Oh, Nashville Scene, Marry Me

That’s it, folks, I am officially off the market, and married to this article from the Nashville Scene.  You can read the whole thing if you want, but this is the part I’m rubbing up against my girly parts for the rest of my days:

“Because I was looking for ghosts, you know. I was just trying to pick up a thread which is kind of gone.”–Robert Plant

Why It’s Important for the TNGOP to Defund Planned Parenthood

As we all know, Bill Hobbs is on his great crusade to defund Planned Parenthood and instead move all that money into government-run services, because the TNGOP loves government-run healthcare, except when it’s proposed by Democrats.

No, wait, that can’t be it.

Because the TNGOP so loves the babies, except for the brown ones it doesn’t want to have to issue birth certificates to…

Okay, so that can’t be it.

Why, oh, why would the TNGOP be so anxious to gain control of women’s healthcare?

Because, my friends, not only do they hate abortion, they don’t want you to be able to get birth control.  See, Planned Parenthood will help you get birth control of any sort (see, they want you to be able to have babies when you want to have babies, hence the whole “planned” part), even, if you should need one, an abortion.  But, mostly, the people at Planned Parenthood stare at a lot of cooters and hand out a lot of free condoms and issue a lot of prescriptions for birth control pills to people who otherwise don’t have easy access to healthcare.

And the Republicans want to make it as difficult as possible for you to keep from getting pregnant if you don’t want to be.

But, no matter how many rules they put in place to allow people who don’t want to do their jobs to get out of doing their jobs even though they knew what their job would entail when they applied for it*, in order to keep you from having control over your body, as long as places like Planned Parenthood exist, you can have sex without getting pregnant.

Why Republicans are so hung up on and outraged by women having worry-free sex is beyond me, but lord knows they will do whatever they can to stand in the way of it.

But that is their plan and this defunding of Planned Parenthood in order to throw us onto the mercy of people who can now refuse to provide us with the medications we need is all a part of it.

Oh, Bill Hobbs, when the day comes when each woman is assigned a monitor to watch us to make sure that we’re not having any kind of non-reproductive sex, will you be mine?


*Though, if you want another sort of good fun, consider how hilarious it is that Republicans bitch about union workers who sit around and do nothing but stand in the way of things while they try to create a whole group of people who will be allowed to sit around and do nothing but stand in the way of things.

Tell Me What It Means

In a way, it’s fitting that my mom is almost blind and I am slowly going almost blind–though I’ve been told that, if I start to see a sparkling ring around a black spot, I have to rush to the closest emergency room or the whole affair won’t be so slow nor so almost–because there are days when I just cannot bear to see anything any more.

They’re not days of great terribleness.  Those days tend to be days you cannot help but look, so to be sure you have it.  But days like this, of ordinary things that pass through your hands, onto the next person, and you, through some failure of imagination, cannot be imposed upon to give a shit long enough to figure out what it means or if it applies to you.

I just want to put my hands on something cold and rough and immobile.  Maybe a tree or a large, flat stone, with two quick gouges from a skilled man’s hammer in it.

I too often gather things near me and arrange them and rearrange them like so many cards on a fortune teller’s table, looking for signs and omens and direction.  Point me, point me the right way, oh, great and mysterious Universe.

But quickly.

I wanted so much for this whole house thing to work out.  I wanted to believe that I had assurances of the mysterious kind that, if I opened myself up to it now, that the way would be clear.

I clearly was not getting the message.  Assuming there was a message.

I’m tired of looking for messages, at messages, making messages for others.

Maybe this means… Maybe that means…

It doesn’t mean anything.

Like a dog’s belly doesn’t mean anything.  Like a shard of glass by the side of the road doesn’t mean anything.  Is, is, is.

I don’t know what I’m trying to get at here.

I have a wisteria I got from Beth, that I wanted to plant in the yard of a new house.  It’s been so long since I got that wisteria that it has died, sitting there in that small pot.  But then, it sprouted a new sprig.

And I want to say that I feel like that wisteria.

But I’m tired of metaphors.

I like you.

That’s what I know.  That’s what I’m sure about.  And it doesn’t mean anything.

It just is what it is for its own sake.

That works for me.

Too Bad for You Guys

I’ve decided that my dog is pretty much the perfect dog.  Well, almost.  There was the one time when the Professor and I were going somewhere and I had to stop by and pick the Professor up and she entered the car (Mrs. W was in the back seat) with a peach.  She began making some point, which involved flailing the peach around for emphasis, and the dog, who is occasionally given peaches as a treat (because first they’re a ball and then they break open and are dessert!), leaned forward and began to each the Professor’s breakfast.

Which, yes, bad dog, but holy shit was it funny.  I’m laughing about it even trying to type it here.

Which reminds me, I keep meaning to tell you that the Professor has this idea that we should gather together a bunch of plastic shopping bags and I will crochet them into other shopping bags.  She calls it a “meta-shopping bag.”  Which is also pretty funny, if you think about it.

I wonder if I could crochet myself a house made out of shopping bags…

See, No Charm

Well, I just heard from Kathy and they supposedly have another offer on the house, too.  So, I’m supposed to come up with what I would give as my best offer and let her know in the next hour and, if they don’t take it, we’re taking a month off to not think about houses at all, because, damn.

So, yeah, I’m probably not going to get the house.

What can you do?

It sucks.

My only consolation is that I bet those folks didn’t go out there and measure it, so they probably still think they’re getting a 1100 square foot house.

That’s not really much consolation.

It’s Working How It’s Supposed to Work

I hope it’s clear by now how much I respect Tim Chavez’s work on getting the word out about Juana Villegas DeLaPaz. And lord knows I have little idea how to go about mounting that kind of campaign, so I don’t want it to seem as if I’m dogging on him.

But I see that he keeps referring to what happened to DeLaPaz as Abu Gharib or Guantanemo come to Nashville.

I see this all the time.  In fact, I’m sure I do it all the time, myself.  And that is to not see what is so squarely in front of me.

So, I want to ask you to take a step back, just for a second.

Because, I think what Chavez is arguing is that here is some abomination, some nightmare from out there come home to dwell among us–that something has happened to us, maybe as a result or in conjunction with the Pogo-esque way we’re conducting our war on Terror by becoming terrorists ourselves and overlooking brutality in our midst, recently.

And I agree with that, to some extent.  I just believe the motion is not only in the direction he indicates.  It’s not just a matter of smuggling our worst behaviors back into the country.

And that’s what I want you to consider.

Here in Nashville, we have always had women in captivity giving birth only to have their babies stripped from them.  This is something we have always believed, since the founding of this city, was okay to do to women in captivity.

It is not surprising that we still think it’s okay for this to happen; that’s how it’s always worked.

We have always believed that using women’s bodies against them in order to make them conform to our expectations is okay.  And we have always believed that there are some women who aren’t really legally women at all, who don’t have the same protections under the law as regular people.

It seems to me that we’ve managed to convince most people that slavery–called slavery–is wrong, that it is wrong for one person to own another.  But we have never quite bothered to get around to looking squarely at what it takes to keep a slaver socity going–the stripping of humanity and thus legal rights from some folks, the belief that using a person’s own physicality against them as a way to punish them is a fine and acceptable way to punish them, that these people must be controlled and monitored more extensively than other folks because they are more violent and a sexualized risk to the dominant community, and the heavy and intimate dependency on the despised group for the economic well-being of the dominate group. 

We have condemned the whole, but we’ve never condemned the pieces.  The pieces still flourish.

I believe that certain types of Evil have a life larger and more ongoing than the people who propegate it.  I wouldn’t call it a demonic force, but I appreciate the efforts of Christian theologians to try to explain and give shape to it.  Because it does seem to me that something–which we might name “I can do to and with your body whatever I want”–is always with us and that as we combat one of the evils caused by it, it’s busy establishing another.

And until we look at that squarely in the face, we’re always going to be ineffective in fighting it.

What happened to Juana Villegas DeLaPaz was not a mistake or a fluke (though it was and should be unacceptible).  It is how 287(g) was designed.  This is exactly what happens under it.  It is what the program makes allowable.  That is how it is supposed to work.

The system is not broken.  It does not have some kinks that need to be worked out.  It is not an accident that it rounds up far more folks who just have no legal way of being here than it does actual dangerous criminals.  It is the proud offspring of the loitering laws of the 20th Century and we should not at all be surprised, then, to see that, like those loitering laws (or vangrancy laws), it is an easy way of getting folks into a brutal penal system.

That is what it’s designed to do.

It is no mistake or coincidence that such a program would flourish in Nashville and be widely accepted.

We have been acclimated, since the founding of the city, to programs and institutions of this sort.

Think of it this way: Say that, instead of a city, we were a large family of terrible addicts.  You’d find all sorts of things unsurprising–that lots of folks were doing whatever drugs they could get their hands on, that some folks had convinced themselves that they were “only drinking,” even if an outsider could see they were full-blown destructive alcoholics, that some folks in the family didn’t drink or do drugs at all, but married addicts because that’s what they knew, and it’s only the people who are willing to turn around and look hard at themselves and the people they love and say “I love you, but I do not want to do to myself and the people I love what you do to yourself and the people you love” that they can really break those generations’ long cycles.

That is us, Nashville.  It is not some mistake or fluke that these things keep happening.  It’s some fundimental problem we refuse and have refused to confront head on.

I can’t tell you what it would be like to look at it straight in the face.  I don’t know.

But I do know it’s time to stop pretending that this stuff is just some fluke or just how things were done back then or people just don’t know better or whatever and say to ourselves that this is a choice we made and continue to make and it’s a terrible way to move through the world.

Milk for Kitty

Cats are weird.  I know everyone says that, but it’s true.  Cats are weird.  My cats can go for weeks without showing so much as even a little affection towards me and then one night there’s major drama and ridiculousness over who gets to sit on my lap.

Lately, they seem to have decided that the most important thing in the world is getting to slurp the last little bit of milk out of my cereal bowl.  This would be fine, except that they aren’t that excited about waiting for me to actually finish my cereal, so they’re more than happy to get up on the table, or try to butt the bowl out of my hands with their heads, or (in my person favorite) check other bowls to see if there’s stuff to lick in them.

And none of this would bother me at all, except that now they’ve got the dog involved.  And I don’t need them giving the dog ideas about trying to knock food out of my hands.