The Nigerian Scam Can Get You Killed

I was perusing Pith in the Wind, trying to figure out what the fuck Wayne Christeson is trying to say in his most recent post (Is his grandma a veteran?  Are veterans’ homes also paid for by state money or is that federal funding?  Is this a list of places we can put old people we hate?  Is that mean?  What’s his point?  Etc. Etc.) when I stumbled upon this post and the ensuing CNN story about my favorite minister’s wife (after my mom, of course), Mary Winkler, who, I shit you not, seems to have been pissed off at her husband because he was an abusive asshole who lost $17,000 in a Nigerian scam.

Yes, America, here lies the one person who, when he received an email saying “Daniel Kabila the son of the late Democratic Republic of Congo President Laurent Desire Kabila of the blessed memory. I write this letter in respect of my intention to invest the sum of US$12M(Twelve Million United State Dollars) with you.” emailed back and asked, “What can I do to help you?”

 

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Do Dachshunds Make Everything More Awesome?

We should do some kind of test where everyone does their favorite thing, measures their pleasure in doing it (perhaps using the Libertarian Scale of Things to Panic About, if we can’t put it to any better use), and then does it again in the presence of a dachshund.

Because I am firmly convinced that dachshunds do indeed make everything more awesome.

I once dogsat for a man with three dachshunds, who lived–I shit you not–in what was the bear exhibit at the old zoo here in town.  The bear cave was still in his front yard, much the same way that the Grizzly River Rampage is still sitting behind the Opryland Hotel, just another landscape feature.  And I loved walking his dogs because they would bound in and out of the tall grass like happy porpoises with legs. 

Anyway, Salon.com has a review of a bookIcelander by Dustin Long–which I am now dying to read based solely on the joy I take in seeing that there is, in the book, a dog called the Fenris Dachshund.

God, see.  The presence of the Fenris Dachshund has already improved this post 53% by its mere mention and this was already a good post to start with. 

What Difference Does Dooce Make?

One of y’all, over here from Dooce, asked what kind of numbers you have.  When Dooce pointed you here, how many of you came?


I get between 285 and 350 hits a day.  When Brittney over at Nashville is Talking links to me, I get about forty more people clicking through.  Unless they know it’s me, then it’s usually lower.  Yes, of course, that makes me laugh and feel a little self-conscious.  Whenever I say something thoughtful about pitbulls and Say Uncle links to me, I get fifty to seventy-five more hits.  When Bitch PhD linked to me, back when I was over at Blogger, she sent three hundred folks my way (at the time I had a readership of about thirty), and I was so freaked out by the thought of all these strangers reading me, I had to force myself to post my next post.


But Dooce?  As of right this second, she’s sent 1,495 of you here.  And you keep coming.


So, there you go.  I’ve lived in towns with less people than Dooce has sent here. 


Whew, that makes me laugh so hard.  I have the ear of an entire village!

What’s It Going to Cost Me?

Dear Church Secretary,

I’ve been trying for a while to articulate good responses to your comments here and not quite succeeding. But I have been mulling. And now I’m on drugs, so I feel compelled to try.

And here’s what troubles me.

In general, I believe you. That we do run roughshod over the rest of the world and our foreign and economic policies don’t always work for the betterment of the whole world. And I get that people are angry at us and that they feel like their anger is justified. I also get that some of them are so angry and feel so helpless that they’ll strike out in whatever sick and fucked up way they can.

And so I see the logic in trying to diffuse the situation by being better global neighbors and trying to understand and counteract their anger.

But here’s what bugs me, and maybe it’s just because I don’t know enough about why the rest of the world hates us, but I suspect that appeasing the rest of the world is going to cost me more than it costs you.

Because, we can talk all the Lexuses and olive trees you want, what I see on the news are not people who hate us because we’re hogging all the resources. They hate us because we’re infidels, because we’re “brainwashed by the evil Jews”, because we ourselves are evil. But it seems to come down to the fact that we’re sinners and that we revel in our sinfulness.

Sure, we can pressure Israel and we can be better about other shit, but in the end, some folks, the folks willing to blow themselves up, don’t want us to exist.

My fear is that you think we should make some efforts not just to understand them, but to appease them. And I look at the things that seem to bother them, not just in our culture, but in their own, and those things are me–loose women with educations and minds of their own.

And I want to know how much of my freedom I’m going to be asked to curtail in order to make people who aren’t comfortable with my existence comfortable.

And until I have some assurances that I’m not going to be asked to behave in order to achieve world peace, I’m not sure I can get onboard with supporting any plans for it.

Fucked-up-edly yours,

Aunt B.

Here’s what concerns me.  Not real people living in other parts of the world.  I am concerned about the story we tell about who they are and what they want–that they “hate our freedom.”  And I am concerned about the reasons for telling that story.  The Church Secretary is right that part of a solution may be to just get used to and accept high gas prices (lord knows Andrew Sullivan would agree).

But you guys (CS and Sullivan) live in cities, with public transportation.  What about most of the people in America who cannot afford housing closer to where they work, who need to drive to get there?

Do you really think that our economy is going to barrel on (so to speak) with gas prices climbing?  If all discretionary income goes to gas…

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked.

I’m not concerned about what real actual people living on the other side of the world want Americans to do.  I’m concerned about what other Americans will want me to do when they’re faced with tough economic times, a fear-mongering administration, and news channels driven by crisis after crisis.

I’m sorry.  I’ve lived here long enough to see how we regularly offer witches up for sacrifice in order to try to appease forces beyond our control.  And “make our women behave” is already a cultural imperative of ours and it’s one that meshes nicely with “They hate our immoral ways” and seems to me to point to “if we can control our women, maybe they won’t hate us so much.”

Considering how much we have to fight against “we need to control our women or God will be pissed” on the right, I just don’t want to see us lefties looking around for a scapegoat and landing on me as well.

In Which I Disprove Intelligent Design in One Word or Less

Migraines.

It makes sense that I would have pain when I have done something stupid.  You put your hand on a hot stove, you get hurt, you don’t put your hand on the hot stove.  You fall for someone who likes you okay but really thinks he deserves a pretty girl, your heart tears right in two, and you don’t waste your time on the likes of him any more.

But what purpose is served by a pain that starts at the base of your neck, stabs right through your sinus cavity, goes crackling right up the back of you eye socket like that fire in a wire, electricity, and then settles at the top of your head like a too-tight halo squooshing your brain?

Did I ever tell you how my grandpa died?  Years of chain-smoking Muriel cigars turned the whole bottom of his brain right along his sinuses into a cancerous rot.

My other grandpa died twice.  Once when he was young–he had a heart attack–but they were able to bring him back and then once again when he was older–another heart attack.

That’s weird, now that I think about it.  I am related to two people who died twice.  My uncle B. died when he was a child of polio and then died again as an old man from complications from post-polio syndrome.  The first time, he just came back on his own.  No medical explanation for how it happened.

Probably, when I get migraines, I shouldn’t sit around and wonder if I’m dying.  But I do.  I took some medicine.  The pain should be subsiding here in a few minutes.

I should have taken something when I felt it coming on, but I have to be honest with you, aside from the pain and the nausea, I kind of find migraines to be interesting.  Things are much more vivid.  I kind of feel like I’m floating.  And things feel really cool.  My sense of touch is heightened and since it feels like my brain has slowed way down, I can amuse myself for a long time just feeling the cup or the water running over my hand as I wait for it to get cold, or the dog sliding by my foot, which is sliding against the carpet.

I haven’t learned anything enlightening, though, other than that I need to shave my legs.