Scared Straight

I have some acquaintances I made this summer who I love dearly, who are planning a trip to Memphis, to Graceland.  They’re planning on driving.

It was all I could do to not throw myself on the ground and beg them to reconsider.

I didn’t, though.  I encouraged them to come, told them how everyone should see Graceland once.

I’m afraid of a lot of things and I didn’t want to project my fears onto them.  You know what I’m saying?  Just because I’d be afraid doesn’t necessarily mean that fear is warranted.

Right now, it’s all I can do to not call them up and just beg them to be careful.  Shoot, it’s all I can do to not drive west and pack up my two dear friends who live over there and move them here.

It’s not just that a woman can be assaulted in a bar, stabbed in the face with a broken beer bottle, and then have it busted over her head just because she looks a little too much like a man for some asshole’s taste.

After all, it could be that her story isn’t the whole truth.


But take a look at the comments.  That’s what gets me.  Not just that someone would do this, but that he seems to have community support.

–Gay people should just stay out of bars.

–Gay people have brain damage.

–He shouldn’t have assaulted her, but if she “chooses to live her life in the masculine,” we can’t condone her actions.

–Perhaps she’s just blowing this out of proportion for monetary gain or to get attention.

–She must have hit on that dude and, in that case, can you blame him for assaulting her?

–“In the South, common sense should also dictate that homosexuals shouldn’t come out to drunks in bars.  […] could get you injured or killed.”

–“The gay society brings it on themselves.”

–And then some charming stuff about how great the KKK was.


I wish I had something witty and insightful to say here, but I really don’t.

Just be careful out there, folks.

In Which It’s Fine for Frey to Lie, But Unseemly for Oprah to Do It

I caught this YouTube clip over at Andrew Sullivan’s and it about made me have to hang my head in shame.  Seriously.  Listen to Nan Talese talk with such dripping contempt about how Oprah supposedly sold James Frey out because her “fans” demanded that Oprah not stand by a book that wasn’t true–a book, may I remind you, America, that passed itself off as true.

Talese must have some balls to get on tv–even on CSPAN–talking like it’s contemptible that people want a book that purports to be true to actually be not made up.  She put out a book that was a lie and then has the audacity to bitch about how unfair it was for Oprah to lie to Frey and Talese to get them on TV.   Talese is “appalled just in terms of basic manners.”

Pray tell, what are proper manners for how to treat a con artist–who fools you into believing that he’s someone he’s not in order to get you to promote his product and who then steals your and your audience’s money–and his willing accomplice when you have them on your TV show?

And is Talese the least bit ashamed of being involved in this whole scheme?  No.  She goes on national TV and says, “Oprah Winfrey was a huge fan of the book until there were two small incidents that had nothing to do with his experience with drugs that were found out to be an exaggeration.”

I’d love to know how she’s grouping all this stuff so as to only equal two small incidents.

Frankly, at this point, I can’t decide who’s the bigger con artist–Frey or Talese.  He pulled a whopper of a scam, it’s true, but here she is shifting the blame from herself and her author to one of their victims!  And people are clapping!

She’s good.  She’s real good.

Today is the Worst Day of the Butcher’s Life

The Butcher is literally at home hiding in the dark because terrible things tend to happen to him on August 1st.  I can’t remember them all, but arrests, accidents, losing jobs, etc.  The rest of August has been known to not be so great for him, too, but if he can make it through today, we will, hopefully, be over the worst of it.

Of course, knowing that today is notoriously a day when bad things happen in the Butcher’s life, I’m trying to be exceptionally cautious while driving, shuffling my feet, or standing under tall trees.

I don’t know why the Butcher has such a hard time on Lammas Day.

Here’s what I wonder*.

There are eight solar holidays on the pagan (of European descent) calendar.  Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Lammas, Mabon, and Samhain.  He was born right before Samhain.  I wonder if that sheds any light onto why Lammas is so difficult for him.

*Okay, that’s not entirely true.  Readership, here’s what I’ve been wondering and I know some of you are going to know the answer to this.  How many women through out the history of Christian Europe actually considered themselves witches?  I guess I don’t want a number.  I want to know what kinds of evidence we have for women (and men) actually practicing what they understood to be witchcraft of sorts.  I know Maria Romero in 1702 in Spain told the Inquisition that she cast spells and read cards and understood this to be witchcraft.  But I just wonder how you sort out, or if it’s possible to sort out, who was actually practicing witchcrafts of various sorts and who was being accused of it.

In Which I Channel Charlemagne

Bill Hobbs asks: Will Europe Survive the 21st Century?  He then quotes a few lines from an essay with that same name:  “What would Charlemagne make of Europe today? …. How long, the Emperor would surely ask, can a civilization expect to survive without arms, without faith, without children?”

Well, you know, I hate to leave any such thoughtful conservative thinker like Hobbs wondering what Charlemagne would think of Europe today.

So, I have decided to call forth Charlemagne from the grave and ask.

“Ooo, Charlemagne, Charles the Great, King of the Franks, Uniter of Europe thirteen centuries ago, come forth and answer my questions.”

“Gehôri, got, gebet mîn, thenke te gebede mînin.”

“What?  Shit, I don’t speak Old Low Franconian.”

“Are you married, my lady?”

“You speak English?”

“My lady, if there’s any chance that I will be able to fuck a fine woman such as yourself… why look!  You must be over thirty and yet you have all of your teeth.  And your smell…. Come here!”

“Owe, don’t pull my hair.”

“But that smell… ”

“It’s just Pantene.”

“Is that a flower?”

“No, it’s a shampoo… a kind of soap just for your hair.”

“You have soap just for your hair?!  What a wonderous time!  Come, let’s fuck.”

“Wait, slow down there, big boy.”

“I am a large man, in all the proper places, if you know what I mean.”

“Yes, I can see that.  Please, wait, put your pants back on.”

“You’ve heard that I had five wives.”

“And five concubines.”

“Only five?  I had five concubines in each town I visited.”

“Um, okay, that’s nice.”

“I’m just saying, I know what to do with a woman such as yourself.”


“And I love feisty women.  Have you heard how I let my daughters carry on?”

“Can I ask you some questions for Bill Hobbs?”

“Did you know that some geneologists believe that every white person in the world can trace his or her family tree back to me or my men?”


“We really liked women back in my day and they were so ripe for the taking.  Much like you, my dear.  May I just cradle your tender breast in my hand?”

“No, you may not!  Let me ask you about Europe.”

“One tender kiss on this tired brow.  You give me that and I will answer your questions about Europe and this William of Lobbs.”

“William of Lobbs?  Oh, hee, Bill Hobbs.”

“Just one kiss.”

“Okay, just one.”

Sorry, Hobbs.  You can see I had the best of intentions, but did you know that Charlemagne is cultus confirmed?  He’s under the impression that he just needs to perform a certain number of miracles and he’ll be made a saint.

Let me just say, he’s got some skills that could be considered miraculous.

Tee hee.