Why One Might Not Flaunt an Endorsement by Tennessee Right to Life

Well, y’all, it turns out that I’m a political blogger (even if Kleinheider seems to question whether or not I deserve the title) and as such, I’m going to take the opportunity to blog about Tennessee Politics.

Bill Hobbs today has a post questioning why Democratic State Senator Doug Henry is not flaunting his endorsement by Tennessee Right to Life.

Is Sen. Henry afraid that being too public about his endorsement by
a pro-life group would anger the pro-abortion voters amongst the
left-leaning groups that have endorsed him? Has Sen. Henry decided to
focus on turning out the Democratic base for him in the November
election? Is he abandoning Republicans and conservative Democrats who
have kept him in office in the many long years since his district’s
political demographics shifted decidedly Republican?

Whatever the reason, it is clear that Sen. Henry isn’t proud to have
been endorsed by the state’s leading pro-life organization – and it is
equally clear that pro-life moderates and conservatives in the 21st
Senate District have good reason to wonder if Sen. Henry is abandoning
their cause in his hunt for more votes from liberal special interests
in a district that is increasingly conservative.

I have two minor questions–1.  How does one become the leading pro-life organization?  and 2.  How is this proof that Henry is ashamed?  I’m not clear on that. 

Now, I’m not voting for Henry, as my vote has already been promised to that cutie Bob Krumm.  And I’m pro-abortion (not that I think that everyone should have an abortion, but in that I think it’s none of your business what a woman and her doctor decide is necessary for her and that I believe abortions should be legal and that our efforts to curb abortions should go into making it as easy as possible for women to make a positive choice to have children, which you all already know, but I say again anyway).  But still, a quick perusal of the Tennessee Right to Life website gives me some indication that there might be other good reasons why Henry would not flaunt an endorsement from these folks, with “being ashamed that folks might realize he’s anti-abortion” not even being on the list.

Let’s count them, shall we? 

1. Their numbers seem wonky.  For instance, they report an estimated 1,312,990 abortions in 2002.  The CDC reports that there were roughly 854,122 abortions in 2002.  The number of abortions performed each year is not as high as they suggest and is in fact declining.

2.  “MYTH: The typical abortive women is a poor, black teen.

FACT: Two-thirds of women getting abortions are between the ages of 20 and 24. 
Sixty-eight percent are white.  And two-thirds have an annual income of over $11,000.”

As Senator Allen can attest, it’s bad news for politicians to be too closely linked with things that carry even a hint of racism.  Suggesting that abortions are a real problem because white women have them (and would be less of a problem if the myth that the typical woman having an abortion is a poor, black teenager was true) has a strong hint of racism.

3.  Tennessee Right to Life mocks non-Christian belief systems–“Father God never said ANYTHING about a mother earth”–and Henry may not wish to alienate potential voters by aligning himself with an organization that disparages the beliefs of non-monotheists.

I could go on, but I’m rapidly running out of time.  But those are three big reasons why someone who is anti-abortion might be reticent to align himself with Tennessee Right to Life without it having anything to do with him turning his back on his cause. 




Peoples and Sequins

I hate the word ‘peoples.’  Hate it.  I also hate ‘persons.’

 I hate persons because the plural of person is people.

I hate peoples because people is already plural.

What other word in the English language is a double plural?  I can’t think of any.

On top of that, it’s always the most pretentious people who use the words persons and peoples.

 And also, I am trying hard to be grumpy today, but it’s made completely impossible by the fact that the bathroom floor is covered in sequins.  I defy you to sit on a toilet you’ve had to brush sequins off of and look down at a bunch of sequins on the floor of your bathroom, which is in a non-descript office building, and not laugh.

What the fuck?

Who’s wearing sequins?  And why?

Shoot, I thought I was feeling fancy in my new skirt and someone’s got sequins. 

I Don’t Like Uncle Tupelo or Bands that Sound Like Uncle Tupelo

I just realized that yesterday.  I don’t actively dislike Uncle Tupelo–I’m not going around kicking Uncle Tupelo fans or anything–, but I don’t think they’re nearly as great as their reputation.  They’re just a band and a band a little too in love with the sound of their own unique spot in history.


But why would you want to be a band that sounds like Uncle Tupelo?

Yesterday, when Mrs. Wigglebottom and I were walking by the big red brick house, we heard blaring, at six in the morning, what sounded like Uncle Tupelo.  And when we got around to the back of the house, the porch light was still on and there were two young hipsters standing by an open car door, listening to some band that sounds like Uncle Tupelo, and the one was pointing out stuff on the CD case to the other.

There are times, when you live in Nashville, where you cannot help but think, "Holy shit.  How weird is it that I live in Nashville?"  I feel like that when I’m staring out the windows at the Hall of Fame or when I’m wandering around the guest parking at Sony BMG looking for an obvious front entrance or when I was standing on stage at the Belcourt, just me and a microphone, just like everyone else who’s ever stood on stage at the Belcourt, from the Opry on down.

And I felt like I was intruding a little bit on what was clearly one of those moments for these guys–where you’ve been up all night because you’re so excited about this thing you think you’ve got a hold of, this thing you think is going to transform you from living in Nashville to living in Nashville.

Who knows?   Maybe they’re right.

But I kind of suspect that a band that sounds just like Uncle Tupelo might not be the thing that helps you make that leap.

Blue Monday

The Butcher has decided that he might start looking for a new job in a couple of months.  My dad has started a subtle, yet effective, campaign to get us up to Illinois to see their new house. 

I get tired of how easily the same old shit sneaks up on me.

Today, I stumbled across something that had my name and “Age: 32” on it and I was like, my god, maybe I’m too old to be still living like this, like I’m still waiting for things to start.

You know what I hate most about me, aside from the crippling insecurity?  It’s that I think I feel terrible things much more thoroughly than I feel the good things.  I’m terrible about good things.  I tuck them away, like one might put a beautiful butterfly in a box, only to take it out later and find that it crumbles to dust when you touch it.

Last year, I worked on something that meant a lot to me.  I worked my ass off on it and when the time for accolades came, I didn’t get any.  Which is fine, in some regards; it’s the nature of my job.  And I don’t know how to graciously accept accolades anyway.

I don’t know where I’m going with this.

To speak in vague terms, something else good is happening with this project and I had to set aside some time recently and draw together the materials so that the person who’s facilitating this good thing–getting some shit you’d think would be on the national historical places list already on there where it belongs–could have some maps and photos she needed for her presentation.

I invisibly facilitate other people’s successes.  I’m good at it because I like to see people succeed and I have no ability to imagine myself as successful in their place; I don’t get in the way of the work I do.  I’m good at my job because I accept my place as being invisible.

Sometimes I have these moments that feel like I feel when I’m up too high.  When I’m up too high, I literally cannot make my body move.  I can’t hear anything; it’s like the noise of the world just turns off.  It’s like the terror makes me deaf.

Ha, it’s funny.  Sometimes I get so mad I can’t hear either.  I wonder if that’s a form of synesthesia?

Anyway, I have these moments where I just want to go ahead and fling myself into fear and doubt.  I’m suspicious that, if I could just give myself over to it and let myself work through it, I could get over it and get on with things.

But there’s no one here but me to keep things moving.  And so I don’t.

I do wonder if I could learn to start invisibly facilitating my own successes.

Here’s what’s bugging me.  I don’t feel different than you.  I never have.  I feel like I must be just like everyone else, except less sure of myself.  I can remember when Shug’s cousin took me aside and said “We’ve never known anyone like you.  You’re not like anybody else here.”  The weight of that “we.”  Or when my grandpa told my cousin I was a very weird girl.

Maybe that’s why I never really rebelled–I was always on the outside, somehow.

I don’t know.  I say things aren’t different, but they are.  Writing makes them different.  I used to be able to write wallowing posts where I’d sit here and cry and exorcise all my demons and it’d be hard, but god damn, it’d feel better.

I don’t write like that any more.  I don’t know if there aren’t any big demons left to slay or what.  Or if we’re just beyond the things I recognize as being problems and kind of drifting out into uncharted territory.

I’m afraid I’m too weird for you.

I’m afraid I’m not good enough for you.

And I’m afraid in saying that that you’re all going to rush in and say nice and supportive things and I won’t know how to respond both because I don’t know how to experience the full weight of good things and also because what’s fucked up in me you can’t fix, even though I really wish you could, and so kindness from others is kind of beside the point.

I didn’t like the cathartic posts, but I liked how they helped me feel better once they were out–like cutting out something rotted.  This is more like trying to stab at bugs with a fork.  There’s no great revelations, no catharsis, just me and this anxious feeling that I’m doing it wrong.

And I worry that doing it publicly makes it less likely that you will love me.  But I worry that, if I don’t do it publicly, I won’t have the guts to do it at all.

So, there you go.

I should probably get a hobby, like drinking myself into a stupor or pressing flowers.