Oh, Men of Middle Tennessee, Bless Your Hearts

Dear Men of Middle Tennessee,

Bless your hearts (which reminds me, aimai, I don’t know who you are or if you even read my blog, but I have the hugest crush on you right about now.).

Aimai does a good job of deflating some of the nonsense over at that cutie Bob Krumm’s, but I feel like I must also point some stuff out.

First, boys are girls are not opposite. Boys can be having problems in school while some girls are achieving high rates of success and that’s not the same thing as boys having problems in school BECAUSE some girls are achieving high rates of success.

Boys are girls are not opposites. It’s not a matter of schools becoming more girl-friendly and thus must follow, they are becoming more boy-unfriendly.

Indeed, it could be that almost all children are suffering from the rampent over-diagnosis of ADD/ADHD and thus the over-prescription of drugs designed to control them. It could be that all children are suffering under fewer recesses, no PE, and highly curtailed access to the arts so that their schools can prepare them for the No Child Left Behind tests.

And it may be that a very small group of girls is able to flourish under such harsh conditions, even as the rest of the student body suffers.

No one doubts that boys are struggling to keep up with girls in school.

But the answer is not to blame the girls, as if they should just stupid down and step out of the way of the boys.

The answer is to figure out what’s going wrong and fix it, not to dismantle what’s going right for girls in order to make things “fair and balanced.”

I think Krumm gets this, but I’m not sure his commenters do.

As for you, Mr. Truman Bean, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, ha ha hahahahaha, whoo boy that’s funny.

Aren’t you supposed to be no-nonsense?”

And, if so, can’t you smell the holes in the cheese that is Christina Hoffs Sommers?

Ms. “I’m not a gender feminist; I’m an equality feminist, but I still kept and use my middle name.” Ms. “I went to college. I get to read and write for a living.” In other words, “I benefit directly from feminism, but it’s fun to sell out women who have the guts to identify as feminists.”

You’re going to take her seriously when she starts talking about how U.S. feminists haven’t done anything to help feminists in Muslim countries? This is a women who owes her whole persona and professional career to feminism and you take her bashing of the philosophy that was so good to her as fact?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha etc. again.


Aunt B.

Edited to Add:  More posts like this, Krumm, and I’m going to feel the need to sit on your head and help you incubate your nascent feminism.

Don’t You Want Me Baby?

The recalcitrant brother and I once got in huge trouble for singing “Don’t You Want Me, Baby?” at the top of our lungs on a drive home from my Grandma’s house one Christmas.

My dad didn’t think that was an appropriate song for children to be singing.

The recalcitrant brother is a little freaked out because the littlest nephew was singing that song the other day.

I, of course, am tickled by the ways our past lingers.

“The Jail You Plan for Me is the One in Which You Will Rot”

I curse you, I say.
What that mean? he say.
I say, Until you do right by me, everything you touch will crumble.
He laugh. Who you think you is? he say. You can’t curse nobody. Look at you. You Black, you pore you ugly, you a woman. Goddam, he say you nothing at all.
Until you do right by me, I say, everything you even dream about will fail. I give it to him straight, just like it come to me. And it seem to come to me from the trees.
Whoever heard of such a thing, say Mr. ____. I probably didn’t whup your ass enough.
Every lick you hit me your will suffer twice, I say. Then I say, You better stop talking because all I’m telling you ain’t coming just from me. Look like when I open my mouth the are rush in and shape words.
Shit, he say. I should have lock you up. Just let you out to work.
The jail you plan for me is the one in which you will rot, I say

(from The Color Purple by Alice Walker)

Today, thanks to the Unapologetic Mexican, I’ve learned that they’ve fired a guard at Hutto for “inappropriate contact with a detainee.”

The KXAN story is disturbing, not just for what it says, but for what it hints at.

KXAN learned about this incident through confidential sources who said there is much more to this story.

KXAN has pressed the facility to release all its information and was told that could happen soon.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office was aware of the weekend incident, but KXAN was told the incident report was not available.

See how sneaky that is?  Whatever happened was serious enough that an incident report was filed with the Williamson County Sheriff; it’s just not available to the media, who are also not being allowed to tour Hutto.

There’s no excuse for this. We don’t live in a fucking dictatorship.  These folks are being detained while awaiting hearings.  They are, in effect, in the equivalent of jail.  Could you imagine if a county jail wouldn’t let the media come in and take a look around? 

Need I remind you, also, America, that there are small U.S. citizens in Hutto? U.S. citizens who keep busy playing “guard-detainee, where the guard screams in the detainee’s face as the detainee cowers and cries.” 

I keep thinking of Celie’s words, how she curses Mister.  And I keep thinking that Walker is on to something here–that she’s not calling something into being that didn’t exist before, but that, through Celie, she’s articulating a great, deep truth of the New World.

Until you do right by me, everything you touch will crumble.

We’ve got to stop this shit.  Not just because it’s wrong to treat others how we’re treating them, but because our own actions curse us.

Maybe that’s too woo-woo for you.

In that case, let’s turn to Jesus.

Jesus, we’re putting families in privately run prisons, raping mothers, and terrorizing children.  What do you have to say about that?

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Thank you, Jesus.  I would hope that your words would give this Christian nation great pause in the face of a monstrosity like Hutto.

Certainly the Sigh is not Pavlovian!

Say Uncle continues to school us all in the ways of dogs.  I take to my fainting couch and refuse to believe that Mrs. Wigglebottom does not have a rich interior life.  She sighs, Uncle, the most forlorn sighs of… well, forlornness.  Doesn’t that prove that she’s not just reacting to her environment, but seeking to impose her will on it?  I hope so, because I’ve left her in charge of paying the bills these last few months.  I’d hate to think my trust in her has been misplaced.

Birthday, A Recap

The Great:

Breakfast at the Mason Jar.  Have y’all ever been there?  I swear, I had eggs, bacon, home fries, biscuits and gravy, and a drink for like four dollars.  And it was so much food I almost couldn’t eat it.  An amazing amount of food.

Giving Little Pasture a Guatamalen baby.  God bless Brittney Gilbert for being up for anything.  We called her to tell her we were coming and that woman was in on the plan instantly.  And boy did she sell that she’d found something weird.

Brownies and ice cream.  Mack’s people made me brownies and ice cream for my birthday.

The kid who was peeking under the dressing room doors at the Goodwill, who, when he got caught, would not talk to anyone or do anything except stand there staring at his shoes as hard as he could.  So cute.

How I was trying to talk to my dad on the phone and Mack and his kids were all, at various points, also trying to talk to my dad on the phone.

When I called the Man from GM to ask him about how much more money I should put into my car, he said “About five dollars.  I think you can get a good ‘for sale’ sign for five dollars.”

The look on Mack’s face when I asked the Man from GM what kind of car he really likes and thinks a person should get and he said, “A Town & Country.”  Mack’s whole face scrunched up like he’d just tasted poo.  Pooh?  I guess Pooh probably tastes like honey.  So, it must be poo.

The Sucky:

My car.  It’s as aligned as it can be because I’ve got some other front end problem I can’t afford to get fixed.  And when I asked the guys at the dealership how I can tell if putting another five hundred dollars into it would fix the car to the point where I could at least drive it until it was paid off or if this was just the start of it being a never-ending money pit, the one guy said, well, to get your oil leak fixed is bound to be another $400, so, really you’re probably looking at $900 to bring it up to good condition, but you don’t have to do that right away.

And here’s the thing.  I love my car.  I don’t mean that I love my car as some tool that helps me in my day to day life.  I mean, when I turned it on last night and the dashboard lights flickered on and off a few times like they couldn’t decide if they were going to come on and stay on, I talked as sweet to that car as I’ve talked to lovers resting on my breast, coaxing it to just keep going, a little more, to get me home.

Having a car makes me feel free.

There’s that.

Then there’s the fact that I am not used to and have a hard time accepting when there’s just something I don’t know about.

Mack’s all “We’ll just get you a new car.  I can work a deal.  Blah blah blah fix-it-cakes.” and I’m standing there getting more and more frustrated and, frankly, scared because it makes no sense to me, none at all, that you can get a car when you still owe money on the car you have, which is, apparently, falling apart as fast as I can come up with the money to keep putting it back together.

I see Mack’s mouth moving.  I hear the words coming out.  I talk to the Man from GM.  He also seems to think this would be a reasonable course, considering the circumstances.

And I cannot wrap my brain around it.  It makes no sense to me. 

Mack and the Man from GM might as well be saying, “Purple buzzards lick red flowers.”  The words are words I recognize.  I get that that’s a sentence, but it has no meaning to me; it just sounds like nonsense.

I find that sensation really scary–this feeling like I have to make a decision about a subject I know nothing about.  And reading up is not going to help me because I cannot understand the basic concepts that underlie whatever it is I’m reading about.

I don’t get this at some elementary level.

And I really, really need to.