Another Person on the Internet is Wrong

This time it’s Ben Garrett. He says:

There are limits to everything, as there very well should be. In the case of the Nashville protestors, they were not prohibited from protesting or assembling themselves at the Plaza during the day. They were simply told that they had to go home at night and come back the next day, a demand that they chose to defy. There were various reports of criminal activity and littering on the Plaza, which calls public safety into question.

This is wrong. They were told they’d have to apply for a $65 permit every day and carry a million dollars in liability insurance (which can run you hundreds and hundreds of dollars). That’s not “simply” being told to go home at night and come back the next day. That’s “no one can protest at night” and “no poor people can protest during the day.” Couple that with the fact that they blatantly and forthrightly said that they’d let TPAC visitors and other people who were deemed okay trespass on the Plaza at night and you have a pretty arbitrary rule obviously designed to affect only Occupy Nashville.

But I also keep seeing this idea that there were “various reports of criminal activity and littering.” The only verified reports of criminal activity were against the Occupy Nashville people. If these are the only reports, then Haslam is rounding up and arresting crime victims solely because he’s annoyed that they’re crime victims. This is a worrying precedent.

But let’s talk about these “various reports.” Why hasn’t anyone named names? Why isn’t there one person, one person at all to come forward and say “I’m John Smith and I saw human poop” or “I’m Representative Smith from Smithville and I saw people having sex.” Or whatever. I want to know who actually complained and what their specific complaints were.

Because otherwise, it’s the same people who insist that Jonathan Meador was arrested for being drunk in public, even in the face of video in which it shows him being arrested for… oh wait… they have to come up with something… better hit him with resisting arrest, who are insisting that there’s actually some kind of public safety issue.

And guess what?

Those people’s credibility is shot.

So, I’m pretty flabbergasted at the amount of journalists who want to keep finding reasons why maybe this wasn’t quite so egregious as it looks.

I will try to see things from the Haslam administration’s perspective when the Haslam administration stops lying about what their perspective is. But that’s just me.

At This Point, I’m Hoping for a Jonathan Meador Pilot Station

I don’t really understand how Haslam’s finances are tied up in Pilot at the moment and I don’t know under what conditions Meador can sue, but, man, nothing would make me happier at this point than to see a sign on the Centennial Boulevard Pilot that said “X cents of this gallon of gas goes to paying this tax, Y cents goes to paying that tax, Z cents goes to Jonathan Meador.” And then, maybe there would be a really comfy chair right out front of the gas station that Meador could come by and sit in whenever he wanted.

I don’t know.

I thought it was bad enough that Governor Haslam is still putting forth his “We had to arrest the protestors in order to protect the protestors” nonsense. I mean, my god, we have an economy that depends heavily on the tourism industry and Haslam’s acting like the homeless people in Nashville are so ferocious and powerful that the THP is powerless to protect people from them. Great. Just great. And when word of that starts to trickle out to vacationers, I’m sure it won’t hurt Nashville at all for people to take away from all this that we have a terrible problem with super-criminal homeless people.

What kind of governor would tell the world that the police can’t control crime in the state capitol?

Jesus Christ.

But then, then there’s Bill Gibbons, who is still insisting that, after watching the video of Jonathan Meador’s arrest, he thinks the arrest was justified. Like a commenter at Pith said, it’s like a little kid getting caught doing something wrong and then trying to lie so big that he wins. Does Gibbons not understand that the video is widely available? Does he not know that we can all hear the police talking about charging Meador with resisting arrest, not with being drunk?

Is Gibbons a fool or does he think we are?

Paul Stanely Continues to be a Creepster

Dear Paul,

You seem to be floundering with how best to explain your decision to fuck a girl who worked for you. You keep saying things like “I think [the gal you continue to blame for your wrongdoing] is too – to a certain extent – a very troubled young lady.” Really, you think a girl whose boss knew “The moment I laid eyes on her” that he was going to fuck her might end up being troubled?

I have to say that, yes, young women whose bosses lay eyes on them for the first time and think “Yep, I’m going to fuck that one” tend to be troubled by the experience. This is one of the reasons bosses don’t fuck their young employees.

I’m going to continue, for the moment, to assume that you’re just a moron trying to make a story in which you behaved like a total douchebag at every step of the way into a story in which you were some suave lothario victimized by an unscrupulous harlot.

But a bit of advice–much like you should stop telling stories that make it sound like you had other affairs, you should stop telling stories in which the “troubled” young woman you had an affair with seems not to have had a real opportunity to consent to your relationship. I had been thinking that you were just a fool who didn’t see that anyone willing to help a man betray his wife would also be happy to betray him, but now I’m wondering what you deciding the moment you saw her that you were going to fuck her felt like to her–whether she felt like she had any choice in the matter. You know, Paul, it makes me wonder if she felt her boyfriend was getting even with you for the shitty thing you were doing to her. That seems to me like something you don’t want people wondering.


p.s. It is beyond tacky to continue to bring this woman up. I know that your whole new life is predicated on a book in which you committed this terrible “sin” with this woman. But I ask you, sincerely, at what point are you going to stop harming her? Because, it seems to me that, from the moment you laid eyes on her until this latest round of publicity for your book, you’ve done nothing but screw her, one way or another. I’m no expert on sinning, but I’m pretty sure that, before you can be forgiven, you have to, you know, actually stop what you’re doing wrong.

Mir-an-da! Mir-an-da!

Today’s the day that Miranda Lambert’s new album comes out and it is awesome. Of course the cover of “Look at Miss Ohio” is amazing. But the whole album is really interesting. You know how these days you listen to an album and are like “Okay, I’ll buy these three songs on iTunes and call it good”? I think Lambert has made an album that makes that strategy very difficult, since every song is strong. And I’m still digging the Pistol Annies album.

One thing I’ve been thinking about is how Lambert’s songs would have knocked me on my heels when I was younger. I grew up in the era of… ugh… there’s got to be a term for it… like the female countrypolitan revival? You know Kathy Mattea, Trisha Yearwood, Martina “My Baby Loves Me Just the Way that I am” McBride (as opposed to Martina “Someone died and it’s very sad” McBride). They were great, but they all seemed older and somewhat suburban. I don’t mean that as a putdown but just that they would have been a lot more comfortable in urban life than I would have at that age.

Lambert sounds like she’s singing to rural young women.

And one of the things I’ve been kind of struggling with is that I experience her as incredibly feminist. The first song on her new album is literally about it taking “All Kinds of Kinds” of people to make up the world–people who do strange things and fuck in strange ways. She has songs about knowing what she wants sexually and being unafraid to go for it. She has songs about realizing the guy you’re with is never going to change and that you deserve better. She has a song, “Mama’s Broken Heart,” about how times have changed and the demure together ways that women used to get their hearts stomped on does not cut it and she’s going to be pissed and fall apart instead. And, of course, there’s “Look at Miss Ohio,” which Lambert infuses with such richness that it stops me cold, about the twin desires to be “good,” to do right–what your momma and your boyfriend want–and to not do it right now.

To me, the idea that you deserve the chance to put your own needs first, to try for what you think might make you happy, even if it’s strange or inexplicable or improper is at the core of feminism.

And yet, I don’t really think Lambert would call herself a feminist. Maybe. But I don’t really know. It doesn’t actually matter to my point, which is that I sometimes think that I need to be more careful of the ways I am saying “you’re like me” (or the converse) without considering the other person’s perspective.

I see a lot in the feminist blogosphere how once someone has been identified as “like me,” that person gets held to the same internal rules that the identifier has made up for herself. Like I think I should write about how awesome Miranda Lambert is and I am a feminist and a blogger, other feminist bloggers who don’t write about how awesome Miranda Lambert is are doing it wrong.

I’m meandering a little here folks, obviously, but I think the root of all oppression is in the urge to be the boss of someone (or the feeling that you are rightfully the boss of someone). And “I understand you because you are like me” is a feeling that can easily lead into “Because you are like me and I understand you, you should do what I say.”

So, I’m not going to label Lambert a feminist. I don’t know. I think she’s making some incredibly feminist music, though, which is awesome.