My Second At-Bat

So, my second post is up at Pith.  It’s about John Work and why I’m hoping the Feds will give stimulus money to refurbish his house and how the Tennessean kind of dropped the ball when they were reporting about it.

And I have to say, I really dig it.  I mean, I’m really starting to get a feel for what I want to do over there and how it will differ, at least a little bit, from what goes on over here.  Here, I think, is like if you came to my house.  There’s burping and farting and watching bad tv and getting drunk and talking politics and cooters and Democrats.  Or, like Mag said once, it’s like stopping by a bar where almost everyone is a regular and we’re talking about shit we’ve been talking about for ages.

Over there, I think I can introduce some folks to some stuff.  I don’t know.  You know it’s all subject to change.  But I put my post up about Work and I got an email from someone almost immediately after I posted it telling me that he’d lived in Nashville his whole live and never heard of the Works and he was glad to read my post.

How fucking amazing is that?

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m still scared shitless.  It’s one thing to sit on the sidelines and take potshots under a name only the people who love you call you; it’s another thing to get up there under your own and try to say something about this place.

So, yeah, though, I think it’s good.  I hope it’s not too soft for them.  But I mentioned Hooters and how dull the Tennessean is, so hopefully that will still get me some bad-ass street cred.

Blows My Mind

So, they have uncovered what they believe to be the oldest artistic representation of a human being ever found.  And what do you know?  Thirty-five thousand years ago, our ancestors were running around with my naked body, probably on a rope around their necks.

Now, granted, proto-me does also look a bit like a plucked chicken, but I trust you’ll overlook that.

Dr. J. took a class when we were in grad school in which the professor said that there is speculation that these figures were carved by women, hence the strange perspective, with the big breasts, big bellies, and tiny legs and hands and no heads.  It’s as if you’re looking down at yourself and carving what you can see and what has the most prominence.  It’s weird to think about for me, a woman who sits at a computer all day, because the thing of me I spend the most time looking at are my hands.  Even now, when I’m typing, I can see them wiggling around down there.  If I were carving what I saw when I looked down, it’d be all tits and hands and nothing else.  It’s weird to think about just how sitting up all day how we do changes how we see ourselves.

The NYTimes article also alludes to some speculation about how these figurines may have had some shamanic purpose.  I, at least, have this idea of shamans being primarily men, but that’s not actually true.  When they find remains in Russia, they’re very often women.  And there’s no reason to think our ancestors would have been any different.

I think, just looking, that at the least, they’re good luck charms–“as above, so below” being the guiding principal.  If you think about how hard life was for our grandmothers 35,000 years ago, the idea of a woman who was so obviously well-fed, well-fucked, and able to feed and please others must have been an especially compelling person to want to emulate.

The After-the-Fact Fretting

Whew, so I was a lot more nervous than I thought I’d be.  Even last night, after I went to bed, I woke up a couple of times being all “Just go delete it and change your name and don’t answer the phone when your mom calls!”  and “You’re so going to be pulled over every time you get in the car.”

But I reread it this morning and laughed at the parts that were supposed to be funny and that’s pretty much all you can ask from a post.

I don’t know.  I know it’s corny, but I want to be heard.  And I know y’all here hear me.  But I also feel like there’s this push in Tennessee to corral the (liberal) bloggers and put us to work at the bottom of the same old system or, failing that, at the bottom of a new system that looks suspiciously like the same old system.  You know, sum us up and represent us, so we don’t have to be really heard.  And the amount of people who seem to think we need and/or are selling themselves as the Pied Piper of Liberal Tennessee Bloggers is kind of ridiculous.

We need zero people who can speak for and to Liberal Tennesse Bloggers in order to put us to work for good.  That’s one of the things about blogging.  You don’t need anyone to speak for you.  You can speak for yourself.

I mean, isn’t this the bullshit of being a liberal, if we can just be honest?  Our power as ordinary people comes from our ability to band together in common cause and look like a force to be reckoned with.  But the second you look like an army, some jackass wants to come along and be the general, so he can sell himself off to other generals as the person who has you under his guidance.  That old “liberal elite” bullshit.

And I don’t know if there’s any other way to play the game, if you want real reform.  Maybe you do have to suck it up and throw in with someone.

So, I don’t know.

Things are changing, rapidly, among Tennessee bloggers.  Finally, we’re seen as a resource.  The trouble with being a resource is that now everyone’s looking for a way to exploit you.  And each blogger is going to have to navigate that on her own.  How do you be a force to be reckoned with and still be an individual voice who gets heard?

Frankly, I don’t want to be ignorable or easily dismissed (though, yeah, of course I’m going to be dismissed.  I just want to be the nagging, dare I say “shrill” voice that haunts you right as you fall asleep.) and this seems like a good way to make sure that’s not the case.

I don’t know how it’s going to go.  But I feel good about trying.