From Garth Brooks to Rihanna

If there’s one thing that is sure to send folks into a tizzy in popular music, it’s a song/video in which a woman kills an abusive man. Apoplexy from Garth Brooks’ “The Thunder Rolls” through “Independence Day” and “Good-bye Earl” to Rihanna’s new video.

It’s funny to me the pearl-clutching that can still find traction over the fantasy of killing the man who done you wrong. As if killing a gal, for any old reason, isn’t also an ancient musical trope.

Funny that this one still has traction.

But what’s funnier, and I wonder if y’all have any thoughts on why this is, is that Miranda Lambert is never caught up in this. Is it because the dude in “Gunpowder and Lead” isn’t dead yet? There’s still space to imagine that he gets home and is able to finish beating the shit out of her before she kills him?

I find the absence of that song peculiar in these discussions, but I think–this is my theory anyway–it’s because the moment of that song–as she and her abuser are both about home, both about to finish what his stint in jail interrupted–doesn’t give room for sanctimony. It’s easy to pearl clutch once the dude is dead–“Oh, how terrible that Rihanna made a video in which a man [who rapes her character]  is gunned down!” “Oh, how terrible that Garth Brooks sings about a woman who kills her [abusive] husband!” “Oh, it’s the end of the world that The Dixie Chicks make light of a woman and her friend murdering her [abusive] husband!” But when you’re in that moment before the confrontation–where you know as well as the singer that only one of them is going to come out standing–it’s harder to object.

It’s interesting anyway.

Governor Baby is Mad at Sick Poor People

I swear, I may need to take a vacation from reading about our governor, because when I read shit like this, it makes me almost dizzy with rage. “Low-income recipients of care — and for that matter, consumers in general — don’t have ‘enough economic skin in the game, if you will,’ said Haslam.” The leading cause of bankruptcy in this country is medical bills and Haslam thinks consumers in general don’t have enough economic skin in the game?

I have great health insurance, the kind of health insurance that causes people to take jobs they hate at my employer and keep jobs they hate at my employer (though I am very fortunate to have a job I love to go with that great health insurance) and the cost of it still goes up considerably ever year. One year, no one got raises and health insurance went up, thus giving us all defacto pay cuts. That sure as fuck felt like economic skin in the game. Today, I was at Walgreens and a woman had to get a prescription for something that was going to cost her $30 and she spontaneously burst into tears when the pharmacist said, “$30” and she had to take a minute to regroup and explain that she really needed the prescription but she didn’t have that kind of money. Luckily, there was a generic that was $10, but until Governor Haslam is standing there watching a woman embarrassed to her core at bursting out in tears over $30, maybe he should keep his mouth shut about ‘economic skin in the game.’

This is a problem with our aspirational society and how our political system is set up to ease millionaires into office. Governor Haslam has no idea that he’s been sheltered from the economic realities of people’s medical care. After all, there are bootstrappers around him–like Ron Ramsey–and if they can make it, anyone can make it. Well, fine. But knowing some people who used to be poor and working class really is not the same as understanding poor and working class people.

And our medical care system is fucked. But “people need to just use less of it” in a country where Baby Boomers are getting older is a joke. Old people have to go to the doctor, a lot.

Or do poor people and working class people not deserve to get old? To have old relatives?

I swear, Haslam should spend his summer living in a working class neighborhood in Nashville. It would do him some good.

I’m Surly

I admit, I spent much of my morning gnawing on the splintery bone of bitterness. I feel like I’m fucking up in some way I can’t put my finger on–that there’s some obvious right thing to do and I cannot figure it out, therefore can’t do it.

And I know that’s bullshit, but I still feel it.

I’m grouchy, too, because, and I know this is stupid and ugly, but you know, my cousin was a magnanimous bullshitter with a huge substance abuse problem and it pisses me off that he’s dead in the ground and other people get grand public redemptions. And everyone still loves them and they still get to breathe air.

And I know one thing doesn’t have to do with the other. It’s not like that dude has the spot my cousin should have had. It’s not that way. And it’s not like my cousin didn’t also have a million chances. But man, sometimes, I’m jealous just the same.

And I’m so pissed, still, all these years later, following his kids on Facebook, looking at pictures of his grandkids, that he fucking did that to himself.

And I am afraid that he won’t be the only one in our family, you know? I mean, so far, so good, but people are dumbasses. And you hear some shit out of the living ones sometimes, like, oh, earlier this week, that makes you wonder how we’ve made it this far without losing more of us.

I’m also pissed that people in my Twitter stream are all “Oh, have you read this awesome book. It’s so awesome about feminism.” And yes, I get that, once there’s been a big blow-up, people will come out to show that they are not among the ones that fucked up. But you know, I don’t live in New York City and I don’t give my credit card number to places I don’t know anything about. My finances are not such that I can take that risk, no matter how small.

So, even if it is interesting to me, I guess I have to hope that somehow some library around here is going to get it.

So, yeah, I’m feeling too old, too low class, and too geographically challenged to even be on the wrong ends of the feminist brouhahas.

I guess I should just accept that and move on.