Saturday, July 3, 2010

This is my country, too

As we head into the July 4th holiday, I’m feeling a little feisty.

::sigh:: I know, I know. I just can’t help it.

I was just in a Facebook discussion that arose when a friend posted something about Richard Hofstadter’s 1963 essay about right wing conspiracy theories and paranoia. I’ve written about it before, and if you’ve never read it, I highly recommend it. It’s eerie in its application to what is happening in our country today.

I simply left a comment stating that I love that essay, and someone else commented that Hofstadter was a Communist and hated capitalism, and if I thought that was great, maybe I should move to Russia or China. They wrote that our government is “the people for the people.”

Yeah, it was on. I’ll post my reply here, with slight editing. I’m sick of some people saying that because I’m liberal, I don’t love my country, or I don’t support our troops, or I’m not a true American. First of all, I’d sure love to know what constitutes a true American. Apparently some think that it entails wanting to kick the ass of every country on the rest of the planet, just to show that we can. True leadership—and I still believe that America is a global leader—comes through diplomacy and friendship and a genuine desire to help others and make things better for all. Simply dropping a bomb on someone is not a sign of strength; it is a sign of weakness and bullying. Some seem to feel that a “real American” lives in rural areas, perhaps in the Midwest. I’m guessing that every New Yorker who witnessed the death and destruction on 9/11 would take exception to that definition.

Anyway, here is what I wrote.

Hofstadter's personal beliefs and ideologies have nothing to do with the validity of his essay about the far right and their paranoid behavior. It was valid when he wrote it; it's every bit as valid today.

It continues to amaze me to hear people say that their freedoms are being taken away by this liberal government. Where were you when Bush was tapping your phones? Where were you when he and his cronies advocated throwing people in jail without charging them for any crimes? Where were you when they gave the green light to TORTURE, ignoring the Geneva Convention in order to satisfy their hair-trigger, cowboy, jingoist, sadistic wet dreams?

Why weren't you up in arms when THOSE freedoms were being taken away? And I'd really like to know which, exactly, freedoms you feel are being taken away by this administration.
Just like every other American, I've been affected by taxes, health care, the military, student loans, and housing. I've seen the devastation wrought by an incompetent administration's tax cuts, unjustified wars, and an unwillingness to fix our broken health care system. I've had family members, senior citizens, have to declare bankruptcy because of catastrophic illness and huge medical bills. I've seen our national deficit go through the roof because of the previous administration's wars without the taxes to finance them. I watched as our economy came close to collapsing because of the GOP's lack of regulation on Wall Street, and I watched as the unfettered greed of bankers and mortgage companies took our country to the brink of economic destruction.

"The people for the people?" Are you prepared to pick up the tab for infrastructure maintenance and construction? Do you have a neighborhood group that has potluck dinners once a month so that you can plan how you'll fight the fires that strike one of your neighbors' homes, or YOUR home? Do you like your public library? When you retire, are you planning on opting out of Social Security and Medicare? Are you prepared to foot the bill for your parent's nursing home bills and medical bills? Do you have bake sales where you raise $500 to help pay for the kid next door with leukemia's hospital bills, which are approaching three hundred grand?

I am sick unto death of people talking about the evils of our government. It is OUR government, it helps us stay healthy, it helps with our education, and it helps us with our day-to-day lives.

If YOU hate our government so much, I suggest that you take a slow boat to any country that oppresses its people, restricts their speech, dictates their religion, and requires women to be punished for not being virgins on their wedding day or forces them to bear a child that resulted from rape. Just go enjoy that for a while, and then tell me about how much you hate our liberal government.

Fuck yeah.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Insult Fail

Rotisserie I was a little curious when someone used the word "Rotisserie!" hurled my way, apparently as some type of insult. I love a good barbecue as much as anyone, but I don't think this broad was wishing me a good meal and good health.

I did a little checking, and enlisted my Facebook friends to see if they might have an idea of what this person was trying to say. My, my, what a shocker! (So to speak...haha!) Here is the Urban Dictionary's explanation for "The Rotisserie." I'll wait while you check it out.

tap tap tap

Welcome back! Well, you can imagine my surprise. I'm assuming there are variations on the theme, because I'm not sure why she was wishing this on me. Or whether she wants to be a participant or merely an observer. My friend Stephen wrote: "A rotisserie? Oh that's easy. You're very petite. You're a "Spinner". She is obviously a butch. Let me know if you have any more questions."

Well, I never. (Really. I never.)

I'm reminded of the teabaggers, who are the ones who began calling themselves that when they were first starting out. It's too bad that they didn't bother doing a little research before they gave themselves a moniker that refers to a sexual practice. (When am I going to stop calling them teabaggers? Nevermore.)

It's probably a good idea to check into things a little bit before you start bandying terms about in an attempt to insult. It didn't insult me. In fact, I got a hearty laugh out of it, and so did several others (even without knowing the circumstances). The Urban Dictionary can be a lifesaver...or at least save you from thoroughly embarrassing yourself.

The next time I have barbecued chicken, I bet I'll laugh as I nom nom nom it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In a state of high hilarity

Minions Despite kind of a crummy start to the day, I'm now in a good mood and laughing. It wasn't a totally horrible day, not at all. I just had to spend over a couple of hours sitting in the waiting room at the Ford dealership as they did some work on my car. Nothing major, everything was fine...just some routine maintenance, and an electrical systems check that showed that I had a bum battery. Still under warranty, so no charge for a new one!

The upside of the wait that was that I got a lot read in my current book, Blasphemy by Douglas Preston. I'm about halfway through it, and I started it last night. He's one of my favorite authors (he and Lincoln Child have written some really entertaining books, including many with FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast.) This one is about a supercollider deep in the Arizona desert. (It's an American project, so it has no chance of being deported. HA! Thank you, I'll be here all week. Try the veal.) What's really fun is that there is a televangelist involved, ranting about how the supercollider is an affront to God and a product of ay-thee-istic scientists trying to discredit the story of Genesis and creationism. There are mentions of secular humanism and liberal elites and it's all just a lot of fun! What I find especially amusing is that some of these rants from this preacher (who recently survived a scandal in which he was caught cornholing a couple of prostitutes in a hotel room) are things that I've heard almost verbatim from various televangelists over the years. I'm really having a good time with this one!

After getting my car back (all washed and looking awesome), I ran a few errands. When I got home, there was an invitation in the mailbox, for an "old-fashioned Independence Day celebration!" Woohoo! One of the neighbors is apparently having a shindig. The only thing that people have to bring is hamburgers and/or hot dogs and buns for your family and guests. Oh, and two side dishes (salad, dessert, etc.) plus extra if you bring guests. Oh, and serving utensils (labeled) for your dish, a cooler for your dishes that need to be kept cold, lawn chairs and/or blankets, insect repellant [sic], fishing pole for the Biggest Bass Competition (optional), and if you have an ice cream maker and would be willing to bring homemade ice cream in place of ONE of your side dishes, there was a contact number provided. They will provide pop, tea, lemonade, table service, and "awesome fireworks after dark." There will be activities for all ages, and "great Christian fellowship and outreach opportunities."

Now THAT sounds like a party! I'm sure it will be a really nice time for all involved, but I'm guessing it's not my cup of fact, I bet there would be some teabaggers there that I might get into a discussion with. Since I don't have a desire to have the house firebombed, or being shunned Amish-style, I think I'll pass on the invitation. One little ornery part of me, though, had the passing thought of how much fun it would be to take a cooler full of beer and just be as contrary and as obnoxious as possible. No, of course, I'd never do that...but it was fun to think about for a moment. You all know me well enough to see the humor in the situation. The phrase "wolf among the sheep" comes to mind!

Hypno Hotties A question. How many of you here are satisfied with being my minions? Please raise your hand if you feel good about it. What? No one? You don't even know what I'm talking about? What the hell am I doing wrong? This is embarrassing. I really thought that my hypnotic personality and powers of suggestion (Perhaps even a little bit of charm...? A gal can hope.) would cause you to do my bidding, and that I could unleash you upon my enemies in order to wreak havoc upon them. I am humiliated that none of you are feeling the least bit miniony. If some of you are feeling a little confused, it's probably because you didn't get the minion memo, in which I sent you all out to be my eyes and ears on the Web as I sit in my basement lair and direct you all like the puppet master I am. Dance, minions, dance! Bwahahaha!

The background there really doesn't matter. It just makes me laugh that anyone could think that anyone who reads this—I find you a genuinely intelligent bunch—would ever take direction from me or be so vapid and directionless that you would want to. I find it amusing that anyone would think that I would try to do so. I'm a fairly resourceful woman, and I think most of you see that in me. I don't need minions. I don't want minions. OR henchmen or henchwomen. I appreciate those of you who continue to read me, and I appreciate any new readers I get along the way. I appreciate your intelligence, your spirit, and your independence. I suppose that anyone who thinks that I would manipulate anyone in such a manner, or send them to do my bidding, is merely projecting and is thinking about how they would behave, rather than how I operate. Perhaps they are thinking of how they spin things in order to get people, their own easily manipulable friends, to sympathize with them and feel sorry for them.

I love it that you are all intelligent, thinking people who will never compromise, never bow to anyone, and will always stand up for your principles. If you ever allowed yourselves to be manipulated or directed by me, it's likely that you wouldn't be friends with me, or would not still be reading me. I love you just the way you are, and don't go changin' to try and please me!