Friday, September 26, 2008

Hey God, it's me, Bible Spice

Can't take credit for this, but I saw it on my fave BB -- regarding the cute slogan owned by Bible Spice and Grumpy McSame -- and I did verily bust a gut laughing.

"Country First"

"Now, let’s talk about slogans. Ours is: Country First. Think about it. When you think of what should come first, what does? Us ourselves? No. That would be selfish. Our personal families? Selfish. God? God is good, I love Him, but, as our slogan suggests, no, sorry, God, You are not First. No, you don’t, Lord! How about: the common good of all mankind! Is that First? Don’t make me laugh with your weak blinking! No! Mercy is not First and wisdom is not First and love is super but way near the back, and ditto with patience and discernment and compassion and all that happy crap, they are all back behind Country, in the back of my S.U.V., which— Here is an example! Say I am about to run over a nun or orphan, or an orphan who grew up to become a nun—which I admire that, that is cool, good bootstrapping there, Sister—but then God or whomever goes, “It is My will that you hit that orphaned nun, do not ask Me why, don’t you dare, and I say unto thee, if you do not hit that nun, via a skillful swerve, your Country is going to suffer, and don’t ask Me how, specifically, as I have not decided that yet!” Well, I am going to do my best to get that nun in one felt swope, because, at the Convention, at which my Vice-Presidential candidate kicked mucho butt, what did the signs there say? Did they say “Orphaned Nuns First” and then there is a picture of a sad little nun with a hobo pack?"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Zen and the art

I've been feeling pretty Zen lately. I don't know why, which is OK I guess, but usually leads me to fear that I'm about to be thrown into the Neighborhood where Bad Things Might Happen. Even with that, I'm sort of stepping back and looking at things as through a telescope.

It may be one of the benefits of getting older. (Trust me, there aren't that many.) I just had a birthday ten days ago, and am standing on the brink of 5-0 looking into the abyss. The wrinkle fairy stops by frequently, and the menopause fairy done packed up and took her kitbag home, and the fat fairy has eaten through whatever was left of my metabolism in its urge to hold onto fat. Millions of years ago I swore I would never wear clothing sized in the double-digits, and the fat fairy is laughing maniacally at me as it sits on the roll at my waistband.

But I'm OK with it. (Mostly, eh.) I am giving myself a break. There are bigger things to worry about, like this election, and the financial future, and health and education and love and babies and all the good stuff.

Last time I went to yoga I sat in half-lotus and pondered. Maybe it's that I've stopped focusing on what I can't do and what I can -- no, I can't quite get my leg behind my head. I looked around at all the 20-somethings in class and for a teeny tiny second I was disgusted with my old self in its feeble attempt to hang on to youthful bendiness. But you know what? There weren't any other late-40-somethings in class with me, and by God I did get my leg almost up over my head. I show up. I focus and breathe, and I think about just doing what I can do and not worrying about the rest.

Maybe the best I can do really IS good enough.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One more, and then I'm done for a while I promise

Here is the the sentiment from another thinking female whose writing and observations on American life, politics, and the culture wars I heartily enjoy:

"The Republicans are, in effect, saying: We're not going to win this race on the basis of being the better candidates. Barack Obama is going to make you think. You don't like thinking. Here's an It Girl vice president who is easy on the eyes, you stodgy old white baby boomer. She's like a grown-up version of Mary Ann from "Gilligan's Island." She embodies the raw conviction that everything the Republicans have ever done has been right. She'll make you feel better about yourself for voting for Bush. Twice.

Relax: The war is God's plan. (Or whatever.) Women, even if they are vice president, can always look pretty, worship their husbands in the fear of God and never, ever resist invasions from unwanted sperm.

Sarah Palin and her virtual burqa have me and my friends retching into our handbags. She's such a power-mad, backwater beauty-pageant casualty, it's easy to write her off and make fun of her. But in reality I feel as horrified as a ghetto Jew watching the rise of National Socialism. She is dangerous. She is not just pro-life, she's anti-life. She is the suppression of human feeling and instinct. She is a slave to the compromises dictated by her own desire for power and control. Sarah Palin is untethered from her own needs and those of her family, which is in crisis, with a pregnant daughter, a son on the way to Iraq and a special-needs infant.

She should, however, be a galvanizing point for women everywhere. Not to support her candidacy but to rebel against the Republican Party and take back the respect and equality so hard-earned by the women's liberation movement in the 1970s.

We've been shanghaied. This is sick. We need to slap the face of our bad frat-boy date and walk home from this drive-in movie. Sarah Palin may put out to be popular, but the rest of America's women don't need to do the same.

If not, what the hell? John McCain should go the whole Hugh Hefner route and have eight V.P.s that all look exactly like Sarah Palin.

It's McCain's world, girls: You'd just live in it."

Taken from Cintra Wilson's column on Salon.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Brace yourself - I'm about to get political

OK. I can't hold it in anymore, even though this is supposed to be a fun place to come and write little essays about the trivial human events that tie us all together, and hopefully make us laugh. This post will not make you laugh. I'm going full metal liberal on your ass.

I watched snippets of both conventions, since I think it's a good idea as a voter to see the advertising before I buy the product. Not that there is a question about whom I'll vote for -- I'm supporting Obama -- but just to see what florid language comes out of the speechwriters' pens. I watched part of the RNC love-fest before I had to smash my TV to bits.

Sarah Palin????

The choice brought out every atom of anger at political bullshit that I own. Anger - as Stacey said - because what, just because she's got a uterus we'd all just vote for the Republican ticket? Because she is somehow a hero for having five kids and being Governor? Because she's pretty? Is that her purpose for being on the ticket, so Republican men can all get hard-ons at having a MILF as VP? So all the fundamentalist white women in America can feel smug that someone with "Christian" values will "represent" them in the White House?

The day after her convention speech, I walked by a woman at work who was raving about how much she loved Sarah Palin -- "She's got a son going to Iraq, she's got five kids, one who has Down's syndrome even -- I mean she totally represents ME!!! I completely identify with her!!" I wanted to screech at her, or hit her with a pencil sharpener. How goddamn stupid can you be?

It panders to the absolute worst of politics. Image. I am pained because people are so easily manipulated by images, for God's sake -- does no one think anymore about the actual work involved in running a government of 300 million people? The necessary knowledge of the Constitution one is sworn to uphold, the rule of law, the development of policy, the management of all branches of government and the ability to work within a structure that has existed for 200+ years and get people to accomplish something greater than themselves?

This brings me to something that I don't talk about too often because I live in a very conservative state, and the chances are good that most people I know and are friends with are conservatives. I cannot stand the conservative ideology in any form.

Conservatives such as Palin believe that their way is the Only Way. Because they are (almost 100%) Christian, they want laws based on Christian values (whatever those are). Because they believe gays are an abomination, they want gays to have no legally-protected rights. Because they believe life begins at conception, they want abortion outlawed. On and on and on and on, if conservatives believe it -- they not only want their beliefs respected but they want them MADE INTO LAW.

What in the fuck is constitutionally American about conservatism? How can these people possibly construe the idea of America as a place where everyone must follow the same path, the same life, the same values, the same goddamn EVERYTHING?

Let me tell you: I am a liberal. Because I am a liberal, I am capable of tolerating other people's ideas. You believe abortion is a sin and a crime? DON'T HAVE ONE. You think gays shouldn't be able to legally marry? DON'T MARRY SOMEONE OF THE SAME SEX. You think your children should be able to pray before they eat at school? NO ONE IS STOPPING THEM. Because I am a liberal, I completely support Palin's choice to be a Christian evangelical, gun-toting, pro-life, tee-totaling moose-killer as long as she keeps her lipsticked pit-bull nose out of my fucking business!

But that is not ENOUGH for her. She and her Republican base want to make her beliefs into LAW, and they pander to the worst maudlin emotional issues so as to distract the American-Idol obsessed voters away from the true government issues that affect their lives. They dumb down their talking points because a large block of their voters are offended at the idea that you might have to have a better than C average to serve as leader of the country.

Bush won in part because his campaign team successfully sold the question "who would you rather have a beer with?" as reason enough to vote for him. Eight years later the country is in the worst state possible, but by God our president was Everyman with a beer bong. Conservatives exploit thinking-challenged voters who cannot be bothered to talk about boring things like policy to vote for them based on images, pretty pictures, flags, and cheerleader rhetoric.

"Not all conservatives are stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives." Don't blame me, I didn't say it -- it was John Stuart Mill. I don't happen to agree with that sentiment 100%, but I'd like to see intellectual discussion rather than emotional manipulation from conservatives, but I won't hold my breath.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chocolate boy

My son turned 11 on Monday. I'm still reeling over how this little man came along (on Labor Day, no less), and now I'm mystified to the 9th power about how he's gotten to be 11 years old.

I call him Chocolate Boy because he adores chocolate in every form - milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate ice cream, brownies, fudge, and of course when I asked him what sort of birthday cake he wanted he looked at me quizzically and said "DUH mom. Chocolate," and practically shook his head at my stupidity. Sad old senile mother.

He loves Chuck Taylor Converse high-tops, levi's jeans, t-shirts, Superman, Mad Magazine, and glass Coca-Cola bottles. You could put him into an advertisement for a 1950's style drive-in diner and he'd fit right in. Yes, he has his issues (like the haircuts) but for the most part he's a smart, happy kid. I caught him prancing around his room looking at himself after a shower, very pleased with his overall fashion of the day, and he didn't even look sheepish when I peeked in. He said "mom, don't you think I'm cute? My hair looks like a field of wheat," and I nearly peed myself laughing.

He listens to Eddie Vedder, the Rolling Stones, and Michael Buble -- and he had a very early fling with Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody before moving on to AC/DC, and then took a brief detour into Elvis's early genre before falling for the classic Beatles, which made me very proud. We must have listened to Abbey Road a thousand times in the car, singing Maxwell's Silver Hammer so many times that I finally figured out all the words. It drove his older sister crazy.

He's small for his age, and his sister once called him a "melon-headed midget!" in a fit of anger. She loves her little brother even though she hates to show it, but no matter how mean she is to him he is always, even at the ripe age of 11, running after her for a hug. When he was about 8 she kicked his two front teeth OUT - he ran to me with blood all over his face and teeth hanging by bloody strings and screamed "manni hick my eeth out!!! ick my eet outh!!" When I blew up into a ball of flames and sent her to her room as punishment for the rest of the day, he pleaded with me to let her out because he swore "she didn't really mean to do it, mommy, please let my sissy out."

She still beats up on him, but the day will come when he's bigger than her.

Anyway, I made his chocolate cake and when I asked him how he wanted it decorated, he said he wanted it to be a cow cake. A cow? I thought. A little pre-schooley for a kid his age, but whatever. He likes cows. So I made the cake with white icing and then attempted to create dark spots like a cow on the cake (think Gateway PC boxes) but I have to say it looked like crap. He didn't seem to care -- he said, "it's OK, mom, don't worry, it looks really cool."

Happy birthday to my sweet, adorable, loving, beautiful boy.