Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ohhhhhhhh Shiny Shiny

Look! I just updated the People Who Rock the Casbah blog roll. I meant to do it ages ago, but stalker trolls and life interrupted.

Now I may have forgotten someone- it's not intentional, really. It's just my addled brain. Please, if you want to be on the blog roll and are not, leave a comment (and or a bribe in the form of a libation that rhymes with "wodka".


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jesse Jackson speaks the truth, gets Ferraroed

In a moment on Fox when he thought his mike was off and the camera wasn't rolling, Jackson said "See Barack has been talking down to black people on his faith based programs. I want to cut his nuts off".

I may not be black, but I am a fucking pro at noticing condescension and finger wagging. Jackson is dead on (though I wouldn't go as far as nut removal). Obama simply buys into all the racist trope about the black community and frames his decisions in that way. Black fathers are uninvolved and lazy. yadda yadda yadda.

So if Obama simply doesn't get the black community, and can't be bothered as a Constitutional Law Professor to understand the foundations for women to own conrol of their own bodies, what other lovely bits of misunderstanding are we to get from him? The Fisa/ telecom immunity problem. Constitutional law professor seems to have forgotten about free speech and right to privacy (AGAIN).

And every time someone with some clout and political experience points these problems out publicly, they have to apologize for it.

The emperor wears no clothes, and no one can say a damn thing about it.

Lesson not learned, apparently

Watching Netflix movies online may be the death of me.

Tonight, my insomnia addled brain decided that 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days would be a good movie to watch.

And now I feel like I've been kicked in the gut.

Awesome, intense, well made movie. But yeah, gut kicked and reeling is how I feel now.
And I am no stranger to abortion.

Do bears shit in the woods?

Via Pocochina comes this handy dandy Attachment Style Test.

No surprise with my results-

Your result for The Attachment Style Test...

The Player

20% Anxiety Over Abandonment and 46% Avoidance Of Intimacy

You are most comfortable without close emotional relationships. It is very important to you to feel independent and self-sufficient, and you hate the idea of having to depend on others or having others depend on you. The very few times you have fallen in love, it was probably with someone unattainable and disinterested. You know how to have a good time with your friends, but when it comes time to bare your deeper feelings, you tend to laugh nervously and change the subject.

Fictional character with whom you might identify: Captain Jack Harkness (Doctor Who/Torchwood), Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany's)

CaptainJackHarkness.jpg HollyGolightly.jpg

Other Attachment Types:
Secure: The Unicorn | The Cuddleslut | The Free Agent
Preoccupied: The Cling Wrap | The Squid | The Insect
Fearful: The Doormat | The Leper | The Exile
Dismissing: The Hermit | The Stone | The Player
Confused: The Waffler

Take The Attachment Style Test at HelloQuizzy

A few tips for surviving the Great Depression II

It was Wednesday night dinner and we came up with a few tips on how to survive severe poverty while keeping a sense of humor. But first- the menu

Basil Crusted London Broil- bloody and rare ($4 at the ghetto mart)

Spinach and mandarin salad with raspberry vinegarette and goat cheese

Dumpster dive Olive bread with mozzarella and prosciutto

Box of cheap red wine. You need the wine to dull the pain of poverty. Really.

So in our wine addled state we came up with these helpful hints. Please feel free to add your own.

1) When bill collectors call, answer in cat speak. To every question, reply with "meow". You can even sing the meow mix song. Eventually they will mark you as crazy and stop calling.

2) Dumpster dive at bakeries. Really, the olive bread came from a bakery dumpster in the sodo district somewhere. If I had a car I would totally be rocking the freegan.

3) Kill taste buds with cheap wine.

4) Hijack free wifi if you can. Since my neighborhood is not known for it's super geeks, I still have to pay for the internet. But someday soon................

5) Ms. J says that Trader Joe's frozen veggies are actually good. I'll leave you to decide for yourself.I have yet to find frozen veggies that aren't crap I wouldn't have paid for if they were fresh. I never buy veggies or fruits in packages. It's how they sneak the uglies in.

6) Learn the edible weeds that grow nearby. We have lots of fennel, blackberries, strawberries and cherries in the city. Go on walking scavenger hunts.

7) If, like me, you have a yard and a horrible black thumb, find a green thumb with an apartment and offer to trade growable land space for veggies.

8) I am half tempted to get a chicken or two. Free eggs and all that. But I wonder if that counts as having a pet or if I could chalk it up to food storage?

What are you all doing to survive the economic downturn?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sick and tired of being dissapointed

So I need a bit of hopeful thinking.

I like to play the "if I ruled the world" game in my head. Here's some of the things I would do if I got to magically rewrite the laws that govern our country.

1)Eliminate unemployment insurance and welfare and roll them into an expanded social security program that also would cover family leave for things like child birth, adoption, and elder care. This would eliminate all the bureaucratic cost of having a zillion state agencies that handle these things, plus it would wipe away the class boundaries that keep welfare a cesspool of ineptitude. It's a lot harder to cut programs for the poor when everyone benefits from them.

2) Bodily autonomy would be a constitutional right. This means that not only would abortion be safe, but we would clear out jails of casual drug users and crimes committed against the body (i/e rape, domestic violence) would receive stronger penalties.

3) Universal childcare and universal higher ed. You can't survive this world without both.

4) Eliminate ALL agricultural subsidies to big agribusiness. Put the savings into the food stamp program so that quality food is available to everyone.

5) Tax the fuck out of oil. Use the taxes to fund green energy start ups.

So if you ruled the world, what would you change?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Lesson of the day

If you are an insomniac, watching movies right before bed about political prisoners, torture and desparadicios will not help you get to sleep.

Quite the opposite, actually.

A thought experiment for the boys

I've been thinking about street harassment and why it is that some boys just can't wrap their head around the fact that is is harassment and not a compliment. So here's a little thought experiment for the bepenised among us.

Imagine you have the coolest t-shirt in the entire world. Maybe it's a concert tee from a favorite band or it has the most pithy statement ever written across the chest. Maybe it was hand crafted by exiled Tibetan monks. Whatever. Every time you wear it, people stop you and comment on it. You think to yourself "Hell yeah, I am awesome and my t-shirt rocks."

Now imagine you can never ever take the shirt off. Ever. After awhile, you just want to be able to do your grocery shopping without getting asked about the shirt 15 times. You just want to be able to go to the post office or grab a beer with friends without strangers thinking that you are at the mercy of their praise and questions about your shirt. So you start wearing a big, ugly, baggy sweatshirt to cover up the t-shirt. But not even that works. People still bug you. "Hey, aren't you the awesome guy with the rockin' t shirt" they ask, and they refuse to leave you alone till you pull up your sweatshirt and show it to them.

At some point, you realize that no one sees you as a person anymore. They see you as "t-shirt dude". You are reduced to being just a body that wears the shirt. Nobody really cares what you think about the t-shirt or anything else for that matter. You could be a scientist who discovers a cure for cancer. But all these people see you as is a shirt. They don't care that you may be too busy to answer questions about where you got the t-shirt, how old the t-shirt is, does the t-shirt have a phone number. They don't care that you are just trying to go about your day without being bothered by strangers. You've tried everything by now. You ignore the questions or you walk fast with the scariest look you can come up with on your face. This just makes strangers say things like "dude, with a t-shirt like you should be smiling" or "if you didn't want the attention you shouldn't be wearing that shirt" as if you could just take the damn thing off and be done with it.

Sometimes, the t-shirt fans are just too much, and you snap. You yell back or flip them off. But this makes them mad. You've been followed, chased, threatened with violence all because you didn't give some stranger the attention they wanted. Sometimes fighting back feels good, but then you are reminded that you will always have to fight back. When you complain to friends without such a t-shirt, they tell you to lighten up. It's a compliment after all. Some friends even deny that it happens at all. They think you are just being melodramatic and are always looking for something to get pissed about.

Now substitute vagina or tits for t-shirt, and that is what it is like for girls. All the time. We can't take off our femaleness. We can't hide it under baggy clothes. Regardless of how we feel about our bodies, we become public property when we step outside. Whoever we are no longer matters. We are just there for the amusement of others. It's not a compliment. It's harassment. And it is meant to remind us that no matter what we do, we are never more than the sum of our sex organs. We are just bodies, not people.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Conversation with the kid

Me: I am the destroyer of men. Well not men so much as republicans.

Kid: And Obamabots

Me: And Obamabots

Kid: but not all Obambots. Ms. Z (kid's fav teacher) is an Obamabot.

Me: There is a difference between Obamabots and Obama supporters.

Kid: I think ms. Z is an Obama supporter. And so are most of the kids in my class.

Me: Remind me to explain to you about liberal white guilt someday dude. But feeling guilty never actually solved a problem.

(At this point the conversation was interrupted by yet another fuckwad who thinks it's completely appropriate to make catcalls at me while I am walking with my son.)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sovereignity over one's own body is non-negotiable


It is not like a budget or a farming bill. It is a human right. And from that right comes a lot of things that progressives believe in. When you start messing around and qualifying the right to control one's own body, you start a slide down the slippery slope- into slavery.

So ask yourself if you believe that you have the absolute right to control what happens to your own body? Did you say yes? Good for you. Welcome to the rational world. Did you say that there is a higher power who gets to choose that for you? Okay, do you want God to choose or do you want some dude in Washington to choose? You said God, didn't you? Then why would you allow some dudes in tacky blue suits to interfere with your right to believe in God's divine plan for your physical person?

Bodily autonomy doesn't just affect the obvious things like abortion. If someone can tell you that you can be forced to be a life support system for another person against your will, then they can also tell you that you can be forced to donate an organ to another person against your will. They can also say that you have to take certain drugs or medical treatments against your will. If you're a Jehovas Witness, how would you feel about being forced to give blood? It's the same principle.

And once we give up a tiny bit of autonomy, we give it all up. When we allow laws to be made that govern what we can or cannot do to our own selves, then things like torture become permissible. After all, the basic premise of torture is taking away someone's ability to control their own body.

And when taking away the right to control your own body becomes commonplace and acceptable, you get slavery. You get a class of people who does not have the right to control what happens to their own body.

So when a politician claims that a certain class of people should only have "some control" over their own bodies, that is the top of the slippery slope of slavery for billions of women who would be forced to become brood mares. When that same politician needs to slice and dice up the human right to control your own body, he is trying to make slavery palatable for the masses.

Remember that. You may personally find abortion wrong. But once you take away the right of someone else to control what happens to their own body, you better be willing to offer yourself up as the first new slave. You better be okay with the right to use methods like waterboarding, caning, electrocution, beating, and rape as tools for information gathering. You better teach your daughter that they must submit to the first brute who puts his hands down her panties, she doesn't get bodily autonomy either. You better be okay with having medical treatments forced on you, even if they go against your religion. Think stems cells are unethical? Well you won't get to choose NOT to have them used on you. Are you just anti-pills? Won't that be funny when a strong-arm doctor forces you to take hormone therapy or anti-depressants.

Control of your own body is a non-negotiable human right. You cannot chop it to bits with exceptions for this and qualifications for that.