Stay Classy, Kay Brooks

You know folks are getting serious when they start posting their opponants’ addresses on the internet, that’s all I can say.

My favorite part of this post is the implication that there’s something untoward about the Nashville Peace and Justice Center being involved with the Unitarians and the Quakers.  Ha ha ha.  Oh, yeah, I was totally going to vote against Crafton’s measure until I saw that the Quakers were somehow tangentially related!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Anyway, I call dirty pool.  Posting or drawing attention to people’s home addresses when it comes to an issue as heated as this is uncalled for and unnecessary.

Come on, Brooks.  You are better than that.

You Wanna Do Right, but Not Right Now

So, Braisted is up in arms that the feminists are all up in arms about Jon Favreau being a massive ass-hat.

Maybe they should’ve thought through the political ramifactions of this photo being released to the public and being run through the prism of postmodern feminist theory…but I’m guessing it was a fraction of a second decision made after having had quite a few beers over the course of a very long day. If Obama cut short the career of one of the most promising political speechwriters of our generation for politically expedient reasons, I’d lose a tremendous amount of respect for him.

I have but one comment.  If progressive men want progressive women to be a part of the progressive movement, you need to at least act like you get our concerns.  You want to do right in the world?  Then fucking do right.

Starting with, when you’re feeling pissed at a woman, or proud of your work defeating her as a worthy opponant, or whatever, refrain from celebrating by demeaning her sexually.  Because, let me clue you in, gentlemen, while you might think it’s hilarious to grab a woman’s breast or to mimick grabbing a woman’s breast or joke about grabbing a woman’s breat, we’re not laughing.

Having your boob grabbed when you’d rather it not be grabbed is always infuriating and often pretty fucking terrifying.

If you don’t understand that, and if you don’t understand why we’d rather you not joke about it, THEN YOU SHOULDN’T BE WRITING SPEECHES FOR ANY DEMOCRAT.

If you are with us, then you need to be with us.  Simple as that.

If we really are liberals or progressives or whatever the fuck we’re calling ourselves this week, then we don’t get to put off being good to each other until some other, more convenient time–you know, when you’re not drunk, when you’re not trying to impress your friends, when you aren’t so in need of blowing off a little steam, once you’re done winning the election.

We’re either all in together or we’re not.

It doesn’t look like Favreau is going to lose his job, but who gives two shits if he does?  It’s not like he’s the only guy who knows the cure for cancer, so that we have to put up with all sorts of bad behavior or otherwise people will suffer.  He’s just a dude who can string some words together.  Lots of folks can do that.

So, Who Did Muddy Waters Steal From?

Mack asks me questions like that, just to get me going.  I never, of course, ask him any questions just to watch him go off.

But this is actually an interesting question, one easily addressed, thanks to John Work III, in a book I happen to have right in front of me–Lost Delta Found.  (And may I just point out that the Holiday sale price of that book is incredibly, generously, low, and must have been decided by a person of such great character and kindness that I took her out to lunch today to Qdoba, where she had a pork burrito and mourned the fact that they were all out of chocolate brownies?)–we can answer that question.

Morganfield’s influences, by his own admission, were Son House–“His musical career began with a harmonica, but after listening to “Son” House play the guitar, there developed within him an ambition he could not restrain to play that instrument.”  (p. 118).  (That’s Work’s phrasing and it’s so delicious.  I about want to run out and develop within me an ambition I cannot restrain.)–and Robert Johnson.  The first song he learned on the guitar was “How Long Blues” and he was “in great demand among the plantation folk, both Negro and white.”  (p. 119).  The white dancers wanted to hear old reels, though they did enjoy it when he performed the “St. Louis Blues.”  Work reports, “Muddy water would like to join the church but to do so would mean abandoning his guitar–a sacrifice too dear to make now.”

He v. She

I have been intensly curious to see where Ariah ends up in his efforts to use feminine pronouns to refer to his God all this month.  And I hope he sticks with it.

The post I linked to is his effort to address some of the concerns about the post in which he announces his intentions.

I didn’t comment over there, since I don’t have a dog in that fight any more.  But I have been thinking about it–how soul lonely it is to want so much to feel connected to the Christian God and to feel like that’s never going to be possible because He’s a “he” and you’re not.

And I get Ariah’s commenters who are concerned that doing such a “crazy” experiment might turn off or confuse outsiders, but what about it being a spiritual lifeline to women who would, like I eventually did, otherwise leave the Church?  Are those hypothetical outsiders worth so much more than the real people who feel cut off from your God by your language?

I eventually came to the same conclusion Ariah’s commenter does who believes that God, being all-powerful could have referred to himself as something other than Him, if He’d cared to.  That’s, in part, why I left.  I experienced it as God pulling away from me, first–that constant reaffirmation, “I’m not like you.”

Okay, then, fine.  If you don’t like me, I’m a jackass for hanging around.

But it does seem to me that there is another path and I am cheering for anyone who struggles to take it.

Is there a Double Agent at the RIAA?

Courtesy of Radley Balko, we learn that the RIAA is taking after a girl too sick and too poor to defend herself.  At this point, one wonders if there’s someone at the RIAA trying to take it down from the inside through bad publicity.

Going after sick people and children, it just leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths.  And, if I were a recording artist, I guess I’d want to know where the hell the big successes were.  After all, how many lectures have we had to sit through year after year during the Grammy Awards about what a big problem illegal downloading is and how it’s ruining the industry?

And the biggest villians they can come up with, year after year, seem to be children.

I know everyone knows the problem, but let me just reiterate it.  Whether or not it’s true, everyone assumes that record companies have artists trapped in unfair contracts in which the record companies get rich and only a very lucky few artists do.  Music piracy doesn’t feel like stealing; it feels like sticking it to the record companies.  After all, we are showing our solidarity to the artist, by listening to her music.

Having the record companies, or another big faceless entity like the RIAA, go after children doesn’t do much to show the general public that those attitudes are wrong.

The education is going to have to come at an artist level.

Look at the whole Amanda Palmer incident.  Her label acted like gigantic piggish assholes (“my favorite quote from that meeting: ‘i’m a guy, amanda. i understand what people like.'”), and people were rightly outraged.  They wanted to figure out how to support Palmer and show their disdain for her record company.  But how to do that?

Amanda Palmer’s people explain:

If you are new to Amanda’s music and you wish to listen/buy some of it, please do not punish her financially for her label’s sins by stealing it off the internet. Buying her music from her website will ensure that the largest % of profit goes to her.

Ta Da! It wasn’t the point of the whole thing, but now people who want to support Palmer know how to do so both in spirit and financially.

Why is that such a hard message for the RIAA to formulate and get out?