looks like he’s been caught off-guard and you don’t really get a sense of his charisma.

Bob Krumm, I’m not going to say it again**, but you are an attractive guy. You come across as kind of charming and intriguing. If you can get a photographer to capture that on film…

Well, actually, I don’t know what will happen, but something and I’m sure it will be positive. At the least, if your political career flames out in some drug-addled, floozy-laden, bribe-taking, covert-war starting, baby-kicking, dog-running-over, blaspheming scandal the likes of which Tennessee has never seen before, you would have some fabulous photographs that they can show them on the news.

* Not that I will be voting for him, since I’m not even sure what he’s running for or if I’m even one of his potential constituents.
** I don’t think. I don’t intend to make this an ongoing thing.

Raw Cookie Dough

Even though we are crazier than a box of rabid raccoons and we’re mean and ornery and sometimes burn our eyelashes off while attempting to learn how to breath fire (Butcher), there are still some people left on the planet who enjoy spending time with our family.

Ha, okay, let’s just side-track here for a second. We’re about to talk about chocolate chip cookie dough, but I was thinking about my crazy family and all of a sudden I was reminded of the winter when we lived next door to the church and there was a huge gravel parking lot out behind the church and one wintry Saturday it had completely iced over. There was a good three or four inches of ice on the parking lot, and it was pretty smooth.

So, my dad, who was supposed to be snowblowing, instead put on his ice skates, and–I wish I had the pictures of this–wearing a bright red sweatsuit and a big black fur-lined hat and big black mittens, he skated around the parking lot.

My dad is a showman. It’s part of what makes him a good preacher and also what makes him a difficult person. He’s always got to be the center of attention. But that morning, in the early dawn, he didn’t think he’d be seen at all. We were all supposed to still be asleep.

And there he was, gliding effortlessly across the ice, one large lone Midwesterner looping around a frozen parking lot, lost in his thoughts.

What you learn about men when you see them when they think no one is looking can tell you a lot about them, I think.

Anyway, chocolate chip cookie dough.

From the time I was old enough to grab a spoon, we’ve always eaten a portion of our chocolate chip cookies raw. Even now, it makes me sick as shit to do it and so I don’t do it very often, but there’s nothing that makes me feel more like a member of my family than sitting down with a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough, especially if it has oatmeal in it, and eating it with a big glass of milk.

And, in fact, if one wants to be accepted into our family, one must be happy about eating raw cookie dough. Sure, the raw eggs pose a slight health risk. But that’s what bonds us together–the thrill of staring death in the face and then eating it–or something.

Anyway, I used to think it was the raw egg which would make me feel like shit the next day, but my mom is convinced that it’s actually the baking powder. She says she’s been experimenting, and, if she leaves it out of the dough she intends to eat, it doesn’t make her feel gross.

And, America, that is why I love my mom.

Sure, now, she’s teaching little kids how to read, but in her soul, she’s a scientist, experimenting away on how we can continue out family traditions and feel good about it.

"What About Your Readers?!"

The Butcher accused me of having sucked him into my crazy bloggy universe last night. He feels he’s come to care far too much about your well-being. But, I’m thinking of leaving Blogger, and when I mentioned it to him, the first thing out of his mouth was, “What about your readers?”

Y’all, in my heart, I’ve already left Blogger. In my heart, Tiny Cat Pants lives someplace where I can categorize things, where I can show who’s commented on what last, so that, even if I’ve moved on from a topic, y’all can keep talking about it and see that y’all are still talking about it. And, in my heart, there is a cat wearing tiny pants out where y’all can see him. And there’s red.

I’ve talked to both Sarcastro and Mephistophocles about Squarespace, which they use, and they both are happy with it. And I’ve been kicking some tires and poking around in the CSS and I’m thinking of switching.

Do y’all have any objections?

The Thing at Duke

I keep trying to figure out what to say about it. I’ve got nothing. Check this shit at Pandagon and over at Alas, A Blog. Or follow it in closer detail at Justice 4 Two Sisters.

It wasn’t that long ago when Ivy linked to Flea’s letter to her sons. I keep thinking of that letter when I think about that poor woman in that bathroom in a house full of men.

Flea writes:

It is your responsibility, as a man, to protect those who can not protect themselves. If you fail at this, you have failed as a human being. It is your duty, even when refusing to protect, or even causing the harm yourself, has no visible consequences for you.

The prosecutor who is working on the case says that, even though there were forty men in that house, not one of them is cooperating with police. Not one of them will step forward and say who was in that bathroom with her.

Short and Fat, a guy I like the hell out of, says:

As a guy, unless I knew 100% that a woman had been raped, I’m certain I’d be part wall of silence as well. Particularly, with the DA threatening me with charges and subpeoning me for a DNA sample, despite my innocence.

and I’m at a loss for words. Maybe it’s because I can’t imagine what it would be like to be those guys, but I can imagine all too well what it would be like to be that girl. I cannot help but put myself in her shoes.

Sometimes I wonder what it will take for you all to take us seriously when we rage and grieve over this kind of shit. I know that even the Butcher thinks that rape and attempted rape is something rare and that false accusations are all too common.

But right now, I’m not talking about what happened in that bathroom. I’m talking about what happened in the rest of the house.

There were two women who tried to leave. Someone was concerned enough about them leaving that he was seen by a neighbor talking them into coming back in that house. Someone saw that woman go into the bathroom, either alone or with his teammates. Someone saw her come out of that bathroom.

There are witnesses. There are men who were there who could help this investigation.

And they’re silent.

How can that be? How can they think they are any kind of man at all if they won’t stand up for the truth? How can they be a man and not come forward? How can they live with themselves?

I just don’t understand it.

The Little Fantasy that Get Me Through the Day

Sometimes, when I’m sitting in here eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I imagine a better life for myself.

It’s very similar to this one, except that someone is paying me to write, the Butcher has a car, we live in a little house I own, and I regularly have lunch with Ludacris down at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Lunching with Ludacris is the part of the daydream I spend the most time in.

I like to imagine what he’ll have and what I’ll have. We’d people watch. We’d wave at folks who looked at us strangely, wondering what that famous rapper was doing just eating at the Country Music Hall of Fame. We’d ask that guy with the guitar to play something we could sing along to.

After a few lunches, we’d come to have a kind of shorthand way of talking about all the types of people who hang out in the Hall of Fame, and he’d kind of gesture as someone came by, say something like “She’s embarrassing her kids” and I’d look over and almost choke on my Diet Coke.

And after a while, the folks at the Hall of Fame would realize that we were eating there frequently and beg us to take a look inside. Most days, we’d have shit to do. But sometimes, we’d take the tour. And it’d be weird, but nice.

Inadvertently Sad for Sharon Stone

The Wayward Boy Scout has posted about Sharon Stone’s weird sex advice for girls*.

Stone says:

Young people talk to me about what to do if they’re being pressed for sex? I tell them oral sex is a hundred times safer than vaginal or anal sex. If you’re in a situation where you cannot get out of sex, offer a blow job. I’m not embarrassed to tell them.

Our friend the Boy Scout retorts:

If I had a daughter, I think my teaching would be more along the line of standard self defense accompanied with a healthy dose of “be your own person and don’t let some pissant boy make you do something you don’t want to do”, as opposed to the “offer a blowjob before bending over for the forced anal” school of thought.

And I agree, wholeheartedly. Really, I don’t know how young my audience skews, but boys and girls, if you “cannot get out of sex,” you are being raped. Now, if you are being raped, good fucking god, do whatever you can to get through it as safely as you can. And I will fight anyone who tells you differently. But bargaining down to a “lesser” sex act to keep from having to have sex? As if that’s just a nonchalant way to deal with being pressured to do something you don’t want to do?

Someone needs to set Stone straight and ask her to stop talking to young people. Good lord.

But the side thing that disturbs me is that it sounds like this is something Stone has done and feels fine about having done. That’s just a glimpse into the way her world works that makes me feel kind of sad and weirded out.

*Can I just say there’s something about seeing the Boy Scout thinking big feminist thoughts that makes me feel a little ooky about constantly teasing him. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s a fair trade–he’s corrupted me with his naughtiness and I’ve corrupted him with my feminism–but I feel like I should now apologize about openly discussing how big his penis is.

Sorry, Wayward Boy Scout. I hope this will make it up to you.

Babies Killing Babies

I don’t know what it is, but today just seems to be the day of baby women killing the babies dependent on them for life.

First we had the baby woman in Egypt who was smote to death by God for aborting the baby growing from her head.

And now we have an evil Pakistani baby woman who had two fetuses removed from her uterus. Sure, the doctors claim those fetuses were dead, but even so, today’s events set a dangerous precedent. Perhaps there should be some kind of investigation to see if this baby woman was perhaps negligent during her pregnancy, thus contributing to the deaths of the babies in her womb.

And sure, the Egyptian baby woman is dead, but certainly we can demand the Egyptian government hold her doctors accountable for the death of the person dependent on her.

I’m sure our darling Kleinheider would agree. We’ve got to stop this dangerous trend of baby woman baby killers before it gets out of hand.

Who’s with me? Kleinheider?

The FAQ

1. Why “Tiny Cat Pants”?

I think “pants” is just about the funniest word ever and once, when someone asked me what I thought was funnier than pants, I blurted out “Cat pants. Tiny Cat Pants.” I imagined some shiny gold pants on a stylish cat and it just cracked me up. So, when I started to blog, I thought it’d make for a good, strange name that people would remember.

2. So, are the pants tiny or is the cat tiny?

The pants are tiny compared to normal pants. They are, instead cat-sized. They are tiny cat pants, not tiny cat pants, though, if such pants really existed, I would certainly not dissuade tiny cats from wearing them.

3. For a blog called “Tiny Cat Pants,” you sure do talk a lot about your dog. Why don’t you write more about your cats?

Honestly, my cats are pretty boring, especially in comparison to Mrs. Wigglebottom. One cat goes outside a lot. The other cat sheds all her butt hair in the winter. One of them peed in the drier. That’s about it.

Mrs. Wigglebottom, on the other hand, is always the cutest funniest dog ever and even right now, when I look over at her sleeping on the couch, with her paw nestled up by her cheek, I just about can’t stand it.

4. What kind of dog is Mrs. Wigglebottom?

She’s an American Staffordshire Terrier, it’s one of the pit bull breeds.

5. You have a pit bull?! How can you be so irresponsible?! Don’t you know she’ll snap and kill your cats, kill your neighbor kids, and then kill you with her jaws that are genetically mutated to clamp down and never let go?

Thank you for your concern, but if her jaws are indeed genetically mutated to clamp down and never let go, she would have starved to death days after taking her first bite of solid food. And shoot, as long as I’m third on the list, I’ve got time to run.

I kid.

6. Is she scary looking?

Not at all. In fact, most people who don’t know what kind of dog she is assume that she’s a giant Boston Terrier.

7. Is she nice?

Yes, she’s very sweet, even though she has terrible manners.

8. Are you really an aunt?

Yes.

9. Is the Butcher real?

Yes, everyone I talk about is real and all of the things I say about them are how I recollect them. I’m not saying that everything is 100% factual and accurate, as I come from a long line of storytellers, con artists, and preachers, but they’re how I remember them.

10. Why do you blog anonymously?

It started out as a joke. My audience was people I knew in real life and so it was just a thin verneer of anonymity for the sake of funny. Now, I do it out of courtesy for my family.

11. Can I meet you?

Maybe.

12. Can I make out with you?

Maybe. If I’m drunk, probably.

13. Are you the same in real life as you are on-line?

No, I’m much more awkward in real life, I think.

14. You’re not Christian, are you?

No.

15. What are you?

Let’s just say I’m an optimistic hard-core polytheist.

16. What does that mean?

I’m not sure there are any gods, but if there are, I think they’re all real and all distinct from each other.

17. But isn’t your dad a minister?

Hence one of the reasons I blog anonymously.

18. Jesus loves you.

Yes, I know.

19. But you know you’re going to hell, right?

One way or another, I’m sure.

20. You sell Tiny Cat Pants products. How are sales?

Well, you know, better than I expected, considering that I expected to sell a t-shirt to the Corporate Shill, a t-shirt to the Professor, and a t-shirt to me. How CafePress works is that you have to earn $25 before you get a check and each of my products is just marked up a few dollars. So, keeping that in mind, I’ve gotten one check for $30. With the next batch of money I was supposed to get, I bought a t-shirt from Tim Morgan and one from Flea. And I think I’m going to get a third check here in a bit. So, it earns me about $25 every three months, which I do, usually, spend on beer or other frivolous nonsense I wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

21. What kind of feminist are you?

The kind with a very cute boob freckle.

22. Will you ever convince the libertarians to sound their barbaric yawps over the roofs of the world?

I hope so. Who more than they is not a bit tamed?

23. Why do you flirt with everyone?

Because I can.

24. Are there any rules for commenting?

One.

You must respect and strive to maintain the frith of the community. We argue, fuss, and fight because there are folks here from a wide variety of backgrounds who disagree on just about everything. The only way it can work is if everyone agrees that having a space like this is worth-while and worth treating well. That can only happen if everyone respects each other, even when, or especially when they disagree.

25. But what if I’m just a giant jackass who cannot behave?

Then prepare to have your ass handed to you by people who are smarter, quicker, and funnier than you.

26. You’re liberal, right? Don’t you know taxes are stealing? Taxation is fundamentally immoral.

So is exchanging your body for money, capitalist pig.

27. You’re liberal, right? So why are you so hard on liberal men?

Because liberal men claim to be on my side.

28. When are you going to run for President?

Will that get in the way of my being Queen of the Planet? Because, if I can get that gig, I think that’s probably all the power I need.

29. Why is there only one boob freckle?

I have just gone into the bathroom and turned on the light, stood in front of the mirror and scrutinized my tits. For the record, there are three official boob freckles. There is the famous boob freckle, which resides on the top part of my right boob, right where it can peek out when I wear button-down shirts. There is another freckle right at the point where the left boob goes from being shoulder to boob. I haven’t really been counting this one. But then, I also found another freckle on the bottom side of my right boob. Cute as hell, but unnoticed by me, because, unless I was doing a boob freckle search in front of a mirror, I could have never seen it.

These freckles never fade. They’re just there. Occassionally, like right now, I have some faint boob freckles that showed up just because my tits have gotten some sun. I don’t feel it’s fair to call these official boob freckles as I can’t guarantee that they’ll be there when you see my tits.

So, the official count is three. But I’ll be keeping a closer eye on things, to see if there are any changes, since I know how important this issue is to y’all.

Making My One Wish Come True

No, not the wish where the Wayward Boy Scout and Sarcastro and I all go out drinking and they recite

The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab and my loitering.

I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

The last scud of day holds back for me,
It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadow’d wilds,
It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.

I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.

to me from heart.

The one where I finally come up with a FAQ for this place. The only drawback is that I don’t really get a lot of frequently asked questions. So, I guess I’ll make some up. But here’s your chance, if you have some, to ask away.

A Long Post in Which I Once Again Flirt with Libertarianism

Y’all, I’m not even sure how to formulate this.

Let’s start with Kevin, who was kind enough to come by and point me to a quick “how we ended up here” when it comes to gun rights. He quotes a very interesting part of the Dred Scott decision, which I quote here:

[Citizenship] would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, and inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State.

Just keep in mind “to keep and carry arms wherever they went.” We’ll be coming back to this.

Then we’ve got Jon, with his Ayn Rand quote:

There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted — and you create a nation of law-breakers — and then you cash in on guilt.

Hmmm, as well.

As y’all know, I’ve been following the saga of Say Uncle’s friend with interest and Blake has said all I have to say about the issue better than I could. Can a liberal heathen feminist and a conservative Christian gun nut find common ground? On this issue, apparently.

Anyway, it was one of Blake’s commenters that made me suddenly go “Well, duh.” This commenter says

If you don’t like the law get em to change it, don’t blame the cops for enforcing it.

As for me, I don’t want felons owning guns or voting.

Posted by: TWM at March 26, 2006 07:50 PM

And I stared at my computer screen dumbfounded.

Then I read this:

the other side of the Republican coin on immigration is the Bush plan to create a “guest worker” program that is nothing less than the realization of corporate America’s wet dream of having a labor force that cannot vote. It would create a permanent underclass of disenfranchised workers

The light went on and I immediately called the Professor and asked, “Why can’t people see that rap music and country music are the same?”

But what I really meant is that–duh–we’ve created draconian laws to “punish” behavior that doesn’t hurt anyone–like say, outlawing drugs–and the result is not a reduction in the use of drugs but prisons full of poor men.

Yes, those poor men are disproportionately black, which means that the war on drugs has allowed the government to find a way to follow the spirit of the Dred Scott decision even now–the war on drugs makes felons out of many black men, which means that they cannot carry weapons or vote. Which means that they cannot legally defend themselves and they cannot change the way they are governed. Both are equally troubling. Black men are left with no way to force the government to hear them.

But it’s not just black men who are fucked by this–it’s really poor people in general. As folks over at Say Uncle and Blake’s have pointed out repeatedly, there are all types of felonies, from having too much weed to killing your boyfriend, but the stoner and the murderer are stripped of their rights just the same.

And who most needs to have their rights protected? The people who are most often chewed up and spit out by various law enforcement entities. Who do we strip of the ability to hold our government accountable? The people who are most often chewed up and spit out by various law enforcement entities.

It’s really brilliant, if you think about it. Who’s going to best know the ways that the government fucks people over? People who have been fucked over. What can they legally do about it?

Nothing, it seems.

Men, Think Back to When You Were Young

The Professor sent me this link to the “Men Can Stop Rape” campaign. I couldn’t quite decide what to make of it. I sent it to Brittney, who also couldn’t decide what to make of it.

But it occurs to me that we are not the target for the campaign, so maybe it doesn’t matter if we can make sense of it.

So, here’s what I like about it.

–I like that it’s a campaign directed at men. After all, at the end of the day, women are not raped by some third, evil, easily identifiable gender. We’re stuck in a world where rapists look just like ordinary men, which gives ordinary men some stake in trying to end rape.

–I really like that it’s about reiterating that being strong is not just the ability to force your way on people, but also about keeping the people you love safe.

–I like that there are a lot of different men and they talk about a lot of different situations.

What I don’t like.

–Are these men supposed to be bragging to other men? Maybe, and lord knows I’m not clear how y’all work, but does hearing someone brag make you want to be like him?

–If they’re not supposed to be bragging to other men, I’m not sure I get the point. I mean, are we supposed to be glad that they don’t rape?

I have this theory that there are two broad categories of men who rape women. There are evil fuckers for whom rape really is primarily about terrorizing women, because it makes them feel strong and powerful. And, for men to combat those rapists, I think the best strategy would be to frame rape as an act of cowardice and weakness and evilness and toss those assholes in prison for long, long times.

But the other broad category, I think, is made up of guys for whom rape is about sex coupled with feeling strong and powerful. And I think these guys are primarily immature or inexperienced or, for whatever reason, lack the ability to find willing women to have sex with. Couple that with the belief that part of being a real, strong manly man is having sex as often as they can, and you have a recipe for disaster. These men don’t intend to hurt women–which is why they convince themselves that the women really wanted it–but they also don’t intend to not have sex.

For these guys, maybe redefining manhood would be an effective way to combat rape, because it would uncouple power from being able to force people to do what you want. But I don’t know.

What do you guys think?

Edited to add: Everyone should be so lucky as to have librarians who read their blogs and will dig around for answers to their questions. Check out Rachel’s mad libraring… librari-ing… research skills.

Strip Clubs for Straight Women

I’m not that big into male strippers. I just don’t find all that gyrating and thrusting while wearing g-strings to be that erotic. It can be fun and funny, but when I see men at strip clubs, looking at female strippers, I know I’m not having the same experience when I look at male strippers.

Today, though, on the ride home, as I was attempting to think of things to improve my day, I realized what the ideal strip club for straight women would be.

Imagine this, women.

There are three rows of benches on the stage, perpendicular to the front of the stage. Twelve handsome men in well-cut suits come onto the stage and slowly take off all their clothes. They are not wearing g-strings, but boxer shorts. Anyway, off they come.

And then!

And then, the men slowly put on baseball uniforms. They exit the stage. The next group comes out and changes into hockey uniforms. And so on as we work our way through all the cool uniformed things that men do.

How hot would that be?

I can’t believe that no one has thought of this before.

Good Looking Boys


For some reason, the recalcitrant brother’s camera phone makes everyone look like they’ve been run through some weird Photoshop filter. But at least we get to see some photos of the boys.

So, for those of you who are curious, there’s the recalcitrant brother and my nephews*.

And girls, the recalcitrant brother is kind of single!

*I don’t know if it’s clear, but there are just two nephews. The littlest one is in both photos. And I think that we see evidence that the biggest nephew is a better photographer than his father, but I could be reading too much into things.