You Can Get Change, But Good Luck Dictating What Shape It Will Take

I have to ask you something, and please don’t answer, “You need to stop right now!”

How do you know, though, when to stop, when to step aside and let the new folks take over?

I’m thirty three.  I’ll be thirty four this year.  I’m not expecting to be a great feminist thinker; I’m not expecting to see any who are my age.  I imagine I’ll live with feminist “leaders” who were born before Vietnamization or after, just like always.

I sometimes get uneasy with what the younger women are up to, what they find important.  I do sometimes worry that the things I want out of feminism are not the things they want and that my concerns will get left behind.

But then, I think, I’ve got it pretty good and I want the things I want so that my life is better and so that the women (and men) who come after me won’t have to continue to want those things.

I say all this as a way of explaining that I get why the Second Wave Feminists are so hell-bent on getting Clinton into office.  They are fighting for a world in which a woman can be president.  To them, if a woman can be president, that will be some symbolic moment that proves women have been fully assimilated into the system.

They have been working their whole lives to bring us a world in which a woman can be president.

They have achieved that.  They have brought about the change they hoped for.  And now all they need is to put a woman in the White House and victory is theirs/ours.  From The Vote to the White House in just under 90 years.

For some of them, they knew women who fought for the right to vote.

But you see what I’m suggesting in the title?  They got the change they wanted.  They should be thrilled.  But they also want to dictate the shape that change will take.  It’s not enough that a woman can be a plausible and likely candidate for president; they want Clinton in the White House.

And they’re pissed that the younger, third wave feminists aren’t lining up to support them.

From where I’m sitting, it appears that the feminist movement is an extremely fragile coalition of different women with different ideas and different struggles to overcome.  We’re already seeing the tattered, frayed spots and hearing from large swaths of women that they never even felt welcome to help make up the fabric of feminism.

I don’t think that feminism as a theoretical position or a personal philosophy is going anywhere, but damn, I have to say, it seems to me like, if the second-wavers cannot step back and see the effects of what they’re doing on other feminists, how their nonsense poisons all of us, feminism as a movement is over.

I don’t know.  I keep thinking about that speaker that the Professor and I saw, who talked about the two strands of second-wave feminism–the strand where women just wanted access to what men had, to be a part of things, and the strand that wanted new systems and wanted to change women so that we could create new ways of doing things.

I can’t help but think that the more vocal second-wavers–Pollitt, Steinem, Jong, etc.–seem pissed to discover that, even with all they’ve achieved in the world, they cannot muster an army of younger women to follow them and do what they tell us to do.  Where are their minions?  What are the perques they get for having made it to being rich, powerful, old, and white?

They’re trying to declare victory (which, I believe, is what a Clinton win to them would mean) only to discover that the other branch of second wave feminism is the one that actually won, that has actually changed what women (and some men) think social justice is and how it’s done.

I Was Right about the Bright Afghan!

If you double the pattern, it ends up being a pretty good size.

I spent the evening arranging and rearranging afghan squares.  I think I’ve got it just how I want it now.  Here’s the size the afghan pattern makes:


You can see why that wasn’t going to do.  I know children that afghan would have been too small for.

And here’s the afghan I’m about to start sewing together:


Yes, that is a Pac-man pillow case.  Fuck off, some folks find it charming.

Hey, check this picture of Mrs. Wigglebottom out.  The Butcher was at one end of the couch and she’s all “When in Rome…”


Buying Multiple Copies of the Same Book

I did not know this, but when dealing with some publishers, if a bunch of you are all wanting to read and own the same book, you can have one person order all the copies directly from the publisher, and they will give you the non-returnable discount (you might have to contact Marketing to see).  A friend of mine just ordered 13 copies of a book he wanted to give as a gift directly from the University Press that published it and he got a 40% discount.

I Made the List! I Made the List!

Oh, y’all, I forgot to tell you.  You know how I’ve been pissing and moaning and flouncing all over the internet complaining because Progressive Nashville never includes me in the list of progressive Tennessee blogs?  Well, I met Jim who blogs over there who graciously informs me that it’s not Progressive Nashville who puts out that list; it’s R. Neal over at TennViews.


I am an idiot.

But, they’ve decided to include me anyway!  So, make of that what you will.

The Sunday “Palmetto pummeling with rejoicing in the streets and mournful rending of garments” edition of the TennViews weekly liberal blog roundup showcasing the best and brightest bloggers in Tennessee and what they are talking about…

• 10,000 Monkeys and a Camera: SC exit poll results here and here

• 55-40 Memphis (a new addition to the blogroll and roundup): Dilemma: So, short of something drastic happening to make me wrong, I predict it’s going to be a long, painful slog to November — and (at best) a nailbiter election night.

• Andy Axel (at TennViews): America 2001-2008: Enter The Bush Leagues: Not even the Reagan Revolution or the Contract On America was as successful at creating so much ruin in such little time:

• Aunt B. (another new addition to the blogroll and roundup): Who Owns Tennessee’s Women?: Do we have the right to decide for ourselves what happens to our bodies or are we just walking condos, with the State acting as mostly-absentee landlords.

• BlountViews: Blount GOP to back Ron Paul?: What’s not to like?

• The Crone Speaks: Are TN’eans/All Progressives Falling for the Symbolic Vote, or Do They Want a Real Leader?: The current state of our union does not afford voters the luxury for a symbolic vote. Voters should be considering the state our country is in, and which candidate has the most progressive platform to lead us out of the dire straights the previous administrations have placed us.

• Cup of Joe Powell: TV News Covers ‘Baloney’ In Campaign For President: Does the news matter to anyone anymore?, and Your Communication Is Not Yours Anyway: The argument that only the guilty need be concerned about this type of constant surveillance is an argument which has neither merit nor logic., and A Vast Database of Deception: And sadly, the general response to the report is a rather exhausted yawn. “It doesn’t even matter anymore,” said a friend of mine.

• The Donkey’s Mouth: The $9 Trillion Bear in the Room: The fact of the matter is, however, that were it not for Democrats at the table there would not be a stimulus package.

• Enclave: Infrastructure? Who Needs Infrastructure?: Cost to fix these hazards: $1.6 trillion., and Bredesen’s TDOT Welcomes Bush Transportation Chief in Support of Toll Roads: The traveling medicine show designed to pull public funds to private coffers (George W. Bush’s prime directive) has come to Tennessee, and our so-called Democratic administration is embracing it with open arms., also Bubba’s Brutality and Obama’s Egotism

• Fletch: The Sand Man, and Afternoon Walk

• KnoxViews: Milestones unnoticed… (on KnoxViews anniversary), and a funny flashback from a reader (and RoaneViews co-conspirator), plus mark your calendars, Seymour Hersh Speaking at UT, Feb 6th

• Lean Left: Lean Left: The question now is where are the front runners? Why are they not in DC, right now, holding a press conference where they clearly state that they will be supporting the filibuster of this cowardly provision., and They’re just politicians: They aren’t going to save us all with a well timed legislative victory and a cheery wave to the camera. Every single one of them will, at one point or another, betray something you consider vitally important to get something else, usually something you think is ridiculously over-valued. (as they say, read the whole thing…)

• Left of the Dial: Maybe in South Carolina…: But something tells me that unless Oprah campaigns in Tennessee and starts giving out new cars, he won’t see the same numbers here., and an Information Highway Road Trip

• Left Wing Cracker: THIS is why I’m for John Edwards , and in case you missed it at TennViews, A tale of two legislators

• Liberadio (another new addition to the blogroll and roundup): We use these too: If “ES&S iVotronic” and “paperless touchscreen voting machines” sound familiar to some of you it’s because 17 out of 95 counties in Tennessee use these machines and, if things don’t go well next week, we’ll be using them again in the November election., plus Our Money’s Already Spent

• Loose TN Canon: The albatross of Iraq around McCain’s neck: John McCain is a hypocrite. During Clinton’s presidency, he argued vehemently to bring the troops home from Haiti and Somalia – regardless of the consequences.

• NewsComa: Anthem Of Change: It backfired. The whole Hillary/Bill wrassling tag team blew up in their faces yesterday when Barack Obama beat the tar out of the two. , and I Have Some Time To Figure Super Tuesday Out: I only have one vote. And it’s mine.

• Pesky Fly: Clinton Destroying the Party: If our three Democratic candidate were steaks, they would be ribeye, t-bone, and porterhouse. Saying one cut of meat from the same cow will destroy the party is – there’s no gentle way to say this – f***ing nuts., also Lost in the Funhouse: Obama’s been misrepresented. … And I really don’t care much about this beyond the fact that I worry how, should they reach the general, the whiners will deal with an attack machine that took down John McCain for a lack of patriotism.

• Progressive Nashville: The right time for health care reform?: It’s easy for the rich and powerful to ignore the problems of the poor, but now health care costs are tapping into profits and that means everyone’s well-being is at stake., and Who will speak for the poor?: So divided has the Democratic Party become from wedge issues generated by the GOP, that its vision of prosperity for all has been all but abandoned.

• Resonance: Potpourri: I report, you decide., plus an interesting survey at TennViews: How much do political TV or radio ads affect your voting decisions?

• RoaneViews: Connected Tennessee: On the home page there is a place where you can check your Internet connection speed. There are also maps of the state by county that show that counties connectivity., and Green Development Conference

• Russ McBee: Congressional Dems cave to Bush twice in one day: The Democrats were not handed control of Congress last year just for the purpose of caving to every whim of the most unpopular president in recent history., plus: The clueless Michael Chertoff speaks: Showing your papers, removing your shoes in airports, and that Real ID nonsense do not foster security; they merely provide what Bruce Schneier calls “security theater:” the illusion of security, intended to foster a feeling of well-being, whether deserved or not.

• Sean Braisted: “You People”: I knew the Clintons would attempt to dismiss the results in South Carolina as a hollow victory because South Carolina had a high black population; I didn’t see Obama do the same thing because New Hampshire is one of the whitest states in the union., also: The Challenge: …to list 10 things I like about Hillary…I’ll start, and perhaps get to ten.

• Sharon Cobb: Subdued Republican Debate Allows Romney To Perform Well.: By his looks and family, Mitt Romney is straight out of central casting for the role of President. However, his acting skills have been less than up to par. … Then there was the obligatory Hillary bashing. I guess a bunch of old, conservative white guys can’t conceive that their opponent in the general election might be a black man.

• Silence Isn’t Golden: South Carolina Results Live-Blog: No word yet on whether or not she’ll address the loss, although she already released a statement mentioning the Super Tuesday states, and also Florida. Unsurprising, since she’s already indicated that she will undermine the DNC and Howard Dean by pushing for Florida and Michigan delegates to count., also in case you missed it at TennViews, GoldnI’s analysis of the WSMV Tennessee presidential primary poll.

• Southern Beale: Fred Watch: Democratic voters don’t tend to blame their candidates when they don’t win primaries; at least, I don’t hear anyone blaming Dennis Kucinich or John Edwards for underperforming this primary season. , also Not That There’s Anything Wong With That: Obama’s not Muslim, people.

• Tennessee Guerilla Women: Media Bias Against Clintons Borders on Mental Illness: I don’t recall ever seeing so much overt and shameless media bias in any previous election. I may as well be watching Fox News., also Everybody But Obama Knew About Rezko, and Nashville: Hillary Congratulates Obama & Says ‘We Have Only Just Begun’

• TennViews TN GOP coming unhinged on abortion amendment: The bottom line is that this is a pathetically transparent political stunt to get yet another wedge issue on the ballot for the 2010 gubernatorial election in an effort to get right-wing extremists out to the polls. Tennessee deserves better leadership than this., also Sasser: As iron sharpens iron

• Vibinc: Real life intervenes, blogging will resume shortly…

• Whites Creek Journal: Who do I vote for? (a celebrity endorsement roundup): So ultimately, the burning question of the day boils down to , “Can that fat oatmeal guy beat both fake blondes, Rick Flair and Anne Coulter?”, and Oh, Great! (on not being stimulated by the stimulus package): Republicans repeatedly demonstrate that they are ethically unequipped to do anything except serve rich people, and our Democratic Congressional leadership repeatedly proves that they are ill equipped to do anything except let them and whine about it.

• Women’s Health News: Best Cities to Have a Baby: This year’s winner was Portland, followed by Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver. My own city ranked 33rd, just below D.C. Among the factors weighing Nashville down…

The Halo

I don’t know if they still call it that–the halo–but the best I can explain, it’s the other stuff that goes with having a headache–the dizziness, the feeling like time is all funky, the extreme sensitivity to different sensations, a kind of hyper-sensitive mellowness, the trouble focusing your eyes–that takes a back-seat to the headache itself.

When I take acetaminophen, it tends to take care of everything, the headache itself and all the other stuff that goes with it.

Ibuprofen, for me, tends only to cure my pain, but leaves me everything else, so I feel like I’m mildly stoned, only without the feeling that the world is an amusing place.

But it did feel good to go outside at lunch and tilt my head back into the sun and just feel the nice day land on my face and slowly make its way down the rest of my body.

I Always Laugh When Mrs. Wigglebottom Sneezes

Mainly because it’s the world’s longest sneeze (with the exception maybe of elephants, having never witnessed elephant sneezes), starting way back near her brain and working its way down her snout so that she’s got to shake her head and curl her lips to finally get it to let go and come out.  It’s like HRExxrhezzzheepbhbpt.  And then she kind of is startled by it, like she’s looking out in front of her for whatever dastardly being must have certainly just come out of her head and is surprised to find nothing.

They’re having a couple of really good discussions over at Shakespeare’s Sister about pit bulls and the happy endings for some of Michael Vick’s dogs, here and here.

Maybe I’m just getting soft in my old age, but that picture of the two pit bulls snout to snout in silliness kind of makes me tear up.

Random Things that Have Been on My Mind

1.  But I’m sure this time is different.

2.  I’m not Catholic and my familiarity with Catholicism comes from an a-typical (maybe) situation, but I thought the point of a Catholic school was, in part, that all Catholics could attend.  There’s a post somewhere about what it means that the crowd at Father Ryan is 99% white in a city with a vibrant, if sometimes terrified, Hispanic community.  I’m not the person to write it, but I’d sure like to read it.

3.  So, I was at the Uncounted screeninglast week.  It’s a powerful movie, and I know some Righties will stay away because it looks at the last few elections and the Republicans don’t come out looking so hot.  I would encourage you to see it anyway, because it’s important and it will make you raise an eyebrow at the New Hampshire primary.

4.  I spent part of yesterday playing with puppies.  I just wanted to run around screaming Puppies!  Puppies! but apparently that agitates their mom.

5.  This has been nagging at the back of my brain for a week and people keep saying things that seem to fit with my train of though and I keep waiting for a whole post to develop out of it, but a whole post doesn’t seem to be forthcoming.  So, I’ll just say this: it is a mistake to assume that the Universe, which brings forth as much variety as it can, would some how not be geared to produce variety in human beings.  It’s also a mistake to assume that our suffering has anything to do with some kind of judgement against us by the Universe.

6.  The Butcher is back home sick again.  I really don’t want to catch what he’s got.