I Sometimes Forget that Billy Lyons Had a Mom

Like everyone else, I’ve been following the Trayvon Martin story in horror.

But was finally this video that had me crying about it. Just what a fucking waste. What a terrible waste that all we have left to offer Trayvon Martin, the closest we can come to giving him life again, is to move him into the realm of legend–to write songs about him, to make movies about him, to write books and news articles about him. To make a myth of him. And I don’t mean that in the sense of making him into something untrue.

I just mean that Billy Lyons had a mom, you know? Someone out there assumed he’d come home from his night out with Lee Shelton, and he never did. And there’s nothing to be done about that, except to keep singing his name. Or something close. As if that counts.

Well, I guess it does count for something.

It’s just that what a person, a living person, counts for is so much more.In the balance, the real person always counts for more. But when there’s no real person left, giving weight to the legend is all that’s left for most of us. You know what I mean? You and I are not going to bring his killer to justice. We’re probably not going to see justice done. We’re probably not going to see that police department dismantled and put back together with folks who actually investigate when their friends shoot someone. The kid is not alive, so all most of us can do is keep his name alive.

I don’t know. It just really hurts my heart.

Things More Interesting than Hay Fever

1. Southern Beale has a story we were talking about on Twitter last night. The news coverage was so weird. Everyone was like “We have no idea how this could have happened” but the people had, by my count, two Confederate flags. Don’t get me wrong. Dude should go to jail. He could have killed children. But it seems really strange that no one has any idea why he might have been pissed at his neighbors. I mean, I can come up with one possibility and that’s just going by what I saw.

2. I have really mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, people need jobs. On the other hand, these are exactly the kinds of repetitive bullshitty jobs that should be being done by robots.

3. I don’t quite understand this story.

4. I’m with Newscoma. “Seeing an elected leader go from jail to house session in just a matter of hours and getting a warm reception is rather off-putting.” Jeff Woods says there was even a fist-bump. I wonder if the fist-bumper noticed any bruises or abrasions on Hawk’s knuckles. After all, it had been less than 48 hours.

5. I also agree with Rachel Walden, but I have to admit, I have no hope of this stuff doing any good. I think the point is to make doctors afraid and to intimidate women. Pointing out that it will do that is just like pointing out that ice cream is delicious.

6. This is an indispensable argument for why the photo-ID law may have a hard time standing up to Tennessee constitutional muster.

Look for the Tell

I once blogospherically knew a guy who had a run-in with his wife. They later divorced. He sent an email to all his friends to tell his side of the story and I came into possession of that email through third-hand means. His side of the story was incredibly convincing–about how she had really secretly been the violent one and how she’d verbally abused their children and, he seemed to insinuate, physically abused at least one of them and how he was going to try to get custody of the children.

And I–raving feminist bitch and thinker-of-very-low-thoughts of this dude–was like “Wow, that sounds horrible!” I was reading through the thing and I felt like I was reading the truth. I felt bad for him. Through hundreds of words devoted to what a shitty marriage they’d had and how terrible she was. I was buying it–and I hate him.

And then at the bottom, he said something like, “and of course when I get custody of the children, I will let her have generous visitation.” And it was like a record scratch in my brain, because, believe me, if someone had treated your children the way this guy was claiming his wife had treated their children, you would be asking for no visitation and then making your lawyers push for supervised visitations, if you couldn’t cut off all contact.

One thing or the other had to be true–either she really was a monster or you’d feel fine with her having generous visitations with your kids. Both things just aren’t plausible. That made me look back over the rest of the email with a more discerning eye. And there was a whiff of bullshit under the whole thing.

I don’t know what went on between them, but I’m putting more stock in the police report than his explanatory email, you know?

I was thinking of that–how this first dude just had to push the story a little farther than necessary, make it almost too perfect, explain away everything that might make his audience uncomfortable–when I was reading this story about Representative Hawk. Because in that story there’s one little detail that gives a whiff of bullshit to the whole thing. Remember, he’s claiming they argued, she pulled a gun on him and the baby, and he fled to a friend’s house. He doesn’t know where she got those bruises. (I guess this is the “Crazy bitches are crazy. Amirite?” defense.)

Keeping that in mind, read this:

Hawk, 43, denied striking his wife and said he didn’t know how she had received the bruises. He said he had taken his daughter out of the house following the incident and urged a neighbor to call 911, but the neighbor urged him to let the situation cool off before calling police.

Now, imagine that your neighbor and his small child showed up at your house saying that his wife was threatening to shoot him. That she had a gun and had aimed it at him. Let me repeat. A distressed neighbor shows up at your house claiming his wife has a gun and is threatening to shoot him.

In what world do you urge your neighbor to cool off before calling the police? A woman with a gun is running around threatening to kill people in your neighborhood and you’re all “Oh, let’s give it a few minutes to see what happens?”


I suspect he just needed a story for why, if she’s the aggressor, she called 911 first.

And yes, I suppose it’s possible that crazy bitches are crazy. But I’m thinking the odds are pretty damn low in this case.

You want to feel even better about this story? (And by “better,” I mean “worse”.)

Hawk accepted handshakes and well wishes from fellow lawmakers at his desk before stepping out of the chamber to meet with reporters.

Yep, you can get out of jail for beating your wife, hightail it to Nashville where you get to tell your story to the state-wide media, and then accept well-wishes from the people who make laws about women.

What kind of well wishes, one wonders? “Hey man, don’t worry. You’ll beat this thing like you did the last one?”