Oh, Feminism 101, How I Love You

Almost certainly thanks to Lauren over at Faux Real, Tiny Cat Pants has been linked to by the awesome Feminism 101 blog.  That’s right–when it comes to reducing feminism to simple anecdotes everyone can understand, look no farther* than me!

On an unrelated note, I think I am becoming more ticklish.  The dog just licked me on the knee and it tickled like hell.

*Further?  I’m not sure.

Pathfinder–A Movie I Won’t Be Seeing

You know, the funniest thing about life… well, I don’t know, maybe this only happens to me… is that just when I’m feeling all smugly brilliant about, say, a post about how Christians just need to loosen up and see that Hollywood doesn’t hate God, it just, for the most part, feels a teasing affection for him, along comes a movie about folks who share my belief system that makes me so angry I’m going to go ahead and review the movie sight unseen.

Pathfinder, is a movie about those evil Viking raiders who came to the Americas and pillaged and plundered, only to be stopped, finally, by a Viking who was left behind and raised by kindly Indians.

Let us count the bullshit:

1.  There is no evidence that the Norse “invaded” North America.  Were there Norse settlements in North America?  Yes.  Were the Norse pillaging existing villages and taking slaves(?!)?  I know of absolutely no evidence of this.

2.  The Spanish reintroduced horses to the Americas (which I guess means Kleinheider will want to round up all the horses and send them back and that Gingrich will deride all cowboys as having ghetto rides).  If Native Americans had battled folks who had horses, wouldn’t they have kept their horses?

3.  Of course Native Americans were so weak and feeble that they could not stand up to the onslaught of “Viking” raiders without the help of a white guy to show them the way.

3a. Of course the white guy cannot fulfill his destiny without a magical brown person to show him the way.

3b.  It’s as if the Magical Negro movie and the Benevolent White Teacher movie had a baby, a violent baby.

4.  Going back to this notion that any encounter between the Norse and Native Americans must have been violent, this pisses me off because we know that when white folks arrived in this hemisphere in 1492, their arrival signaled both intentional and unintentional genocides of native peoples.  This was not inevitable.

Showing white people as inherently violent towards the people in America seems to me to let the white people who did invade America off the hook, as if to say that all encounters between Europeans and Americans had to be inevitably shitty.

5.  Let’s talk about Leif Ericson and his line.  Leif’s father, Erik the Red (who founded a couple of colonies in Greenland) was an outlaw.  Erik’s father, Torvald Asvaldson, was also an outlaw.  These were not folks who could put together large armies of men; they were folks who couldn’t get along with their fellow Norsemen and were continually moving west to get away from them.

6.  Leif Ericson was Christian.  The folks in this movie are not.  So, even though the actual first known European settlers in America were led by a Christian and were, as far as we can tell, peaceful and less than 40 in number, this movie will portray those first Europeans as monstrous heathen hordes.

Thanks for nothing, Hollywood.  If you were going to insult us, couldn’t you have at least given us the cute sonof Denethor the Second to stare at?

Random Things–‘T’ is for Tickle and Turkey and Things

–I’m having a little underwear issue today.  I’m not sure what the problem is, but something about how the top of it makes its way across my butt is tickling the shit out of me.  I literally cannot walk without giggling.  It feels almost like someone is lighting running their finger across my ass.  I wear this underwear all the time.  Why is it suddenly turning on me?  Or is it possible that I’m just having an unusually ticklish day?

–Living right by the train tracks has its drawbacks (such as the train).  But it also brings animals clear into town that I don’t think we’d otherwise see.  My neighbor who’s always delivering me hobo news reported this morning that we appear to have a turkey living along the tracks.  I haven’t seen her yet, but I’ll be keeping my eyes open.

–The Butcher is tickling the shit right out of me, too.  He took the dog for a walk.  He defleaed her.  He washed the shower curtain and rehung it.  And he’s getting my car tags which expired in March today, which may be a personal best for our family (we’re the kind of people who either renew our tags on March 1st or never get around to it).  And he got a raise.  And he moved almost all of his plants out of the kitchen and onto the back porch.  What else will he accomplish?   And shoot, even if this is all he does for the rest of the week, damn, that’s still a lot.

To Whom Does Jesus Belong?

Jamey Tucker, the blogger over at WKRN’s [A Certain Strain of American Evangelical Protestant] Faith and Ethics blog is railing against television’s depiction of God.

This is the kind of thing that gets passed around as if it’s the truth which really ought to be challenged every time it comes up, just because the myopia involved is exceedingly dangerous to Christianity as a whole.

Here’s the root of the problem as I see it: Protestantism was born when some folks decided that the Catholic Church had strayed too far from true Christianity and could not be salvaged, therefore, the time had come to set up a new church, more true to Biblical precepts.


But what happened when those first Protestant churches had theological differences (or even more minor disagreements)?  They broke apart and formed new churches, AND the believers who attended those new churches allowed themselves the luxury of believing that they were the ones with the line on the truth and those other folks–even the ones sitting in church every Sunday–were not real Christians.

I’ve oversimplified it a great deal, but I think we see this same impulse in America today, which is how, in a nation that is predominately and overwhelmingly Christian, Christians can believe that they are a persecuted minority.

It reminds me of my favorite joke, which is a tiny bit Baptist unfriendly, so, if you are Baptist, you might choose to skip ahead.

Sadly, there was a plane crash in the middle of the ocean and only one man survived.  He made his way to a desert island where he lived for ten years.  Finally, a passing ship saw his signal fire and stopped to rescue him.

The captain was all, “Wow, you’ve been out here a decade.  How did you survive?”  And the man took the captain around the island.

“Here’s the spring I got my drinking water from.  There’s the bush that provided berries.  Once I learned to fish, this lagoon over here was a good source of protein,” and so on.  Then they came to three huts.  The man explained.  “This hut on the left is my church.  I’ve been a Baptist my whole life and I do believe that it is my faith in Christ that has brought me through this terrible ordeal.  I spend a lot of time in this building, just praying and spending time with my Lord.”

“And this middle hut?”

“That’s my house.”

“And the hut on the right?”

“Oh, yeah, that’s where I used to go to church.”

Oh, Baptists, I love you, but you have to admit that’s pretty funny.

Anyway, my point.  Most people in America are Christian.  Even most of the folks like me, who’ve left Christianity, were brought up that way and still feel some great fondness for it.

As much fun as it is to believe that Hollywood picks on God because they’re a bunch of godless heathens who hate Christianity and find Christians stupid and worthy of derision, I think it’s much more likely, in most cases, that folks pick on Christianity because they feel so closely tied to it.

Like your crazy but beloved uncle, it’s fine for y’all to sit around the living room and talk shit about his inability to hold a job, but if you were to catch the neighbor lady calling him a lay-about, you’d have to toilet paper her house–that seems to me to be the driving impulse behind making jokes about Jesus/God most of the time.

Tucker’s mistake, and it’s a common one, which is why I’m devoting all this space to refuting it, is to believe that only folks who practice Christianity in ways he recognizes have a right to feel that kind of teasing affinity with Jesus/God.

What kinds of stereotypes about people in Hollywood do you have to harbor as true to believe that they have no right to feel teasing affection towards Jesus/God?  And who are you to decide that?

Which brings me to my next point–Allah is God.  If you are the “Faith and Ethics” blogger, shouldn’t you understand enough about “Faith” to know that Jews, Christians, and Muslims all trace their religious heritage back to Abraham and the God of Abraham?

So, technically, when you’re watching shows that make fun of God, it’s not just Christians who have reason to be offended.  There are two other major world religions who could be offended if they cared to.

But Tucker is all the time equating religion with Christianity, so I can’t say that bit of sloppiness surprises me.

But to get back to my larger point–making fun of someone is not necessarily a sign that the person making fun of someone dislikes the person being made fun of.  Often, it’s a sign of great affection.

When Christians pass judgement on whether other folks, whose religions they don’t know and have no way of knowing, but who are probably also Christian or of Christian descent or at the least monotheistic, have a right to feel teasing affection towards Jesus/God, they look like assholes.

If you don’t like what you’re seeing on TV, change the channel.  But don’t force your smug, patronizing will on the rest of us.