theworldofdale

Archive for the ‘News and Politics’ Category

i’ll be home for christmas (almost)

In Home, News and Politics, Religion on December 28, 2015 at 9:25 pm

I bought a house today. My agent was my friend Laurie. I met Laurie ten years ago at a long-defunct bar called The Lab. It was a bar in Over the Rhine and being just a few years out from the riots, having four people there on a weeknight meant the place was poppin’. I was recently out of a poorly-considered reunion with an ex and Laurie was annoyed enough with men in general to lend a sympathetic ear to my story of mid-20s love gone wrong (or rather, was never love in the first place).

Over the years, that barstool friendship evolved across husbands and boyfriends, jobs and different jobs, debauchery of youth and the circle back to good conversation over a few beers. After referring a few friends to her real estate agent services, I got serious about buying my own place. And when I finally found The House of Dale, I wrote the following heartfelt letter in hopes of swaying the sellers with my earnest declaration of emotions (it turns out all I had to do was want to buy it rather than rent it, but who knew?):

Dear Brad and Angelina*,

Attached is my purchase offer for the home on Pennsylvania Avenue*. I also wanted to share what has led me to this place.

I never thought I’d be able to own my own home. After unemployment left our family leaving Detroit unexpectedly when I was 14 years old, we moved to a small town in Ohio, renting a house from my sister and brother-in-law. My parents still rent that tiny house, 22 years later. After three years of dorm living, I started 18 years of renting. Mostly apartments, a couple houses, usually alone, sometimes with roommates. I thought my “property” ownership would be limited to my car and a square foot of an island off the coast of Maine (life is weird).

A year ago, I got a new job. Previous obstacles to my gainful employment, mostly health-related, had diminished to a point where I could consider what had seemed impossible: home ownership. This not merely a purchase for me; even the mortgage pales in comparison to the true meaning of this contract: security and a willing responsibility to the commitment of providing my life’s sanctuary.

I love this house. It’s a place where I can feel at the home for the first time since we drove away from our house in Detroit 22 years ago. Any dollars and cents in this contract is eclipsed by the heart I offer for my American Dream come true.

Thank you for considering my offer in its entirety.

Sincerely,

Snarkler*

Brad and Angelina didn’t give a shit about my heartfelt letter. They are business people who flip houses for a living. If they gave a shit about my heartfelt letter, they wouldn’t be good at their jobs. It’s okay. I still got the house.

But those words are still true. This hasn’t been so much a financial transaction as the fulfillment of a dream deferred. A home is security. A home is safety. A home is where you have the liberty to wear robes all the time and eat cookies and pizza for breakfast and enjoy privacy for multi-flush poops. You can play music loud and take long showers (but please be responsible in your water use). A place to lay your head is what keeps you going when you’re out in the world, with its unpredictability and disapproval of robe-only ensembles.

When weather is bad, we want to be at home. When we’re sick, we want to be at home. When we’re tired, or scared, or stuck in traffic – especially when we’re stuck in traffic – we want to be at home.

The refugees of Syria, of Sudan, of Afghanistan, of dozens of countries where unspeakable abuse – trafficking, child soldiers, pirating, blatant violence – has driven its people to flee with only the clothes on their backs, risking their lives and the lives of their children, are looking for homes. They are looking for the most basic of necessities – shelter. They are looking for the most essential of liberties – safety. They are looking for the most sacred of blessings – serenity in the comfort of a home.

Any refugee seeking asylum could have written that heartfelt letter. The refugees who are being turned away, who are dying – quite literally – in their efforts to find a home, are being turned back to nothing. Their home is gone. When refugees are turned away, we – the countries that are homes by the very nature our liberty – not only deny them the dignity of acceptance but we shirk our responsibility to care for our neighbor. Their blood is on our hands because we refuse to shield them from the sword.

When we turn away refugees, we. are. Assholes. As my mom said about the sellers after reading my heartfelt letter, “If that doesn’t make them want you to have the home, they are heartless awful people, and I’m sure that isn’t the case.”

Many Americans just celebrated Christmas (and/or the War on Christmas). We are told There is a Reason for the Season. That reason started with a young couple looking, if only for the night, a home. Somewhere safe to bring their child into the world. Somewhere that if say, a deranged king was trying to hunt down and kill their child, they would be secure against the danger. The really Christian thing to do is to help people who are looking for home – a safe place to birth their child, a land where their lives are no longer in daily danger, an urban bungalow for robe-wearing. The Christians would want those refugees to have a home. Because they aren’t heartless awful people. Mom is sure that isn’t the case.

 

*Names have been changed

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Jesus, take the wheel. And the windshield.

In Communication, News and Politics, Religion on October 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Today, I went to Mass. I had fallen off a bit in my attendance during a low couple of months but my priest (I refer to him as “my” priest, although I’m pretty sure he’s seeing other people*) gave me the push I needed to get back in the groove.

*Father PLSJ, please forgive me for that joke.

As usual, the homily seemed to be written specifically for me, because that’s how they work. As usual, I left feeling better. Happier, lighter, more at peace. I was ready to enjoy my afternoon with a little laundry, a little dancing, and probably a nap. As not usual, there was a note waiting for me when I returned to my car.

After the nanosecond of fear that I received a ticket (much like when a police car is behind you on the highway and you start going through your driver’s test handbook in your head, trying to find a law that you are breaking), I got out and grabbed what turned out to be a note.

I can’t tell you exactly what it said. I went back into the church and gave it to my priest (he presided over the Mass). I wasn’t sure what emotion I was filled with – maybe anger, maybe panic, maybe sorrow – but whatever it was, I knew keeping that note would intensify and prolong it.

The gist, however, was that this person was very disappointed that I voted for President Obama (yeah, the sticker is still on my car. Whatevs). S/he wrote how saddened they were by my support for the most pro-choice, something, something, Muslim president ever to be elected. There were a few other sentences about how misguided I was and how they hoped I’d make a better decision in the next election. It was addressed to “Sister in Christ” and signed with a similar vaguely religious but anonymous title.

Putting aside the creepiness of someone who watched me arrive to Mass and then left an anonymous note on my car (the “Sister in Christ” confirmed they knew I was female), I was shaken. I had often joked that someday, the Democratic stickers would result in my car being vandalized when I visited the considerably more conservative town where my parents reside or parked in the parking lot of a church whose parishioners had very strong political leanings. It hadn’t really occurred to me that while parked at a downtown meter outside my (fairly progressive) parish, I would receive a personalized condemnation by someone who considered themselves an authority on WJWD (What Jesus Would Do). It was the first time someone of the same faith had expressed judgment of me. Really – I know that may surprise some who think my wildly liberal views would send lightning surging through my body once the holy water hit my forehead, but this was my first encounter with overt disapproval.

The initial surge of adrenaline that was fueling my anger, panic, or fear has subsided, if not disappeared entirely. I will pray for this person. S/he feels a hollowness in their own faith that must be filled with the damnation of others. S/he is too cowardly to bring their petitions to me face-to-face and have to support their electoral argument. His or her concept of grace is restricted to a box-checking idea of religious merit – that if one votes a certain way or pastes these particular bumper stickers to one’s bumper must be stressful and joyless – rather than the knowledge that grace is extended to all. S/he didn’t hear today’s homily, where Father P’s interpretation of the scripture was that it wasn’t the blind and likely unsavory Bartimaeus who served as the lesson, but the crowd – the followers of Jesus who rebuked Bart and his pleas for help.

Rebuke means to express sharp and stern disapproval because of someone’s behavior or actions. The note of rebuke left on my windshield was probably written in the spirit of good faith. This person thinks they did the right thing. S/he thinks they helped me today. And they did, because I learned that the anger or panic or sorrow that my brain initially signaled to my body’s endocrine system was an extension of the lesson from scripture. While the crowd rebuked Bartimaeus, Jesus called him over and gave him sight, and without the condition of following his teaching. But Bart did follow Jesus. And hopefully, the crowd, and the Note Writer, learns that love, not judgment, is the key to grace.

To the person who left me this note: Next time, speak to me. Put your beliefs in the light and assign yourself to them. If you truly are a follower of Christ, there would be no need to hide behind the anonymity of an unsigned note. You should have the strength of heart to be a true messenger. My prayer for you is that your faith begins to sprout from love instead of the kind of anger only 4-year-old bumper sticker can arouse.

But don’t worry. I won’t vote for Obama again.

P.S. It really is creepy to watch me and leave a note on my car, so let’s just also keep that in mind when evangelizing, ‘kay?

same love

In News and Politics, Relationships, Religion on May 23, 2015 at 5:32 pm

If you’ve read more than three posts on this blog, I’d first like to congratulate you on being part of such an exclusive group. Secondly, you may have noticed that a lot of post titles are music-related. It didn’t start out as a conscious decision, and it’s still not a rule so much as a tendency. But this title does refer to a specific song: Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert. It’s essentially a song in support of the GLBTQ community. When I first heard it, it was Mary Lambert’s sweet lilting chorus that hooked me (pun acknowledged, considered, and kept but not necessarily intended).

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

It’s a melodic expression of an age-old sentiment: the heart wants what the heart wants. Everyone who has known love knows the irrationality of it. I know far too many people (myself included) who spent a stupid amount of time and energy on a relationship weaker than the first little pig’s straw house. The frailty might be obvious and insurmountable – the straw house had no chance against the wolf’s inexplicably strong lungs – or it might never be realized – like water eroding the earth until the Grand Canyon reaches depths that far exceed its relatively mild epithet would imply.

The beautiful thing about love is that, like faith, it regularly overcomes the cyclopean odds against it and endures the wind and fire and hangry wolves determined to destroy it. We have as much control over whether we love the same or opposite sex as we do whether we love some asshole who tries to get you fired (you know who you are).

I recently became a Catholic. The why and how and whatnot are for another day. For the purposes of this post, most people are aware of the Catholic church’s stance on marriage equality (they are not in favor). What you might not know is that this judgment on marriage validity is not limited to the Adam and Steves of the world. There are some very specific reasons why the church’s stance on gay marriage is what it is – and they are mostly related to the inability to produce biological progeny. I won’t go into them here because you can look it up yourself on this thing called Google (or Bing, if you prefer your search results identical but further apart).

What interested me as I learned the premises on which the case for which marriage inequality was based, I realized my own (extremely hypothetical) marriage would not be recognized as valid by the Catholic church – and many priests would refuse to perform my ceremony.

Why? Because I do not want to have biological children. I will not be having biological children. There was a time in my life when I planned on a Brangelina-style brood of biological and adopted children who represented at least 5 continents. Life, being the great teacher it is, gave many practical arguments in favor of keeping the doors of my egg store closed, not the least of which is serious mental illness (in fact, it’s probably the most). The interaction of medication and hormones and the physical, mental, and emotional stress of pregnancy made it an easy decision – for ME. Please note, people prone to hysteria, that I am not making a statement on whether women with mental illness should have biological children. As always, I do not give a shit what other people think or do, in the same way I don’t give a shit what other people think about what I think or do.

Because of the motley logic leading to my unused uterus, the Catholic church would not consider my marriage valid – or “real,” as one would say in non-Catholic terminology. My imaginary husband could divorce me and get what is essentially a “get out of marriage free” card from the church – an annulment would be a no-brainer. The reason you get married is to have children. Yeah, it’s also to unify with another human being who you will love and honor through sickness and health, wealth and poverty, good times and bad, but the baby-making is still required. It’s not an either/or proposition.

Is it difficult to belong to a religion that can (and would) refuse to acknowledge a lifelong commitment I made to a man who probably will fart under the covers and leave the toilet seat up and forget to buy bourbon when we run out? Sure. There are other tenets of the Catholic church with which I don’t agree, but just like any relationship, I make compromises and I know the commitment I made on April 4, 2015 will be tested like any other eternal promise. I grant the church something that it is sometimes slow to grant to others – flexibility. My faith, like love, will face the obstacles life presents, and against all probability it will prevail.

But here’s the catch – I can still get married legally. I am free to receive all the benefits of marriage – not just the dutch ovens and empty bourbon bottles, but insurance, estate protection, hospital visitation – all the fun, sexy stuff that comes with a government-issued document. This is where my religion breaks my heart – crossing the line between church and state to intervene in what is legally none of its business, but moreover, it opposes the highest and most central of Catholic tenets – human equality, dignity, and love. Losing sight of Catholicism’s strongest belief – love – has resulted in the promotion of well… not love. And that, unlike love, can change. If it could, and if it would, it can change.

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Postscript:

As I completed this post, the shuffled playlist on my iPod played “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons. Not as prophetic as if “Same Love” had come on, but it still seems appropriate.

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Post-postscript:

If you’re wondering if I wrote about gay marriage before, I have, although even I don’t remember writing it. The best thing about a horrible memory is re-reading things like it’s the first time… even when you wrote them. I also remembered my previous blog, which if I was the ambitious sort, I would import into this one or however computers and websites work.

infinite shades of grey

In Communication, News and Politics, Relationships on December 7, 2014 at 4:23 pm

I hate writing about racism. I’m white (with just enough Potawatomi to have some melanin but not nearly enough to get followed around department stores), and it feels inherently dishonest to offer an opinion based on my unavoidable ignorance of the experience. It is like my refusal to see a male gynecologist because their female counterparts immediately have a leg up on you, knowledge-wise (no pun or disturbing mental image intended).

But the problem when the only people who talk about racism are the people who experience it, the audience is limited. The very ears who need to hear about racism are less (albeit increasingly) likely to be near the mouths of those who live it every day. I am certain that I know plenty of white people, probably many I call friends, who never talk to any black people. Not necessarily out of racism; it’s just that the circumstances of their lives rarely cross, because this city is so segregated that you can live your life without ever interacting with a person of color.

That whole bunch of unnecessary chatter is the tl:dr of this sentence: I’m going to write words on this page about racism.

The story of most recently Eric Garner and starting with basically the first black people to set their feet on American soil is beyond heartbreaking. It’s pure horror on the level of the Holocaust. The collateral damage- physically, emotionally, economically, mentally, socially – it throbs through the nation with the subtlety of a migraine. My ancestors came to America from Canada and Finland long after slavery and never ventured south of Michigan, so I even have what so many consider a “Get Out of Guilt” card. (“Well, my ancestors didn’t own your ancestors. They were too busy pickling fish.”) But that non-existent card would still stay in my wallet.

I have no words for the injustice, the violations of Constitutional rights, the incompetent legal and governing systems that have spilled out of Missouri, New York, Ohio, and so many other uncomfortably similar situations erupting across the country. I can’t fathom the loss the families feel — loss of a loved one and loss of hope delivered by weak and insulting responses to life lights snuffed out by hasty gunfire.

What happens when you’ve aligned yourself with one side of an issue, it’s decided that there are only two possible sides. Everyone has to fall into one category. There is no gray. If you are with the victims, you are against the police. If you are with the police, you are against the victims (and I refer to Mr. Brown, Mr. Garner, Mr. Rice, and the hundreds or thousands who have experienced anywhere from mild denigration to the ultimate judgment as victims with careful and deliberate consideration, because their power has been eviscerated).

But what if it’s not that simple? What if you think these actions are heinous but you still want the police to be a positive part of the community. What if you wished that the police officers who say quietly that these incidents are not representations of their service would speak louder? What if we didn’t have to cling to one photo of a white cop hugging a black boy as the sole example of peace and love in a country of turmoil? What if everyone could be not on the side of the cops nor the side of the victims but on the side of both: the side of progress and dialogue and real understanding. The side of seeing the best in people, finding commonalities, expecting goodness and empathy and mercy.

There is no despair like the despair of hopelessness. The vacuum that followed the post-9/11 outpouring of love has left us with a black hole of compassion that, to borrow a pundit cliche, is exactly what the terrorists wanted. The nation intended to be a melting pot is separating itself as oil from water. No one, including me, wants to talk about racism and privilege or face our own preconceived notions about who we are, what we believe, and whether we are willing to admit that we are never as open and kind and tolerant as we imagine ourselves to be.

That is the tl:dr version of: we have to talk to each other.

We have to have every version of “the talk” that is uncomfortable and dreadful and stomach knot-creating with everyone who is different, everyone who is similar, everyone who is a complete unknown, because it’s only by getting to know each other that we stir the oil and water. It’s only by listening that we feel another’s pain. It’s only by speaking that others know our story. It’s only through cooperation that we rebuild what we’ve broken. It’s only through love that anything changes.

I didn’t want to write about racism because I didn’t feel like I was qualified, and I’m still less qualified than if not most, at least many. But there are some jobs with no qualifications and no requirements: listening in the midst of chaos; speaking in the midst of silence; stirring the bubbling pot; writing words on the interwebs (the pay is about the same, too).

Like finger mustache tattoos and washed-silk track suits, even the most ludicrous ideas can catch on and ripple across a nation. A few people talking here and a few people talking there, and eventually there’s an immeasurable shift. Then another minuscule step forward. And like all great progress and social change and revolution, the words will gain momentum until we have no choice but to confront the elephant in the room.

Incidentally, the elephant is grey.

the tax man cometh

In News and Politics on January 21, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Last night, an ice storm hit Cincinnati the likes of which I had never seen. Well, there might have been one or two that were worse. Anyway, that’s how I spent the morning doing my taxes instead of strolling Findlay Market in search of dinner date-worthy meat and veggies.

I think I probably have a completely different mindset about taxes than everyone else in America, so I don’t talk about it much. It seems like people have such a strongly-held belief that taxes are evil and there’s nothing you can do to change it.

I’ve always been a big reader, and in my early teens, I was on a kick of reading biographies of athletes and historical figures, because I’m a big freaking weirdo. One of my favorite stories was that of James Madison and the formation of the U.S. government. It fueled a lifelong interest in government and politics including working for the current Cincinnati mayor’s campaign and actually running for office myself when I was 18. For me, the government has always been a good thing.

It still is. I don’t get mad about paying taxes. Granted, I’m a poor person, so I usually get a federal tax refund. In response to Mitt Romney, I’m totally willing to disclose my federal tax returns. I made about $21k in 2011, paid a bit over $3k in tax, and I’m getting a $1700 return. I paid about 6% of my income in federal tax (all of these numbers are rounded). I guess someone who is paying 33% would be pretty pissed that I’m paying only 6%, but I bet they wouldn’t switch me salaries, either.

Is it an interest-free loan of $1700 to the federal government, which they may have spent on very nice ketchup for the White House kitchen? Yup. But I still think like colonists in that hey, I’m getting taxed, but I’m also getting represented (they had a much catchier phrase). I don’t expect the government to do everything it does for free. I don’t even like a lot of the stuff they do, but I like plenty and I benefit from a lot of it. I’m not here to live in a society without contributing to it, including paying taxes. I guess I could get mad at the people who pay less than me, or the people who are really rich and pay nothing in taxes because they can afford good accountants and lawyers, but I’m not going to make any more money by being worried about their pockets.

I suppose I’d prefer not to pay any taxes, but that’s never been a consideration for me, because I don’t think I’m entitled to getting things for free. Do I wish I could pay less until I earn more? Well, sure. That’s why I vote the way I do. But for some reason, paying taxes isn’t a patriotic thing to do. It’s ironic, since without taxes, we never would have started this country. Religion might be why pilgrims left, but taxation without representation (that’s it! I knew I’d remember) is what spurred sovereignty.

And who knows, maybe that ketchup was used by Seal Team 6 when they visited the White House, in which case, I’d want the best ketchup my tax dollars can buy.

you get what you get and you don’t get upset

In Communication, News and Politics, Relationships, Technology, Work on July 26, 2011 at 12:15 am

The world doesn’t owe you anything.

You don’t deserve anything.

You might spend your whole life doing the best you can and still get dealt a shit hand.

Life, like love, is complicated and unfair and beautiful and horrific. I think a lot of unhappiness is based not on what occurs, but on your expectations. There are books and studies and theories and greeting cards based on the idea that it’s not what happens to you but how you handle it. Why wait? Why not start with, I’m not going to say lowered expectations, but a lack of entitlement.

Nothing is more 21st century American than feeling owed. People are mad that their iPhone doesn’t get service in such-and-such neighborhood. They can’t stand the injustice of inconvenient parking. White liberals in America love nothing more than feeling discriminated against. They will concoct reasons that their lives are hard. They are vegan. They are atheists. They eschew professional career paths. They live in “up-and-coming” neighborhoods.

I’m cynical, but I’m not pessimistic. In another post, I’ll tell you how my cynicism and optimism coexist peacefully (and optimally). But all you need to know for now is that, yeah, life can totally suck. But the resilience of the human spirit is what makes it all worth it.

what the world needs now is love

In Communication, News and Politics, Relationships on June 26, 2011 at 9:33 pm

The vote on gay marriage in New York has me thinking how totally fucking ridiculous it is that there there has to be a law specifically stating that gay people can get married. Here’s the gist: PEOPLE WERE STOPPING PEOPLE FROM GETTING MARRIED JUST BECAUSE THEY WERE THE SAME SEX.

It’s embarrassing that people didn’t realize that this was probably all based as much on their Christian values as their laziness to not change the first license forms they made up. So few people are even willing to engage in monogamy, I can’t see the point in stopping the people who really want to do it. These folks are just trying to tell the world they plan to try to avoid fucking other people for at least a few years, and the government cares enough to stop them?

People get married for all sorts of reason, some of them more logical than others, but almost all of them are legal. You can marry for money, or health insurance. You can marry for prestige. You can marry for companionship. You can marry for a big ol’ fancy wedding. You can marry for security, and you can marry for control. You can even marry for love, should you be so crazy. But you can’t marry for any of those reasons if you’re gay?

It’s not that you’re banning gay marriage. It’s that you’re banning  gay people from getting married. Whatever your problem with homosexuality is, it’s not going to go away with any amount of legislation. Love will always find a way, and it could care less about what your rules have to say about it. The bans on gay marriage have done nothing but waste a bunch of time that could have been spent creating jobs or limiting pollution or just minding your own fucking business.

women aren’t better than men

In News and Politics, Relationships, Science on May 2, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I’m sorry. It’s true. While there are ways in which women should be nurtured and cared for, they aren’t better people. So when I heard that the woman who had been killed in the bin Laden raid had been used as a human shield, I still couldn’t feel sorry for her. For one thing, this raid proved that bin Laden was a coward. He was hiding and when shit got real, he would still rather sacrifice another human’s life instead of his own, including a nearby woman.

But I’m glad those soldiers still killed her. Listen, it pains me to know that I’m not repulsed by their deaths. I am opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances. But when you pick on my friends and family (or my country), I get defensive and I would personally totally fuck you up. Because my friends and family (and country) aren’t perfect, but they’re mine and they are still pretty awesome and no worse than your folks. It didn’t bother me that there was collateral damage, including a woman. Being a woman doesn’t make you innocent. When you’re fucking with bin Laden, you can’t think your shit is safe. You know there’s a good chance you’re going to die for this man. What I’m saying is that it’s a calculated risk.

Women and children first. I don’t get it. Trust me, I’d love to because I’m a woman and therefore my ass sits on the boat’s first seat. But men are important and valid and while I still expect him to take care of me, I wouldn’t be Rose making Jack stay in the water while I stretched out on a raft. (That’s a Titanic reference for anyone under the age of 26). Let’s really embrace feminism and say that a woman’s life isn’t worth less or more than a man’s. If killing that woman meant killing bin Laden, it’s okay by me. I shudder inside at knowing I’m capable of that sort of vengeance, but I’m not going to deny it, either. But I know that people are going to have to say that it’s worse to kill a woman. It’s not. It’s not worse to kill a child, or to kill an old person. It’s a human life of value. I know it’s a radical idea, but when it comes right down to it, there’s no difference between me and Donald Trump. Shudder.

the battle of the sexes

In Communication, News and Politics, Relationships, Science on April 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

In the battle of the sexes, men are the superpower. They are the United States, or the USSR, or China. They have the resources. They have the inherent advantages of size and strength and speed. They get to go around doing pretty much whatever they want without regard to the collateral damage.

Women are Afghanistan. We seem like we’re weak. We seem to lack resources. We seem like we can’t fend for ourselves and we’re kind of bat-shit crazy. Everyone wants to take care of us. We are, in short, a mess.

But we can’t be beaten. Even Alexander the Great, who suppressed enough of his sexual urges to take over half the planet, still couldn’t conquer Afganistan. Do you think if he had a Josephine he wouldn’t have ended up with a Waterloo? Give me a break. Men have power, but the real super power belongs to women. And it’s in our pants.

My favorite comedian, Louis CK, has said that the most amazing thing about women is that we can decide to not have sex. Right in the middle, we can just decide not to do it anymore, and we can stop. Men don’t have this luxury, and therefore are required to do our bidding once the plateau has been crossed. I have no problem when a man thinks of me as a sex object. While he is thinking with his dick, I’m thinking with my brain and all of a sudden, he’s helping me move that weekend. There is a power in sexuality and to pretend there isn’t is as much a feminist manifesto as making sandwiches in the nude.

Men are awesome, women are awesome. Relationships are awesome. Love is a beautiful, genius thing. But like many things of beauty and genius, it’s fucking crazy.

against my better judgment

In News and Politics on April 20, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Sometimes I hesitate to write about something because I don’t want to incite a comment war on here. Then I realized I hardly ever have comments anyway and there’s probably about 5 people who read this. Therefore, let’s talk about race (not the running kind).

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a white chick. I grew up in Detroit (and I mean Detroit, not Bloomfield Hills– I saw my first coke deal at age 7), so I have a little bit of street cred. I feel like I have a pretty decent handle on a lot of aspects of black culture (except for Tyler Perry movies. I will never understand them). I have been told by many of my black friends that I’m the blackest white girl they know, and I think that’s only minimally based on my redonkulous booty. I’m not going to ever say I know what it’s like to be black. There is something about living experiences for yourself that you can’t replicate. I am a chick, so I do get to have some experience with sexism, but still.

I think the most disturbing thing about racism is that there are still people who don’t think it exists. When I joke that I can drive faster and more erratically than a black man, there is truth in the jest. It’s disturbing how much racism is underlying some people’s criticism of the President. I won’t name names or groups, but there seems to be an attempt to paint the President as an angry black man- someone to fear. Underlying the declarations of socialism is some subliminal fear that slavery is going to come back to bite us in the butt and the President is going to orchestrate it. People refuse to believe that he can hold loyalty to the American people, regardless of their race, sex, or socio-economic status. People try to create anger that isn’t there. They try to create ulterior motives that aren’t there.

Racism is alive and well in America, and it’s even more dangerous because it’s simmering under the surface. When it’s overt, you have to address it. As it stands, it is easy to ignore. Guerilla tactics tend to be the most effective, and the men who create wars know that.