My 2009 New Year’s Resolution

Since I resolved to tuck no ends for the rest of 2009, I have moved on from the jewel-tone afghan to the contest afghan. It is, right now, two and a half strips of squares that will fit together, I hope, when I sew it all together, when I get ten strips done. So, here’s the deal.  The contest will be had on January 15th. It will be easy to enter. I’ll put up the relevant post and, if you want to win, you just comment on that post and I’ll randomly generate a number and the comment that corresponds to that number will win.

The 15th should give me enough time to get the afghan far enough along that you can see it and decide if you want it before you enter. So, that will be fun. It looks cool so far, anyway.

Sympathy for the Butcher

Poor Butcher came home yesterday complaining that he had had a headache all day, which he thought was just because he hadn’t had enough to eat, but when he tried to eat something after work, it just didn’t taste good to him; he couldn’t bring himself to finish it. And so, he said, he was going to go to bed and just see if he felt better.

And then, he came rushing out of his room to be sick in the privacy of the bathroom.

I just went in to check on him now, and he seems to be still breathing, so I didn’t linger. I don’t want whatever that is he has.

Excitement in the Bend

Y’all, CeeLCee sent me such exciting news about goings’ on in the Bells Bend Park that I am even asking people for more information! I know. I know. Anyway, it’s probably not that cool to the rest of you, but for me, news that they are planting trees in the park is pretty cool. I wonder if a girl can request where trees be planted, because some parts of the trail get really hot in the summer.

In Which I Armchair Quarterback the Democrats

1. Since it’s more important for the old guard to be gloating jackasses than to do actual Democratic outreach, they have completely missed the shift among some previously neutral or enthusiastic young people towards the TNDP. But because I am already an asshole, I will tell you straight up. Old guard, there’s some coalition building you could do with your young people, if you’d put down the “Oh my god, those idiots and their love for Chip Forrester. How can we run them out of the party this week?” People have come away from this year with the impression that there’s no support for candidates in small races, no support for people who aren’t in the “right” districts.  If that’s not also your strategy, you might could find some new allies.

2. A.) Someone owns the name “Music Row Democrats.” When you start asking around about how to restart the Music Row Democrats and you don’t even seem to have a plan for how to either get that name or come up with a new name, the people who are still talking to you find it weird. B.) People are still very, very bitter about how that went down. Well, I take that back. Not how it went down. How they understand that it went down. Before you, TNDP, start sniffing around about whether you could restart the MRD, you should know that conventional wisdom is that it was you guys who killed it in the first place, because you only wanted open wallets and access to Democratic stars; you didn’t want an actual, active organization you’d have to learn to get along with. It doesn’t matter if this is not the truth. This is what people think the truth is.

“What the Heck?!”

My favorite thing about the new kitty, as she gets more comfortable with the place is that she’s starting to get more curious, which is, of course, hilarious.

And she constantly runs around with this look on her face like “What the heck?” It’s not really a cussing face. It’s more of just innocent, slightly scandalized wonder. “What the heck, are you going to feed me or not?” “What the heck is that noise this thing is making?” “What the heck is that dog doing?”

Today she was hiding behind the toilet until I flushed it at which point she was all “What the heck is that noise?” and she scampered back into the safety of the Butcher’s room.

In Which I Cheer on Mike Turner

Yes, folks, all it takes is to be a loyal reader of Tiny Cat Pants and I will recount your exploits to the people in my office and then on the internet as if they are great victories for humanity. I will still get pissed at you on occasion, but I will cheer for you when you deserve it.

And today, Mike Turner deserves it. You may remember that we can’t have nice things in Tennessee because of Susan Lynn and her 10th Amendment fetish and now she’s threatening to write into our state constitution a law that would let Tennessee declare any federal law it wants null and void. I will wait here while you finish laughing.

Done? Okay, and this is in an effort to, and I am not even making this up, keep Tennesseans from participating in the upcoming healthcare reform.  Lynn is saying “Voters, I want to make it so the Federal Government will take your tax dollars and use it to implement healthcare reform in every other state but ours. I want to forbid them from using your tax money in your own state.” Ha, unless her next act is to encourage the citizens of Tennessee to stop paying our federal income tax? I don’t know. But it’s hilarious.

So, anyway, in response to this, Turner responds thusly:

“Susan Lynn is yearning for times gone by,” Turner said. “Maybe we could put the poor people back to sharecropping and slavery and let the people up at the big house have all the nice things. We’ve already had that fight about states’ rights.

“I’m probably against everything that Susan Lynn’s for. I know people in her district without health care insurance. I know people in her district without jobs. These people are suffering. I’m just not sure she lives in the same world as everybody else.”

Lynn responded, “I can’t even imagine that’s a serious comment.”

Right. Her desire to nullify laws she doesn’t like through the magic of the 10th Amendment is serious, but she can’t imagine Turner is serious? Hilarious.

Seriously, when I think that some of y’all don’t get to have this much fun watching these clowns do their acts, I feel bad for you.

Oh, Afghans

The jewel-tone afghan has hit the time-consuming part. The first half goes rather quickly because you’re switching colors so often, but by the time you get out as far as I’m out, it takes a while to get each color done. I’m still very pleased with how it’s turning out, though, and I mean to have pictures of it sooner or later. It’s been a long time since I’ve made something and been all “Holy shit, that’s cool” about it, so I’m excited to see how it comes together and I’m definitely learning things for the next time I make one.

I was considering having some kind of Post Secret/Post Politics mashup contest for the contest afghan, but I think that’s unfair to my non-Tennessean readers. So, I think what I’ll do, when the time comes, when there’s an afghan to have a contest over, is just let people enter by commenting on the appropriate post and then we’ll just randomly generate a number and the commenter at that number will win. I think I’m settling on a vertical stripe, but maybe squares. I’d LOVE to do this afghan, but I’m very nervous about whether I can do those medallions.  Plus, I already bought yarn for stripes. Still, damn, that’s beautiful. Maybe I’ll work on it after the contest afghan, just to see if I can do it.

In other afghan news, half of the babies I made afghans for are in the NICU and, while everything is going well, I am still fretting and would appreciate if you could keep those two girls in your thoughts–Allison and Cecelia. Thanks.

Ha, it’s like a church bulletin there at the end of this post but without the hymns we can all sing in unison.

Okay, I found one we can sing as we think uplifting thoughts for the little sisters.

Into the Dining Room!

The new kitty just took her first step into the dining room. She then fled back into the kitchen, through the back room, and back into the Butcher’s bedroom.

But I take it as a good sign that boredom and curiosity are slowly starting to outweigh fear.

On the Afghan Front

I’m done with the blue afghan, except for tucking in the ends, and I have in mind the perfect person to send it to, a person who is probably already having prophetic dreams, even as we speak. So, I started the next afghan, which is a jewel-toned log cabin pattern. I’m pretty sure I have already fucked it up. I have this problem that, when the pattern doesn’t make sense to me, rather than working it out, I just do what I think the right thing should be (ha, this is probably a larger metaphor, but let’s just ignore that). Anyway, holy shit is it beautiful! So, I’m calling it a happy fuck-up.

I’m also thinking about the third afghan already, because that afghan, dear readers, is for one of you.

There will be a contest! Of a kind I have not yet sorted out. And an afghan, of a kind I have not yet sorted out. But it will not be cheesy and ugly like the last afghan in the last contest we had here, which, as you may recall, was a contest I didn’t actually know the correct answer to. We will not be doing that again.

So, that will be an improvement on two fronts. Progress, my friends, progress.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Shorter Tiny Pasture–What About The Men?!

Women need to be embraced as leaders — but not out of fear or necessity. It should happen the right way, or else the Right will merely be seen as a bunch of weak-willed reactionary little boys sending their women out to do their fighting for them.

Yes, I will give you a minute to catch your breath from laughing. “It should happen the right way.” Oh, dear god, what do you suppose the right way looks like? All the Republican men put on their best suits and throw their overcoats over large Democratic puddles and beg Republican women into stepping daintily into leadership roles? Or maybe all the Republican women are supposed to marry good leaders and throw all their weight into supporting those men, and then, when and if the men die in office, it would be “right” for the women to take over their spots, at least until a new election?

“It should happen the right way.” That is so awesome.  And if you’re a woman with any kind of ambition, you sure as hell recognize that elbow when it’s thrown. “It should happen the right way” is totally code for “I just now noticed you were up to something cool that I should have been a part of all along and so I will try my best to butt you out of the way so that I can get ahead of the curve.”

“It should happen the right way” is “you are threatening my understanding of how things work.”

“It should happen the right way” is totally “Men should dole out power to women as we men see fit; it’s unseemly for them to take it.”

Here’s the thing. If you can’t let go of your notion that men are the people around whom the world revolves and women are lovely accessories, if you really think that women coming to power in the Tennessee Republican Party says something about the men (I mean, seriously. A whole column about women coming to power and the “thoughtful” end is how this reflects on men? Ha ha ha ha ha. Sometimes, stuff doesn’t reflect on men. What women do often doesn’t tell you much about men. Because, truly, it is not always all about the men.), you are completely missing the point.

There are three things coming together in an interesting way here in Tennessee. One is just the public acknowledgment of a private truth. Rural women and rural men do not lead lives very different from each other. Yes, this means they often face harsher social segregation, in order to enforce gender norms, but their day to day lives are not and have not been very different. Tennessee women have always been extremely competent and brash and able to lead. They’ve had to be in order to survive.

In the past, smart, ambitious women, if in the right class, would marry men whose interests they shared and they would devote their lives to fulfilling that man’s destiny. You might not be able to be a politician, but you sure could campaign and host gala events and backroom maneuver in service of your husband.

Today, you can be a politician for yourself. You can have your ambitions and your husband can have his.

Which brings us to the second thing happening–basic, humanitarian feminist ideals have permeated so far into our culture that even non-feminist women have basic, core feminist values they expect for themselves. They expect to speak and be listened to. They expect to be able to run for office and win. They expect recognition for their own work and to have that work attributed to them and not to their spouses. And they expect to have enough freedom of movement to be able to travel around and campaign.

Huge feminist victories that have changed the basic fabric of our society have allowed for the rise of the public woman (well, of the public woman as something other than a woman of low moral character).

And third, feminists are still enough of a bogey-person (ha) among conservatives, that Republican woman can go a long way–thanks to feminists–while insisting that they are not like those FEMINISTS!!!! Even though, they clearly are. I mean, you folks who lived through the 60s and 70s, when men were hollering about how feminists just wanted to be men, isn’t it hilarious that the first militant female congressman is Marsha Blackburn? And she’s a “Congressman” as some kind of anti-feminist stance? Hilarious.

I mean, yeah, as a feminist, it does make me roll my eyes to see all these TNGOP women building off of the successes feminists have won for them while at the same time pretending to be the same old women they’ve always been.

But I also believe that women being able to rise to such prominence in the Republican party can be a good thing for all women, regardless of political stripe.

And I’d like to urge the Democrats, if they’re still in the business of imitating the Republicans, to get busy imitating them in this regard as well.

Paranormal Activity

I watched Paranormal Activity this weekend and I thought it was surprisingly pretty good. It’s kind of in the same genre as “The Yellow Wallpaper,” in that you have a women to whom and around whom weird things are happening and whose husband/boyfriend is more interested in “science” than in believing the woman about her own experiences.

So, it feels like a weirdly feminist little morality tale. The girl repeatedly does what her douchy boyfriend wants, even to her own detriment. She forgoes actual experts even though she knows she’s in danger in order to allow her boyfriend to take care of a problem she is sure he doesn’t really know how to handle because, as he says, she is his girlfriend and this is his house. She literally sacrifices herself in order to not risk violating his sense of himself as her protector.

The movie insists that the demon is after her, but I think it’s pretty clear that the demon is her. Not that she’s faking it, but that what it takes for her to survive in her life is to be so much less than her boyfriend, who’s not that great, so everything that gets in the way of that is removed from her, is something Other than her, is the demon.

Since she is split in two, she lacks the gumption that part of her would give her–to stand up for herself, to insist on her own well-being, to tell her boyfriend her wishes about what to do about her situation are more paramount than his wishes–and the “demon” lacks the moderating compassion she has.

And when the two parts are recombined, as they often do, the stronger part rules, much to the boyfriend’s detriment.

It’s interesting that the movie seems, in the end, about growing up, about making the leap from passive audience to one’s life to active participant. Of course, the active participant in a horror movie is usually the horror itself.

That’s what about it reminds me of The Yellow Wallpaper–how a woman who can’t move naturally eventually ends up moving in unnatural ways.

Of course, you could also read it as “Your girlfriend’s old boyfriend is a bigger badass than you and now he wants her back. It’s not going to end well for you, sorry.”

When All Else Fails, Blame the Women!

Yes, on the one hand, I’m very glad to see legislators on both sides of the aisle working to lower our abysmal infant mortality rates. But on the other hand, if it’s already come down to “Well, we’ve done all we can do; it’s just that Tennessee women are fucking up so bad!” we’re really still screwed.

Here’s the deal as I see it.

1.) There is always going to be some level of infant mortality. Especially as medical technology advances and we have more capability to deliver live very premature babies and keep them living. In some happy cases, we are able to keep them living long wonderful lives. In unhappy cases, pregnancies that would have ended in miscarriages or still births end in dead infants. This is terrible. But it’s a terribleness that comes as a result of us being able to save some babies who would have, in the past, not made it. I don’t think this is the largest factor, but it’s an important factor to keep in mind.

2.) The absolute biggest thing we can do to prevent infant mortality is to teach young girls and women how to keep from getting pregnant in the first place. Our infant mortality rates are high in Tennessee as a whole. But our infant mortality rates are very strongly linked to the age of the mother, the younger she is, the more likely her baby is to die.

News stories in which we talk about “women” and “mothers” give people the impression that we are talking about a problem that mostly happens to adults. I don’t think this is intentional but it helps to keep the problems we’re facing obscured. It is very difficult for teenagers to get proper prenatal care. They’re very often dependent on having a parent who can facilitate that and most of the girls in our state who get pregnant don’t have that, either because their parents can’t take them to the doctor or won’t.

And they have the same issues with follow-up visits after the babies are born.

But we, as a state, act like we need the fainting couch if ever anyone tries anything that is not construed as taking every possible opportunity to punish girls for having sex. So, have we talked about finding ways to put daycare in high schools, complete with opportunities to visit with pediatricians? Or does that instantly make us thing “But that will be encouraging girls to have children?!” Do we hear that the Planned Parenthood in Memphis is going to be within walking distance of a high school and think “Okay, good, cheap and easy access to gynecological services and birth control and pre-natal care?” or do we think “Oh my god! I have to fan myself in shock that Planned Parenthood hasn’t jumped into the river and drown since we all hate them?!” Are we still, officially or not, teaching abstinence-only in schools?

Because that’s the deal, people. If you want to keep babies from dying you have to provide cheap, easy, and accessible ways for their mothers, regardless of her age, to keep from getting pregnant if she doesn’t want to be, to get to a doctor if she does want to be, and to follow up with a doctor once the kid is born.

We have to provide enough knowledge to the girls and women in this state so that they know what’s happening with their own bodies and can act on it.

It means that you’re going to have to back off the demonization of Planned Parenthood, because that’s where poor young women go for a host of reproductive health concerns, not just abortion, and when you try to run them out of communities, YOU are contributing to the infant mortality rate.

But I know, it’s more fun to showboat and claim indignation about our infant mortality rate than it is to actually face up to what attitudes of yours you’d have to change.

3.) Stop fucking poisoning us. Seriously, we’re sitting here talking about how 40% of rural women smoke like that’s an actual statistic? Not all women are mothers. Not all women, even smokers, smoke during their pregnancies. That tells us nothing. But how many of our rural women are living near dumps like the dump on Eno road and don’t know it? How many women in this state sucked down coal ash after the disaster? How many women are working hazardous jobs for shitty pay because at least they have  a job? How many women eat fish out of streams your party has tried to reclassify out of “waterway” so that businesses can dump whatever they want into them without repercussions?

When those chemicals go into our bodies, they go into the bodies of our fetuses, if we are pregnant. If it can make a grown person sick, what do you think it does to a developing organism?

4.) Step up, Dad. If you have a baby with a woman, that baby is also your responsibility. Are you finding a way to take her to her prenatal appointments? Are you taking the baby to its pediatrician if she can’t or won’t go? Are you shelling out money for food and clothing and medicine for the baby? Or did you leave that whole burden on her and her family?

Listen, all over this great land, women are jackasses. We do stuff to put our fetuses at risk, we don’t take care of our health, and we do a piss poor job of following up with doctor visits. Not every woman, of course. Most of us have our acts together. But a sizeable minority of women all across this land are like a sizeable minority of women in the state of Tennessee.

And yet, other states do not have this problem. Their infants make it to their first birthdays at much higher rates than ours do.

So, clearly, the problem isn’t just that women are jackasses and passing the problem off like women are jackasses does nothing to solve it.

But the solutions that work are solutions that are very unpopular in our state–dealing with sex ed, stopping treating Planned Parenthood like it’s evil incarnate, dealing with environmental factors beyond individual women’s control, and getting fathers to do what mothers can’t or won’t do.

So, we’re going to have to decide whether it’s more important to grandstand or solve this.

Sadly, I think you know where I’m putting my money.

Hope

Everyone I was making baby blankets for is going to have (or have had) their babies before they receive said blankets. My neighbor, my cousin, a couple of friends–all have (or are in the middle of having) December babies.

It’s funny, because the world is really a shitty, hard place and you are always thrown into circumstances you can’t do anything about, always on the verge of being crushed by forces you have no control over. But people still choose hope, they still have faith in children and getting together and they still throw in with life.

I find that really meaningful, especially at this time of year, when I am most compelled to hide in a cave armed with nothing more than a pointy stick I can jab at anyone who comes too near.

It’s funny to watch Christmas movies full of Santa Claus, movies with plots in which Santa is powerful, but not so powerful that humans can’t be of help to him. His elves, his reindeer with lightning names and thunder god names, his gift giving, his tree, the mistletoe, all still pulled out from the attic every year and arranged and rearranged into something vaguely Christian, old junk we still find handy, even if we can’t remember why.

It’s hard, sometimes, to make sense of the gods, whether a god like Zeus is Tyr under another name, but if Zeus is the Father god and Odin is the All-father, shouldn’t they be analogous, etc.

But in Santa Claus, you start to get a sense of the truth of it. Santa is certainly not Odin or Thor. But there’s something of them in him. This is one of the ways they came through the years to us, disguised as an old man who comes in when folks are concentrating on Jesus, just pops in the house to remind you that you have not been forgotten by the things you have forgotten.

The dog is old and determined to stick to her routine. She came out to sleep on the couch yesterday morning, even in the middle of the chaos of a young boy on Christmas day. And she slept solidly. And dreamed she was running.

I can’t really say how this has gone–this visit with my family. I just wish things were easier, on all of us. That’s the thing that drives me most nuts about the whole affair. It’s not like I’m so great and they all suck. It’s that the ways we are with each other are often so damn powerful and aren’t always that great. And how we could or if we would all back off and give each other a little breathing room and mercy about it seems impossible to know.

But you have hope anyway. That the next time you try it, something will have moved enough, shifted finally, circumstances will have changed enough that things go better.

But how to change those circumstances?

None of us exactly know.

Christmas with the Phillipses Means Football!

We have just had our first post-holiday injury, wth the Butcher dropping the youngest nephew after tossing him on the couch, after playing football all over the house after I shouted repeatedly “Stop [throwing, tossing, shooting] that [football, toy plane, sock] into the fire!” We’re lucky to have made it this far without anyone being thrown into the fire, let me tell you.

But, of course, we had to play football in the house because it’s cold outside.

Mrs. Wigglebottom got her morning food covered in bacon grease. Everyone got good presents. And the only crying has been the result of the first post-holiday injury, so all in all, a very successful Christmas.

Hope the same is true for all you Christians and Christian-affiliated folks.

As an aside, the Butcher insists I pass this along to the Professor.

And People are Surprised by Hamsher Why?

World, she put a picture of Joe Lieberman in blackface up at Huffington Post, because it was more important to her to score political points against Lieberman than it was to not be an enormous asshole towards people who weren’t even involved in her little spat.

Her judgment has been obviously suspect and her motivations obviously fucked up since then.

So why, again, is her recent behavior so shocking? How is this not just more of the same?

My Uncle B. is a Little Naughty

So, my Uncle B. recently became a grandfather to a darling little girl named Noelle and when I was talking to him on the phone this morning, he was bragging about how there are times when he’s the only one who can get Noelle to sleep.

“That’s not that surprising, though,” he said, “I’ve been putting your aunt to sleep since we started dating.” He pauses. “In the early days, I was just trying to get her into bed, but…” He laughed, “If I’d figured it out sooner, we would have older kids.”

Whew, Boy, Do I Have a Treat for You

When I took the new kitty to the vet, I saw a restaurant “Taste of N’awlins,” but I didn’t know if it was open. And then I saw this review on Nashville Restaurants, which explained that it was open, when it was open, and whether it was good.

So, we went up there this evening; it’s maybe ten minutes from the house, but on the far north side of Joelton, so it’s quite a drive from Nashville. But holy cow, people, it’s so good. I mean, unbelievably good. I had a roast beef po’ boy and Mom and Dad had the jambalaya and Mom thought the jambalaya tasted just like the jambalaya her Cajun acquaintance makes.

I’ve not seen it advertised, and everyone who came in who didn’t seem familiar with the place said that they’d heard about it from someone else. So, its popularity so far seems just based on the unbelievable food and the word-of-mouth about it.

So, I’m here to spread more word of mouth and to tell you to get your butts to Joelton and try it.

My Dad, Too Nutty for Even the Gun Nuts?

I may have told you this, but my dad is completely opposed to concealed carry. Not because he’s opposed to guns, but because he doesn’t believe concealed carry has any deterrent effect because who can be deterred by a gun he can’t see?

No, my dad is for mandatory open carry. If you own a gun, it is your responsibility to your community to wear that gun openly where everyone can see it and deter the fuck out of some crime.

He explained this position loudly and in some detail at O’Charley’s the other night. I was having a good laugh trying to imagine what the people around us were making of him– “He said ‘gun’ in a positive way, so that must make him a good guy, but he said ‘community’ and that’s code for ‘socialism’ so what the fuck?!?”

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful, But the Chicago Firefighters are So Delightful

When I got home today, I had a copy of the 2010 Chicago Firefighters calendar, with a half-naked Tiny Cat Pants commenter as Mr. January! I went to hang it up in the kitchen, but I was told that I simply may not put that calendar where other men will have to see it and feel bad about themselves.

I’m going to put it up in the garage, I think, so I can look at it while I’m hanging out in there, doing woman things.

Ha.

Anyway, if you like looking at half-naked firefighters (and who doesn’t?), when this site comes back on line, you can catch it here.

Thanks, Sam!

Christmas Chaos

“Christmas Chaos.” That’s got to be a WWE pay-per-view, right?

Anyway, my other brother has stepped up to the plate and agreed to go get his own son and bring him here for Christmas. So, I’m planning on taking my parents to the park tomorrow, instead of driving with them to North Carolina. They bought me a new mattress and box springs for Christmas. This is very nice of them, but I don’t feel like my current mattress and box springs are not holding up or something. But they say that I am crazy and the necessity of a new mattress is obvious.

I’m actually more thrilled with the other thing they brought–a small, live Christmas tree, to be planted in the mushy part of the yard, in hopes of soaking up some of the water. I hope pines like water. A weeping willow might have been more appropriate for that area.

The dog has gone back to sleeping with the Butcher. I’m not sure what this means for the new kitty, if she’s sleeping in there, too, or hiding under the bed, or if she will come out and explore the rest of the house, now that her mortal enemy has returned to the bed.

I’m still very stressed out, but I think it’s just the afterburn of all this North Carolina nonsense. And I’m really hoping that a good trip to the park can get it out of my system.

The Scream of the Carrot

I’m almost sure we learned that carrots scream when I was in middle school. I don’t remember how they were supposed to scream, lacking screaming things like mouths and vocal chords, but I thought of the screaming carrots again when I read Natalie Angier’s piece about how we’re learning more and more about plants’ striving for life.

Furr

Speaking of wolves, here’s the song I was thinking of, which, thanks to you, I know the name of.

This is the thing I wish I’d written about “Avatar.”

These are movies about white guilt. Our main white characters realize that they are complicit in a system which is destroying aliens, AKA people of color – their cultures, their habitats, and their populations. The whites realize this when they begin to assimilate into the “alien” cultures and see things from a new perspective. To purge their overwhelming sense of guilt, they switch sides, become “race traitors,” and fight against their old comrades. But then they go beyond assimilation and become leaders of the people they once oppressed. This is the essence of the white guilt fantasy, laid bare. It’s not just a wish to be absolved of the crimes whites have committed against people of color; it’s not just a wish to join the side of moral justice in battle. It’s a wish to lead people of color from the inside rather than from the (oppressive, white) outside.

Think of it this way. Avatar is a fantasy about ceasing to be white, giving up the old human meatsack to join the blue people, but never losing white privilege.

That’s pretty astute, I think.

One Second at a Time

It’s really going to take some superhuman feat of skill and fortitude that I’m not sure I have to get through this week in one piece. So, we are making a round-trip to North Carolina on Wednesday and Thursday because

a.) my brother’s not answering his phone when my dad calls, so they can’t discuss how fucking stupid this is. Not that they would discuss it, but the possibility for discussion isn’t there.

b.) in spite of my family’s desire that I be the fucking bitch whose approval they crave, but who they also resent, I’m not calling my brother to tell him how stupid this is. I can’t decide if this seems equally as passive as other members of my family, but for my own sanity, I cannot take up being the boss of these people (or trying. Like I said, the dynamic is to push you into it and then tear you down for doing it.). I told my dad I think it’s stupid, and he took that into consideration and decided to go anyway.

c.) My mom is done with how my brother talks to his son. At least for now. So she would rather go get him and know he’s not going to be emotionally abused for a whole car ride. I don’t know if my brother is actually emotionally abusive to my nephew, since that would take effort and interest, and I haven’t seen a whole lot of that. So, this trip is being driven, in part, by my mom’s anger at my brother.

d.) My mom can’t drive. And I can’t stand the thought of my dad driving sixteen hours in two days by himself, since he is not a semi-truck driver, but a retired Methodist minister. So, I’ll drive 8 and he can drive 8.

e.) Because my brother decided to stop answering his phone, no one could discuss with him the possibility of discussing with his wife them getting the kid today and tomorrow, when the Butcher is off work and could help with the driving. Yes, they are still married. They’re approaching a decade of marriage and almost a decade of not living together. They both seem unaware that there’s no such thing as a common law divorce.

But the anger I feel about this, about the whole family, and the whole holiday revolving around my brother’s ongoing fuckups without directly addressing them with him literally makes me dizzy. And there are a few fires at work that need to be put out, so the thought of not having all three days in the office this week is kind of making me stressed, too.

I’m not sure of a way to address this, but it has to be addressed. But, I guess, I’ll have 16 hours in the car to figure it out.