The Covenant and The Wicker Man

So, this weekend, I watched both The Covenant (The Butcher’s Elevator Pitch: The Craft for dudes!) and The Wicker Man.  Both were delightfully terrible.

The Covenant was so stupid I almost don’t know what to tell you.  I could give you the premise, but the whole thing is so predictable that telling you the premise would give away the whole movie.  But, okay, here it is: the last male descendants of the five founding families of Ipswitch have witchy powers that, if overused, turn them ancient before their time.  There are four good guy witches, the best good guy witch is taking care of his ancient before his time dad.  Ooo, but there were five founding families…

So, anyway, unless you need proof that all white people look the same (and in this movie, the leading people all look so similar I sometimes found it hard to follow.  Was that the main good guy or the bad guy?), I’d stay away.

The Wicker Man, on the other hand, is amazingly bad.  I know Neil LaBute has this reputation for being a great writer, but I’ve got to tell you, watching that made me wonder if LaBute has ever met actual women or experienced joy.  And so I must insist that you see it.

See, the thing–the crucial thing, I think–about the original The Wicker Man is that it looks like great fun to live on the island.  People fuck and dance around and have parties and parades and, in general, it looks like the kind of place one might want to live, or at least vacation.  You understand why they would risk bringing an outsider there to sacrifice–and it is a risk on a number of levels, a risk that his disappearance will bring other outsiders and a risk that he will loosen up and start enjoying the island and they will have lost their virgin sacrifice.  It seems like the kind of place worth making sacrifices for.

And yet, I think it’s easy enough to imagine that someone with another mindset might sit there quite horrified, identifying instead with the police officer.

Somehow, in LaBute’s rendition, it’s both harder to identify with the pagans–why would anyone choose such a dower quiet life?  (The school teacher and the tavern owner are the only two people who manage to imbue their characters with anything approaching sizzle.)  And harder to identify with the police officer–nothing in the brief hint we’re given of him before he gets to the island prepares us for his awkward behavior on the island.

And then, at the end, in a move so stupid I almost had to rewind it, LaBute flashes forward six months and we see two of the women trying to bed two more men.

I think it’s supposed to be ambiguous and horrifying.  We don’t know if the sacrifice worked and so they’re looking for more men in case they need another one years later or if it didn’t work and so they’re going to try to lure more men to the island (for that matter, it doesn’t make any sense that they say they’re sacrificing him because of a terrible harvest and yet they also try to convince him that they’ve been planning this for years, since his fiancee first hooked up with him).

But I have to think it would be a tad more horrifying if we saw that it had worked.

Anyway, men, at the least you should watch it just so you know that when you get a calligraphied letter from a woman claiming her child has been kidnapped, you’ll know what you’re getting into.

Because, I mean, seriously.  If your kid has been kidnapped by a crazy cult, are you really going to take the time to beautifully shape every letter in the note you send for help?

That was a plot hole big enough to drive a mysterious-girl-crushing-truck through.

The Tiny Cat Pants Afghan Is Already in Use

My only goal for today, aside from doing laundry, is to try to either finish up the TCP afghan or get it much closer to being finished.  Because, if I don’t soon get that puppy out the door and into Georgia’s hands, the Butcher is going to steal it.

He’s already taken to sleeping under the part that is done.

He says it’s very comfortable.

I asked him if he agreed with the Professor that it was quite butt ugly (the Professor actually physically recoiled when I showed it to her) and he said that it was ugly in the way you want afghans to be ugly–ugly enough that no one will try to steal it from you.

And yet, he appears to be trying to steal it from Georgia.

The Medieval World Was Much More Dangerous than Ours

I blame NM for introducing me to Got Medieval, which almost killed me today.  I’m sitting there reading, snickering about the medieval personals and following links where I discovered this post about medieval beavers, who were believed to rip their own testicles off and throw them in the face of hunters.  I almost choked on my cereal.

Let me repeat that: White folks, your ancestors believed that beavers would rip their own testicles off and fling them in your faces.

I’m not suggesting that modern hunters are soft, with their guns and their deer stands and their duck calls.  I’m just saying that no hunter in America ever regularly hunted an animal he thought was going to fling testicles at his face.

That takes balls.


I want to make a Dick Cheney joke here, but I can’t quite think of one.  Insert your own.

Anansi Boys

I just finished Anansi Boys even though it arrived on my door step months ago.  I’ll be honest with you, my job has broken something in me, ruined my love of reading like a fingernail in my chicken salad wrap ruined Arbys for me.

I have a hard time reading for pleasure any more, of seeing someone else’s words as something to be enjoyed instead of problems to be solved.

Today, it was wet and cold and rainy and I had already spent my last five dollars buying dinner for the Butcher the evening before, and so I was sitting at the computer, feeling something, a kind of old urge, and it took me a long time to recognize it.  So, I played on the computer some and I crocheted some and I did some dishes and scratched the dog’s belly and still…

And then I realized, I wanted to read a book.

It was the kind of day you could devote to reading a book and not feel like there was something else you should be doing and so I read a book.

And the part of me trained to ask “What can I do to fix this?” was mostly too lazy to get in the way of my reading.

I talked to the recalcitrant brother today.  He just called to shoot the shit and I was glad to hear from him.  We talked a long time about how few folks are calling electricians and how many houses are sitting empty and about how high his blood pressue is but he can’t afford the medicines the doctor thinks he should take.

I told him that I was eating crackers for breakfast after having spent… well, I told him what I told you.  He laughed at me long and hard, asked if I was kidding, and then laughed again.

We had a similar conversation before I went up to my dad’s, when he remarked about how bad he felt that he was too broke to get up there for the surgery.

I was telling the Professor about it because I said that I couldn’t tell if he wanted me to commiserate or if he was hinting.

Same thing with the conversation today.

I love my brother a great deal, but I don’t trust him.  I don’t trust these easy conversations between us, his laughter, his just calling to chat.

Maybe that’s not fair.

I was thinking about that in terms of Anansi Boys because, in reading it, I kept thinking how sometimes you wish that you could stumble across a witch who knew routes to other places, even as you’re lighting the candles on your altar and sticking your nose in the jar full of herbs and resins and other plant parts that to you smells so much like magic it makes your head spin just to smell it, even in broad daylight, and you feel this world letting go just a little bit, enough to make it hard for you to walk without feeling dizzy, and you drop things because you lose track of what your body is doing here because part of you is shifting over there.

This isn’t really a book review, I guess.

But what I mean is that I’m so regularly looking to meet folks that make that shift, but it’s me.

I have a friend who appreciates altered states and so I keep trying to convince him to try to slip over with me, but he’s always turning me down.

I am the weird person I wish I knew.

I guess that doesn’t tell you much about the book, does it?

I liked it and I cried when Fat Charlie’s dad danced into the cancer ward to heal his mom.  And it pleased me that he gave him his hat.

Make Your Own Crochet Cooter!

After having perused the internet, I see that no one has bothered to post a pattern for crochetting your own girly bits. I, dear readers, having done it myself once, now share with you how to do it yourselves.

There are a few things it’s helpful to keep in mind. 1. When crocheting in the round, crocheting the same number of stitches round after round will make a tube. 2. In order to make a flat circle, you need to increase. 3. When crocheting a tube, the part of the stitch facing you becomes the interior of the tube.

p3130006.jpgTo do this, you’ll need a skein of yarn (or two, if you want the exterior to look different than the interior), a hook (I used a K), some scissors, the ability to single crochet, increase, decrease, and… and I think that’s it.

Okay, let’s get started. We’ll begin with the vagina and work our way outwards.

Chain three and make a loop (kind of like when you’re starting a granny square). Then, remember that we’re only doing single crochet stitches, and do eight stitches for your first row and join the loop with a slip stitch.p3130007.jpg

p3130011.jpgSecond row, also eight stitches, and you’ll see that it already wants to pull into a tube. That’s what we want. Keep going!

You’ll have to decide for yourself how long you want your vagina to be. I made this one eight rows, just for the sake of time.p3130013.jpg

Row 9 (or whatever): Put two stitches in each stitch so that you have 16 when you are done. See how it flairs out? Okay, now you have to start thinking about how a cooter is shaped, kind of like a tear drop. We need to start working on that shape.

Row 10: First stitch, crochet twice into it. Crochet once into the next four stitches. Crochet twice into the next stitch. Crochet once into the next five stitches. Crochet five times into the next stitch (like you’re making an afghan corner). Then crochet once into the last five stitches. Join with a slip stitch.p3130016.jpg

p3130017.jpgRow 11: Crochet twice into the first stitch. Crochet once in the next six stitches. Crochet twice in the next stitch. Crochet once in the next seven stitches. Crochet five times in the next stitch. Crochet once into the next seven stitches to bring you back to the beginning. Join.

Row 12: Now, we don’t want this getting too triangle-y, so in this round, single stitch in the next four stitches and then put three crochets in the next stitch. Then singles stitches in the next fourteen stitches. Stitch five in the next stitch. Ten lone crochets in the next ten stitches to bring us back around to the start. Join with a slip stitch.p3130018.jpg

p3130020.jpgRow 13: This is the trickiest part of the whole thing. We’re going to make the inner labia, so, instead of crocheting in the round like we’ve been doing, we’re going to turn around and go back in the stitches we just made, BUT, because we’re going to come back this way again, we only want to go in the front part of the loop (which, when we turn around, will be the back part of the loop). Hopefully, the picture makes sense of what I’m telling you to do.p3130019.jpg

p3130021.jpgYou’re going to make 26 stitches, and end up with something that should bend towards you.


Row 14: Come back 26 stitches. You’re done with the inner labia. Make your next stitch back down on the top of row twelve. Then come around in single stitches to the bottom of the other side of the labia. When you get to the stitch before your last stitch before your inner labia, take a look up and see the edge of that stitch up there. You’re going to probably want to grab it and work it into this stitchp3130026.jpg.

Okay, here’s another tricky part. Remember how we left half the loop hanging back in the last row? We’re going to crochet into those. So, just fold over your inner labia and catch the rest of that old stitch. We’re going to just single crochet into those and come back around to the other end of the labia, where row 12 started, once upon a time. p3130027.jpgAnd, new row!

Row 15: One crochet in each stitch.

Row 16: Same thing.

Row 17: Same thing.

p3130028.jpgTIME OUT: It’s time to make the clit. (And also time to change colors, which is fortunate, because we’re going to have to cut the pink yarn). Just chain three just like you started, hook them together and tie off. At the top of the inner labia, underneath, you’re going to see a big hole. I feed one string through the hole on one side of that and one string through the hole on the other side and tie them in the back. Use your hook to help.p3130029.jpg

Row 18: Go around as normal with your new color.

p3130030.jpgRow 19: Turn around and go the other way (remember, the tube comes towards you and we now want to make the tube cover the back of everything we did).

Row 20: Go around again. You can see the stitches already kind of roll towards you.

Row 21. Stitch five, skip one, repeat.

Row 22: Stitch four, skip one, repeat.

p3130031.jpgBy now, it should be rolling over like it should. You’ll do another ten or fifteen rows without any decrease, until the vagina is covered, then do a row of stitch three, skip one, a row of stitch two, skip one, and then some rows of stitch one, skip one until the whole thing is covered and you’re done, tada.


This one seems a little deeper than the one I made Rachel and I think you could adjust subsequent cooters by having a few more increases in the area below the vaginal opening so that it was wider and therefore shallower. But once you get the idea, I think you can see there’s a ton of variations you could do.

Okay, I’m Not Done

Shoot, I just can’t let this go.  Okay, I’ll say this and then I’m done.


I’m just a dumpy broad with a computer and some random stuff to say.  What I enjoy about blogging and what makes it for me more than just an exercise in being a writer too cowardly to really write is the stuff I learn from the other amazing folks out here on the internet, who comment here or post at their own places, who put it out there.

I find this to be incredibly important.  It makes me feel intellectually engaged in the world and makes me feel like I have a real stake in things.  Maybe a tiny stake, but a stake.

The thing about WKRN under the old vision, with Brittney and Kleinheider, was that the leadership really got that–that blogging gave people a way to really be engaged in our community in ways that traditional media just doesn’t.

Even if we all watch the news or read the paper, it’s passive.  You just sit there and let information flow into you.

It’s not that way with blogging.  With blogging, if information comes in and doesn’t come back out in some way–either by spurring you to comment or blog yourself or act in some other way–it’s a failure.

To grasp the difference, imagine if I went to the Scene and said to Liz Garrigan, “Damn, Liz, I so love what you’ve done with the Scene.  I love the stuff you make me think about and I love learning about places and so, yeah, I’m going to start my own alternative newspaper.”

But people all the time start blogs because of a blog they’ve read.

So, yeah, Kleinheider, and Brittney, gave me a kind of legitimacy that was a hybrid of the blogger/old media thing.  I was just talking to a bunch of other ordinary folks who also had computers, but folks who got paid to blog by a television station thought what I said mattered.

That was nice.

And I’m sorry to see the end of that.

Is That a Cellphone in Your Pocket or are You Just Happy to See Me?

Kleinheider (aka Tiny Pasture, aka Carter) is out of Volunteer Voters.  In a perfect world, we’d all go down to the bar, lay him out on the pool table and send him out McNulty-style.

Alas, this is not that perfect world.

I wanted to say something mushy and heartfelt about Kleinheider’s job over at Volunteer Voters, but I just keep thinking of watching Brittney hand him that basket with that doll in it and the look on his face, when he thought, just for a second, that someone had handed him a real baby and then, then how he looked under the basket, as if the culprit might leap out from there and reveal him or herself.

That will be a memory I always cherish.

And he could have–and if he’d been almost any other of the conservative bloggers around here, he would have–be pissed off and felt played for a fool.

But he thought it was funny.

Anyway, I like him–even if that’s probably a dubious honor coming from me–and I’m sorry to see him go from WKRN, but their loss.

What Shall We Dance Around the Office to Today?

Today, I bring you a song so delicious you know before I even tell you that it’s Charlie Robison. This song… this song… what can I say? I would marry the man who had the balls to suggest it as the song we dance to at our wedding as much as I also live in fear of it being the first song I dance with my hypothetical husband to.

Here you go.

Aw, damn. Maybe that’s kind of depressing. Okay, then, we’ll pair it with a little Yma Sumac.

Now, I expect to sense some dancing out there!

Five Guys Burgers & Fries

Here’s all you need to know:

1 double cheeseburger

1 cheeseburger

1 order of fries

1 diet coke

2 people

16 dollars.

Who the fuck cares how good the burgers are?  For sixteen dollars, my burger better make sweet love to me.

Random Blah blah blahs of a vaguely sexual nature

–I was up all night trying to write up directions (with photos) for how to make you a crochet cooter and on the one hand, it’s hilarious to type things like “Now, keep going until you come to the end of your labia,” writing up directions is more difficult than it seems.  So, I’ll probably not have that posted until this weekend. 

–I keep having these dreams that I’m being forced to move someplace new or being left behind and they’re wearing me out.

–I overslept, but it’s raining, so it’s not like the dog is going to mind not walking.  She will, however, apparently, enjoy sitting at my feet letting these eye-wateringly stinky dog farts.

–As usual, fifty people came here yesterday looking for “hermaphrodite porn.”  I can’t tell you how it both tickles me and mortifies me to think of someone sitting at his computer, one hand on his mouse, the other on himself, all ready to look at some hermaphrodite porn, and he sees my site come up in Google and is suddenly like “Hey, you know, I don’t want to just look at hermaphrodite porn, I want to read about some chick writing about someone looking at hermaphrodite porn.”  And what if one of those folks comes back here and finds this post?  Me writing about them reading about me writing about folks watching hermaphrodite porn?

That thought brings me great joy.

–Also, I got a few hits from someone looking for shiny, handsome, naked Mexican men. Everything else I get.  Who wouldn’t want to look at handsome, naked Mexican men?  But shiny?  Is shiny a trait that puts folks over the top?  I swear, sometimes the internet makes me feel so naive about the ways between folks.

–And, I almost forgot, but this morning, I was laying in bed and I had an itch on my thigh (no, a real itch, you perverts) and I scratched it and I was all “What is this hard thing on my leg?” (Ha, this isn’t even that good a story, but it sure sounds like I’m about to start in with something that will give the hermaphrodite porn folks something to ‘oh god’ about.) and then I realized it was just some muscle.

I have no place on my body that isn’t soft and squishy, usually, and so I was taken aback by it.

An Irrational Superstition that Dr. King Saved Us From

This post is so brilliant you should just go read it.  But I will warn you now that I find this so profound

Racism is a much more manageable social evil if we believe it’s nothing but an irrational hatred. If it’s just a bunch of people who hate because they’re crazy, then we can shun them and continue to be racist in our own ways, with the excuse that we’re just rational about it. Which is why there’s such a problem explaining to people why this tide of anti-immigrant sentiment is so racist, because it doesn’t resemble the racism they were taught about in schools, the racism that’s largely a myth. We’re taught that racism was this irrational superstition that Dr. King saved us all from with his rational speechifying. And anti-immigrant sentiment has all these arguments for it, about jobs and language and all sorts of things. Totally different.

But of course, racism is a system that has real, tangible benefits for the dominant race, as this lynching example shows. And the excuses offered to create the illusion of moral righteousness for the troops of enforcers always exist.

that you should expect me to continue to make it explicit when I discuss the immigration issue.

BREAKING NEWS! Bill Hobbs Still Hates Muslims

Dang, head propagandist over at the TNGOP, Bill Hobbs, is the gift that keeps on giving. Every week, it seems, he manages to draw attention to how much he hates Muslims.  Well, and Barak Obama, who is, as you may know, secretly a black nationalist, funky Christian, terrorist-sympathizing, gay, homophobic, church-choir-member-murdering, shrill-wife-having, affair-having, secret Muslim, so it’s the same thing.

And this time, he gets to get in the National Enquirer and so, instead of just telling other political wonks that he hates Muslims, he’s now told every grocery shopper in America.

Bill, relax.  I think everyone now knows.

See CobbKAG, Tiny Pasture, Newscoma, and so forth.

Martin Kennedy, I Hereby Challenge You to a Duel

Isn’t that what you dudes do when your honor has been besmirched?  Well, consider your face slapped with my glove.

I would accuse you of deliberate intellectual dishonesty–and I may here in a second, if I don’t calm down–but I have had this conversation with other men and so I’m going to clarify for you, just this once:

“The patriarchy” does not mean “the men.”

Dismantling the patriarchy does not mean getting rid of men.

I mean, for gods’ sake, if my goal was to just get rid of men, why would I be worried about how many black men are sitting in prison?  Wouldn’t I and my feminist sisters be sitting around all “Woo hoo!  How do we improve the incarceration rates among non-black men?  How do we also ensure that one in three white guys in the prime of their lives are sitting in prison and out of our hair?”

If “the patriarchy” bothers you so much, we can use another term, but it doesn’t change the fact that rich white men in this country have hegemony–that the system is set up to give them power and keep them in power and that it’s been very difficult for those of us who aren’t men or who aren’t white to break into the power structure, let alone rise up in it.

And really, you know what?  You know me.  You have shared time with me and enjoyed my company.  So, for you to come here and say to me, “I would suggest that the vast majority of women would agree that the men in their lives enhance their lives.” like I don’t feel like the men in my life enhance my life?

I, myself, will take this opportunity to refrain from saying something we can’t come back from.

But you’ve gravely insulted me.

I want to change and improve how people get along; I’d like to find a way for men to be in the world that doesn’t revolve around a notion of manhood predicated on some kind of ongoing violent contest to see who has the biggest dick (either really or metaphorically); and you want to turn that around into me hating men?

And then, AND THEN, for you to so directly link the presense of men with the presense of the bullshit power and violence issues, suggesting that, if we don’t want the former, we must reject the latter…

Isn’t that exactly what Egalia was implying yesterday?

She says

The bottom line for me is that the election of Hillary Rodham Clinton would serve as a long overdue blow against the suffocating patriarchy, while the election of Barack Obama would merely result in patriarchy as usual

with the implication being that being a man is the same as being a man who supports and affirms the bullshit power and violence issues that automatically go with being a man in our society.

And we all sit back and shake our heads and cringe at her over-simplifying to the point of foolishness and a bunch of you sit around and tut-tut about what a shame it is that Egalia just seems to think that all men are inherently evil and isn’t she a whack-job?

But you come around here talking the exact same bullshit, about how the presense of men is necessarly the presense of bullshit power and violence issues, talking like I’m the man-hater?

Fuck that shit, Martin Kennedy.

I don’t believe that men are inherently evil.  I don’t believe that all men are secretly rapists, that they secretly, or sometimes openly, take pleasure in the suffering of women.  I don’t believe that men are incapable of having rich emotional lives or of showing love and tenderness.  I don’t believe that their greatest, and sometimes only value to women and children is as a deep pocket.  In short, I don’t believe the things that society tells me about men.

I don’t believe all of you are inherently broken in ways that make you a danger to yourselves and others, even as its obvious that the system is set up to break you in ways that make you dangerous.

I can hate that system, what it does to y’all, how it chews through most of you and fucks you up so that a few of you can remain very powerful, without hating you.

In fact, it’s because I love you that I wish and work for a different way, one that doesn’t thrive on your suffering (especially as your suffering, within the system, is usually placated by giving you tacit approval to take out your pain on those of us who are smaller and weaker than you).

If you didn’t know me, and didn’t see that, I’d say, fine, I need to do a better job of communicating that.

But you do know me.

So, honestly, I don’t know what to make of that.

Patriarchy as Usual

Just as a reminder, the patriarchy as usual, as practiced in our country, has been about propegating rich, white male hegemony.  In order for the rich, white men to maintain their hold on money and power, the system is set up to keep the rest of us fighting over the scraps handed to us under the guise of benevolence.

One black man attaining the presidency when half of the prisoners in the U.S. prison system are black men, when one in ten black men between the ages of 20 and 35 are in prison, and when one in three black men in their thirties has a prison record (which means that one in three black men of prime voting age cannot vote) is not going to fix the problems in the black community.  But it does suggest possibilities.

One white woman attaining the presidency when thirty percent of female murder victims are killed by a husband or boyfriend, when one in four hundred of us is a victim of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault every year, and when almost thirty percent of single moms live in poverty is not going to fix the problems of women.  But it does suggest possibilities.

Patriarchy as usual is never about suggesting possibilities to people who don’t have power.

Let’s not lose sight of that.

And let’s not do the work of being distracted from that for those of us who would prefer we be distracted.

Ya Think?

Via Campfield:

Mahathy said BrainPOP also contains information about AIDS, gay and lesbian sex, and various religions, including Wicca. That nature-based religion has been linked to witchcraft.

Why the Rep feels that an online encyclopedia containing information about various religions, including Wicca, is worth noting is beyond me. But I just wanted to state for the record that I laughed so hard when I read that Wicca has been linked to witchcraft.

Rest easy, my Wiccan friends. Your work here is done. Even the Republicans are aware that Wicca just might have something to do with witchcraft.

I, for the life of me, will never understand this attitude, though, that there is knowledge that should be off-limit to kids. If a kid is bright enough and curious enough to search it out, that’s the time it’s time to introduce the subject to them. I get steering them towards age-appropriate content, but banning them from an encyclopedia?

It’s so foreign to my understanding of what one does to and for their children that I really don’t know how to make sense of it.

Keeping your children from knowing things just seems like a form of child neglect–just like we’d frown on you for keeping your kids in a bed that was too small for him or shoes that were too small for her, this seems like keeping your kid in a little mental box that’s too small. And yet that seems to be a regular pastime of folks.

Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows

America, I–the hippie liberal commie lefty no-make-up-wearing, man-hating, lesbian, abortionist, feminist rear-guard–should not be reading things in The American Spectator that make me go “Well, I disagree with this and this, but I think his overall point is probably true.”

But anyway, here’s the thing that George Neumayr says that I sadly grow more and more convinced is spot on:

Since liberalism is not based upon natural justice but willfulness, it never fails to devour its supposed beneficiaries. Ferraro’s condescension captures the tone of paternalistic liberalism perfectly. Its “victims” should know their place and plot their ascent according to the progressive charts set up by the white liberal establishment.

We’ll let you know, Barack, when it is your time to win — that’s been the tacit theme of the Clinton campaign all along. Such is the generosity of Lady Bountiful she’ll even let him serve as her apprentice in the VP chair for eight years.

But chaos has erupted and the plantation progressives don’t know what to do, except to blurt out pent-up racial resentments. Then, the victims, whom they spent the last few decades training in hair-trigger racial sensitivity, turn on them in righteous fury, detecting nuances of racism in everything from Andrew Cuomo’s description of Obama’s press conferences as “shuck and jive” events to Bill Clinton’s belittling Jesse Jackson comparison to Ferraro’s sniffing at his “luck.”

Ignore the fact that Neumayr talks about “natural justice” and “willfulness” like being willful is a bad thing and waiting around for nature to take its course is a good thing.  And overlook for a second his stupid assumption that, if not for white people teaching them, non-white people wouldn’t be so racially sensitive.  I know those are big hurdles.

But answer me this: doesn’t it seem as if the outrage among Clinton supporters is rooted in this kind of blind outrage that Obama is overstepping?  That he’s taking a spot that Clinton deserves, not because of her qualifications, but because it’s her turn?

Because, let’s be frank.  If this turns into a contest about who is the most “qualified,” we’ve got a young U.S. senator who wrote a couple of good books and served in his state legislature vs. a U.S. senator with a couple of terms under her belt who was married to a dude.  Being married to a dude is not a qualification.

Listen, we have to take a moment and discuss this for a second.

It used to be that, if you wanted to be a Methodist minister (even though there have been women preachers in the Methodist tradition since its inception, I’m talking about what happened in general), you married a Methodist minister and you served, for free or for very little pay, in some mixture of Sunday School Teacher, Youth Group Leader, Secretary, Choir Director, and Organist.

Did the minister’s wife have a lot of power in the church?


Did the minister’s wife have a lot of responsibility in the church?


Did the minister’s wife often feel called to be a minister?


Was the minister’s wife a minister?


Even now, if a woman married a man right after college and was his spouse while he was in seminary and went through ordination and served with him in every church he served in, if she wanted to be a minister, could she just skip the whole seminary and ordination stuff?


Which was why it was always a bullshit move to funnel called qualified women out of seminaries and into parsonages as spouses.

At some point in the Clinton household, they decided to put their resources behind Bill and the two of them worked together for Bill’s success.  Does Hillary have a shit-ton of experience? Yes.  Does she intimately know more about being President than most folks?  Yes.

But it’s that same situation that pastors’ wives faced.  No matter how much you do, no matter how much your work benefits the church and is pastoral in nature, you are not the pastor.

In the same way that I, who spent almost every day of my life between birth and graduation from high school in church at least for a few minutes, who sat in the nursery and ran the youth group and read the Bible and discussed theology, am not a pastor (even though I joke that I have spent longer in Methodist parsonages than most ministers).

Yes, it sucks that women do work, hard work, for which we receive very little credit, in the furtherance of our husbands’ careers.  That’s why we have feminism.

But it is not good enough to suggest that the feminist thing is for women to continue to do work, hard work, for which we receive full credit, in furtherance of our husbands’ careers.

Women should do our own work in furtherance of our own careers or we should accept that we do not actually have our husbands’ careers and that the work we are doing, though important, is not the same as the work our husbands are doing.

But the thing is, I think this is another generational divide (speaking in broad terms) between feminists.  For older feminists, especially older middle and upper class white feminists, they could secure a lot of personal power and personal fulfillment working to further their husbands’ careers.  It was a way into various careers that otherwise shut women out.

But could you even imagine a woman my age or younger thinking “Hmm, I’m really interested in politics.  I think I’ll marry a politician.”?  “Hmm.  I really feel called to minister to others.  I think I’ll marry a pastor.”?  “I bet I could run a multi-million dollar corporation. I’ll marry someone with an MBA from Harvard.”?  “I find the law fascinating.  I should marry a lawyer.”?

It’s ludicrous on its face.

And for that, for sure, we have second-wave feminists to thank.

We don’t have to settle for being the wife of a doctor or a lawyer or a politician or whomever and working really hard to make sure they succeed.  We can imagine ourselves being those things ourselves.

But sometimes, sitting here at this end of the paradigm shift, it’s like watching a bunch of women who do not recognize the house they built for us.  They’re wandering around, marveling at how much laundry they’ll be able to do in the mudroom right off the kitchen and we’re all like “Wow, look, we can totally stick a fireplace here in the living room and I’m going to put some shelves in this room and make it into a library and I can make this room my office and, hey, look at this awesome deck we’re putting up out back here… No, that’s a window.  You put the door over here. Those are the stairs you built.  Yeah, remember, back in the sixties, when you wanted to make it easier for us to sneak lovers in here?  No, really, you did that.”

You made this place for us.  And we’re inhabiting it.  And, frankly, it’s hard to understand why you’re not inhabiting it, too.  But damn if we don’t see the likes of Ferraro, Jong, and Steinem out there pouting on the porch because they wanted us all to meet in the kitchen so that we could make a cake for Clinton and some of us were like “Um, we’re in the kitchen fixing lunch, so y’all cannot be in here, right now, too” and some of us were like “Why don’t we just buy Clinton a cake?” and some of us were busy getting our shoes on so that we could go over to Barak’s house.

I don’t know.  Maybe I’ve gotten off track.  But I read that, about how certain segments on the liberal side of things want to set the agenda for others and it rings true to me.  It feels like the truth.

And I’m really bothered by that.

I’d Like to Report a Potential Crime

So, this nonsense has passed the State Senate.

Of course, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if we struck all the non-English out of the bill. Curious?

Here’s the bill:


By Johnson

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4 and Title 50, to enact the “Protecting English in the Tennessee Workplace Act.”


SECTION 1. This act shall be known, and may be cited as, the “Protecting English in the Tennessee Workplace Act”.

SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 4-21-401, is amended by adding at the end the following as a new subsection:


(1) Notwithstanding this chapter or title 50, it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to require an employee to speak, or an applicant for employment to agree to speak, English while engaged in work.


(A) An individual shall not be considered to be engaged in work under subdivision (c)(1) during a bona fide meal period, a rest period, or any other break, during which the individual is not required to perform any duties.

(B) In this subdivision (c)(2), the term “bona fide meal period” means such period, and the term “rest period” means such period, within the meaning of sections 785.19 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, or any corresponding similar regulation or ruling.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2008, the public welfare requiring it.

So, I guess that this means that, should this legislation pass, we’ll have a ton of job openings for etymologists who can monitor what everyone in a workplace that chooses to adopt this says and…

…What?  Call the police if anyone uses non-English?  Demand that said person be fired?

I don’t know, but it’d be worth finding out.  What, exactly, are folks using as the definition of “English” in this English Only bill?  What would be the penalty for disagreeing? And who do we call for a ruling about what constitutes “English” enough?

A Crochet Cooter

I had to put the Tiny Cat Pants afghan on hold for the evening (but I worked on it at the car dealership while they were changing my oil and rotating my tires, so it wasn’t completely neglected) because I’m having lunch with Rachel from Women’s Health News tomorrow and I wanted to have something to give her at lunch.

But I love it!  Maybe I’ll just have her check it out to make sure it’s anatomically correct and whoop her up another one.

Of course, I took pictures.  I’ll put them below the fold for you more modest types.

Continue reading

War is Expensive. Let’s Just Poison Our Young People Here at Home.

So, it turns out that, after a decade of our government trying to argue that Gulf War Vets who had Gulf War Syndrome were either lying or crazy (but not in a way caused by the war in any way, no sir!) and in no need of any actual medical help or attention, it turns out that a third (yes, you read that right, a third of the troops deployed in the middle east in round one of this clusterfuck) developed health problems now directly linked to their service in the middle east.

Yes, apparently having folks swallow carbamate pyridostigmine bromide and then exposing them to organophosphates and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors is a bad idea and makes them sick, for the rest of their lives.

God damn.

I really hope the lawsuits start flying.  A third of our Gulf War Veterans treated like unconsenting lab rats and then, then, when they get home, made to feel like lying nutjob fakers?

That is inexcusable.

(But really, thank the gods for Dr. Golomb and her team, who–now that they know what’s responsible for Gulf War Syndrome–are working on ways to mitigate the suffering of people who have it.)

Edited to add:  Speak of the Devil

This May Have Its Advantages

I always thought that it would be cool to have a back-up singer follow me around all day.  I’d be all like “Do you have change for a fifty?” and my back-up singer would be all “Oooo, change for a fifty.”  Or I’d be like “I’ll have a chicken burrito” and my back-up singer would chime in, “Chicken burrito, yeah yeah yeah.”

I have just learned that the dream is close to being realized.

I’ve found a back-up singer.

Doo doot doo.  Back up singer.

Another Open Letter to SuperMousey

Dear SuperMousey,

It’s my understanding that you’ve never seen The Princess Bride.  I don’t know why your dad would deprive you of this important milestone in a young girl’s development, but I advise you to check HBO Family in the coming days and watch it.

The Dread Pirate Roberts is exactly the kind of guy every girl should have a crush on, at least briefly.

And you will love running around the house yelling, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”


Aunt B.

My Trip to the Eye Doctor

As a part of my new effort to not just sit around and wait to fall apart, I made my way to the eye doctor today.  I have thin retinas.  And I’m getting glasses to wear when I don’t have my contacts in.

I kind of love my eye doctor.  She’s the kind of eye doctor that you can ask “How in the world did my relatives make it off the savannah?” or “And what did we do during the middle ages?”

And she laughes and says, “You can’t even see my face when I’m right here, can you?”


“Well, your family must have had other talents that encouraged folks to keep you around.”