Friday, October 09, 2009

What? No? What for exactly?

What has he done exactly to merit this?

Anything? Even one tiny thing? Are they giving out Nobels now just for being NotBush?

Oh I get it now- they are giving to him with the hope that he'll make some change.

Hopium Smoking- not just for Obots during primary season anymore.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Other people have kittehs

or otters or alpacas to make themselves feel better when the crappiness of the world leaves them to mad to do anything but plot violent revolution.

I have this. A cartoon flying bison named Appa.

Yes I am a grown up. Yes I am addicted to this silly cartoon. I blame Ouyang Dan for getting me hooked. She is also responsible for making me watch (and love) a show about people I would hate in real life, cowboy libertarians.

Sorry for the sappy music in the vid- it is a youtube video after all.

Why so mad little girly?

Let's talk about agency and intent for a minute, cause I'm so fucking pissed off right now I could tear the heads off "well meaning" fauxgressives and bathe in their blood.

Agency. We feminists use that term a lot. Agency is the idea that people get to choose their own lives, without restraint or coercion. For straight up white middle class feminism, that means freedom to choose when and with who to have sex or not have sex, and whether or not to get pregnant, stay pregnant, be a mother, not be a mother. Those are all important things to decide for yourself, but they aren't the end all be all of agency.

Agency means different things to different people (and we ain't even gotten into intersectionality) but at it's core it means having the access to tools and resources to choose your own life. For a person with disabilities those tools might be cars with wheel chair lifts or internet access and video conferencing for those who are bedridden.

For a poor mom, it might be access to enough resources so that they can plan their family's meals with nutrition and tastiness, not cost, as the deciding factors.

That's it, that's all agency means, It means getting to choose for yourself. Period.

Now let's talk about intent. There are lots of well meaning people in the world who just fuck up grandly when it comes to us poor oppressed types. People who talk down to people in wheel chairs may think they are just being friendly and their intent is good, but by treating a PWD as less than they are removing the PWD's agency.

And when people talk about helping the poor by placing MORE restrictions on poor people, by say limiting what kinds of food poor people (or fat people) are allowed to buy, they are removing that poor person's agency.

Even though their intent is to help.

And I get pissed, really, blood bloodcurdling, pissed off when one more person with good intentions talks about the poor like we're misbehaving housepets who need to be kept from eating the garbage.

Cause they're talking about me. They are treating me, a real live intelligent person, like I have no more sense than a 4 year old with a bag of Halloween candy.

To be a sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, classist oppressor does not require intent to be any of those things. It simply requires the removal of someone elses' agency, even if you think it's in their best interest.

You know what I hate


Specifically fauxgressives that get paid to spout fauxgressive bullshit.

No really- you all gotta checkout the comments. It's a faugressive orgy. I shit you not.

Because It's too Awesome Not to Share

When you're done with math, try some vocabulary

Anglachel, bless her awesomeness, has gotten some shit from the virtuous foodies who who don't like my take or her spin off on why poor people eat what they can afford.

Since we've already covered the math, let's work on basic reading comprehension and vocabulary.

It's called poverty people. It's not called "inability to budget", or "spends unwisely cause they're too ignorant to know better" or "they just wouldn't be in this situation in they handled money more wisely".

Now I hate to be the pretentious blogger who pulls out definitions of words so brutally common as poverty in order to prove a point, but since it's either that or I start carrying around a large wooden mallet to beat sense into virtuous foodies and other asswipes d'jour, you're going to have to suck it while I get pretentious.

Poverty, via wikipedia, "is the condition of lacking basic human needs such as nutrition, clean water, health care, clothing, and shelter because of the inability to afford them". Bolds mine.

See that- it's part of the definition that poverty is defined by the inability to get proper nutrition because of lack of money. It's kinda central to the whole idea of poverty actually.

So next time some dickweed wants to explain how he lives above the poverty line with a grocery budget that is more than adequate and doesn't understand why these poor people can't live just like he does, you can smack him over the head with a dictionary until he learns some vocab. And while he is lying on the floor reeling from a concussion you should totally raid the condescending prick's fridge. It's cheaper than paying full price at the farmer's market or whole paycheck foods.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Wonder and I have been diligently working to find an appropriate word to replace "crazy" in our vocabularies. I gotta tell you peeps, it ain't been easy.

We need one word to perfectly sum up beliefs or actions that cause harm to others and have no basis in reason or logic.

After much stumbling, we have found such a word. And that word, my friends, is

bachmann. This word will now replace crazy when crazy is meant to portray things that are: senseless; impractical; totally unsound OR likely to break or fall to pieces.

For example: Those Rethuglikans who voted against Al Franken's anti-military contractor rape bill are plumb fucking bachmann.

Or: Anyone who thinks teabaggers are cool must be batshit bachmann.

Or: Anyone can see that relying on private insurance and the free market for health care is a bachmann plan.

Feel free to add your own examples and to spread the word. I can only hope that one day bachmann will reach the pinnacle that santorum has in our lexicon.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

How about you economists do some fucking math instead

This post almost, almost manages to get past classism and fat hate, but you know us poor people gotta have our ice cream to soothe the pain of poverty.

Big idea assholes- do some math.

Let's take a family of 4 at the top of the poverty threshold with an annual income of $22,000 or about $1833 per month gross income. Let's say they live in a 2 bedroom apartment with a rent below national average at $800 per month plus utilities. They have 2 kids who share a bedroom. One kid is in daycare and the other goes to an after school program while both parents are working. The kids are covered under SCHIP, but the parents either don't get or can't afford healthcare for themselves offered through work. They get paid twice a month on the 1st & 15th. They pay $113 per month in payroll taxes, which leaves them $1720 net or $860 per paycheck.

The first of the month rolls around. They pay all but $60 of their paychecks to cover rent and have to manage that $60 for groceries for the next 2 weeks. That's $1.07 per day per person for food. The kids eat 2 meals a day during the week at school, but dinners and weekends are tough. The USDA calculates that a thrifty grocery budget for a family of 4 for a week to be somewhere between $130 and $160. They have less than half of that to spend for twice as long. They eat whatever cheap, high calorie foods they can find, but will still need to rely on a food pantry. This is a famine period and their metabolisms will slow down because they simply cannot get enough calories for their metabolisms to function normally.

The 15th rolls - hurray!But first they have to pay for all the things they didn't pay for on the first. There's daycare for 2 kids, with a lowball estimate $600 a month (I paid $1000 per month for the Kid in Seattle, and $400 a month in Atlanta with a scholarship 10 years ago), plus utilities, transportation, clothes (kids grow). All that plus groceries has to come out of the remaining $260. This is when poor people start doing the bill paying shuffle, pay a little, promise more later (all while knowing you don't have more to give them later) and fend off utter ruin as long as possible.

At this point our little family has been hungry for 2 weeks, so they probably splurge and have a few days of real meals. And then it's back to hungry, because even if they spent all of that $260 on food they would still be at the bottom of the USDA guidelines for a poverty food budget.

But those couple of days are going to be grand. Fatty meats, desserts,fruit just because, starchy mashed potatoes. Their metabolisms are already in slow mode, so any extra calories they consume at this point will be stored by their bodies as fat, because by the 20th they are going to be back on a starvation diet. It's the poor person version of bulemia. But there isn't enough money anywhere in their budget to pay for housing and food and the cost of working (childcare and transportation).

So most of the month lunch is a candy bar and a coke (or 800 or so calories in fat and sugar for under 2 bucks) and dinner is hamburger helper and a can of green beans( a little more than 5 bucks to feed 4 people and about 400 calories per person).

That is why poverty and obesity go together. It's not because twinkies are the prozac of the lower classes, but because our Darwin approved bodies recognize starvation and fight to hold onto every possible calorie. It's the thrifty fucking gene in action, and a wee bit of math would have shown that out.

Because the details

of other people's dreams are usually very very boring- I will leave you with this one phrase to parse out for yourself what it involves

filthy, naughty, superhero sex

(good lord that phrase may break the porn seekers from google)

Unpacking some baggage

So I cosigned this with a promise to be better and do better.

And that means coming to terms with something I've been struggling with for years.

My mother is disabled, both physically (which is not the problem) and mentally (which I thought was the problem). And I have used some language regarding her behavior that is down right offensive to other people with mental illness.

At first I justified it with reclamation (at least I did in my own head)as "well shit, I'm prone to bouts of serious depression and anxiety, so I should be able to use terms like crazy and nutbag".

But that's just abelist justification and doesn't fly.

Then the angry inner child in me threw a temper tantrum with "but how the fuck else would you explain a person who does that to her own daughter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Then at some point I read something about George Sondini in comments somewhere. People were speculating on whether he had Asperger's syndrome. And some brilliant commenter wrote (and I'm paraphrasing cause I can't remember where it was) "Oh please, assholery is not a symptom of Aspergers".

And that's the kicker.

Mom very likely has borderline personality disorder, which makes her feel things that aren't true. (She refuses to be treated and runs away from diagnoses- but she has most if not all of the markers for it.

That explains her feelings, it does not excuse her actions. And her actions are what I have issues with. And that should be what I focus on, not her mental illness.

This has taken me months, years maybe, to separate. Just like Aspergers doesn't cause assholery, BDP is not a reason for abuse. Finally having a name for what is wrong with my mother gave me the liberty to free myself from her 6 years ago, so separating out the abelist shit felt a wee bit like backtracking on my hard won freedom. But it's not. Separating the disease from the abuse means no more excuses.

So I will no longer use terms like "off her rocker fucking crazy" or "serious nutbag" to describe her actions or the actions of those who are being douchebags. I will use the plethora of descriptive terms to describe her actions that DO NOT involve causing harm to completely unrelated people who suffer from mental illness. I will use words like malicious, vindictive, abusive, opportunistic, manipulative, hurtful, spiteful, or just plain mean. They all accurately describe things without the added bonus of bigotry.

I apologize to anyone who I have hurt with my language. I promise I will be better and do better in the future.