Do You Believe in Redemption?

I do.

I can’t let go of it.

I don’t guess that I believe that it’s always a permanent state.  Like a cold beer on a hot summer evening, it can quench your thirst, hold off your demons, or feed them.

But in my heart, I believe I can reach you,  grab a hold of your soul and give you mine for a second, in return.  And that transcendent moment will heal us.  Maybe not for good, but for right now.

I want to recognize my own holiness.  And watch you know yours.

Everything else is just waiting around for those moments, I think. 


Hello, You’ve reached Dial-a-Source, the place for all your sourcing needs.  Please press one if you are a liberal.  Press two if you are a conservative.

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Who is on the verge of ruining it for everyone today, sir?  Press one for “women,” two for “Mexicans,” three for “homosexuals,” or four for “Muslims.”

You have chosen Mexicans.  Please choose a reason Mexicans are not like us and will never be like us.  Press one for “They work harder than us.”  Just kidding, Mr. Kleinheider.  We here at Dial-a-Source just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.  Press one for “They have no respect for the law.”  Press two for “They refuse to learn English.”  Press three for “They are out of control, sexually.”  Press four for “They’re taking our jobs.”

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Okay, sir, here is a post about one instance and here is a magazine article that you can use to bolster your claim that this one instance hints at a larger pathology among those Mexicans.

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Just as a side note, I think  my favorite thing about the “Hispanic Family Values”  article is this:

But other kinds of traditional Hispanic values have survived—not all of them necessarily ideal in a modern economy, however. One of them is the importance of having children early and often. “It’s considered almost a badge of honor for a young girl to have a baby,” says Peggy Schulze of Chrysalis House, an adoption agency in Fresno. (Fresno has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in California, typical of the state’s heavily Hispanic farm districts.) It is almost impossible to persuade young single Hispanic mothers to give up their children for adoption, Schulze says. “The attitude is: ‘How could you give away your baby?’ I don’t know how to break through.”

The most powerful Hispanic family value—the tight-knit extended family—facilitates unwed child rearing. A single mother’s relatives often step in to make up for the absence of the baby’s father. I asked Mona, a 19-year-old parishioner at St. Joseph’s Church in Santa Ana, California, if she knew any single mothers. She laughed: “There are so many I can’t even name them.” Two of her cousins, aged 25 and 19, have children without having husbands. The situation didn’t seem to trouble this churchgoer too much. “They’ll be strong enough to raise them. It’s totally okay with us,” she said. “We’re very close; we’re there to support them. They’ll do just fine.”

America, look at what they’re complaining about–they’re pissed that these girls have no shame.  They get pregnant and they refuse to see themselves as bad; instead of doing the “evil” thing and having an abortion or doing the “noble” thing and giving the baby to “good” people, they rely on a vast close-knit family to help them raise their children.  And their families don’t make them feel bad about having babies.

Well, by god, if these Mexican families won’t come in and put their slutty daughters in their place by making pregnancy the proper punishment for sex we know it is, then what kind of precedent does that set for “our” girls?

The hand-wringing is hilarious.

And before you get started, no, I’m not saying that it’s okay for a 21 year old guy to have sex with a 12 year old girl.  I believe that clear instance of child molestation is being used as a smokescreen to talk about the “unbridled” sexuality of Mexican girls.  Let us not mistakenly conflate the two.

And second, I do believe that it is important to help girls and women put off having kids for as long as possible, because, clearly, it’s easier to get ahead if you do. 

But, at the end of the day, I see a lot here in this article to be emulated.  Getting pregnant is not something to be ashamed of.  It’s not a punishment.  And families should step up and help, if they can.

This seems like a humane way of dealing with teen pregnancy.  It doesn’t mean that it can’t be augmented with other stuff that would reduce those pregnancies, but that other stuff should not be complaining because folks aren’t working hard enough to make women feel like shit.


Sweet heavenly angels, that last post was depressing. 

Let’s think of fun things instead. 

They’re doing construction on my office building and, on each door into the building, is a sign that says “Caution!  Construction area.  Please use other door.”

And this morning when I was going in (I chose the second other door), the men doing the remodeling were all talking.

“How do I get down from here.”

“What?  You didn’t bring your parachute?”

“He’s all the time coming to work without his parachute.  You think the bossman would be on him about that.”

“You’ve got to have proper equipment, now.”

“You could just repeal, repel, aw, fuck.  Now that would have been funny if I knowed the word.  Don’t you think?”

“No, seriously, how do I get down from here?”

“I think that guy left with the keys.”

“Really?  Guys, this ain’t funny.”

“What you gonna do about it?  You’re stuck clear up there.”

Some Folks, You Never Can Tell

One of my dad’s oldest friends was accused by his niece of molesting her.  A man I grew up with, played at his house, rode in his car, sat in his lap.  Like an uncle to me.

We were driving through Iowa one day, my dad and I.  It was one of those beautiful Iowa days where the white clouds roam the blue sky like ghosts of bison past, where, if you didn’t want to hear each other, you would have rolled down the windows and enjoyed the weather.  We were on a two-lane highway.

I don’t suppose we were going anywhere memorable.

“The thing is,” my dad said, out of the blue, “I don’t think he did it.  But I don’t know.  If you look at all the things they tell you to watch out for, that’s him.  Even if he didn’t do it, he consistently put himself in situations that he, as a grown man should have known better than to put himself into.  One way or another, he was asking for trouble.”

We rode on silently for a while.  I thought back, scoured my childhood for anything that, with adult hind-sight, seemed hinky.  But nothing.  Yeah, he was a little weird.  A little too clingy.  But I trusted him.  And I loved him.

Because my dad did. 

It never would have occurred to me to be suspicious of him.

I still don’t know.  I’d like to think that he didn’t do it.  I think he didn’t.  But I don’t know.

He’s dead and my dad still brings it up, like this time I’ll have an answer for him.  This time I’ll be able to say for sure.  But I just can’t.

I think the thing that bothers me the most is that I do think something terrible happened to his niece.  Some of her cousins do, too.  They just don’t think it happened at his hand, just that he seemed like a safe person to accuse.  I don’t know.  I guess the fact that no other kid he was around ever had any problem with him speaks in his favor.  Maybe.

It doesn’t matter.  Like I said, he’s dead.

Still, I guess it does.

It matters to her.  It still matters to my dad.

And some times, when the mood is wrong, it matters to me.

Here’s one thing I know, in my bones, as true as this chair I’m sitting on: The people I love will fail to protect me.  Almost invariably.

But I guess they come by it honestly.  So I don’t suppose there’s any reason to be mad.

Still, sometimes I am.