LL Cool A

Lefties Love Cool Abramson.

I’d like to talk about why that is, if only because the title of this post tickles me so dang much.

Roger and I had an early falling out; the kind of falling out that most acquaintanceships don’t recover from.  I think I’ve told you this story before and some of you lived through it with us.  I wrote about the time I was almost raped, a big long post, as I often write, but I made a bunch of points one might want to argue with before I was all “Yeah, here’s what happened to me.”

Brittney, then, over at NiT posted a bunch of the post, but just the first part–all the points one might argue with but not the bit at the end.  Roger, having only read the NiT bit and not the whole post, made some comment about how, if I was going to hold those kinds of opinions without thinking them through, I deserved whatever I got.

You can see, instantly, how that went wrong.  I thought he’d read my whole post here at Tiny Cat Pants and was commenting on the attempted rape.  And so I went off.  I mean, really, I thought he was the biggest misogynistic sick-o on the internet.  And he, not having read my whole post, thought that he was making a reasonable point about how, if one is going to be confrontational, one should expect confrontation out here in the blogosphere (a point I agree with, in actuality) and that I was revealing myself for the psycho feminist bitch I secretly truly was.

There’s no coming back from that, usually.

And yet, here we are, with me writing a post, trying to explain why we lefties love Abramson.  I guess that would be reason number one: No matter how bad the blood, if Abramson comes to find you think he’s done you wrong, he’ll apologize and mean it.

Let’s call that character.

Second, Abramson is not anti-intellectual.  So many Republicans at the state and local level seem to think that anything that requires book-learning is ridiculous and anyone who has too much of it is suspect (Just read Terry Frank for a few weeks and see if you don’t notice how suspicious she is of education.).  Roger, on the other hand, is intelligent and well-read and doesn’t seem to be knee-jerk against everything that comes from college campuses.

Third, he’s thoughtful.  If you’re having a discussion with Roger, even if he disagrees with you, he takes your position seriously.  You might never change his mind or bring him around to your way of thinking, but you feel like, when next he approaches these ideas, he’s going to keep your perspective in mind.

I mean, let’s say that the Right’s goals are as follows:

1. Try to take over the world

2. Start a bunch of wars

3.  Outlaw abortion

And my goals are:

1. For us to refrain from harming as many folks as possible.

2. For us to actively help as many folks as possible.

3. For us to preserve as much liberty as possible.

And let’s say that Roger is made Supreme Commander of the world.  I would expect for him to move on to starting a bunch of wars and outlawing abortion, as those were his stated goals, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that, once finished with that, he turned his attention to my goals and whether they could be made to fit into his agenda.

In other words, I don’t think Roger instantly discredits ideas simply because they come from the Left.

Last, Roger doesn’t assume that people with different political views than him are his enemies or that people with the same political views as him are necessarily his friends.  And he doesn’t automatically assume that ideas from the Right are always correct and best and ideas from the Left suck.

So often, and I’m as guilty of this as the next person, even though I try not to be, we view politics like a sporting event, with some of the country loyal to one team and another part of the country loyal to another team and a third part of the country that goes back and forth and a fourth part of the country that isn’t interested and none of the other three-quarters can figure out why.

And we all argue our positions and root for our guys and cheer when the other team takes a hit.

But the truth is that this is the country we have, this right here, this America, and we all have to work together in order to keep it working.

All the cheerleading in the world, no matter how fun, isn’t going to save us from self-destruction (or the needless destruction of others).  That can only come if we figure out how to work together.

To me, that’s what I see in Abramson, a person with whom I can take off the team jersey and just talk person to person.

I guess that could be irritating to others on the Right, but I don’t see why it has to be.  We all have to share this country.  We might as well find some way to enjoy each other’s company.

Muddy Waters “I Just Want to Make Love to You”

I’m talking about the version on Scorsese’s album, just so we’re on the same page.  The kind of Willie Dixon song that makes you cringe and ask yourself what it’s going to take for you to wise up and buy you some Willie Dixon.

Some folks don’t care for Muddy Waters and, I have to say, it breaks my heart.  I mean, I guess I can understand why you’d not like a great deal of Muddy Waters music, but this song?  How can you be alive and breathing and not love this song?

Let’s start with how the song starts, not with a guitar, as you might expect from a good blues song, but with a piano, in an octave that toys more with a Vaudeville tack piano sound than the noises one might expect to come from a man trying to seduce a woman.  It tumbles down into the honk of the harmonica, only to be answered by the sweet sound of an upright bass.  A drummer in the background doesn’t so much keep time as to come behind time with a brush and sweep up the rhythm to make room for the next notes.

This happens three times (as it should in a twelve bar blues) before Morganfield starts to sing.  The way he hits that “I,” to me, always sounds like he might have just about been willing to sing some other song, maybe about birds, or puppies, when the woman he wants just walked into the room, on the arm of another man.  There’s an urgency to it.  And “don’t” is softer, more emphasis on the “d” almost none on the “n’t” so that you lean forward to hear him and are hit hard with the “want.”  Then, we hear from the guitar, a sharp dissonance that covers the “you,” which serves to both mask and draw attention to it.

But look how the song teaches you how to move to it.  Twelve bars at the beginning, “come closer, come closer, come closer” and then the “I” is loud enough to send you back; the “don’t” brings you in again; the “want” sends you back and the “you” serves, I think, as a pause to the movement.  You want to move away because of the sharp note from the guitar, but you have to move in to hear what he doesn’t want–in effect, you don’t move at all.  And then “be no slave” comes out so smooth, of course, any woman attracted to men is going to come closer.

That’s all in the first fourteen seconds.

God damn.

Then, let’s skip ahead to 1:43, when the song switches from what the singer wants to what the woman is like.  Everything in the song switches gears to give you an idea of her.  Where as we have been listening to a blues song, now, all of a sudden, the tempo changes and it’s like we’re in a burlesque.  We have been in the mode of pure longing (I mean, dang, listen to that harmonica solo), but now, here she is, and the mood of the song changes.  “I can tell by the way you”–each word is held just a little long, as if the singer can’t help but linger over this moment when they are actually in the same room together and he’s watching her.  He has her there in front of him and though he’s not doing with her what he’d like to be doing, at least he’s sharing a moment with her.

It almost doesn’t matter what she’s doing.  He seems more interested in the activities she’s participating in, just for their percussive value, than for what they say about her.  He just wants to hurry though them and get back to talking about him and her together.

Does he end up fucking her?  How could he not?

There’s not a hint of doubt in his voice and what he’s offering?  To take her out of her mundane life, where she is stuck doing the dishes and working all day and doing laundry and keeping a home, and to pull her so close to him that she can feel the lub dub of the drum in time with the lub dub of his heart?  And once he’s professed his intentions to the whole damn audience?

Who could resist that?

Not me.

Plus, there’s something about the echo-y-ness of the harmonica that reminds me of the smell of rain and storms in the distance.  I don’t know if that matters or not.

“Never wear overalls”

Gentlewomen, you must have received that email supposedly offering advice on how not to get raped that the author of the email supposedly procured from real rapists and how some of the advice is reasonable, like “Don’t pass out naked in the middle of a men’s prison” (okay, no, that’s actually not a bit of advice in that email, but I couldn’t resist), no, more like “Watch your drink at parties.”

But some of it seems like it’s designed clearly to help men who wish you harm have an easier time of it, like “never wear overalls.”

Courtesy of Say Uncle, we have another bit of advice, this time from the Illinois State Police–“Don’t shoot your attacker; let him get close enough to you where you can stab him.”

Yes, what a great idea that is, since most women are smaller and have less upper body strength than most men. Let those rapists, who are, after all, almost always men, get close enough to you where they can grab a hold of you so that you can be close enough to them to stab them.

Also, I’m sorry, but look at the list of things they recommend we stab potential rapists with:

* nail file
* rat tail comb
* teasing brush
* pens and pencils
* keys
* anything rigid

Notice anything about those items? First, none of them are an actual knife. Second, none of those things cause incapacitating stab wounds, if you even are strong enough to get a piece of plastic through skin. Shoot, I’ve been stabbed by both a pen (in the face) and a pencil (in the thumb) and neither one was even terrible painful.

If you cannot be sure that you will incapacitate your attacker, it is best not to piss him off enough to make him want to kill you. I can assure you that, unless you luck out and hit a major artery or an eyeball, none of these items will do enough damage to stop an attacker.

Isn’t it irresponsible of the police to advocate a defensive strategy that is likely to increase a woman’s chance of getting killed?

Okay, Horse Experts

Yesterday, I scratched a horse’s forehead.  Today, I reach into my coat pocket and grab my cell phone and the thing is covered in horse hair.  There’s no horse hair in my coat pocket, though.

So, either my cell phone has a static charge that attracts hair, or, when I was not looking, the horse was talking on my phone.

Any other plausible explanation?

Have Y’all Given Up on that ‘Judge Not’ Stuff?

Dear Slarti,

You know I love you, but dang.  If I had written a post and said, “Oh, yeah, that Jesus crap, it’s just a safety net for cowards,” you’d have been pissed off. 

Shoot, I’d have spent the day fighting with, alienating, and apologizing to a bunch of folks, most of whom I really care about, because they would have been angry that I was so dismissive of their religion and that I was calling them cowardly.

But you?  You can go around saying stuff like “You see, all the other religions out there, every last one of them, are ‘safe’.” And not one person says anything.


Then you say,

Some are simply philosophy disguised at religion.  Some feed natural narcissism (the only problem with you  is that you just don’t know how wonderfully divine you are!), some bombard us with so many gods we simply give up trying to figure it out.  But every one of them is ‘safe’. 

I don’t want to get into a theological argument with you about Christianity, but please.  You start talking about my beliefs–“some bombard us with so many gods we simply give up trying to figure it out”–in such a disparaging tone?

And, imagine that; it’s going to raise my hackles.

You want to believe that you’ve got a line on Truth?  Fine.  You want to believe that you know the only way to salvation (or whatever)? Fine.

But you start thinking that makes you better than me, especially when you’ve done nothing to actually inform yourself about the belief systems you’re so easily dismissing as ‘safe’?

Damn straight that’s going to irritate me.

If you have questions about how polytheism works, rather than making sweeping dismissive generalizations (which, you might think, a man who believes in Three-in-One might think better than doing), why don’t you ask a polytheist?

Really.  Your religion can survive and thrive without disparaging others’ beliefs.


Aunt B.

If You’re Going to Drink Bad Beer…

Newscoma spells it out much clearer than I could:

Let us remember, never drink Coors Light as it is yucky. It would be much better for you beer afficiados to drink Milwaukee’s Best if you must or Keystone Light than a Coors Light (of course this is my opinion but I believe this is a mantra that must be repeated. Don’t drink Coors Light. Thank you.)

Amen.  If you’re not drinking Miller Lite, you should be drinking something expensive.