Two Reasons Why I’m Not a Big Fan of Politics

One: It reminds me that people are cowardly jackasses

I had lunch with Bob Krumm today (among others).  I met him once before, briefly, and find him to be intelligent, funny, and earnest.  I think that’s about all you can ask for in anybody.  I don’t know what kind of politician he’ll be. 

I’m sure a lot of intelligent, funny, earnest folks go into politics thinking that they can remain above the corruption and other nonsense, but they don’t.

On the other hand, I’m sure there are people who stay intelligent, funny, and earnest, but end up exhausted and jaded as well.

But he means well and he intends to do good and, to me, that says something.

Any conservative who can sit at a table with three loud, obnoxious leftists who are going on about what’s in whose pocket (ahem, Kleinheider) and hold his own and maintain his dignity gets props from me.

So, it was with great surprise that I read this over at Kleinheider’s today:

Interesting comment on this thread from a commenter identifying himself as “Belle Meade Voter.”

Talk in the district is that Krumm is going to lose the Republican primary to Manuel Fonseca, a local firefighter. Krumm is a complete unknown. Fonseca is at least involved in our neighborhoods through his work.

Those that know Krumm think he is arrogant in that he keeps talking about what he is going to do when he is elected. To be blunt, many of the few folks that know him view him as somewhat of a carpetbagger. They think he rolled in here from some other state, started a blog, and now he thinks we should elect him as our senator.

He also does not seem to realize how it insults many in this district that he — as someone that has never really done anything in our community — is taking on Doug Henry.

Doug Henry is a public servant in every good sense of the name. He fought for us in World War II. He has spent most of his life taking care of us in the senate. He is absolutely unassailable.

Krumm had better get out of the blog world and get into the real world quickly because he is in for a rude awakening.

I, of course, have nothing against pseudonymous internet activities.  I, you may have noticed, blog pseudonymously.  Yet, if you want to find me, it’s not that hard.  A lot of folks know who I am.  I have a working email address and I am the only person at Percy Warner Park walking a big ole pit bull.

If you have a problem with me, you can find me.  If I say something you don’t like or don’t understand, you can call me to task on it.

But these anonymous drive-by comments?  I don’t know.  When it comes to everyday ordinary life, I don’t really give a shit.  If y’all suddenly started only posting anonymous comments, it’d be kind of funny, if a little annoying.

But I read this and it didn’t make me think “Oh, poor Krumm.  Those Belle Meade folks don’t like him.”  It made me think, “What cowardly jackass would not have the guts to say this to Krumm’s face, but instead has to post it at another site under a fake name?”

I think I was supposed to feel like I was getting some kind of inside scoop, like this is the water cooler gossip and now I’m in the know.  Instead, I just felt like it was cowardly and dishonorable. 

Those criticisms might be legitimate.  I don’t know Bob Krumm.  He might secretly be a big snobby carpetbagger.  But I’m not going to take the word of a coward. 

Will other people?

I’m afraid that kind of bullshit works and it makes me sad.

Two: It reminds me that the Democrats will sell me out in order to win

I am a woman.  I believe in equal rights for everyone and marriage for any two people foolish or brave enough to want it.  I believe in my bodily autonomy and while I respect your right to life once you are, you know, actually alive, while you’re a parasite in my body, you’re there at my discretion.  My body is a gift I give you, for a brief time, not something the state gets to control on your behalf while you are a fetus.  My body belongs to nobody but me.  If that works out poorly for you, I am truly sorry, but that’s just how it is.

Those things I am uncompromising about.  Full citizenship with all its benefits for the born and bodily autonomy without state interference for born women.

As you know, if you read my blog.

I don’t want to fight about that.  I just want to state it.

And then I want to say that I vote Democratic because I don’t believe the Republicans are interested in fighting for either of the things that are beyond compromise for me.

So, I want to return to Julia Corker and Mike Kopp.  Here’s Kopp, a big Democratic operative who worked for Gore and appeared on Frontline and so on.

And so, I guess, he wants Corker out of the Senate race. So, what does he do?  He sells out Corker’s daughter by insinuating that she’s a slut and that her kissing another girl is scandalous.

I don’t give a shit if every Republican in Tennessee might think that’s true; Kopp is an influential Democrat and fuck him, he’s supposed to be on my side.  And my side is not about suggesting that grown ass women are under the control of their fathers.  My side is not about slut shaming.  My side is not about implying that there’s anything even remotely gross about two women kissing.

Are the Democrats still on my side or not?

Don’t even fucking answer that.  I cannot bear to know.

Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse for Not Following the Law

Ceeelcee* says:

Just back from the Mothership where I got to meet up with my two favorite Blogger crushes, Aunt B. and Brittney.

The clearly articulated rules around here are:

From here on out, if you want to have a crush on me, you have to be willing to make out with me, should the opportunity present itself. I’m sorry. That’s just the way it is.

And yet, there was no offer of smooches.  For shame!






*Who is getting a nickname as soon as I come up with a good one

Today is the Day to Go to the Mothership

I have a co-worker who spent the 70s the way that most folks wish they’d spent the 70s.  I’m taking her to the Mothership for lunch today just to see if any of the album covers on the wall make her blush–not in a prudish way, but in a “I remember that guy!” way.

It should be good fun.

Things To Think About When Tagging Our Neighborhood

"Buk 50" is actually kind of a funny moniker.  It pays nice homage to two members of G-Unit–Young Buck* and old Fiddy himself.  And it’s cute the way you write it kind of small.

But, Buk 50, you need to help your friend Tier.  First, how do we even say that?  Does it sound like "tear" or "tire" or "tie air" or "ti er" ( like tigger without the "g"s) or what?  Second, so far Tier has managed to claim a light pole and a dumpster that are a block and a half apart.

I know you have to start small, but to claim a block and a half stretch of one side street in a neighborhood full of very old people and childless adults?  It just seems like you aren’t really trying.

We have, maybe, three teenagers in this whole little triangle-y neighborhood, between the interstate, the railroad tracks and Murphy Road.  When they vandalize the neighborhood, they’re painting things like "Jump, you know you want to" on the railing of the bridge over the interstate.

They don’t even have a unique style.  Our neighborhood is practically a blank canvas for your criminal mischief.

And yet… and yet, one lightpole and one dumpster.

I about can’t believe it.  When I was your age, we had to walk uphill both ways barefoot in the snow to find things to tag and we tagged every surface we could find, even if it took all night–and it was cold–and we liked it.

Kids today.

They’ve got no ambition.




*Is he still in?

One Last Post on the List and Then I Swear We’re Moving On

First I must continue, just a bit, to squabble with Nathan Moore, who originally said, as you recall,

I must question the decision that the historical aberration trumps the historically established trend. Further, the preference for poets is a bit unnecessary. I think you can be a fine citizen if you weren’t terribly informed about a collection of socialists who possessed the ability to rhyme. Besides, how can Whitman and Thoreau make the list, but FDR and Reagan do not? [emphasis mine]

which led me to believe that he was using "poet" to mean anyone who participates in writing as a creative outlet since no one thinks of Thoreau as a poet, but then later he said "Gee, I don’t know. Perhaps Tocqueville’s description of America? Or maybe Harriet Beacher Stowe? Thomas Paine? There are a lot of other places. Whitman, et al are fine for what they were. The saviors of free expression they ain’t." which insinuates that he actually recognizes the benefits of art and so in all fairness, I guess that I was misreading him.

He doesn’t see the uselessness of everyone who writes, he’s just immune to Whitman’s charms, I guess.

Or he’s backtracking.

Dear readers, I leave it up to you to decide.

Also, I never called anyone the "saviors" of free expression; that’s Moore’s typification.  I called them practitioners and examples for others.

Anyway, Moore and I are probably too far apart philosophically to make any headway on the other things we disagree about, so I’m leaving it alone.  I mean, shoot, anyone who likes Stowe better than Whitman has enough problems, he doesn’t need me heaping trouble on him*.

But it’s not enough that lawyers and Lee are knocking my list, now academics are getting in on it.  Steven over at Cows and Graveyards disses my Madonna choice.

Getting back to the motivating story for the first list, and thus al the lists, the Neil Young/Hank Williams story. That story is really one about shared appreciation. I’m not sure that’s what the lists end up about. I’ve listened to Madonna, I do not have an appreciation for it. Madonna is famous, but she is no maestro. At least in my book, "Like a Prayer" is fun at parties and not a bad karaoke song, but it is not a piece of craftsmenship whose passing down advances anything appreciable about the human condition. And this is, a real interesting phenomenon in our age. PT Barnum discovered that we had reached a point in the world where notoriety could completely eclipse ability. We have yet to recover, and that go doubles for our politics.

Because I didn’t justify everything I included, I suppose it’s only fair that people will misunderstand my choice of Madonna.  And, wow, Steven could not have misunderstood it more.  I mean, I don’t even like Madonna.  I love "Ray of Light," but one song does not a fan make.  In general, I think she’s highly over-rated.

But she belongs on my list.

Let’s look at the musicians on my list: Louis Armstrong, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Muddy Waters, Madonna, N.W.A.  What do they all have in common?  A genius gift for appropriating the music of the other American sub-cultures they come in contact with and making it into something uniquely their own.  Armstrong plays with Jimmie Rodgers.  Hank learned guitar from a black man.  Elvis danced like the black guys he saw in Memphis and tried to sing like Dean Martin.  Muddy Waters was playing at all the parties on the Stovall plantation, black and white, and he knew the music to match every occasion.

But they also share in common the fact that they’ve been co-opted by a lot of different groups to serve those groups’ own ends.

It’s a very American story, as I’ve said repeatedly before–I steal from you, you steal it back from me, I wait for my chance to steal it again.  I got a gal, I stole her from a friend.  Joker got lucky, stole her back again.  You crazy ’bout a Mercury or you gonna come into my kitchen?

And Madonna is our current and reigning champion of such behavior, as bell hooks points out better than I could.  

I don’t include her because I think that you have to be a Madonna fan if you really want to "get" America.  I include her because I think, if you really want to "get" America, you have to get how we draw such clear distinctions between ourselves and those other folks (whoever those other folks might be) and yet, even as we draw those lines, we don’t respect them.  We borrow what we find useful.  We live in the suburbs and listen to N.W.A.

If you don’t get that, you don’t get much of how our popular culture works.




*Yes, Stowe wrote an important book, but it’s not very good.  Where as Whitman write a number of important poems which are also very good.

My Dad’s Most Awesome Trait

Tiny Cat Pants is often fraught with crap about my family.  But in honor of Father’s Day, I’m going to tell you the best thing about my dad. 

My dad comes through.

Say that I were sitting here typing away and a large bolt of lightning struck me and I had to be rushed to the hospital.  If I called my dad and said, "I’ve been electrocuted, please come" he would be there as fast as he could, even if I were living in Moscow, Russia.

If I said, "If I don’t find $500, we’re going to be in big trouble," he’d find $500.

And it’s not just for his kids that he’s like that.  He’s that way with his nieces and nephews and all our friends.

Now, don’t go asking my dad for money, or I’ll have to kick your ass. 

But, if you need someone to come to the hospital to see you or to try to figure out what’s wrong with your car, you can call on him for that.  Just tell him I sent you.