Ivy Insults the Old Man

In a post shockingly titled "Wednesday, My Ass", Ivy says

I hate how the word "Wednesday" is spelled. Why is it pronounced "Wends-day" and it is spelled "Wed-nes_day"? 

Ivy, my heart!  You’ve hurt my heart! How can you be mad at a day named after the coolest god ever?

It’s spelled Wednesday because it’s Wodan’s day.  It’s pronounced Wensday because the English mumble.  They’ve got places like Woodway House and Wansdyke and Wensley that are all named after Woden.  Shoot, the Swedes aren’t much better.  They’ve got Onsala, Onson, Onsberget, Onsatter, Onsjo, and Onslunda all named after Odin.

Just remember that it’s Wodan’s day and you’ll always get your d and n in the right order.

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Armed America

Exador sent me this link to a photographer who’s working on a project, taking pictures of people with their guns.  I’m highly suspicious, just based on stories I’ve heard, that the dude second from the left on the bottom row is the Legal Eagle’s dad.

 What a cool idea, though.  I’d love to see photos of Exador, Sarcastro, Mack, Say Uncle, and such with their guns looking all “I dare you to trample my second amendment rights.”  That would be good fun.

As a side note, I wonder if I can crochet a little gun holster for the LiBEARterian, maybe with a place for him to put his dollars for the strippers… I’m going to have to give that some thought.

With Friends Like This, Who Needs Enemies?

Liz Garrigan, the editor of The Nashville Scene, is having a baby. Congrats, Liz! I hope it’s a blogger.

Joe Biden can officially suck my butt. Not only are his comments about Obama racist, but what the fuck? He thinks most black politicians are ugly? First, if there’s any liberal alive who doesn’t want to smooch John Conyers just on general principle, I don’t understand it, second, say what you want about their politics, Jesse Jackson Jr., Hank Johnson, and Mel Watt are some fine looking men, and third, I just looked through all of the Congressional Black Caucus and didn’t see anybody who struck me as particularly repulsive. Where on Capitol Hill is Biden finding mainstream black politicians who are ugly? And, no offense, Biden, but it’s not like you’re exceptionally pretty.

Okay, I take it back. Biden is kind of cute. He’s got funky hair, but he’s good looking enough. Still, apparently, he’s got bad taste in men.

An Update–The Cross Your Fingers Edition

As you may recall, I wrote a play and submitted it to a festival out East.  I just heard from Plimco and they don’t hate it and so haven’t rejected it outright.  I guess it’s quite different than the other plays they’re considering and so they want to hear it out loud (so do I!) and then they’ll have to decide if it “meshes” with other plays in a way that would make an evening of theater-going.


So, citizens of Earth, please, please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Your Morning Weather Report

Damn it’s cold out!  If you’re going to take the dog out before seven, you need a hat and some mittens.  Well, if you can time travel, and are planning to take the dog out before seven, then you need a hat and some mittens.

It is so cold I thought I’d be able to just snap my fingers right off.  I wonder how the dog can stand it, but she seems to love it.  She whines before we go out because I’m not moving fast enough for her tastes, and then she wants to sniff everything, pee on everything, and just generally run around like a wild woman while she’s out there.

Well, to each her own, I say.

It’s supposed to snow tomorrow and, if it does, I’ll try to get you some video of her running around in it, trying to catch all the flakes in her mouth.

Recognition

I came home from work today to find the Butcher sprawled out on the floor in front of the TV.


“How was your day?” He asked and I said, “I hate my life.”


He asked, “Why?”


And I said, “No good reason.  Nothing bad happened.  Everything is fine.  I’m just miserable.”


And he said, “I know just what you mean.”


And you know, that’s the thing about brothers, when your brother says “I know just what you mean,” you know it’s the truth.  You know he’s looking right at you and really seeing you as a person he has loved his whole life and who he knows as well as he knows himself.  And it’s like you can put it down for a while, whatever it is that you’re carrying around with you, you can just leave it right there at the front door, recognized, acknowledged, and of no consequence, at least for a while.


“We could run away and become train engineers or conductors, whichever.  It doesn’t really matter to me.” He said.


“Is there a difference?”‘


“Does it matter?”


“No, I guess not.”


There’s a contentious theory that before the Indo-European invasion of Europe, European people lived in matrifocal tribes, where the primary family unit was a woman and her brother(s) and her children, and, if she was alive, the woman’s mother.  Lovers came and went, but the mother’s brother was constant and responsible for performing the duties we now assign to fathers.


It’s said you can still see the echoes of this in some old European mythology–the faint suggestion of the important role of the mother’s brother.  Odin, for instance, learns his most powerful charms from his matrilineal uncle.


I dread the day the Butcher leaves me.  I always hope it’s just some indefinite day in the future that won’t soon actually come to pass.  Anyway, it’s not today, which is good, because I got through today in large part because he made dinner and watched NCIS with me, even though I don’t think he even likes the show.


I’m lucky to have him.  And I mean that in the holiest sense of the word.


 


—–

I Have Heard the End of the War

When Toby Keith is running around saying he never did support the War in Iraq and Darryl “Have You Forgotten” Worley is singing a song with the following lyrics

‘Cause I just came back
From a place where they hated me
And everything I stand for
A land where our brothers are dying for others
Who don’t even care anymore

you know the public is done with it.  Mark my words, when Darryl Worley’s song is getting played on mainstream country music stations, you’re hearing clear evidence that middle America has had it.  And if you can’t keep middle America on board, you don’t have troops and if you don’t have troops, you don’t have a war.

That Worley song is as close to a protest song about this war as I have heard on mainstream radio. 

Virgin Sacrifices

Shoot, that title’s so good, I almost just want to leave it hanging up there by itself, no post beneath it, to just let y’all mull it over while it evokes things.


But that’s not my style, so on with the actual writing.


Yesterday was Mull Over Virginity Day in Nashville.  First Sam Davidson had a thoughtful post on it here and then the folks over at Nashville is Talking took a crack at it here.


I actually think it’s about time to do away with this whole concept of virginity anyway. 


No, hear me out.


First, the burden of virginity rests unfairly on women and girls.  As Sam points out, when we’re talking about virgins, we’re almost always talking about women and how to control their sexuality.


Second, it unfairly stigmatizes victims of rape.  Victims of rape have a hard enough time; it’s bullshit for us to impose some standard of purity that means that an act of violence against them has “tainted” them.


Third, it privileges a model of sexual intercourse that is penis-in-vagina.  Are folks who are licking each others genitals not having sex?  If a dick goes in a butt, is that not sex?  If fingers slide into orifices, doesn’t that count for something?


Which, third-and-a-half, leads religious and community leaders to believe that, by teaching abstinence only, they’re teaching kids THE way to insure no pregnancies and no diseases, while kids find the loopholes and believe that they can “abstain” and still buttfuck each other–which is a very easy way to spread all kinds of fun diseases–and, please, if these kids aren’t using protection when they’re “not having sex” accidents can still happen.


Fourth, it’s misandrous.  If women are “pure” until they come in contact with a penis and, if by coming in contact with a penis, they are tainted and ruined and whore-ified forever, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what the problem is: penises are dirty, nasty, gross things attached to vile men who cannot control their basest urges and so must run around, in spite of themselves, ruining women they care about.  And they say feminists are man-haters!  Whew.


What is a better way?


One, we need to split our religious expectations from our secular needs.  As a society, we need for as many folks as possible to get a good education and to get themselves on firm financial footing.  This is harder if you contract some kind of chronic illness or if you have a child to support.  Not impossible, but much harder.  We need for folks to be well-informed about the consequences of sexual activity and that waiting until you’re ready to have sex in order to be best prepared to face those consequence is best.


We also need to teach folks the importance of the enthusiastic ‘yes’–that you do not do things to someone until he or she resists you so strongly you can’t deny to yourself any longer that they mean ‘no,’ but that you ask up front and then again whenever you’re not sure and then go forward doing things with someone who is happy to be doing things back to you.


And we need to teach folks that one “yes” does not make you tainted forever.  If you do it and like it and are safe, fine, continue doing it in a fun and safe manner.  If you do it and don’t like it, you don’t have to do it again.


Maybe things have changed since I was in high school, but I knew girls who had sex once, weren’t in love with it, but continued to do it, because they felt like the damage had already been done.


I hope I don’t have to point out to you how fucked up that attitude is.


This is clearly a more permissive attitude than some church folks would like (though I don’t think it’s incompatible, necessarily).  But I’m slowly beginning to realize how enormously different the role of the church and the role of the state have to be and how dangerous it is when those two are conflated.


The state can say, “Here’s all the information you need in order to make an informed decision.  Here are the consequences.  Go forth.”


But the church can say, “Here’s how you should act.”  The church doesn’t have to give you a reason why.  And it doesn’t have to be fair.  But the state must constantly try to balance the rights of the individual against the needs of the community.


I think you can see this most clearly brought into focus in terms of the abortion debate.  Most people in America believe abortion is, in some sense, wrong.  And many people think that, since it’s wrong, it should be illegal.  But when you sit down and try to talk about what that will mean–if abortion is murder, will we execute the women who have them?  Put them in prison for the rest of their lives?  How many more detectives will we have to hire to investigate every still birth to make sure that it was “natural” and not the result of criminal negligence on the part of the mother?  If a fetus is a person with the same rights as a woman, aren’t there many times under the law when a person is justified in taking another person’s life?  etc.–and most people will start to dither.  Well, not for their whole lives; well, maybe it’s not really murder; well, no, we’d just prosecute the doctors; well, no, I guess we wouldn’t want to bother people who had just lost wanted pregnancies; blah, blah, blah.


In other words, they want a religious solution–Do not have an abortion!  No!  Because we said so, end of discussion–instead of a legal discussion, which would impose criminal penalties on women (and, in effect, acknowledge that abortions would still continue to take place), but they want the state to impose it.


I think the same thing is going on with abstinence-only education.  They want a religious solution imposed by the state.  And, because we’re not a theocracy, there’s no way for that to work effectively or to make either side happy with the result.


———


Obviously, I’m using the term “church” in an overly-broad sense that breaks down the second you get into particulars.

They Tell Me It’s All Happening At the Zoo

I emailed my dad and asked him to send me a baby photo for use at Sarcastro’s baby shower.  I don’t know what it’s going to be used for, so I’m not going to post it here in case it’s some kind of “Match the blogger with her baby photo” game, but let me just say that I think my photo is a.) cute as hell and b.) going to make people guess Coble instead of me, based on the thematic decor in the room.


Anyway, my dad called me this afternoon, which I thought was in response to my email, but it turns out, he was just calling to shoot the shit about Microsoft.  You may recall that there was a time when my dad called Microsoft so frequently everyone who answered the phone knew him by name.  He has decided not to upgrade his OS or Office until he hears that the first round of bugs have been worked out.  How he will hear this I’m not sure.  Perhaps his pals at the Microsoft Help Desk will give him a call when the timing is right.


While he was on the phone, he told me this interesting thing.  When my beloved Uncle B. first started teaching, he was living down in Jacksonville, Florida and he rented a house in the zoo, right behind the giraffes.  When my dad would visit him, he could wake up early in the morning and stroll over to the giraffes and talk to them and rub their noses.  Well, not their noses, the part right above their noses where there’s fur, whatever that body part is called.


But isn’t that weird?  A house on zoo grounds?  I’d love to live at the zoo.  Maybe I could get the Nashville Zoo to put us on display.  Just build us a house to live in, but with one side all Plexiglas and we’d just live our lives and folks could look in on us and wonder “Is the girl going to get out of bed?”  “Is the boy really going to put the empty milk jug on the counter when the trash can is right there?”  “If we yell loud enough, will they turn the channel to the big game so we can check the score?”

The LiBEARtarian

Progress on the LiBEARtarian continues slowly. His body is done and his head is done except for the ears. Already, he resembles many of the libertarians who hang out here–grouchy, but redeemed by a cute ass.

I took a picture to show you, but apparently AT&T is hording all my beary goodness.

—–

Update on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 07:27AM

Seriously, you’re going to tell me this is not the cutest bear ever?  Well, aside from Mr. Stitches, I mean.

Tonight I shall make him some ears!

libeartarian.jpg

Bill Hobbs

Dear Mr. Hobbs,

I promise to never say a word against you ever again if you can explain but three things to me.

1. What will a victory in the war in Iraq constitute? What will it look like? What will be the role of our troops in bringing it about?

2. What will a victory in the war on Terror look like? Seriously. How will we know when we’ve won?

3. Considering your personal wealth and your wide-spread readership and your influence in state and local politics, don’t you ever think it’s just a little funny when you go around bitching about the cultural elites? Who do you think you are?

Love,

Aunt B.

Still, a girl can hope.

Dream Analysis

Between the time the alarm went off and I woke up, I had this dream, that I was back at my old college, because I desperately needed to talk to my favorite college professor, and I found her, finally, after trudging through the snow all over campus in my dress shoes, and I told her that I hated my “present circumstances.”


And that I felt so paralyzed by guilt over how obnoxious it is to have “circumstances” that seem perfect for me and that a lot of folks would kill to have and over how afraid I am that I’ve topped out and that any other set of circumstances I might find myself in would be worse and I would forever live with the regret of not having stuck with the good stuff I had, when I had it, that I couldn’t see a way out.  Shoot, I couldn’t even motivate myself to figure out what direction to start in to find a way out.


And so she took me to her house and chained me to her toilet and I sat in her back bathroom where everyone who came in the house kindly said hello to me as they walked by.


I woke up but had no motivation to get out of bed.  Finally, when I realized that I was thinking about just staying in bed all day, I got scared and got moving.


I don’t think it takes an expert to see that I really just want someone to tell me what to do, to point me in the right direction, give me a list of things, and I’ll go down the list getting them done.  That made me an excellent student.  It has made me a somewhat mediocre adult.


No, I take that back.  I wish it made me a mediocre adult, because then I’d have an excuse.


But here’s what I’m like.  I’m like an unformed blob of chaotic energy.  If you focus me, I can turn that energy towards all kinds of fun and cool stuff.  But I am not structured.  I need that structure to come from outside me.  I need someone else to impose a framework instead of “allowing” me to build my own, because it is very hard for me to build my own.  That’s not where my strength or interest lies.


But if you just put pressure on me, all I do is spread thinly across everything.  And if you then get mad at me for spreading thinly across everything, it pisses me off.


Anyway, all this is kind of beside the point.


In a perfect world, I would own a spooky occult bookshop and be a tour guide, while writing my liberal feminist kick-ass newspaper column.  I think I’d make a good tour guide.  After all, what are we doing here every day, but me giving you a tour of what’s going on in my brain?


And y’all seem to like that.


Anyway, I feel better.  I’m sorry to keep bitching about this, as I know it’s got to be boring to most of you, but it’s obvious that I’ve got to do something to change my circumstances, but that requires focusing my energy, and that requires building some structure to do it.  All this complaining is a lot of foundational work towards that.

Why Don’t the Ghosts of the Civil War Do My Dishes?

If the Butcher hasn’t been home all night, who ate the cookies?  Neverminding the other three mammals in my house, I know it wasn’t me, which leaves only the Ghosts of the Civil War, which leaves me with my first question.


I don’t mind if they want to hang out and use our can opener and eat our snack foods, but you’d think they could also pitch in on some of the chores.


Yes, if I had my way, naked libertarians would clean my bathroom and the Ghosts of the Civil War would do my dishes.


 


 


(Just to clarify, I’m assuming that the Butcher came home at some point, after I went to bed, ate the cookies, and went back out from which he’s yet to return.  But if it is the Ghosts of the Civil War, that would be cool.)

I Made a Bear!

bear1.jpg

Y’all, I learned something in the making of this bear. I learned that finishable tasks make me happy. I like to start out with nothing, work for a while, and have something. A job in which others start out with nothing, work for a while, pass their work off to me, and I work for a while, and we pass it off to someone else and they work for a while, and then we have something?

Not that great for me.

Anyway, I found this pattern on the internet. It was pretty simple, though the bear I ended up with looks nothing like the bear in the picture. As you’ll see if you compare the photos, my bear ended up with a bigger muzzle and is not so floppy.

Also, if you look carefully, the bear in their picture seems to have very long arms and short stubby legs.

Frankly, I don’t see how they could have gotten that look unless they flipped the bear’s arms and legs. So, if you’re going to try this at home, be aware that the “arms” are short and the “legs” are long and so if you want the opposite look, you should consider flipping them.

Also, when you do up the head, you are starting at the head and working your way to the neck. This is important to realize when you put the eyes on, otherwise, you’ll have to have the Butcher (or someone else strong) come and pop the eyes off some you can replace them when you’ve figured out your mistake.

They don’t tell you what order to put things together in, but if I were going to do it again (and I am. I have a shit ton of stuffing and another set of eyes), I’d put the arms, legs, and body together at once. Then I’d put the muzzle on the head and place my eyes then. Then I’d put the ears on (I think I ended up with much better ear placement than they did) and then sew the completed head to the completed body.

Also, count your stitches or you will end up with a bear with some kind of butt problem (as I have).

Anyway, easy enough pattern (it’s all single stitch except for four half double crochet stitches and it’s good sewing practice), goes fast enough, and cute enough bear. We’ll see how the next one turns out.

bear2.jpg

Sense and Nonsense

–Vol Abroad, I’m trying to eat breakfast here!  This made me laugh so hard I about choked on a bran flake.

–I’m sorry.  Is this "Three Year old With Camera" meaning you were able to capture these images of a present (or absent) three year old with your camera or is this "The things my three year old took pictures of with my camera"?  Because if it is the latter?  Your kid takes much better pictures than me.  I’m almost embarrassed to continue to post mine.  Almost.

–Carter, as usual, you and I are going to fight.  I have to insist you stop talking about "biblical marriage" as if that’s some monolithic agreed-upon definition.  You have a brain and you are a Christian and so I KNOW YOU KNOW BETTER.  Good lord, at least twice a week, I feel like Jiminy Cricket to your wooden boy.  Will you have to be half turned into an ass before you start listening to me?

First, the definition of what marriage is is not consistent in the Bible itself.  In the Old Testament, you have the one man, one wife model, the one man, one wife, one concubine model, the one man, multiple wives model, the one man, multiple wives, multiple concubines model, and there may be others that are slipping my mind.  It’s not until the New Testament that we see Jesus recognizing the one man, one woman model (and even then, he says nothing about it being for procreation).

Was marriage in the Old Testament just for procreation?  I don’t know.  Let’s look at God’s attitude.  Did God, who I remind you regularly stopped by to sit around and shoot the shit, ever suggest to Abram and Sarai that they weren’t really married because they didn’t have kids?  No.  And you’d think maybe He’d mention that to the central figure in three major religions, a man He visited as a friend.

Did Abram and Sarai desperately want children?  Yes, every Sunday Schooler in the land knows that.  But, if you read that story, those children were not coming.  Sarai was not capable of having children when she was young and then she got too old.  At no point before God’s miracle does God say, "Oh, ha, ha, fuckers, you don’t have a real marriage because I’m busy punishing you for the way I made you."  God recognizes a marriage that cannot, without His intervention, bring forth children as a legitimate marriage.

Who do you Christians think you are to do otherwise?  Can marriages lead to children?  Yes.  Are marriages that can’t lead to children not real?  No, they are not not real, as evidenced by God Himself recognizing them as legitimate.

 

Oh, David Foster Wallace, I Remember Now Why I Hate You

From Salon.com:

I like to teach freshman lit because ISB gets a lot of rural students who aren’t very well educated and don’t like to read. They’ve grown up thinking that literature means dry, irrelevant, unfun stuff, like cod liver oil. Getting to show them some more contemporary stuff — the one we always do the second week is a story called “A Real Doll,” by A.M. Homes, from “The Safety of Objects,” about a boy’s affair with a Barbie doll. It’s very smart, but on the surface, it’s very twisted and sick and riveting and real relevant to people who are 18 and five or six years ago were either playing with dolls or being sadistic to their sisters. To watch these kids realize that reading literary stuff is sometimes hard work, but it’s sometimes worth it and that reading literary stuff can give you things that you can’t get otherwise, to see them wake up to that is extremely cool.

1.  No one calls it ISB.  It’s not even in Bloomington.  It’s in Normal, which you know, seeing as how your dad was a fucking professor over at the U of I while you were growing up.  You grew up less than an hour away from the school you teach at and you don’t even know that it’s ISU?  Or State?

2.  Oh, thank you precious savior of rural kids.  We are all stupid hicks who hate books.

That being said, I’ve now hated the man more than a decade.   And, in retrospect, it still irks me that a man who’s supposedly so devoted to words can’t accurately represent, with words, where he was teaching.

And it hurts my pride that he thinks his students, of which I could have been one, had I but chosen the other end of University to make my home, are all ignorant hicks.

But maybe instilling a love of reading in folks who otherwise wouldn’t have it is not such a bad goal.  So, David Foster Wallace, I forgive you.  Let’s move on.

Not together.  You stay over there and I’ll stay over here, but you know, on in our separate ways. 

In Which I Respond to My Critics

Listen, do I think it’s "right" for the CBC to not include Cohen?  No.  But Cohen, by publicly hinting that he might join and giving what seems like an incredibly reasonable reason for wanting to join–he represents a majority black district–and getting shot down, raised every reasonable and nuanced point there is to raise.  Does the CBC exist to serve the needs of black Congress members or folks with large black constituencies?  Before now, the CBC had been letting those two goals remain conveniently conflated.  Now, they’ve had to articulate that the first priority of the CBC is aiding black members of Congress.

If there are voters who assumed that the first priority of the CBC was to band together to pool resources to best serve their black constituents, now they know that that’s not the case and they can do what they will with that information.

Cohen’s points are proven.  What’s the most important point he’s proven to his voters back home?  That they are not losing out on an important source of power by electing a white man (who can’t join the CBC) instead of a black man (who can) because the CBC is not about empowering their black constituencies, but about hording power for themselves.

Here are my problems with y’all’s "outrage."

1.  People are assholes.  Running around acting shocked because black people also act like assholes makes it seem like you hold black people to a higher standard of conduct than you do for the rest of us, like there’s something terribly wrong with black people acting like the rest of us.

2.  Yes, discrimination is wrong, but we still live in a country that, for the most part, has a system in place the benefits white people, men especially.  If a police officer pulls you over, you don’t immediately have to assume you’re going to jail.  Did either of your parents teach you the importance of never even attracting the attention of a cop?  How many times have you been told that, if you’re assaulted, you must immediately tell others and report it immediately to the police and immediately go to the hospital and immediately make yourself available to whoever has questions for you, because you have to get people to believe that something happened to you for you to even begin to get justice for it?  And if so, did you ever have any doubt that, if you showed them bruises and scratches, you’d be believed?  Have you ever reported an assault against you only to have the police open an investigation into you and your friends?

Yes, shitty things happen to white people.  And the farther down the social ladder you get, the shittier the shit you’re forced to eat is, but there’s not that same weight of the whole system against you all the time.  It’s just not.

And that’s the difference.  Black people can and do discriminate against white people (because black people are people and people are assholes) but black people cannot, for the most part, bring the whole weight of the system down on white people whereas, when a white person gets it in his head to be a fucker to a black person?  The threat of the weight of the whole system is there and that is very different.

It’s Better than Bad! It’s Good!

If I don’t keep an eye on her, Mrs. Wigglebottom exhibits alarming libertarian tendencies.

“Why can’t I run around naked if I want? My body; my choice.”

“Why are we stopping at this traffic light? Go, damn it, I want to get to the park and traffic laws are clearly for wussies.”

“Hey, you, other dog there on the side of the road. Yeah, you! If I had a gun, I might shoot you. What do you think of that?”

“You know, when the zombie apocalypse comes, we’re going to need a source of heat. Let’s bring this log home.”

As one might imagine, after trying to carry it in her mouth half a block, she decided that breaking it up into smaller pieces might make transporting it easier.
log1.jpg

log2.jpg

 

David Foster Wallace

I used to hate David Foster Wallace, when I was in college and he was teaching at "the Illinois State University at Normal" (or did he say "Bloomington"?  I can’t remember) as if there’s any other one and no one calls it "the Illinois State University" anyway, fucker.  Drop the "the" or just call it "State" or run off to Pomona where, had I known you were there, I would have felt compelled to spit on your office door.

Why?

That’s a good question.

I don’t know.  

I haven’t ever read one of his books. 

But I hated how kids would go over to State to take his creative writing class and come back to our class like God himself had breathed right in their mouths.  And I hated how he slouched around town with his stupid bandana being singularly unfriendly and better than us. 

I hated him because he seemed to be ashamed to be some place so ordinary.

Maybe he was just shy. 

Temptation

Oh, Smiley, I have to show you something so awesome that I about can’t stand it.  I’m not suggesting this is something you should do, mind you.  I’m just saying, don’t click on this link if you don’t want to see the possibility of your home life changing dramatically for the more awesome.

Here it is.

Ready?

Click here.

White Lesson in Divide and Conquer

So, I demanded that Kleinheider provide me the name of just one Jewish White Nationalist so that I could google said person and laugh at him.

And there really is such a dude, Michael Levin, though–imagine this!–he seems to have fallen out with some White Nationalists over their “perceived” anti-Semitism.

In poking around the internet, I learned a couple of things. One that White Nationalists make a distinction between racist–actively hating other groups–and racialist–just being concerned with racial differences. And the other is that White Nationalists consider themselves to be White Separatists, which they consider to be different than White Supremacists, because they don’t want to rule over other races, they don’t want anything to do with them.

I am white. Obviously. I am completely unconcerned about whether I live in a country that is 65% white or 5% white. I cannot wrap my brain around why I should give a shit about this. I don’t look at the accomplishments of other white people as somehow reflecting on my value as a person. I don’t feel loyalty to folks based solely on their skin color.

It’s true that almost all of my friends are white. But they’re not just white. They tend to be either working class or newly minted middle class white folks. They tend to be very interested in spirituality, religion, and/or the supernatural. They tend to be snarky and a little prickly. A lot of them come from strange family situations. Shoot, a lot of them are from the Midwest. In other words, my friends tend to be like the people I am familiar with and people I feel familiar with tend to become my friends.

That’s not to say that I’m closed off to being friends with folks who don’t share that background, but I need to feel some common ground with them–a shared smartypants attitude, similar situations, or a love of yakking on the internet. Or whatever. But something.

It’s that shared whatever that makes me feel loyal to someone. Or makes me feel the stirrings of loyalty, anyway.
I don’t feel that with white people just because they’re white.

The thing is that I don’t think that a lot of… Whitist folks (to lump the White Nationalists and the White Supremacists back together under a slightly different umbrella) feel very loyal to white people based on their race either. If they did, why are they so angry at other white people, worrying about what we’re doing and who we’re doing it with, as if whiteness is some delicate condition that must be protected, sometimes violently, or else it is lost.

Well, are we strong or are we not?

I suspect that Whitist folks don’t love white people as we are now, but are, instead, in love with the idea of what white people could be if only we… I don’t know… awoke to our cosmic destiny or cut off all contact with non-whites or set up Concerned Citizens Councils everywhere, what we could be if we felt loyal to each other based only on our skin color.

This is a big problem for Whitists, then. They have to continually “prove” that we white people are different and better than the rest of you in order to advance their agenda of getting white people to act like we’re different and should be separate from the rest of you.

I was thinking of that stupid ass Aryan who had all the tattoos on his face, and how really, the distinction between the two groups–the separatists and the supremacists–is really a matter of class. White separatists depend on these working class mostly men to do the immediate work of keeping racial and ethnic distinctions and strife front and center while separatists never get their hands dirty with policing society. They ” benefit” from the work white supremacists do, but let’s not kid ourselves, if white supremacists managed to accomplish their goals, the white separatists would never accept them as equal brothers.

I mean, it’s hard for me to imagine that Michael Levin, professor of philosophy at CUNY would be that excited about treating the men in the Aryan Nation as his fellow white people.

But let’s get back to Kleinheider, who is up in arms over Steve Cohen being denied membership in the Congressional Black Caucus, who says,

But it is not even about that, not really. I mean if the CBC wants to shut out folks that want to lend a hand, that’s fine but don’t then come to the county at large, a majority white nation, and then ask for redress of past grievance and reparations for slavery and so forth.
Because if you shut out Cohen,you are not only shutting out the 60% of black folks in Cohen’s district, you are shutting out the 80.4% of this country who share Steve Cohen’s skin hue.

Where to start?

First, the Wikipedia link he gives states that 75% of Americans self-identify as white, not 80.4%. Second, how many white folks do you think even remotely give shit whether Cohen can be in the Congressional Black Caucus? Half? A quarter? And they’re going to feel shut out? Shut out of what, exactly?

Third, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, etc. Oh, my god. You’re right. White people were just about to sit down and address black people’s concerns, all 215,333,394 of us white only identified folks were finally going to be open to hear the what was on the mind of the 34,962,569 black only identified folks, but those 43 black congressmembers just ruined it for everyone.

That’s right, black people. Forty three of you “insult” one guy who most Whitists don’t even consider white and the truth is out. It’s not that we rigged the drug laws so that your boys would go to prison for offenses our boys get probation for, it’s not that we used to regularly kill you whenever we imagined you were being inappropriate with our women and still sometimes kill you just for shits and giggles, it’s not that you have harder times getting mortgages and getting fair rates when you do, that you still can’t get fair deals on cars, that there are still cities across the country where it’s not a good idea for you to live, that you have disproportionate health problems, that the public schools your kids attend disproportionately suck, that whenever you see a black person on the screen, if he’s not a rapper, an athlete, or Oprah, chances are his name is Marcus, and he’s magic or some white person is saving him, etc. etc. etc.

No, it’s that in January of 1969, thirteen people started a club and now the forty three members of that club won’t let a white guy in and so now it’s plain as day, you are oppressing us and we’re not going to stand for it any more.

Whew. Okay, that was good for a laugh, but lets get back to the point. There are five hundred and thirty five voting members of Congress and only forty three members of the CBC. The CBC therefore has very limited power and probably the extent of the power they can count on having at any given time is controlling who’s in the CBC.

HOWEVER, let us not forget that they don’t let poor people into Congress and so this is basically a skirmish amongst millionaires that has nothing to do with the rest of our lives. Trying to turn it into some referendum on how race works, trying to get working class white people outraged at how one group of millionaires treats another, is again about motivating working class white people to see the “importance” of remaining loyal to our race instead of seeing our commonalities with other poor people.

Let us not fail to see that.

 

*Who really should blog more.

Ancient Spell

I came across this story about a spell written on an Egyptian tomb which may be the world’s oldest Semetic text.  The whole thing is cool, but I especially love that “Believing that some snakes spoke the Semitic language of the
Canaanites, Egyptians included the magic spells in inscriptions on two
sides of the sarcophagus in an effort to ward them off.”

Why yes, it makes perfect sense that some snakes would speak the Semitic language of the Canaanites.  How else could Eve have understood the serpent in the Garden?

I tease, but I also wonder.

There’s a theory that the story of the expulsion from the Garden is about Yahweh’s ascendancy over a goddess, possibly Ishtar, to whom the tree of Knowledge and the serpent would have been sacred.  This theory goes something like this–the two creation myths in the Bible are not incompatible.  All gods got together and created men and women and then set about focusing on the men and women who they would claim as their own, tight focus in on the protagonist of our story, Yahweh, and his folks.

Other gods work as teams, but Yahweh wants to be the only god of his people.  Fine, except that there are other gods around, using the same land with their people nearby.  So Yahweh has to make a rule–do what you want, but stay away from this (or these, depending on if you read the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life as the same or different trees) tree (leaving unspoken, “because it belongs to that goddess and hanging out at that tree might accidentally run you into her”).

And yet, if you read it this way, your heart almost breaks for Eve.  Here she is, faced every day, with God coming into the Garden in the cool of the evening, looking, as He does, like a man, like Adam.  And there, near the Tree that is forbidden to them, a Sacred being visits that she resembles.  That impulse, to see yourself as truly belonging to the Universe and not just an afterthought hastily scraped together out of bone and mud, it’s compelling and understandable.

Did I have a point?  I can’t remember.  The Tylenol is kicking in.

It’s just that there’s something compelling to me about the serpents that speak the same language as the Semetic people, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. 

The Headache

This morning, as Mrs. Wigglebottom and I were walking around the neighborhood, we heard this sound, like a dog squealing in terror as its muzzle is crushed under the weight of some mad man’s boot.

In that moment, you have to decide, will I investigate what is clearly a horrid scene or will I keep walking?

Before we had to make up our minds, I figured out that the sound we were hearing was the train, slowly scraping its wheels against the track, not quite able to gain traction as slick metal slid past slick metal.

It was a relief, let me tell you.  But that unsettled feeling, of barely escaping witnessing something terrible, has stuck with me all day.  And now, a headache has sliced up through my head and across my eyeball.  It hurts to look at things.  It hurts to shut my eye.

I have only two Tylenol left.

I hope it’s enough 

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