Why I Don’t Read Kos

Yep, here’s the “fearless leader” of the Progressive Blogosphere talking about how getting rape threats and death threats and having your home address and social security number posted for folks to find is just something one needs to buck up about.

With allies like this, who needs enemies?

Bitch PhD brings the righteous indignation by the bucket-full, first against this insane Blogger Code of Conduct idea and then against Kos himself.

There’s not much more I can add to that.

Edited to Add: The Unapologetic Mexican has wise words, too.

Our Taxes Are Done

Eh, blah.  Let’s not talk about it.  I just want to say that, between the two of us, we are pulling down what I used to think was a shit-ton of money.

This proves two things.  1.  Clearly, we’re still living beyond our means.  2.  I was and may still be a dumbass.

Well, it also proves three things.  When you effectively wait until you’re 25 to get into the job market, saddled with student loans and move to the big city to make $20,000 a year, it’s going to take a long time to dig yourself out of the hole you dug yourself into in order to survive on that.

It’s really all I can do to not stand on my back porch and just yell into the night sky, “What the fuck?!”

Because, indeed, what the fuck?

I kind of want to sit down and look at every choice we’ve made and then lay in bed bemoaning how shittily we’ve made them.

And I also kind of don’t want to think about it.

We’ve always done the best we could, I believe, and there’s no sense in beating yourself up about it, since there’s nothing to be done.

Ha, you know, I intended to write this post about a conversation Roger Abramson and I had the other day, about the necessity of reforming the justice system so that rich people don’t have such an advantage over poor people.

That’s been nagging at me since then, how it’s not enough to be on the right side or innocent, but that you have to have the money to fight your case.

Well, what can you do?

If I were queen of the world, I would buy a house with a fenced in back yard and I would pay someone to come in every day and pick up after me and I would send the Butcher on trips to places he’s never going to get to go at this rate.  I would travel by horse-drawn carriage and Mrs. Wigglebottom would not have to wait until we got our tax returns to go to the vet for her limp.

I would wear enormous dresses with 100 petticoats and I would pay for my brother’s divorce and I would buy my parents a house five hours away from me.

I would have lavish parties and I would make my own whiskey, not because I’m especially fond of whiskey, but just because I could.

I would have a wizard, like Arthur had Merlin, and I would decree that every state rename on of their colleges after me.

And I would have a porch swing.

My Happy Place

Oh, citizens of Earth, today I need my happy place. I welcome you to come and join me.

Here’s what we’re dancing to (of course):

Here’s what we’re drinking. Often, we’re toasting ole Kurt, so have something touching ready to say.

Here’s the girl whose bed we’re shamelessly trying to flirt our way into, so I hope at least one of you has some smooth lines. And I hope she has a big enough bed to hold us all if your smooth lines work. (Thanks to some internet research we did to get ready for next weekend, I’ve learned that a good orgy host provides clean towels, shitloads of condoms, and plenty of lubricant in little stations every six feet and now you do, too.)

Here’s the poem we’re listening to Allen Ginsberg read us while we watch the laughing wolf, so stoned he can’t make it to the kitchen to bring us ice cream. Instead, he sinks to the floor, one hand resting on his forehead, the other holding the floor as far away from him as he can manage, and he laughs like the Universe herself has knelt down next to him, her blue black dress spread all over the floor, her fiery hair the color of so many atomic bursts tickling his nose as she whispers to him ancient jokes that go like this–“What did the planet say to the dark matter?” “Nothing, silly. Planets can’t speak.” Most of us probably don’t find it that funny, but some of us are howling with laughter.

Hmm. Yes, that’s what I should be doing. Instead, I swear, I am wandering around asking everyone I see, “Are you my Angel?”

Well, are you?

This day is long and grinding at my heart. I hope to make it through in one piece.

Wish me luck.

Will My Inconvenience Save The World?

Y’all, I admit, I’m having a slight leftist crisis of faith here.  I’m not going to vote Republican or anything, but I do have to think things through.

Last night, we were sitting around brainstorming about ideas for what to do during Act Like a GRRRL! this year and a lot of the conversation centered around helping the girls become more conscientious about the consumer choices they make–from where they get their clothes to what kinds of foods they eat to what kinds of bags they pick up those foods from the grocery stores in.

And, in theory, I agree that limiting your impact on the world is a good thing.

And, like a good leftist, I believe that it is fucked up that some people have so much when others have so little.  I mean, really, not to be trite, but if that Sarah McLaughlin video doesn’t bring you up short about how much money we spend on fleeting crap when that money could be doing real good in the world, I don’t know what will.

But I’m also conscious of a couple of other things.

1.  It seems to me like women end up bearing the brunt of the work necessary to really commit to that kind of lifestyle–we have to return to sewing our clothes and making our soap and growing our food and cooking it up just right.

And I’m torn, and I don’t mean that lightly.  I’m really torn between wanting to not fuck up the world and not wanting to feel like it’s women’s work to save the world because the alleviation of the burden of women’s work is somehow responsible for ruining it. 

Do you see what I’m saying?

The everyday things we do to “save the world” involve remastering labor our foremothers were relieved to leave behind, and for good reason.

If you can do it and want to do it, I say more power to you.

I just think we have to be very aware of the subtle ways these things get gendered and make sure that we’re not trying to make women, specifically, feel guilty that we’re not doing enough to save the world.

2.  If I turn off my lights, my power bill goes down.  No needy child in Africa gets fed because of that.  If I line dry my clothes, my power bill goes down.  No toxic dump is less polluted because of my actions.

I still think it’s important to conserve energy.  I just think that the primary benefit most consumers see and understand from that is a lessening of the electric bill, not an assurance of reducing the risk of global warming.

3.  And maybe this just me showing my roots, but god damn.  I thought the point was that we all work hard, bring home money, and provide for our families, try not to go into debt if you can help it, try to get out of debt once you’re there, but you know, earn money, feed family, try to feed family from each of the four food groups or from all the levels of the food pyramid or whatever.

And now come to find out that it’s not enough to be clean and have clean clothes and eat right–you have to wash yourself with the right soap, make your own laundry detergent, hang your stuff out on the dryer, only buy organic foods, and use as much of all of that food as you can.

I don’t know why this upsets me so much, but I’m literally shaking as I type this.  It is a hard life to be poor; it sucks to struggle.  God damn it sucks.  And you know, the Butcher and I have not struggled near as much as some people and our lives have, often, sucked so much I would cry myself to sleep.

And you know what?  I’ve had a hard life and I don’t want a hard life any more.  I don’t need a lot of luxury, but damn, I need to dry my clothes in the dryer.

I just feel like moving up classes was supposed to make my life easier, but come to find out that, since having an easier life fucks up the planet, I’m supposed to get back to work doing shit I worked hard and got an education so that I wouldn’t have to do and I’m supposed to be glad about it, because I’m saving the planet.

Y’all, that pisses me off.

I’m kind of astonished to realize that it pisses me off, but there you go.

I think that doing anything and everything you can to reduce the impact your life has on the planet is a good thing and if you choose to do that, more power to you.

I’m concerned about how we impart that knowledge to others.  It’s a noble cause.  I just don’t believe it’s so noble that it excuses making women feel guilty for being here. 

We get enough of that.

So, it’s a fine line and one I’m sure the folks at Act Like a GRRRL! will navigate with no problem.

I guess I’m more concerned about how to navigate that line for myself in my day-to-day life.