The Proportion of Haters Remains the Same

I’ve been following the ongoing discussion of the ways jerks on the internet are especially vile to women. Like Digby had a commenter who once told her that she wrote a lot better before she “came out as a woman.” And I don’t think I’ll ever forget when one of the usual trolls at Post Politics told GoldnI that someone needed to teach her “a lesson.” I’ve been fairly lucky, I think. The problems I’ve had here have been very minor and I don’t really read the comments at Pith, so they could be as nasty as hell and I’d never know.

But one thing I’ve noticed is that all it takes is having a public platform. Period. A woman who write about staying home with her four children can attract assholes who then decide to spend their free time telling her how she’s been brainwashed by her “sky fairy” and how her children should be taken away from her and so on. A single woman with no kids can attract assholes who then decide to spend their free time dogging on her for how she’s unlovable. There literally is no “right” behavior that doesn’t result in assholes.

What’s interesting to me is that we, as women, are raised to be nice, to acquiesce, and to try to put ourselves in the position of the other person, and to assume either the best of that person or that we’ve provoked them somehow, or that they just can’t help it. We have been raised to not be bitches. And yet, not being a “bitch” doesn’t save you from abuse.

What’s more, people who aren’t skivvy assholes enjoy the company of people who are loud and opinionated and who know their own minds and do things they find fulfilling. So, it’s as if we’re being steered away from a really awesome, positive personality trait because it might make us “bitches” in the eyes of people who are always going to find something wrong with us anyway, without regard that it will make our lives more enjoyable to us if we can speak our minds.

But haters are always going to hate, as Kat Williams says, so why worry about whether and how we should acquiesce to them and instead worry about mitigating their damage. That’s why I love Alyssa Rosenberg’s of a “Threat of the Day,” which works especially well because, she’s right, it’s not just that they say it on a site as prominent as Think Progress, but that Google archives it. Pointing out that it’ll be around forever is as excellent a payback as I can think of.

Ron Ramsey Thinks Times aren’t Bad Enough

Honestly, it’s as if Ron Ramsey were like “Oh my god! Governor Baby is getting all this attention for being a big dick. I had better go on out there and be a big dick myself, lest anyone forget that I exist.” (Note: Ron Ramsey doesn’t actually use words like “lest” because he hates the elites. He also, as you’re about to find out, hates poor people. It’s not wonder he has to hang out with mining companies. Otherwise, he’d be very lonely here in Tennessee, where our two biggest natural resources are poor people and snobby assholes who talk like Nebraskans.)

So, Fake Governor Ramsey thinks that unemployment has become a lifestyle and that people would rather sit around and earn $285 dollars a week than work. “There are jobs out there. … It may not be the job you want, but there are jobs out there,” Ramsey says. Okay, then Fake Governor, maybe you should set up a website that lists those jobs, since apparently people are having some difficulties finding them on their own.

But even more telling are the examples of jobs that are empty that Ramsey gives, “He cited a trucking company that wants but can’t find drivers and a heating and cooling firm with unfilled technician positions.”

So, get this, people. Let this sink in. These are good jobs. And they can’t find people to fill them. And Ron Ramsey doesn’t think for three seconds about why that might be. No, the conclusion he jumps to is that people must prefer to sit at home on $285 a week than to drive a truck or work on HVAC units. Let me reiterate: what a fucking dick.

But Ramsey has inadvertently told Tennessee something useful–we seem to have no way for people with no money to get the training and credentials they need to do the jobs that are open. You might be a great truck driver, but if you can’t get licensed, you can’t do the job. Same thing with HVAC technician. It doesn’t matter if you’re perfect for the job, if you don’t have the training you need to do it. And if you’ve been out of work for a long time, how do you have the money to get trained? Can the trucking company or HVAC firm afford to train you? Obviously not or they would be.

So, instead of acting like he’s so much better than regular Tennesseans who are supposedly so damn lazy, why doesn’t Fake Governor Ramsey work in the next session to set up some kind of program that would allow people to apply for grants or low-interest loans to get the training they need to take the jobs that are open? Maybe work with the employers who need trained workers so the employers could hire them now, the employees could go for training on the state’s dime, the employees could work and slowly pay the state back.

If he’s heard what the problem is, why doesn’t he work to help change it, rather than taking this as an opportunity to talk shit about people who are suffering?


Oh, People are Fat Because They’re Stupid. Now It All Makes Sense.

See, this is what I mean when you say that you can’t be sorry enough for being fat. Even if you are all “Oh, great! I’d love to eat better. Give me some cooking tips!” it’s turned into “Oh, see? Bless their hearts, they just don’t know. They’re stupid and we have to teach them.”

I swear, the thing that puts me on my heels about the obesity epidemic is how it works by letting people get to hate people under the auspices of “for your health!”

Even the reporter is all “whip up cookies that aren’t fat bombs.” Note to Tom Wilemon. Here’s something odd. Cookies literally used to be fat bombs. Your grandma went to the cupboard and pulled out a can of lard and… plop… a huge cup of it went right in her cookies.

And people were thinner then.

So, was your grandma smarter than these Memphis folks or is it something else, do you think?

Anyway, I can’t believe we’re going to have to continue to endure this condescending crap until some other health menace comes along. But what thing lets you pick on even children and feel good about it because it’s for their own good? Freckles? No, shit, I have freckles. Not freckles. Brown eyes. People with brown eyes have a mortality rate of 100%, you know. Someone really ought to look at changing that.

Seven or When Woo Goes Stupid

Last night was not elegant. Regardless of what westernized brand of pagan you are, there are certain elements you’re going to find in most rituals–candles, possibly a circle of some sort, something smelly (in this case incense), and something liquid (in this case water).

My candles wouldn’t stay lit and since I was using them to mark the boundaries of my circle, it meant my circle didn’t stay closed. I burned myself on the incense and the orange cat decided to drink out of the water. Apparently it is the greatest water ever, even though it came from the very same tap his water always comes out of.

And then nothing remotely woo came of it, except that, for the second night in a row, the two-hour log I got at Foodland burned for three and a half hours. Which, fine, but if I’d known that these were so long burning, I would have started them when I got home from work, not when I was ready to start things.

So, I didn’t feel it. And I ended up spending the evening with my grandpa’s tooth, which I have in a bag in with all my other woo woo crap. It’s weird. It really struck me last night that this is it of him. The last of him that there is left to touch. You don’t normally touch a tooth gently, but I found myself running my finger along the jagged edges of the root wondering how long that tooth–the last of Hick–might last.

As far as I know, there are no other body parts of his floating around, which means I am the only person who still regularly touches any part of my grandpa. And whoever I give that tooth to, should I have a niece or nephew who wants it, they will have never known him.

And that’s for better and for worse.

Which I guess is why I still like to spend time with him every once in a while, to try to figure out how to understand the truth of that.

Purity Dairy, Save Me!

My doctor’s office called me yesterday to tell me that I am Vitamin D deficient. I had two thoughts in this order: 1. But I drink a lot of milk! and 2. God damn it, the lights in my windowless office are supposed to be those stupid therapeutic full spectrum lights. I guess that’s bullshit.

I’m supposed to start taking supplements.

That, to me, sounds like the opposite of fun. (And may I just say how funny it is that, in the medical community, there’s all this “You must try harder to exercise more!” recommendations if you’re fat but there’s no “You must try harder to spend more time in the sun!” pressure if you’re not getting enough Vitamin D. Yes, too much sun can cause skin cancer, but exercise can fuck up your joints, so… I’m just saying that it’s interesting which things can lead to harm when overdone are still pushed and which ones aren’t.)

Anyway, I think the easiest solution would be for Purity Dairy to make an ice cream for the vitamin D deficient. Make it as delicious as all Purity Dairy products and enrich it with a daily dose of Vitamin D and sell it in little “health sizes” and I will eat them every day. For my health! Ice cream.

It will be like heaven.