The F*** You Factor

Everybody’s talking about why Obama can’t win Appalachia and the reasons seem to range from David Oatney’s elitist diatribe against elitism (I think, though I could be wrong, with his use of “effete” and while at the same time bragging about his own family, that he’s not opposed to elitism, he just doesn’t like the soft, almost-“faggy” kind) in which he claims that Obama can’t win in Appalachia because his supporters are pompous jerks who think they’re better than the “regular folks” from Appalachia.

Of course, this makes no sense because if there’s one group that everybody makes fun of with impunity and who almost everybody else thinks is a bunch of inbred idiots running around raping tourists and marrying their cousins all while listening to the dulcet strains of NASCAR, it’s folks from Appalachia.  If Appalachians want to decline to vote for people who look down their noses at them, they are left with only voting for old school country musicians and I don’t recall Ralph Stanley running for President this year, though the libertarians keep switching candidates so I just could have missed it.

Then Josh Marshall chimes in with his theory that the folks in Appalachia just don’t like black people because they are violent, self-reliant ignoramuses who see black folks as a symbol of the inegalitarian stratified slave-holding coastal monied South they could not be a part of.

This also makes little sense for a lot of reasons but the main one is that THERE ARE AND HAVE BEEN BLACK PEOPLE LIVING IN APPALACHIA.  Where do you think the “tri” in tri-racial isolates comes from?  White, indigenous, and Martian?

Now, I’m not any smarter than David Oatney or Josh Marshall so I’m probably not going to come up with any better reason why Appalachians aren’t voting for Obama than they are, but this being the internet and me being me, I’m going to give it a try.

I think that Appalachians aren’t voting for Obama because fuck him.


I’m sure for some folks it’s because he’s black.  And for some folks because he’s a secret Muslim.  And for some folks because he’s got book-learning.  Whatever.  It doesn’t matter.  Just fuck him.

But mainly, it’s because of the audacity of hope, I think.

When you are a group of people who has repeatedly been kicked in the teeth every time you turned your face to the sun to enjoy just a sliver of beauty, when you have given generations of your family to work under mountains struggling to carve coal out of rocks to set aside a little for your family to do a little better only to have the coal companies up and leave town, when you bring industry to your community only to find them poisoning your water and putting their slushy garbage in ponds above your schools, when your kids are disproportionately the ones who fight and die in wars, when the only thing the people around you want to do is escape, either through fleeing to the cities or through drinking or drugs, when any fool with a Bible can call himself pastor and encourage you to pick up snakes and drink poison, what’s hope?

It’s got to seem like so much bullshit.

So, fuck him.

I think what Oatney won’t admit (but is hinting at) and what Marshall can’t understand is that asking people to have hope when there is so little reason for it is, yes, inspiring to some, but to others?

To others it sounds like just another in a long line of sweet talking folks making a lot of promises that, if you dare to put your faith in them, will bite you in the ass as hard as it can.

I mean, come on.  We all know these folks aren’t so much for Clinton as they are against Obama, because we know they don’t normally like Clinton.  She’s still the same old castrating she-devil feminist bitch who can’t keep her man at home they’ve always hated and I just can’t believe they’ve suddenly discovered that she’s just a person and not the symbol of all that’s wrong with America that she used to be.

I think it’s just that what she represents is, to the folks in Appalachia, much less potentially painful for them than Obama, and so fuck him, they’re throwing their lot in with her.

The Nashvillest

So, I went to check out The Nashvillest because both Newscoma and Chris Wage recommended it (and I do everything Newscoma and Chris Wage both recommend.  That’s how I ended up with this giant back tattoo that says “Newscoma and Chris Wage” in Latin.  Or so they say.  I don’t know Latin, so I don’t really know.  I’m hoping it says that, anyway.) and I cannot second their recommendation enough.

I didn’t know Nashville lacked such a thing, but now that I see it, I love it.

Ugh, I’m Full and a Little Sad

Today I saw a house on line so cute I had to drive over and eat it up.  Just put it in my mouth and chomp, chomp, chomp.  So, I drove over to check it out and it has no yard!  None at all.  Six and a half blades of grass attempt to scatter themselves about just trying to give it a good show, but there’s nothing.  It’s like half a lot or something.  I don’t know.  I’m just crushed.

I don’t need a big lot or anything, but I must be able to at least have a back yard that is bigger than me.

I wonder if it would be feasible to buy a lot and steal the house and put it on the lot I bought.

I am Too Immature for My Job

Today, I received an email containing the answer to my quandary about how one encapsulates both Don Quixote and The Matrix in one image.

And let’s just say that, while there’s nothing specifically untoward about the picture of the young man*, I don’t believe I’ve ever been so scandalized by the hint of a little hair.

You know…

Down there.


*The photos on this page are cropped but still may not be safe for work unless you’re used to shouting “Oh my!” unbidden at your desk.

Also, I don’t know Spanish, so there may be something scandalous and inappropriate written on the page I’m linking to, but let’s assume that it’s just what it looks like, a bunch of artists farting around in front of a most post-modern Cervantes.

Length or Width?

Bob Tuke is walking across Tennessee.

To prove something. I’m unclear as to what, other than that he’s a dumbass.

We used to ask my Grandma A. to tell us about the good ole days and she would say “I had to go around every morning and collect everyone’s chamber pots and clean them out. It took us all day to cook dinner. And we had it good. You’ll never convince me that a world full of toilets and microwaves is somehow worse than when I grew up.”

I feel that way about Bob Tuke’s gambit. Rather than walking across Tennessee, why don’t you drive an hour, stop, and spend the time you would have spent walking actually talking and listening to folks and their concerns? Enjoy the technology previous generations of Tennesseans brought to us.

This just reminds me of what strikes me as not quite right about Tuke.  He’s a nice guy and he means well, but he just doesn’t quite get it, I don’t think.

Don’t try to gimmick me into believing that you’re some kind of regular joe.  Just be one.

What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander

It’s funny to watch your ideological opponants come around to “discovering” that what you’ve been saying all along is true.

Bill Hobbs, for instance, says:

The first goal of a bureaucracy is self-preservation of the bureaucracy, and the best tools to achieve that goal are expanding the size and scope of the bureaucracy and extending its reach further and further into more and more people’s lives.

Was he talking about the TNGOP’s efforts to extend the government’s reach into my vagina?  No, of course not.  But isn’t it funny to see these folks who are constantly braying for the government to intrude into the my personal decisions right here in this state moaning about the government of another state intruding into those people’s personal decisions?

And then, here’s Ben Cunningham trying to sound the alarm about how more men are losing jobs than women (a kind of gendered recession, if you will). To which I ask, “Oh, excuse me, isn’t that how your beloved free market works?  Here are a bunch of overeducated folks who are still paid less than this group of undereducated folks for bullshit reasons we’ve been complaining about since the 70s and earlier and your feelings are hurt that the cheap educated labor is in higher demand than the expensive uneducated labor?  Well, then, sweetie, maybe you should have fought harder for us to be paid the same as you.  Sucks when the uneven playing field backfires on you, doesn’t it?”

It’s not that I’m not sympathetic.  I am.

It’s just that we’ve been saying for a long time that these mindsets are going to bite us all in the ass and the conservatives have been acting as if, as long as what’s happening doesn’t affect them, it’s okay.

And, frankly, it’s not okay.

(See, Newscoma for more about the not-okay-ness of our current situation.  Please dwell upon these sentences: “We are sharing food at the office. Some folks don’t eat if we don’t so we do.”  And let me make it clear what you are reading here.  Working people cannot afford to eat and buy gas.  Rex Tillerson, who runs Exxon Moble makes over four million dollars a year.  Just saying.)

An Open Letter to Engineers who Deal with Water

Dear Engineers,

I just read this post by Redneck Mother, which you should read, too.

I’ll wait here.

Here’s my question.  Could New Orleans have a safer life, granted, as a smaller city, if the main branch of the Mississippi didn’t run through it?

It’s clear that the river is trying to flip main channels and run to the Gulf through the Atchafalaya River.  At this point, why are we stopping it?  Doesn’t it seem more reasonable to tell people right now, “Hey, the river’s coming and we can’t stop it.  Yes, voluntarily giving up your towns (and granted we will lose some towns) is going to be rough.  But a lot less rough that what will happen when the river finds its way around what we’ve done.”  And this seems to me like it would take a lot of the strain off the levees in New Orleans along the river.

I don’t know.  Clearly, there are some holes in my reasoning.

But I’m just curious as to why we don’t let the river do what rivers do, especially since artificially keeping it from doing that seems to be exacerbating a problem.


Aunt B.


An Open Letter to You Gun Nuts

Dear Gun Nuts,

As you know, I read you faithfully, even though I disagree with just about everything you say (except when Say Uncle says kind things about me; I think we both know I agree with saying nice things about me) and I have come to learn some important things.

One, treat every gun as if it is loaded.

Two, don’t point at anything you don’t want to shoot.

Three, keep your finger off the trigger unless you are fixing to shoot something in the next second.

Four, the stuff that comes out of a barrel of a gun can kill you by driving pieces of metal into you.  It does this by being propelled by an explosion cause by gunpowder.

Five, things can still be dangerous, years after being made, hence the trouble with leaving, say, landmines around.

I have come to accept these five things as Truth. (Ha, and it looks as if y’all have trained me well in your rules, even though I didn’t know they were actual rules.)

So, I find it hard to make sense of the story of poor Sam White.  Why would he have been trying to “restore” something he surely should have called the bomb squad in to deal with?


Aunt B.

May I Brag On My Dad a Little Bit?

Usually, a girl gets one present a year from her folks for her birthday.  This year, apparently, my dad is doing the purchasing, since he’s got nothing else to do but sit around the house and heal up (well, and get ready to retire, but so far that seems to consist of him saying “You want to fight about what at which board meeting?  Let’s schedule that for June 23.  Did I mention my last day is June 21?  Oh, hi, yes, you want to piss and moan about what at which gathering? How’s June 20 work for you?  Did I mention I can’t retire on the 21st because that’s our wedding anniversary?  I must make the 19th my last day.”

Mom said something recently about the 8th being his last day.  I would just point out that, as you Methodists surely know, he’s supposed to stick it out until Moving Day that first week in July.

God, that cracks me up.).

Anyway, so my birthday isn’t even until next week (which I am celebrating by attending the International Country Music Conference, with a big black marker and rebranding it the International Aunt B. Conference, just letting you participants know ahead of time that I expect your papers to somehow reflect the new theme of the conference), but the presents have already started to roll in from my dad.  First, there was the gold earrings I needed, but didn’t remember telling him about–gold hoops with actual gold posts, so that they wouldn’t turn my ears green.

And then… And then… My dad bought me black wool yarn so that I could make myself a witch’s hat.  He bought me a set of crochet hooks in ascending sizes so that I can stop making everything with my awesome K hook. 

And today I got Tom Stone’s biography of Zeus.

I about fell over.  Frankly, it shocked me even more than him using “gay” in a non-perjorative way and that was so shocking that the Butcher and I were still mulling it over this weekend.