Koufax Awards Time

Last year I think Kleinheider went through and nominated a bunch of us lefty blogs for things.  That was kind of him.  Y’all can head over there and nominate folks as you see fit as well.  Someone has nominated Tiny Cat Pants for best consonant blog.  I’m not sure what that means, but I’ll take it.

I’ve got no opinion on who’s the best of anything, but I am going to nominate Rachel for best single-issue blog.  And Mack from Coyote Chronicles as blogger with the dreamiest eyes.

Oh, wait, that’s not a category. 

T for Tennesee (A blue yodel for NM)

NM asked all kinds of questions about Jimmie Rodgers in the context of the thing I’m doing at Plimco’s urging, which, even though I have a rough, rough draft done, I still cannot bring myself to state specifically for fear that I will jinx myself.

But I thought I’d answer her questions in my own half-assed way, anyway.

To start, let’s talk about the fourteenth card of the Major Arcana, Temperance. In some decks, it’s called Art. At first, I think trying to understand the connection between art and temperence can be difficult, when we recall how many artists seem to make second careers out of excess.


But if you think of temperence as finding a balance between two things–one foot on dry land, one in the water, a winged creature on earth, the sun at the horizon, the water mid-way between cups–finding that precarious moment where everything hangs in the balance, it’s easier to see how art fits in. What is the artist if not the conduit between the Source and the mundane?

Here’s an interesting thing to me about country music, especially. The easier it is to point out who all is involved with the creation of a song, the likelier folks are to complain about that song being not “real” country. If you can say, “Well, he wrote it because we needed something radio would play and they played on it and she sang it and he produced it and they’re promoting it,” inevitably, someone’s going to complain that that’s not “real” country.

The more facts you have about a song, the less real it seems. Maybe we should call this Aunt B.’s Country Music Paradox.

And the opposite seems true as well: the less facts you have about a song, the more real it seems.

Same is true of artists.

Think of Patsy Cline.

If you didn’t know she was country, what on her hit songs would give it away?

Not much, I would say. If “real” country music has a certain sound, we ought to decry Cline as the fakest faker that ever did fake. She’s no more authentic country than Faith Hill.

But Cline does something Hill does not. Cline straddles that line between here and There. No matter how much you write about her or read about her or listen to her, I don’t think you could ever say you got her as an artist definitively.

Which brings us, finally, to Jimmie Rodgers.

How do you write about Rodgers without constantly referencing all the lines he’s straddling. Where to start? On the one hand, he’s considered the Father of Country Music; on the other hand, he’s singing old blues songs. On the one hand, he’s singing this music that’s marketed to rural white folks; on the other hand, he has a huge influence on the black community that had such a huge influence on him. On the one hand, his songs all have a kind of charming swagger to them; on the other hand, he himself was pretty sickly. On the one hand, he’s called the Singing Brakeman; on the other hand, he’s not above dressing like a singing cowboy.

And so on.

Gillian Welch, I think, is trying to get at that same thing about Elvis in “Elvis Presley Blues” that sometimes an artist can bring together things we think of as disparate and thrive in the charge bringing them together gives him or her.

Though, maybe thrive is the wrong word, considering how many of them die young.

My point is that right there at the birth of recorded country music, you have this guy already straddling “authentic” and “commercial,” “white music” and “black music,” all this stuff that we still fight about now, Rodgers was the guy that brought those live wires together to see what kinds of sparks he could get.

When you look at it that way, I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all to call him the Father of Country Music.

Things that Make Me Happy

This awesome sandwich I got from Panera.

Broccoli cheese soup.

Sleep.  Last night, I slept through the whole night.  No, I shit you not.  The whole night.  Got into bed at one end and got out of bed at the other.  Like normal people.

Penis talk.  I have half a mind to change the name of the blog to Tiny Cat Penises.  But I won’t.  Still, I’ve had a riot these past couple of days, especially with all the size gossip from Smiff.  Tee hee.  Shoot, I hope this kind of shit doesn’t get me kicked out of feminism.

I did some research for my circumcision post and I must say that, in the future, I’m going to be scrutinizing the penises in my life much more closely.  Who even knew that types of circumcisions had nicknames, like the “High and tight”?  I have lead a sheltered life, much to my distress. 


Oops. I Lied.

Remember how I said?:

Most women just don’t believe that we deserve a world full of men who conform to our narrow standards of what beauty is and so we wouldn’t expect anyone to give a shit if we’re grouching about how something we see fails to fit it.

Well, it turns out that I’m wrong.

I was perusing Lindsay’s post on whether to circumcise her upcoming son when I became aware of my inadvertent lying.  It turns out that a bunch of us do believe that we deserve a world full of men who have penises that look how we want them to look and we expect folks to give a shit.

I think circumcising your kid is wrong.  Do I give a shit if you do it?  No.  Am I going to try to outlaw it?  No.

But I believe that everyone has a right to bodily autonomy, which means that, unless it’s some kind of medical problem, no one else has a right to make irreversible decisions about what happens to your body for you, no matter how well-meaning they are.  And I’ll spend all day preaching that from the rooftops.

However, other folks think different.


I just want to talk about one small strand of the pro-circumcision argument: the “uncircumcised penises are ugly” argument.

So fucking what?!

Can I just make a broad, sweeping generalization here?

It is no wonder men are so fucked up.  Really.  All this shit happens to you and we (the rest of society) trains you to not think too much about it, not question it, not draw inferences from it, to just accept that “that’s the way it is.”

We live in a culture that basically encourages you to swagger around with one hand on your dick at all times, ready to whip it out should the opportunity present itself, like your penis is just so awesome that every girl should drop to her knees (after, of course, Mag, procuring a very fluffy bathmat) and open her mouth to suck it if you deem her worthy of it–like your whole day ought to be spent just casually tossing aside girls who don’t fit your exacting standards for dick-sucking-worthiness in order to make room for all the willing supermodels and Playmates who do–while at the same time, every time you look down at your circumcised penis you see evidence that your penis is not so inherently wonderful as you’ve been told, but had to be modified in order to be okay.

That’s bound to fuck with a dude’s sense of self.

So, for god’s sake, folks, get over the whole, “We had to hack at it; it was so ugly” bullshit. 

That’s just evil.