I Make a Confession

The beginning of “Iron Man” scares the crap out of me. I can’t listen to it. I can listen once the familiar guitar part starts, but the first thirty seconds?

Gives me the willies every damn time I hear it. It came on the radio just now and I had to about have a car accident trying to change it before the voice came in all “I… am… Iron Man.”

If You Don’t Like It, Leave

This keeps coming up, this idea that if progressives don’t like how things are going in Tennessee, we should just leave and go elsewhere. (See here for an example.)

As a small-town girl myself, I find this interesting because I know that’s how it works. Rather than dealing with folks who crop up who are different than you, you just run them off. Run off your gay kids, run off your smarty-pantses, run off the non-whites, run off the non-Christians. Just run ’em all off. (Step two is to make up religious reasons why they had to go, to try to keep those who are left behind, who miss them, in line.)

Then you can live a little lie about how your town or state is just like you say it is, because there’s no one to challenge it.

But, really, this move only works in a good economy. It only works, when it works, because people can afford to move.

Otherwise, even if folks want to leave, they can’t.

Not that I want to leave. Shoot, I love this place, even with all its silliness. I just bought a house.

But I’m just saying, no one’s fooled. We all see this for the temper-tantrum it is, designed to keep power in the hands of the same old people.

My second favorite thing I’ve noticed is this newfound tendency to insist that Mike McWherter has nuanced positions we just can’t know because we are too stupid to get them. I used to dog on Republicans for insisting that Tennessee Democrats think they’re smarter than everyone. I mean, shoot, of course that feels too close to an indictment of me.

But then, damn, you see this kind of nonsense, where folks are chastised for taking what McWherter says at face value, as if what we really need is just someone who can properly interpret the complexity of what he’s saying.

When I read Cynic’s post over at Ta-Nehisi Coates’s place this morning, it reminded me of that.

In each case, the controversy requires an esoteric reading. The great preponderance of the evidence is dismissed as concealing what the enlightened few are able to recognize as the hidden truth. Small deviations, instead of being ignored as insignificant exceptions, become freighted with greater meaning than the norm. And these arguments are immune from rebuttal. Any action, any words that would seem to contradict the esoteric reading can be dismissed as cover. Anyone unable to see the hidden meanings that are so readily apparent to believers can safely be ignored, because they refuse to see the truth.

I mean, doesn’t that seem like what’s happening? That we’re being told McWherter’s words have some meaning not obvious to us because we’re too stupid? But that we should just trust that everything’s fine, take the word of the people who can correctly interpret him?

That, in the end, ends up being what disturbs me about the “like it or leave” position. So far, it’s advocated by people who mean “it” to mean “the fact that we’re insisting on complete bullshit.” At some level, it’s not a disagreement on policy. We’re having a basic disagreement over whether some Democrats think other Democrats should just shut up and take whatever bullshit is dished out.

That’s not a political disagreement.

That’s a basic disagreement about reality.

Seriously. I’m supposed to leave the state because I refuse to accept people who are doing dumbass shit are secretly smarter than me?

Ha, has their ever been a more patronizing proposition? I must either not worry my pretty little head about things or I must leave?

Yeah, good luck with that.

Oh, I Forgot to Tell You The Funniest Thing!

So, of course, on Sunday, we had to spend all day listening to church crap in the van. Now, I will sing some hymns, don’t get me wrong. Those hymns could be all “We are marching to Betsy’s, horrible, horrible Betsy’s, marching onward to Be-eh-eh-ty’s, a pitchfork wielding mob!” and I would totally sing along even while I was running away in terror. So, I was more than content to listen to a succession of small Alabaman congregations with their own radio shows singing all about Jesus.


But my dad wanted to hear some preaching.

So, we find some preaching on the radio and this preacher is going to preach on… oh, I forget. Some verse all about how you have to turn your back on everyone you love and go and immediately follow Jesus.

And he starts his sermon, after reading the scripture, with a story, as preachers often do.

This was a story about a Latin American dictator who needed a heart transplant. Long story short, his subjects were all “Yes, Fuhrer.” this and “Yes, Fuhrer” that. And it started with just me, giggling every time the minister would talk about this Latin American crowd shouting “Yes, Fuhrer,” and then my mom got to giggling. And once my mom starts giggling, it’s very hard for me to behave. So, I say, “Gosh, Dad, just where is this Latin American country where the people all speak German?”

And my dad is all “Betsy, when will you learn that pastors are notorious for just making shit up in their sermons?”

Then he changed the station back to hymns.

I’m Not Completely Abandoning Hope

But it’s been a week and a half. I don’t think the tiny cat is coming back. If she’s dead, I hope she did not suffer. If she’s not, I hope someone has taken her in.

I had a cat who taught herself to pee in the toilet.

I don’t think I’ll ever see her likes again.

I really hope she comes home.

I keep thinking, well, maybe if we didn’t let them out, but you know, she sprinted out the door last Saturday. Even if we didn’t let her be an outside cat when she wanted to be, she still could have made the same break for it and still been just as gone.

It’s the trade-off. You know the first time you open the door and let them out that they might not come back. But they’re so much happier when they can come and go when they want. And, lately, she rarely wanted to go.

So, I don’t know. Cats slip in and out of your life. It sucks.

But I’m hoping she slips back here one more time.