Apes

Something about seeing how individual each of their faces are weirds me out. It’s the feeling of them being so familiar, so much like me. And yet knowing the enormous gulf that stands between us as well.

Also, I have to say, it makes me hope for Bigfoot. I know that’s strange, but these guys would be less disconcerting if there were someone, like Bigfoot, that seemed a little closer to us.

Does that make sense? I see this and I can imagine a small gap and then faces of humans and it would all blend together into “Apes of Earth.”

But I want to put something in that small gap.

Friday Night Panic Attacks

Lord almighty, shit is fucked up in my head. I’ve been printing press releases and polishing the lists of addresses where books will go and thus looking up zip codes and getting email lists together. I made a to-do list and checked stuff off it.

I should be feeling proud but I feel light-headed and my heart is pounding in my throat. I am utterly convinced that the book sucks, that it’s not really real, because I don’t have a publisher, and that telling people other than y’all that I wrote it is going to make them feel bad for me, like “Oh, that poor Betsy, doesn’t she know we don’t give a shit about her fake book?”

But all that I kind of expected. I have lived with this fucked up brain for a while now. I know most of its tricks for undermining me.

But it has a new one. One that it’s probably been reciting for a while, very quietly, behind the noise of “you have a fake book everyone will hate.” And that is “You’re going to get in trouble.”

I don’t even know what it means, exactly. I think it’s an old, old piece of bullshit, just floating up to see if it still has any bang left, you know?

But it does! Weirdly. It does.

I mean, I know it’s bullshit, because there’s nothing to get in trouble for. I took out the few words from “Sweet Leilani” and “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” is long in the public domain. I’ve got some stories that mention country music stars but I don’t think I’m violating anyone’s personality rights. Ricky Skaggs sings. Jim Reeves stands around in a parking lot. Lefty Frizzell has breakfast. Those seem like things people do and nothing a family member will get mad about or be embarrassed by. I hope anyway.

But I am completely plagued by this feeling that this will blow up in my face in some terrible, life-destroying way, because I put it in writing, the very thing generations of my family are strictly warned against.

Though how one might be a writer and never put anything in writing is a mystery for the ages, I guess.

But then, writing through it helps.

At least I don’t feel like I’m going to throw up now.

And I got a shit-ton accomplished tonight. And I have good folks helping me with the rest. Still…

Anyway, Chris Jackson is over there talking about women writers and he says, “Anyway, there are ways that our reading is shaped and limited by the biases of the dominant literary gatekeepers” among which he must certainly number himself. Something about that sentence made me wonder if he’s not thinking about the public necessity of his role in ways similar to how I am.

The Most Important Thing I Could Share with You Today

Ta-Nehisi Coates. The whole thing is good. This is the part that should be required reading:

The fact of the thing is bizarre: A charlatan, who once seriously claimed that Barack Obama was the son of Malcolm X, has set in motion events which have infected the highest reaches of “The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.” But this formulation gives the charlatan to much credit–the scheme works because it feeds on already prevailing sense held by significant minority of Americans. These Americans are not being swindled. They are not being led astray.They are not being distracted from “important issues” or divided from their “real interest.” This is their “important issue.” This is their  “real interest.”
The prospect of Muslims assimilating will not subdue them, to the contrary, the last thing they want is their kid competing with yours. Their hypocrisy is stunning: These are the ghosts who burned black Wall Street, who pilfered the “Five Civilized Tribes,” who recoil at gays attempting to build family. And so on. They claim to fear the immigrant clinging to his language. No. What they fear is the immigrant learning theirs. Much like Barack Obama scares them more than any New Black Panther, Cordoba House is more terrifying than any iteration of radical jihad. In Obama’s case, it shows how well blacks know American, how essential we are to the thing. In the case of Muslims, it shows how well they have caught on.

Is Mike McWherter Advocating Segregation?

I honestly don’t even know what to say. Please I am begging you. Tell me that he is not advocating for there to be certain parts of town where Muslims and their buildings would be allowed and certain parts of town where they would not.

“Honor zoning.”

(I would like to say that the video Woods has posted is not safe for work if you are a Democrat, because it will cause you to harm yourself as you either slam your head on your desk or your jaw hits the floor.)

At what point does a gal give up on the fantasy that McWherter is just clueless? That, if someone stood by him and demanded he think about the things he was saying, that he’d be all “Oh, right, yeah, that is dumb.”?

Let me just say this, as clear as I can. If you repeatedly advocate for there to be certain parts of town that certain kinds of people maybe wouldn’t be appropriate for, in this state, considering our history…

People, Mike McWherter was born in 1955. He is old enough to remember, at least vaguely, legal segregation. He lived through the assassination, not three hours from his own home, of Martin Luther King, Jr. And he would still open his mouth, as a motherfucking DEMOCRAT, and argue that there are certain places certain people should maybe stay out of?

Now I’m cheering for him to lose.

People, I am seriously considering voting for Bill Haslam.

And I never, ever, ever thought I would get to a point where I would say that.

How did we get to the point where Bill Haslam is the better choice than a Democrat?

I mean, I have some ideas, but they’re long and drawn out and I have to get back to work. But still.

Howard Dean, Bleh

I was just reading mattbastard’s piece on Howard Dean’s embarrassing self-display yesterday–and what I think makes it almost worse, and I’d have to go back and rewatch it unfold again and who the hell wants to do that? What makes it almost worse is that I got the impression that, at first, Dean didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about. Not at all. That he was all “Mosque? Ground Zero? Hmm, that seems weird. Maybe we should rethink that.” And then, as people were like, “Are you really fucking serious?” he couldn’t say, “You know, I didn’t really know the details when I spouted off. But now that I do, I think my initial take was wrong.” for whatever reason. So, instead, he’s dug in, as if he can just repeat bullshit he would otherwise not say (even if he believed it, and he may), and eventually we’ll all be “Oh, that Howard Dean, what a reasonable and thoughtful man.” But you can’t bank on being reasonable and thoughtful when it’s so damn clear your initial comments came from a place of not knowing what the hell you were talking about.

I also feel like mattbastard gets straight at what’s bothering me about this. Why in the world would the liberal response to this be “Oh, well, let’s all play nice and smooth things over and just try to see things from the perspective of the people who are upset”? I’m all for talking about our feelings, but sometimes feelings are stupid.

I have lots of stupid feelings. That’s why I have a blog. So that I can talk about my stupid feelings.

But sometimes they really are stupid. And I’m not sure why we have to sit around accommodating or even giving lip-service to accommodating stupid ideas.

Can’t we just say, “You know, that’s really dumb and I’m not sure why we need to waste our time discussing it?”

Or, and maybe this is the better way to go about it, we could say, “Just like you wouldn’t want to be held responsible for the actions of every person who shares your religion, we shouldn’t hold other people accountable for the actions of every person in their religion. We don’t punish people for the things other people do.”

And then, I think we can ask, “You realize you’re being played, right?”

I mean, Pat Robertson, just for example, gets paid for this shit, for spouting anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. And the people who worked and got sick at Ground Zero still don’t have healthcare.

How convenient it is that all the ruckus about a mosque in that part of Manhattan (or anywhere, for that matter) has completely overshadowed Congress’s inability to get help for those workers.

If we want to mull over possible conspiracies, let’s mull over that one.

This Dog is About to Do Me In

She’s old, so she can’t get into my bed without help. While the Butcher was gone, she took to sleeping with me, which meant that, if I wanted any sleep, I had to just give in and lift her into bed. Otherwise, she would pace and pace and pace and sigh and sigh and sigh. And I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure my dog is the loudest sigher in the world. If you were having trouble sleeping last night, it’s probably because you heard her at your house and just didn’t realize what the noise was because you don’t have a dog.

And last night, she had to get out of bed twice, to do whatever dogs do, I guess. I slept through it. But twice I had to wake up to put her back in bed.

Why doesn’t she just go sleep with the Butcher?!

Would it be wrong to just put my mattress on the floor until she dies? Or could I make her a ladder?

I’m a little sad dogs don’t understand the concept of revenge, because I’d totally be waking her cute snoring ass up right now.