Let’s Ask Mr. Smartypants

Y’all, sometimes it embarrasses me that my spiritual guru is a forty-year old man whose main hobbies seem to be being a cantankerous jackass who hurts my feelings and watching his lawn grow.  But there you go.  You make do with the spiritual gurus you have, not the spiritual gurus you wish you had.

As it so happens, it has come to my attention that you all need the guidance of Mr. Smartypants.  I have, without consulting him first, decided to take the liberty of asking him some questions, the answers of which will help you all as you move through the world. 

Dear Mr. Smartypants,

Thanks to my tax dollars, you have mad people reading skills.  When faced with someone you are trying to get information from, do you rely solely on what that person is telling you?  Why or why not?  What are some ways you can tell if someone is telling you one thing, but is hiding something else?  Do people let their guards down more easily when they are comfortable or uncomfortable?  Are people easier to manipulate if you can promise them something they want in return for their compliant behavior?  Does this apply only in times of war or also in everyday life?

Yours Truly,

Aunt B.

They Tell Me to Leave You Alone

So, I’m walking through Walgreens looking for the Berries & Cream Diet Dr Pepper, which reminds me of Redpop in some way I can’t quite put my finger on, when there’s Aretha singing “Chain of Fools,” which is, folks, one of my very favorite songs in the whole damn universe and so I’d better never meet a man who makes me think of him when I hear it or I will have to stab him right in the eye for ruining that song for me.

Anyway, I’m singing along and all of a sudden, I realize the woman checking out the sun glasses is also singing along and she looks up at me at the same time and we both just start laughing.

I don’t know.  It was nice.

The Bunk Beds

While I was away, I got to sleep on the bottom of one of those very short camp bunk-beds.  It was actually a hoot, except that those beds are nearly impossible to make.  I loved climbing into it at night, like my very own sleeping cave.

I wanted to sleep up top, but one and a half things prevented me.  The half a thing was that I was afraid I’d fall out.  The one thing is that, if I don’t have my contacts in, I can’t see, and I was afraid I’d miss the ladder and fall.  Ha, maybe those are actually the same thing.

Anyway, I’ve grown used to not being able to see and I compensate for it in the following manner.  If I’m staying at a new place, I walk the route between my bed and the bathroom and my bed and the door (in case of fire) a few times with the contacts in, just to get a feel for how far things are.

That way, when I can’t see, I still know where I’m going.

I Leave for a Couple of Days and the World Goes Crazy

Let’s have a little quiz.  Who do you think said the following when talking about rape?

“This is Western Civilization here people. We are not primitive, we are not beasts.”

“It’s about power. It’s about who is an easy target.”

Was it your favorite feminist blogger–me?  Or was it that paleoconservative Kleinheider?

What the fuck, America?  Kleinheider is writing nuanced posts about how terrible rape is?  Is this some kind of early birthday present to me?

I hope so.  The only thing that could possibly make this better is if Brittney has video of him running around WKRN hysterically shrieking about how terrible it is that white men are being raped by black men in prison.

No, I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t poke fun.  Still, I will remember this day and this post the next time Kleinheider starts talking about the regular kind of rape and remind him of that brief moment when he felt deep compassion and outrage for rape victims.

It should be very interesting.








Okay, I know I said I wasn’t going to poke fun, but I lied.  Let us revisit the whole “Should ex-felons be allowed to vote?” crap.  Kleinheider, as you remember, thought that those of us who were making the argument that such laws unfairly hurt black people were being ridiculous–“I love how Wage throws in the statistics on blacks to play on white guilt. So what if 13% of blacks are ineligible to vote? What does that prove?We’re supposed to restore the vote to felons because blacks commit felonies and we don’t want to seem racist?”

But, if something in the penal system unduly affects whites–

I find it disturbing when a nice, law abiding, white suburbanite seems to come down in favor of prison rape.

Sure, you got the nice house, the sheltered community, and no criminal record. But all you have to do is screw up once. Get caught up with people doing stuff you weren’t aware of or helping a friend with a shady past and all of a sudden you’re in the pokey. And let me tell ya something, white boy — you’re done before you even think about stepping out on that yard.

–whoa, boy, it’s just fine to start throwing around statistics in order to play on white fears of black men’s sexuality.

That gives me a good laugh.  A good long bitter laugh, the kind where you think you might taste just a hint of your own blood at the end.

Where I Went and What I Did When I Was There

So, the playwright I know is working with the Methodist chaplain at Vanderbilt to collect oral histories of people in Nashville’s religious beliefs or lack thereof and they are working to put the materials together for a play about faith and doubt, to be performed in July.

So, a small group of folks all went on a retreat to help pull the stuff together into some kind of something that could be performed.  I don’t know how helpful it was to the playwright, but it was just the most amazing thing to me.

I don’t know a whole lot about pulling materials together for performance, so I was just overwhelmed by the experience.  There was just all this creative energy–one woman wrote a song, another woman was dancing, a third sang the song, the chaplain cooked us up this incredible feast for every meal, and there were bananas, which I hadn’t had in ages, so I ate four of them.

Where was I?

Yes, there was all this amazing creative energy and all these long deep discussions about faith and living faithfully, whatever that might mean.  And it was so cool to watch all these ideas come together, first on huge post-it notes on the walls, and then in long lists.

I fill up the holes in my life with creative things.  I write when I have spare time.  I get in deep discussions when I can peel the Professor away from her more brainy endeavors.  I have never had the opportunity to spend such long periods of time just devoted to one project.  It felt like such a luxury.

I want to write a play, now.