Benevolent Imperialism

Y’all, my britches are still burnt over the whole pitbull discussion.  Today, in my big, giant important meeting, someone made an off-handed comment about how the neo-conservatives really believe that they are promoting a kind of benevolent imperialism. 

I hadn’t heard neo-conservatism defined like that before–as benevolent imperialists–but I heard it and it made a lot of sense to me… heh, folks, bear with me.  The DayQuil is kicking in and I’m reduced to simplistic… um… simple-isms… I mean, it made sense of the neo-conservative worldview for me in a way I find useful.

And I think the thing with the pit bull discussion that just grated on me was that I felt like I was being benevolently empired (shit, there’s a real word that would fit there, I’m just not going to come up with it tonight).  Both the Uncle and I were trying to have a reasonable discussion with someone determined to affect public policy and, at least, I felt like the person we were trying to have the discussion with is so certain that he’s right about the dogs and right about what to do about them that it’s fine for him to exploit the public’s fears in order to get his way.

I still feel kind of bad about reducing it to a class thing.  I guess I should say up-front that I have a kind of soft bigotry against rich people.  I’m better about it than I was in my younger days, but shoot, back me into a corner and it just springs out in full force.  But it was unfair of me to do it and it kind of revealed something unflattering about me that I guess I’d rather y’all didn’t know.

Anyway, I was telling the Uncle that I kind of believe in benevolent corruption.  I mean my experience with the Democratic party and unions and other old-school liberal entities is of that kind of Midwestern corrupt machine.  But the thing is that it was kind of like the mob.  If you were in, you were in.  If you needed food on your table and you had the right connections, someone was going to get you a way to get food on your table, even if it meant that you ate something that “fell off a truck.”

I believe in robbing from the rich to give to the poor.  I just do.  Intellectually, I know that’s a bullshit thing to believe but in my heart, I still think it’s the right thing.

That’s the funny thing about life, though.  You will be forced to eat shit every once in a while.  And the shit I’m being forced to eat lately resembles the repercussions of my simple Robin Hood worldview.

Because, see, what I’d like to believe in is a Democratic party that says, “Hey, B., we’ll take care of you.  Don’t worry.” meaning that, if something goes wrong–like say my city is hit by a hurricane and I can’t evacuate–I’ll be rescued.  Fuck whose job it is–city, state, or fed–it doesn’t matter. Someone is going to step up, throw some weight around and get me some fucking help.

But with this guy and the whole pitbull mess, it makes me very afraid that the Democratic party is all about “Hey, B., we’ll take care of you.  Don’t worry.  We know what’s best for you.” which means that I have to suffer through, “eat this, don’t eat that, drink this, don’t drink that, own this pet, not that pet.  Etc.” 

It’s not about saving my ass when I get into trouble, real, verifiable, objective trouble.  But it’s about controlling my life so there never is any trouble.

I think that guy thinks that’s a noble and acceptable goal.

That terrifies me.

Not as much as the conservative “we must monitor your every move so that we can make sure you never get away without being punished for your wrong-doings both morally and legally” but it’s still scary.

DayQuil Round 2

The DayQuil this morning caused me to lose track of time, to start crying because I could not find the period on my keyboard, and to send Sarcastro* a long rambling email about SistaSmiff’s mother-in-law, who I just discovered today was her mother-in-law through my master detective skills of reasoning**.

But I’m taking it again.  So, I’ll probably end up either asleep on the couch or up in bed here in about twenty minutes.  If not, check back for some rambling posts full of sobbing and random tangents about whatever strikes my fancy.



*Say what you want about Sarcastro, at the end of the day, he’s the kind of dude who’s not going to freak out if you admit that the cold medicine you take is making you cry for no apparent reason.  He’s kind of an asshole, but you can count on him.

Ha, he needs to put that on his business cards.

**Said master detective skills of reasoning are as follows: Hear mother-in-law tell story back in May about Waylon Jennings calling her while she was in the hospital after a heart attack.  Read SistaSmiff’s story last Friday about her mother-in-law getting a call from Jennings while in the hospital after a heart attack.  Wait almost a week.  Take cold medicine you know turns you into a lunatic if it doesn’t put you in a coma. Start an email to Sarcastro in which you wander aimlessly where ever your poor feeble brain will take you.  And tada!  Realize that Waylon Jennings probably didn’t have two friends named Hazel who both had heart attacks who needed calling on when they were in the hospital.

You know, with skills like this, it’s only a matter of time before they base a TV show on me, like Monk only where it takes me three months and just sitting around thinking of something completely different before I can solve the mystery.  I guess that’d be a pretty boring TV show.  Okay, never mind.

The Car Situation Makes Me Reconsider Whether I Should Marry the Man from GM

Our parents have long thought that we would end up married eventually–the Man from GM and me.  Neither of us have thought this, though, as it’s only been in recent years that we can spend longer than 12 hours together without one of us vowing to never speak to the other again.

Now, I realize there are many marriages out there where the spouses don’t speak, but the Man from GM and I are well aware that, if we were ever to get married, the marriage would quickly end with one of us dead and the other of us in prison.  He thinks he would end up killing me–and maybe with his driving?–but I think it’s more likely that I would shoot him dead about the fourth day into our marriage.

That doesn’t prevent us from being dear friends.  In fact, I think knowing that we would never work as a couple is what keeps us such good friends after knowing each other half our lives.  We never wonder wistfully, “Oh, what if we’d just tried it, just to see what happened?”  Because we both know how it would go–pain, suffering, and homicide.

All that being said, when it come to my car, I’m all the time claiming that the Man from GM is my fiance.  I’ll call him up and say “Hey, Man from GM, my car is going blickity blickity whenever it gets over 50” (or something similar) and he’ll be all “That’s your such and such valve.  You’ve got to figure on that running you about $100 and $100 for labor.”

And then I go into my mechanic and say, “My car is going blickity blickity whenever it gets over 50” and my mechanic will be all like “That’s probably your such and such valve.  I can fix it for about $200.”

But sometimes, when I have to take it into the dealer, the dealer will be all “Oh, that’s probably your whole whatchamacallit system and your computer.  That’ll run you $1500.”  And I’m all like, “Oh really, because my fiance is an engineer at GM and he says it’s just the such and such valve.” 

“Well, ma’am, I’m telling you…”

“Why don’t we get him on the phone?”

And considering I had to do this quite regularly to keep the old Cavalier running, it was really useful, especially when the Man from GM started hollering about how he knew the guy that designed the car and he could get him on the phone if it’d be useful.

But, alas, now I drive a Dodge.

Now, it’s sitting at Jim Reed Chevrolet–still.  Yes, still.  God damn, I’m dying.–and so I suppose the Man from GM could call and make a pain in the ass of himself and get me my car, but I’m just not ready to admit to him that I can’t take care of this myself.

But for real, if they don’t have my god damn car done by tomorrow, I’m going to kidnap a certain surly libertarian, get him good and mean drunk, and threaten to let him loose inside their building unless I have my ass in my own vehicle, pronto.

Another Open Letter to the Nashville Scene

Dear Nashville Scene,

Whoever took the picture of Knuck in the women’s bathroom of Mothership BBQ is a genius!

On the other hand, I’m a little confused by what Liz Garrigan means when she says that I’m part of a “motley crew of sun-deprived computer junkies with funky handles.”  Sure, maybe I’m plump compared to the hard-bodies over there, but I don’t think there’s any need to call my love handles “funky” and I’m not sure what my lumpy body has to do with my mad blogging skills.

However, Liz, if you’re really interested in my flesh, you just send old Eric over to take you a photo of my boob freckle.  You’ll find it charming.  Everyone does.

Ha, I tease you, Nashville Scene because I love you.  Even at your most grandmotherly, you’re still better than The Tennessean and that counts for a great deal.


Aunt B.

Another Post on The Wire

The Butcher got up early this morning to watch the rest of Season One before work.  It was the episode where Kima goes under cover with the strip club owner to buy drugs and… shall we say, something very bad happens.

I’ve always considered my favorite moment of The Wire to be in Season Three when Bunk is investigating the shootout and he figures out what happened because some kids are already playing Omar in the streets.

But I had to sit down and watch the end of this morning’s episode, because I’d forgotten.  I mean, I know what happens and still, watching it, god damn.  When the police are frantically searching for Kima and there’s the chopper in the air and the calm but seemingly ineffectual voice of the dispatcher.  And then when they do find her and it just seems to drag on so long, with people crying and kicking things.

Their panic seems so real that watching it seems almost gross.  You know what I mean?  It’s one thing to watch TV characters, even TV characters you care about, go through something so shitty.  But something about how that whole sequence is shot makes me forget, every time, that it’s just TV.  Every time I see it, I worry that I’m watching people I care about watch their friend die.

That’s some amazing art, right there, folks.

Place Your Bets

I have a cold.  I have a big important meeting this afternoon.  I have, out of desperation, taken DayQuil.

Non-drowsy cold medicine puts me to sleep seven out of ten times.  Will this batch put me to sleep or not?

Heh.  You know what I just noticed? It’s 9:40.  I took the DayQuil at about 8:50.  I cannot tell you with any confidence what I’ve been doing for the last half hour or so.

This should be a fun day.


What is Weirder, Walking or the People who See You Walking?

If I weren’t me, I would be a copyright lawyer.  If I weren’t a copyright lawyer, I would be a theoretical physicist.  Is there anything more fun than sitting around thinking of metaphors for how the universe works? 

Space/time is like fabric and gravity is like ripples in that fabric.

The universe is like a jelly donut.

The smallest things in the universe are like strings.

Etc., etc., etc.

So, I’m walking the dog and freaking out just a little about how the only thing that keeps me, every time I’m stepping, from plunging through the earth and on out the back–since there’s more nothing in the universe than something–is, apparently, just the negative electrical charge of atoms repelling each other.  And this woman in a minivan stops and rolls down her window and asks, “Is your name Alison?”  I looked at her and say, “No” and she says, “Oh, well, you look just like Jack Clement’s daughter.  I thought you might be her.”

Shoot, who knows?  Maybe in another universe.

Four Fun Facts About Sarcastro

1.  He owns a kilt.

2.  His name contains every vowel except ‘u.’

3.  I’ve received emails from three different women just this week complaining about him.

4.  William Shatner is not actually his biological father; that’s just an internet rumor I’m trying to start.