Men, There’s Only So Much I Can Do

Listen, I think we all have the basics of feminism down:

1.  Women and men are not better or worse than each other.

2.  Women are fully human and should be treated that way by the law.

3.  Being a woman is not inherently an insulting joke the universe played on half the population, therefore using womanliness as an insult against folks really sucks.

Okay, true, not everyone gets the third one, but we’ll work on it.  I still throw the word “retarded” around like an insult, even though reading Jeff Atwood’s blog has now made me feel very uncomfortable every time it comes out of my mouth or off my finger tips.

It’s an unbecoming habit and it inadvertently hurts people I’m not trying to hurt, so, slowly I’m learning to stop.  Not because it’s P.C., but because I don’t want to inadvertently hurt people.

I think most folks who call each other pussies or admonish their friends to stop acting like a girl don’t really think that, for instance, being me would really suck that much butt.  After all, there’s lots of beer drinking and masturbating and watching TV and who doesn’t love that?

But here’s the thing (and I know we keep circling around this, so here we go round again): If you are doing something that assholes who wish me harm also do, it’s not my job–nay it would be incredibly stupid of me–to assume that you’re an okay guy.

For instance, if I knew a man who called me a stupid bitch and a whore before he threw me into a wall, it wouldn’t take but once for me to learn that being called a stupid bitch or a whore might be a prelude to violence against me.

Now, say I’m in a group of folks I don’t really know that well and I’m the only girl.  Say one of the guys starts calling the other guys “stupid bitches” or “whores.”

In other circumstances, when I’ve heard those words, bad things have happened to me afterwards.

Why should I trust that this time is different?

You see what I’m asking?

Why do I have to make myself vulnerable to violence against me just so y’all can have your little ways of insulting each other?

If I were hiking around in the woods and I heard a rattling, I’d be an idiot to not walk away from the sound, even if, upon closer inspection, the rattling turned out to be drying seeds in a pod shaking in the wind.

I don’t owe things that give off warning signs the benefit of the doubt.  “Oh, I hear a rattling up here in the woods where I know rattle snakes live.  I should look closer on the off chance it’s a lost, but very calm baby.”

So, when my friend Kleinheider starts going on about how little kids are a bunch of pussies and the public school system has been feminized, I do take it as a personal insult–that Carter thinks so little of me that, when kids behave in ways that remind him of me, they need to have that behavior knocked out of them by as traumatic an event as folks in authority can come up with.

But that’s not why I’m writing.

Gentlemen, I’m writing for you.  I’m writing to beg you to toss out any notion of “manliness” that’s predicated on your ability to lord your power over folks who are weaker than you.

It’s not good clean manly fun to take a bunch of eleven year old kids into the forest and pretend like, no matter how briefly, you’re going to kill them.

Manliness is not about being able to force people who are weaker than you to go through terrible ordeals just because you can.

Manliness is and should always be about keeping the weak people in your care safe, happy, and healthy.  Strength does not have to be about being able to beat up most of the people around you.  It can also be about teaching others around you to be strong.

Think of it this way.  Is the martial arts practitioner a master because he can easily kick the butts of every person in his dojo or is he a master because he passes on his knowledge to others and helps them become strong?

Is the good father the one whose kids are afraid to misbehave for fear that he will beat the shit out of them or the one whose children behave because he’s taught them self-discipline and respect for themselves and others?

We equate the ability to perpetrate violence on others with strength, but this is wrong.  Violence against those who are weaker than us comes from a place of fear and weakness in ourselves.

Being strong, being manly, shouldn’t hurt the people who are in our care.

But I can shout about this all day, every day, for the rest of my life, and it won’t do any good.  I’m a “crazy feminist.”

This is work y’all have to do.  You.  You have to refuse to accept this notion that manliness is some kind of destructive force that wrecks havoc on weaker people.

Just like I go around saying, “Listen, fuckers, stop using femaleness as an insult and a sign of weakness,” you have to go around saying, “Listen fuckers, men are not monsters and manliness is not detrimental to the community.  Stop perpetrating the notion that it is.”

Nativists, Attack!

Dear Carter Tiny Pasture,

It has come to my attention that there is a group of people in this country that has been, since the time of the founding of our country, a scourge upon our fair land.

Ben Franklin said of them, that they are”a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to” ruin our country because they refuse to assimilate. 

They don’t learn English (some of them have been here hundreds of years and still refuse to speak English-only.  Ask Coble, who’s had her share of unfortunate run-ins with the more militant of them.).  They’ve made it so, no matter what bar you go to, their beverage of choice is always available and usually the least expensive.  They refuse to Anglicanize their names, so that when a good American has to, say, call them at work, she can’t be sure how to pronounce their names.

And they have no respect for our national borders.  Look at this shocking, I say SHOCKING expose brought to us by the kindly John Lamb revealing how this group has even gone so far as to force their culture and their bizarre customs on the Mexicans.

I ask you, sir, if the Germans are allowed to continue their surreptitious Deutchining of our fair land, our unique American culture will be lost.  If everyone is drinking beer and listening to country music with a little accordian in the background and getting drunk and polka-ing and eating sausages and chicken-fried steak and chocolate cake, if we all know what a strudel is and all laugh when we see dachshunds springing through the tall grass like tiny porpoises, I ask you, in all seriousness, Carter, what will become of the America you so love?

No, the risks are too great.  We must remove this Germanic scourge from our shores.  The Germans have been menacing us with their tasty beers and their buxom women since Franklin’s time and we’ve yet to properly address it.  Sure, we made some efforts, but nothing successful in the long term.

And these folks still refuse to assimilate, choosing instead to live together in enclaves mostly in the northeast and midwest.

When, Carter, when are you going to take a stand against these vile Germans who are hell-bent in slowly turning our country into some kind of beer-swilling Germanic paradise, stripped of all of the WASPy things that make this country great?

Die Tat wirkt mächtiger als das Wort, Kleinheider, Die Tat wirkt mächtiger als das Wort.

Love,

Aunt B.

Here We Go Again

It’s not a perfect analogy, but let’s say you live in a little village on one side of the interstate, next door to the most awesome bar imaginable.

Say that your buddy John lives on the other side of the interstate, directly across from you and the bar.  But it’s rural nowhere, so, if he’s going to actually drive to the bar, he’s got to go ten miles down to the nearest exit, cross the interstate there, and then come ten miles up.

Then, he sits at the bar and gets drunk and has to drive twenty miles home, when his house is just across the road there.

So, he shouldn’t do it.  It’s dangerous and it’s illegal, but he crosses the interstate on foot.

Y’all wish he wouldn’t, but you can see why he does.

If he’s sitting at the bar, no car in the parking lot, do the police have a right to arrest him?  He’s not crossing the interstate at the moment, but clearly, he got to the bar by crossing the interstate.

Would it be weird if folks at the bar started thinking of John as not having a right to be at the bar?  Would it be weird if they started thinking that John was taking up a space at the bar that belonged to someone who didn’t cross the interstate on foot?

Now, here’s where it gets important.  If the police aren’t interested in stopping John from crossing the interstate, do the people at the bar have the right to prohibit him from doing it?  Would it be okay if they shot him?

I assume we’re all in agreement that, if the penalty for crossing the interstate on foot is a fine and possibly a little jail time, having people talking about opening fire on ole John is, perhaps, a little extreme.

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when coming into this country illegally was considered about on par with John’s crossing of the interstate.  Sneaking across the border was a crime, but once you had sneaked across the border, you were, for the most part, done committing the crime.

That’s why, even until recently, illegal immigrants could get drivers licenses in Tennessee.  That’s why they can get in-state tuition in some states.  The crime had been committed, but if the border crosser could figure out how to reside here without committing any more crimes, he or she was mostly left alone to be a productive part of the community.

Over the past few years, the rhetoric has changed.  Now we talk about illegal immigration as an ongoing crime.  From the moment you enter the country illegally until the moment you leave, you are in a state of “illegal immigration.”  Everything you do is wrong and might be criminalized because you are committing an ongoing crime.  Your existence in this country is a crime.

I should point out that it’s still a crime with a punishment of either being sent back to your home country or, at the most, given a couple of years in prison.  That’s it.

This “terrible” crime is punishable by a year or two in prison or being deported.

Is there any other crime a person could commit punishable by just a couple of years in jail that you’d be comfortable when people started talking about shooting the offender?

Do you think it should be okay for folks to talk seriously about non-police U.S. citizens shooting shoplifters?  Tax cheats?  Illegal music downloaders?

And yet, damn it, Kleinheider, there’s just such a discussion going on over at Volunteer Voters right now.

Donna Locke says:

As an immigration controller, I am fairly pessimistic on this issue at this point, as far as peaceable, political solutions go. I believe we had windows of opportunity to effect change on this issue through political means, but those windows have closed and passed. There are still laws and changes in laws we must pursue, but many years of inaction have now diverted the United States onto the path of another probable future. A path of eventual revolution. [Emphasis mine.]

Seriously.  She foresees violent revolution in the U.S. because the government’s not doing enough to chase down folks who’ve done nothing worse than shoplifting?

The Blue Collar Republican is just as ridiculous:

We have plenty of laws, but no will to enforce them. I am afraid you are right about it being “too late”, but some are being patient and giving the process a chance. But make no mistake, many are arming themselves to do the job themselves if the government will not.

Really?  The job is deporting people or putting them in prison for a couple of years.  Is that what the Blue Collar Republican is advocating, because, I have to say, it seems to me that he’s not advocating that armed militias round up folks and fly them back to Mexico.  It seems to me pretty damn clear that he’s explaining that soon enough folks will just start shooting people.

This is evil talk.

Let me repeat.  This is evil talk.

Sitting around discussing throwing a tantrum so big that it includes violence against real live people because the government isn’t doing enough to keep the brown people away from you is evil.

And Kleinheider, damn it!  Do you call either one of them on that eliminationist nonsense?  No, you fucking “Good point. Very good point, in fact.”

What the fuck are you talking about?  It’s a “good point” when the Blue Collar Republican insinuates that, if the Government won’t enforce immigration laws to the linking of jingoists, the jingoists will start shooting people?

That’s not a good point.  That’s ridiculousness bordering on psychopathy.  You don’t go around shooting people or even threatening to shoot people because the federal government isn’t dealing with them fast enough for your liking.

As of May 7th, there were just over six million people living in Tennessee.  Just under six hundred thousand of us live in Davidson County.  Three percent of people in the whole state are Hispanic.  In Davidson County, it’s right around seven percent–42,000 people, give or take a few.

How many of them are here illegally?  I’ve spent the evening perusing pro- and anti-immigration sites and I don’t think anyone can say for sure.

But we’re devoting a whole lot of energy and resources to locating these illegal immigrants and purging them from our community.  Shoot, folks over at Volunteer Voters are barely satisfied with a purge.  They have their guns ready just in case someone needs killing.

America, let me tell you something.  We have a habit of doing shit like this.  In this very state, on this very land.  This is not new.  When we wanted the land and resources of the Cherokee people, we reinterpreted our arrangement with them, rounded them up, and sent them off to some “homeland” out west.

Shoot, on the rare occasion when we freed slaves here in Tennessee, we required them to leave the state when we were done with them, even if Tennessee was the only home they’d ever known, even if their families were here.

And here we go again.  We’ve decided that the Mexicans (and let’s not be coy about who we’re singling out.  There’s a reason TnRIP is all “Nashville or Tijuana?”) have resources that we can justify to ourselves belong rightfully to us, so we’ve decided to change the terms of our agreement (immigrating here illegally used to be like shoplifting once, now we treat it like an ongoing series of armed robberies) in order to relocate them someplace where we can’t hear them when they complain about us stealing their shit and destroying their families.

And shoot, if we can terrorize the Mexicans who are here legally, too, all the better.

“No, Aunt B., it’s not about terrorizing all Mexicans, we swear.”

Oh yeah, how do you suppose we’re going to locate those illegals?  We’re going to tolerate the continual harassment of all Mexicans, that’s how.

I mean, come now.  We all know that 287(g) means that every Hispanic-seeming person who comes to the attention of the police in Davidson County is going to get run through the system.

I could forget my drivers license at home and just be given a ticket.  You can’t tell me Tia B. isn’t going to be taken downtown in case she needs to be deported.  What’s a ten or fifteen minute uncomfortable encounter with the police for me is going to end up being an all day thing for some people.

Keep ’em all afraid and all inconvenienced and maybe they’ll all leave–legal or not–our brown neighbors.  At least, that seems to be the attitude.

And shame on you all for embracing it.

But you know what?  Fuck it.  Kleinheider’s all

However, just because the celebration seems hypocritical, we cannot avoid the fundamental questions that Fortuyn brings up. If he had every right to protect his culture and heritage from demographic annihilation, do we, as Americans, not have that very same right?

Seriously, what’s he complaining about?  Our culture and heritage have a strong strain of forcibly removing non-white people from our midst.  He shouldn’t feel any anxiety.  He should be pleased to see we’re continuing that age-old American tradition of fucking as hard as we can with the weakest and most vulnerable among us.

I mean, shoot, if folks can talk openly about shooting people just because they’ve picked the wrong place to live–in a city in a state in a region that ought to know what happens when folks are talking that way–and not one person calls them on how evil they sound, well, shucks, America, I about don’t know what to say.

I’ll be practicing “Lo siento,” though.

If Only Hispanic Nashville Would Come Up with a Brochure…

In my spare time, I’m going to whoop up some brochures for Hispanic Nashville so that folks associated with the site can just hand them out as necessary.

The first one would be

Hispanic, Latino, Chicano–What’s the Difference?

Hispanic–Loosely, someone of Spanish descent. In some circles, used to refer exclusively to Spain. In other cases, used almost interchangeably with “Latino.” Martin Sheen, for instance, could clearly identify as Hispanic.

Latino/a–Someone from Latin America living in the United States. It goes without saying that no one is Latino until they show up here; they have no reason to be. Martin Sheen would not be Latino as his family is directly from Spain.

Chicano/a–An ethnically Mexican politically active person from west of the Mississippi.

My second brochure would be

White and Hispanic are Not Mutually Exclusive Terms (Kleinheider)

See Martin Sheen.  A Hispanic man.  Also, white.  Because, get this!  There are white people in Spain.   Shoot, check out Bridgett Rivera’s blue eyes.  Where do you think those came from?

Hell, Kleinheider, let’s recall these words of wisdom:

Mexican heritage doesn’t even mean she is not European-American. Plenty of blonde haired blue-eyed Mexicans. Well, not plenty, but they do exist — and they pretty much rule Mexico.

It’s just funny that we United Statesmen make up these terms–Hispanic, Latino–and then sit around and pass judgment on whether folks fit the term or not.  We made it up!  Nobody was Latino or Hispanic until we made the terms up.  So, I would think that, if the categories are arbitrary, whoever wants to stick themselves in them pretty much can.

Ha, no wonder I’m a blogger and not a pamphleteer.  All my pamphlets sound more like blog entries than handy guides to anything.

It Turns Out “Soiree” is Not Spanish for Blogger Orgy

Mack’s having a soireeup at the cabin tomorrow.  I’ve made my famous potato salad, which might be a tad mustardy and a little under onioned, and seven layer bars (or Hello Dollys as the Plimcos call them).  I’ve got bendy straws, a vegetable platter, cups, plates, bowls, plastic silverware, and napkins.  And a cooler.

I’ve got to clean out the car.  But then I’m ready to go.  Oh, yeah, after I write down directions to Rachel’s house, because I smoothly printed out the directions to NM’s house twice and the directions to Rachel’s a whole none.

You know, it’s kind of funny, the differences between Carter and me.  Shoot, this is a tangent, but this is what I was thinking about while I was cooking.

In general, I don’t consider myself particularly German.  I know most of my folks came from Germany, but, with the exception of being from a family full of folks happy to eat cake at the start of a meal (which I think is more Anabaptist than strictly German, but who can blame them?  If you have to wait until you’re an adult until you can get baptised, it’s nice to have one thing–chocolate cake–that you get to before everyone else.) and having a penchant for owning dachshunds, we don’t really have any particularly German things about us.

I’m German on both parents’ sides and yet I don’t have a noticeably German last name and neither did my parents.

In general, I don’t really think about being German in any particular way and I don’t especially worry about being identified as German, except for the rare times when white supremacists take that as an indication that I share their love of hatred.

Please don’t think I’m making light of the Holocaust–I’m not trying to–but really, except for being associated with the folks who perpetrated it, there’s nothing particularly uncomfortable about being descended from good German stock.

But the “But” is huge.  The one negative thing associated with being German is… well… pretty much the definition of “negative thing.”

When folks call Bush Hitler you can barely hear for all the outrage coming from Bush supporters.  And yet, a state legislator picks “Kleinhitler” as a nickname for Carter and all the conservative white boys are “Come on.  It’s funny.”

Okay.

Why is it funny?

It might be funny (depending on one’s taste) if Carter were clearly not racist, but it can be hard to tell how far his nationalist leanings go.

Is it funny then because it’s kind of true?  This from the state legislator who tried to join the Black Caucus and believes in aiding in the creation of searchable databases of women who’ve had abortions?

I don’t think it’s a joke.

I think it’s a term of endearment.

I think that state legislator likes Carter and giving him a cute nickname is just his way of showing it.

I don’t understand why Carter’s not insulted and grossed out, but that’s his business.

What really perplexes me, though, is how far people will bend backwards to defend a man who thinks it’s appropriate to call people he likes after a madman who killed ten million people.

Y’all I hate to harp on this but Campfield is saying that this guy is like the guy who would do thisand Campfield doesn’t think that’s a grave insult.

I’m not calling for Campfield’s resignation or anything.  I’d just like for us to stop acting like he’s just a little farther right than most conservatives, but in general, is a good guy.

Let’s Talk Frank About Kleinheider

Are conservatives in this state insane, is Carter damn near omnipotent, or is Fred Thompson the Right’s Tinkerbell?

Ha, in all fairness to you, dear readers, the thesis statement of this post is so awesome that there is no way that the rest of it can be anywhere near as good.  I just feel like I should say that upfront.  But let’s go forward anyway, shall we?

We need to turn our attention to this post over at Terry Frank’s place, written by one Wes Kliner in order to answer our thesis question, to this portion of his post in specific:

Throughout the state of Tennessee, conservatives and Republicans are excited about the momentum building in the “Run Fred Run” campaign. Yet standing in the face of this overwhelming tsunami of support, both in Tennessee and across the United States, there is the strident voice of one who unswervingly prognosticates that Fred will not run. Who? — Adam C. Kleinheider [emphasis mine]

Seems that Adam suspects the group he now panders to at WKRN will not keep him in “boxed wine and peanut butter” if he jumps on the “Draft Fred Thompson” bandwagon. Talk about your ultimate philosophical sellout.

Adam … in your commentary above you say “Then I bagged the elephant.” No, unfortunately, it seems that the “elephant” WKRN bagged you. Pre- Mike Sechrist you were ACK. Post-Mike you have become Adam. For the almighty dollar, you have now sold out your conservative ethos to pander to a more diverse group than those who “brung ya to the dance.”

Fred needs to run. And Adam, you need to come clean.

America, let us close our eyes together and savor this.  Because, really, this could not be any funnier.  Read this again:

Yet standing in the face of this overwhelming tsunami of support, both in Tennessee and across the United States, there is the strident voice of one who unswervingly prognosticates that Fred will not run. Who? — Adam C. Kleinheider

In what bizarro world is this a problem?

Kleinheider’s making a guess.  He could be wrong.  He could be right.  He’s just guessing that Thompson won’t run.

And yet, Kliner is so intimidated by Kleinheider’s mad guessing skills that he takes up a whole long post at Frank’s denouncing Kleinheider.

Why?

Is it possible that Kleinheider is so powerful that he alone can keep Thompson from running just by sheer force of will?  Have the Republicans in the state of Tennessee gone commie on us so that if just one conservative is not in accord with everyone else, they cannot act, lacking, as they do, group consensus?

Or is Fred Thompson Tinkerbell, where everyone has to clap as hard as they can and really believe in him or he can’t come back from the political dead?

The whole thing is very strange.

But, if you see Carter walking around with a little extra swagger in his step this weekend, I don’t think it’s just that he’s got to make room for the cell phone, it’s got to also be that he’s been promoted to most powerful conservative in the nation.

Giving Props Where Props are Due

I don’t often have nice things to say about Kleinheider here at Tiny Cat Pants, but today he is getting nothing but love from me for the following posts:

They’re Voting Sexy Back, Stacey Campfield Don’t Know How To Act

and

A Sexy Deferred

I laughed so hard trying to explain that to the Butcher over dinner. Excellent post topic and great post titles.  I’d offer smooches, but we all know how weird Carter gets when I try to heap the love on him.  So, I will just stand over here and give him a respectful wave.

Dial-a-Ridiculous-Source

Hello, You’ve reached Dial-a-Source, the place for all your sourcing needs.  Please press one if you are a liberal.  Press two if you are a conservative.


You have mashed all the buttons.  Please mash all the buttons once if you are an anarchist, twice if you are a libertarian, and three times if you’re Adam Carter Kleinheider.


Welcome, Mr. Kleinheider.


Who is on the verge of ruining it for everyone today, sir?  Press one for “women,” two for “Mexicans,” three for “homosexuals,” or four for “Muslims.”


You have chosen Mexicans.  Please choose a reason Mexicans are not like us and will never be like us.  Press one for “They work harder than us.”  Just kidding, Mr. Kleinheider.  We here at Dial-a-Source just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.  Press one for “They have no respect for the law.”  Press two for “They refuse to learn English.”  Press three for “They are out of control, sexually.”  Press four for “They’re taking our jobs.”


You have pressed three for “They are out of control, sexually.”


Please hold while we come up with a source that will match your needs.


Okay, sir, here is a post about one instance and here is a magazine article that you can use to bolster your claim that this one instance hints at a larger pathology among those Mexicans.


Please be sure to submit your text to our data base so that we might provide it to others in need as a suitable resource.


Thank you and have a good day!


 


 


———-


Just as a side note, I think  my favorite thing about the “Hispanic Family Values”  article is this:



But other kinds of traditional Hispanic values have survived—not all of them necessarily ideal in a modern economy, however. One of them is the importance of having children early and often. “It’s considered almost a badge of honor for a young girl to have a baby,” says Peggy Schulze of Chrysalis House, an adoption agency in Fresno. (Fresno has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in California, typical of the state’s heavily Hispanic farm districts.) It is almost impossible to persuade young single Hispanic mothers to give up their children for adoption, Schulze says. “The attitude is: ‘How could you give away your baby?’ I don’t know how to break through.”


The most powerful Hispanic family value—the tight-knit extended family—facilitates unwed child rearing. A single mother’s relatives often step in to make up for the absence of the baby’s father. I asked Mona, a 19-year-old parishioner at St. Joseph’s Church in Santa Ana, California, if she knew any single mothers. She laughed: “There are so many I can’t even name them.” Two of her cousins, aged 25 and 19, have children without having husbands. The situation didn’t seem to trouble this churchgoer too much. “They’ll be strong enough to raise them. It’s totally okay with us,” she said. “We’re very close; we’re there to support them. They’ll do just fine.”


America, look at what they’re complaining about–they’re pissed that these girls have no shame.  They get pregnant and they refuse to see themselves as bad; instead of doing the “evil” thing and having an abortion or doing the “noble” thing and giving the baby to “good” people, they rely on a vast close-knit family to help them raise their children.  And their families don’t make them feel bad about having babies.


Well, by god, if these Mexican families won’t come in and put their slutty daughters in their place by making pregnancy the proper punishment for sex we know it is, then what kind of precedent does that set for “our” girls?


The hand-wringing is hilarious.


And before you get started, no, I’m not saying that it’s okay for a 21 year old guy to have sex with a 12 year old girl.  I believe that clear instance of child molestation is being used as a smokescreen to talk about the “unbridled” sexuality of Mexican girls.  Let us not mistakenly conflate the two.


And second, I do believe that it is important to help girls and women put off having kids for as long as possible, because, clearly, it’s easier to get ahead if you do. 


But, at the end of the day, I see a lot here in this article to be emulated.  Getting pregnant is not something to be ashamed of.  It’s not a punishment.  And families should step up and help, if they can.


This seems like a humane way of dealing with teen pregnancy.  It doesn’t mean that it can’t be augmented with other stuff that would reduce those pregnancies, but that other stuff should not be complaining because folks aren’t working hard enough to make women feel like shit.

Strange Things Are Happening Every Day

–Kleinheider and I are in agreement on Marcotte.

–Kleinheider and I are in agreement about Abramson

–I have a deep bruise on my foot and I don’t know where it came from.

–I have dark brown hair.  In there used to be these strands of almost translucent red.  You could almost see through them.  I think, and I could be wrong, but I think I’m right, that it’s those red strands that are now going silver.  I’m really at the point where I need to decide if I’m going to just go gray or start dying.  If I could guarantee a brightly silver head of hair, I’d stick with just letting it go naturally, but if it’s going to be gray and dingy, I’d rather stick with brown.

–If we had smell-o-net, I’d totally take a picture/smell stamp of my hair for y’all.  It’ just smells so good and clean and feels so soft and curly.

–Can I tell you something and you promise not to get grossed out?  I haven’t brushed my hair with any regularity since before I met Exador.  I run my fingers through it and condition the shit out of it and take a brush to it on very rare occasions, but otherwise, I just let it alone and it seems to treat me much better than it used to.

Isn’t that weird?  I’ve had curly hair all my life and I’ve yet to understand it. 

Aw, Kleinheider, I Almost Made It All Day

I was going to make it all day without posting about you, but I just can’t let this one slide by.  If it makes you feel any better, I don’t think you’re “Ha, ha, ha, good god, that’s so damn wrong I have to collect myself just to be able to post about it” wrong, but just “Hmm, maybe but I don’t think I buy that,” wrong.


You link to Jay Bush, who says:



We’re in a war in Iraq, not just to secure a military victory, but to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Only when the Iraqis are convinced freedom is worth fighting for will their government be successful. That’s why it’s troubling to learn that one our greatest tools for reaching Iraqis, the Voice of America, shut down it’s Arabic and Farsi service in 2003 and replaced them with a format of disposable American pop music that includes Britney Spears, Eminem and J-Lo.


He thinks that, “While our cultures are worlds apart, the ideals of liberty and equality are universal. That is the message we should be sending Iraqis — not how ‘bootylicious’ Beyonce is.”


But don’t you guys see how genius this is?


Think of it this way.  If you had a choice right now between NPR and music, which would you take?  Okay, which do you think most Americans would take?  Do you think that people in Iraq were just dying to hear a bunch of people talking a bunch of bullshit on the radio?


I doubt it.


And if you want to communicate American ideals like equality and liberty and the importance of capitalism and how much fun sex is and how authority should not be trusted, what better way to do it than with our music?  People will listen.  People will sing along.  And those ideas will take root.


Again, think of it this way.  If I told you that when you looked at a naked woman, you would see her mammary glands towards the top of her torso, a navel, and then farther down, the mons pubis, which may or may not be covered in hair, depending on the fashion of the day and the woman’s preference, and that you should be aware that American women are known for having thighs, would that put you in the mood for sex?


What if I told you that some men find the fleshy round buttocks of women especially erotic and that women so endowed use this to their advantage?


Still not feeling it?


But what if you hear:


She had the sightless eyes
Telling me no lies
Knockin’ me out with those American thighs
Taking more than her share
Had me fighting for air
She told me to come but I was already there


or


I shake my jelly at every chance
When I whip with my hips you slip into a trance
I’m hoping you can handle all this jelly that I have


?


Of course you do.  And that’s just one of the wonderfully subversive powers of popular music.


We want to change their culture?  It only makes sense to use tools we know work.


No one uses NPR as the soundtrack to their revolution.

White Lesson in Divide and Conquer

So, I demanded that Kleinheider provide me the name of just one Jewish White Nationalist so that I could google said person and laugh at him.

And there really is such a dude, Michael Levin, though–imagine this!–he seems to have fallen out with some White Nationalists over their “perceived” anti-Semitism.

In poking around the internet, I learned a couple of things. One that White Nationalists make a distinction between racist–actively hating other groups–and racialist–just being concerned with racial differences. And the other is that White Nationalists consider themselves to be White Separatists, which they consider to be different than White Supremacists, because they don’t want to rule over other races, they don’t want anything to do with them.

I am white. Obviously. I am completely unconcerned about whether I live in a country that is 65% white or 5% white. I cannot wrap my brain around why I should give a shit about this. I don’t look at the accomplishments of other white people as somehow reflecting on my value as a person. I don’t feel loyalty to folks based solely on their skin color.

It’s true that almost all of my friends are white. But they’re not just white. They tend to be either working class or newly minted middle class white folks. They tend to be very interested in spirituality, religion, and/or the supernatural. They tend to be snarky and a little prickly. A lot of them come from strange family situations. Shoot, a lot of them are from the Midwest. In other words, my friends tend to be like the people I am familiar with and people I feel familiar with tend to become my friends.

That’s not to say that I’m closed off to being friends with folks who don’t share that background, but I need to feel some common ground with them–a shared smartypants attitude, similar situations, or a love of yakking on the internet. Or whatever. But something.

It’s that shared whatever that makes me feel loyal to someone. Or makes me feel the stirrings of loyalty, anyway.
I don’t feel that with white people just because they’re white.

The thing is that I don’t think that a lot of… Whitist folks (to lump the White Nationalists and the White Supremacists back together under a slightly different umbrella) feel very loyal to white people based on their race either. If they did, why are they so angry at other white people, worrying about what we’re doing and who we’re doing it with, as if whiteness is some delicate condition that must be protected, sometimes violently, or else it is lost.

Well, are we strong or are we not?

I suspect that Whitist folks don’t love white people as we are now, but are, instead, in love with the idea of what white people could be if only we… I don’t know… awoke to our cosmic destiny or cut off all contact with non-whites or set up Concerned Citizens Councils everywhere, what we could be if we felt loyal to each other based only on our skin color.

This is a big problem for Whitists, then. They have to continually “prove” that we white people are different and better than the rest of you in order to advance their agenda of getting white people to act like we’re different and should be separate from the rest of you.

I was thinking of that stupid ass Aryan who had all the tattoos on his face, and how really, the distinction between the two groups–the separatists and the supremacists–is really a matter of class. White separatists depend on these working class mostly men to do the immediate work of keeping racial and ethnic distinctions and strife front and center while separatists never get their hands dirty with policing society. They ” benefit” from the work white supremacists do, but let’s not kid ourselves, if white supremacists managed to accomplish their goals, the white separatists would never accept them as equal brothers.

I mean, it’s hard for me to imagine that Michael Levin, professor of philosophy at CUNY would be that excited about treating the men in the Aryan Nation as his fellow white people.

But let’s get back to Kleinheider, who is up in arms over Steve Cohen being denied membership in the Congressional Black Caucus, who says,

But it is not even about that, not really. I mean if the CBC wants to shut out folks that want to lend a hand, that’s fine but don’t then come to the county at large, a majority white nation, and then ask for redress of past grievance and reparations for slavery and so forth.
Because if you shut out Cohen,you are not only shutting out the 60% of black folks in Cohen’s district, you are shutting out the 80.4% of this country who share Steve Cohen’s skin hue.

Where to start?

First, the Wikipedia link he gives states that 75% of Americans self-identify as white, not 80.4%. Second, how many white folks do you think even remotely give shit whether Cohen can be in the Congressional Black Caucus? Half? A quarter? And they’re going to feel shut out? Shut out of what, exactly?

Third, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, etc. Oh, my god. You’re right. White people were just about to sit down and address black people’s concerns, all 215,333,394 of us white only identified folks were finally going to be open to hear the what was on the mind of the 34,962,569 black only identified folks, but those 43 black congressmembers just ruined it for everyone.

That’s right, black people. Forty three of you “insult” one guy who most Whitists don’t even consider white and the truth is out. It’s not that we rigged the drug laws so that your boys would go to prison for offenses our boys get probation for, it’s not that we used to regularly kill you whenever we imagined you were being inappropriate with our women and still sometimes kill you just for shits and giggles, it’s not that you have harder times getting mortgages and getting fair rates when you do, that you still can’t get fair deals on cars, that there are still cities across the country where it’s not a good idea for you to live, that you have disproportionate health problems, that the public schools your kids attend disproportionately suck, that whenever you see a black person on the screen, if he’s not a rapper, an athlete, or Oprah, chances are his name is Marcus, and he’s magic or some white person is saving him, etc. etc. etc.

No, it’s that in January of 1969, thirteen people started a club and now the forty three members of that club won’t let a white guy in and so now it’s plain as day, you are oppressing us and we’re not going to stand for it any more.

Whew. Okay, that was good for a laugh, but lets get back to the point. There are five hundred and thirty five voting members of Congress and only forty three members of the CBC. The CBC therefore has very limited power and probably the extent of the power they can count on having at any given time is controlling who’s in the CBC.

HOWEVER, let us not forget that they don’t let poor people into Congress and so this is basically a skirmish amongst millionaires that has nothing to do with the rest of our lives. Trying to turn it into some referendum on how race works, trying to get working class white people outraged at how one group of millionaires treats another, is again about motivating working class white people to see the “importance” of remaining loyal to our race instead of seeing our commonalities with other poor people.

Let us not fail to see that.

 

*Who really should blog more.

Critical Thinking

At the risk of being all Kleinheider all the time around here, I couldn’t let this post slip by without saying something.


Kleinheider says:



Funnelling a bunch of folks who cannot extract any real value from the experience does not result in them becoming smarter or more successful, it just gives them a piece of paper.


We need to direct our people towards the amount of formal education that will be most useful to them. That may not mean college or it may not mean college at the “appropriate time”, we should not fret over this. Life is not a competition.


The four college degree has become in essence, the 13th — 16th grades. In the end, that does not benefit the people attending college or society as a whole.


Isn’t it something how as more folks get the opportunity to go to college, we start to hear this idea that there are some folks who don’t need college, for whom college is of no benefit, folks who cannot extract any real value from the experience?


Just who are these folks?


I’m just going to be honest with you because I feel like shit and I’m dizzy.  I hate this shit because no one has the balls to just come out and say “Yeah, B., those folks are people like you.  The people you love and care about?  They don’t deserve the same shit I’ve got because you all are a waste of resources.”


A college education is no guarantee of a better life, but come the fuck on!  Just come on.  How in the fuck are folks supposed to make a better way for themselves without it?


How many high school graduate children of high school graduates do you suppose are members of the Belle Meade country club?  How many high school graduate children of high school graduates do you suppose are living in tony suburbs parking their SUVs in the garages of their McMansions at night?


College is not about literally preparing you for the job market.  College is, and always has been to some extent, about training you for a middle-class (or higher) existence.  Here’s where you learn how to read and write like an educated person (i.e. middle-class), here’s where you learn what to read and what’s worthwhile to write about.  You make friends, some of them will be successful and they become your network, the people you can call on when you need a job or a favor or a campaign contribution or whatever.


It is nearly impossible to move yourself up a class without this knowledge.  You must look and sound like you belong before you actually do.  Where is one supposed to get this knowledge along with the irrefutable credential that one has earned it except for at college?


To start some nonsense notion that “not everybody needs a college education to get by in life”?  When you are a fucking bloody capitalist pig?  Talk about self-serving.


Let’s just continue to be honest.  Capitalism depends on there being poor, desperate people.  It’s built into the system.  The system doesn’t work if there are fifty bosses and one worker.  It’s got to be a triangle with there being a few really wealthy powerful people on top, and then a few more less wealthy, less powerful people beneath them, and so on down the pyramid until at the bottom you have a whole lot of poor, powerless people doing shit tons of work the people above them have enough money and power to opt out of.


That’s how it works.


There’s only so much room at each level and the game is rigged to make moving between levels seem simple and do-able while, in real life, it’s very difficult.  Again, a college education is no way to guarantee that you can move up, but it is one of the few ways that’s plausible for most people.


We like to believe that capitalism=meritocracy, that the market will insure that the best people rise to the top and are rewarded.  But the truth is that bosses depend a lot on smart people who aren’t ever going to be bosses.  A lot of work in this country gets done by people who are too smart for the jobs they have, but don’t have a way out of those jobs.


I could start naming names right now of all the folks I know who are too smart for the circumstances they find themselves in.  Many of you are reading this right now.  Life is not fair; it’s not set up to be fair.


And for these fuckers to come along and whip up this idea among 18 year olds that college isn’t for everyone?  That’s just a further injustice, another way of guaranteeing that bosses will have employees too smart for their circumstances to exploit.


It’s dishonest to pretend it’s anything else.


For real people, the surest way of improving their lives is to go to college.


To suggest that some folks have a better idea than those individuals who it is that can benefit from college?


Well, let’s just say I don’t want to hear from Kleinheider any more about liberal elitism.

Kleinheider, Were You Raised by Tracy Moore?

Dear Kleinheider,


You’ve finally managed to render me speechless.  I literally do not know what to say to you.  In fact, I have to take a break from this letter right here to write another one.


Hold on.


Dear Sean Braisted,


I sometimes get the feeling that you don’t like me.  I don’t think you hate me.  I just sometimes get the feeling you see me coming and are all like, “Oh, great.  It’s her.”  That’s fine.  I sometimes look in the mirror and say the same thing.


I only mention that because I’m concerned that your indifference to me will make you indifferent to what I’m about to say, and that would be too bad.


I’m going to say it anyway.


Thank you for your “original sin” comment at the end of Kleinheider’s latest rant.


Sincerely,


Aunt B.


Okay, Kleinheider, back to you.


“Very few modern whites can be held responsible for Jim Crow to say nothing of slavery.”


Very few modern whites can be held responsible for Jim Crow?!  Good fucking god, when do you think that was?  Emmitt Till, the kid the white folks killed in Money, Mississippi?  He was born in 1941.  He was only four years older than my dad.


Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in 1929.  He’s younger than my grandma, who is still alive.


Shoot, ask John H. about when the lunch counters here in Nashville were desegregated.  He was here.  He remembers.  Or take your ass to a show of Ordinary Heroes, and look around the audience and see how many of those folks in the audience were there during those days.


You think the folks who upheld Jim Crow are all dead?  Their victims and their witnesses are still alive.  Which means that they are too.  Yes, they’re getting older, but please, “very few?” Only if your math is funky.


You know what?  Forget it.


You’re right.  History doesn’t matter.  What’s in the past is in the past.  Today is a new day.  We’ll just set aside what happened back then, because it has no effect on us, right Carter?


Carter?



Humans are not the sum of their experiences but they do help mold us. The same is true of history. We can try and whitewash out personal histories but the memories are still there and they are important.


God, you know, that bit–We can try and whitewash out personal histories but the memories are still there and they are important–is pretty persuasive.  I wonder why it didn’t have an effect on you.


Love,


Aunt B.

Have You Forgotten How It Works?

Dear Carter,

Do you recall being a paleoconservative (which, as far as I can tell, means that you are a conservative who was born millions of years ago and has become crusty and covered in mud), while I flounce around the internet being all cute and right and stuff?

We have a system.  You say things.  I tell you how stupid they are.  You get mad.  I feel kind of bad, but then think about how you always refuse to come to lunch with Brittney and me and get over it.  You probably write my latest outrageous act down in a little green notebook which you will hurl at me at some later date.  I will cry.  You’ll feel bad about making a girl cry, but then you’ll think of how obnoxious I am to you and get over it.

It’s not a perfect system, but it’s ours.

So, why do you have to fuck with it?  Why do you have to write things that I completely agree with?  That I find funny and snarky and delightful?

Those kinds of posts just make me sad that you never hang out with us and get drunk and show us how manly conservatives pee (which, from reading, I have discerned is the true sign of a conservative male–the insistence on his right to whip out his dick and urinate standing up, which, for some reason, the Swedes are trying to take from you).  I have, on occasion, done the squat in the woods and try not to pee on your shoes bit, but if there’s some class in the manly art of peeing as insight into the conservative male mind, I’d be happy to take that course, even for no credit.

Whew, I’m sorry.  I got distracted by the notion of being in a room full of conservative men all with their penises hanging out.  Was there a point?

Let me think.

Ah, yes, it is this.  When you are snarky and funny and right, it makes me delighted on the one hand, and sad on the other that you never come raising hell with us. 

You’re young; life is short; don’t let an opportunity to gently lick a boob freckle pass you by.

At least, that’s what I always say.

Love,

Aunt B. 

p.s.  Do you really think there’s a large contingent of Swedish women who don’t like it when men stand up to pee?  Something about Rose’s story just reaks of something Snopes.com needs to look into, because, really, unless Swedish men are distance pee-ers with really bad aim, why would Swedish women care?

p.p.s.  Wouldn’t distance peeing be an awesome Olympic sport?  I bet it was an unofficial event back when the Olympics were naked. 

Report Back to Us, Kleinheider

Oh, y’all, I am so digging my “Kleinheider” category, I can’t even tell you.

Anyway, Kleinheider, here’s what I’m wondering.  The U.S. census data says that 69 out of 100 of us are white, non-Hispanic; 12 out of 100 are black, non-Hispanic; 4 are Asian; 2 are other, and 12 are Hispanic.

Here are my questions for you:

1.  When you look around you there at work, are 12% of the employees at WKRN black?

1a. According to the census data, 20% of the workforce in Davidson county is black?  Are one in five of you sitting there black? 

2.  When you talk about how “If there was no affirmative action no one would have to wonder whether
people of color achieved their position on the merits. As it is, we do
have to wonder.” has it ever occurred to you that people think you have your job just because you’re white and male and conservative?

3.  Does that bother you?

4.  No, seriously.  You never wondered if you have that job just because you’re a white man and people tend to believe that white men really get how to talk politics?

5.  Do you really think that you’re the best qualified person for that job?

6.  So, why do you have it and not, say, Abramson?

7.  Most of the folks who work there are white.  Certainly they didn’t need to hire another white guy.  Did your dad get you that job?

8.  Don’t you think these kinds of questions suck? 

Just wondering myself. 

Who’s this “us,” Kleinheider?

Kleinheider, do you see what it’s come to? I’ve had to give you your own category.  You’ve written a post so eye-rollingly outrageous I’ve been forced to give you your own category.


Lucky for you, I’ve given up trying to show you the error of your ways.  Instead, I’m just going to fix this post to outright say what it seems to me you’re trying to say. 



Sean Braisted’s radio habits are gonna give him a heart condition. He quotes a caller to Phil Valentine’s radio program:



RA: I was in line at the voting place, and as I walked up to sign in, I saw a name ahead of mine and a light came on in my head [first time in probably his life], the name was Jesus. So I asked the woman, I asked, “was this man an illegal”? To which the woman apparently replied (I would have replied with a pencil to the larynx), “he showed us his ID.” To which the RA replied, “but did he prove he’s a citizen,” and to which Phil Valentine (RA #2) chortled along saying, “how easy is it go get an ID”. The woman, most likely sarcastically (something this guy couldn’t grasp the concept of), asked, “Well can you prove you’re a citizen,” which the guy replied in his smartest most ‘Wow I’m smart’ moment, “well you can’t ask that if you can’t ask Jesus”.


It easy for us educated white people to condemn white people like this.  It is comfortable for us educated white people to look down our nose at this blatant tribalism, this “racism.” But we have to ask ourselves where does it come from? Is it some inherent race hate or is it something else?


Likely, it is a bit of both but if you wish for an end to this kind of conjecture and suspicion on the part of our native the white population you have to be foursquare against illegal immigration. Not just in word but in deed.


It is our policy of neglect in regards to this issue that has white people asking these questions. If we had an ironclad immigration policy, one that white folks had faith in, white people like the caller could roundly be derided as racist. But because we don’t, this white person cannot be as harshly criticized for the simple fact that he could very well be right.


Because we let in so many illegals, especially from certain countries Mexico and the rest of Latin America, it makes all people who look like those illegals  have brown skin suspect. If we white people knew our government was minding the store, we white people wouldn’t have to wonder whether these brown-skinned folks were legal — we white people would know. The fact is we white people don’t and the chances that they the brown skinned people are illegal are better than average.


This is the same with affirmative action. If there was no affirmative action no one white person would have to wonder whether people of color achieved their position on the merits. As it is, we white people do have to wonder.


Certainly, because the caller’s questioning could be racism it is perfectly acceptable to perceive it as such. But proceed with caution because these questions could have come just as easily out of distrust of our immigration policy than of authentic race hate. Our policy has made brown people suspects who should not be.


Condemn the white man if you wish but also condemn the policy that makes the white man’s fear legitimate.

BREAKING NEWS: Nashville is Talking & Volunteer Voters Down!

Or, I guess it’s not news to y’all by now. But I thought I’d spread the word for Brittney and Kleinheider, who seem sad and lost without their regular blogging outlets.

I’d offer to take them to lunch to cheer them up, but we all know Kleinheider only eats the souls of liberal children for sustenance and watching him snack on babies kind of grosses me out.

First name taken?  Steve Gill.