Friday, September 29, 2006

Quote of the day: 9/29/06



If heaven have any grievous plague in store
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe,
And then hurl down their indignation
On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace!
The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul!
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou livest,
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends!
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
Unless it be whilst some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that wast seal'd in thy nativity
The slave of nature and the son of hell!
Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb!
Thou loathed issue of thy father's loins!
Thou rag of honour! thou detested--




I call thee not.





O, let me make the period to my curse!...





...vain flourish of my fortune!




Why strew'st thou sugar on that bottled spider,
Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
Fool, fool! thou whet'st a knife to kill thyself.
The time will come when thou shalt wish for me
To help thee curse that poisonous bunchback'd toad...



--Queen Margaret, "Richard III," Act I scene iii

I do not consent

Excellent post from Chris Clarke.


Forty years ago, one of my late neighbors involved in a very similar Free Speech fight stood on the steps of Sproul Hall, UC Berkeley’s administration building, and told an assembled crowd:

There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part, you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

For all its manifold faults, for all its history steeped in racism and genocide, for all its wars of empire and Know-Nothing heritage, this country was manifestly founded on the notion that a just government bases its authority in the consent of the governed. Now the Bush administration has declared that the interests of this country are coincident with, and limited to, the short-term interests of the administration and its corporate backers, and the most basic, most essential Constitutional rights of the citizenry be damned, not by the odious exceptionalism of privilege that marred this country’s history, but across the board. All of us are three-fifths of a person now, granted the privilege of full protection only if we do nothing that requires protection, unless we are unlucky enough to be falsely accused. And I withdraw my consent.

I withdraw my consent. I am no one: a cog in the machine Mario Savio described. I am a man who would rather tell jokes than argue politics, would rather hike than march. But I have fought, over the course of my life, when the operation of the machine deprives me of the privilege of self-absorption. I have worked the past 14 years to educate, to inflame the public so that they might oppose environmental destruction done to enrich those who run the administration. I have worked the last three decades, if sporadically and without much consequence, to oppose the use of violence in the service of politics — any politics.

The Bush administration claims that all those who oppose it, though they think themselves loyal citizens sworn to defend the US Constitution, are enemies. I have opposed the Bush administration since before it began. The conclusion is a simple matter of logic.

I am an enemy combatant.

I am an enemy combatant, and I admit it freely and without reservation. You who reserve the right to climb up on that soapbox to say things unflattering to those in power: enemy combatants all.

ahem.

aaaauuuuuuuuuuggggggghhhhhhh.

aaaaUUUUUUGGGhhhhh.

AUGH.

AGGHH!!!!

*koff*

aaaaaagggggghhhhh. aaaahahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. aaaaAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!



*hork,* *spit*




motherfucking


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!




AAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!


FUCK!! FUCK!! FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!


assramming shiteating goddam motherfucking gobshite piece of shit cockgobbling cuntstain ratfuck tamponsuck goddam FUCK oh oh oh oh oh ooohhhHHHHHH AHAAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!



EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGGrrrrgghhhhhhhhh

whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine

(pant, pant)



fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucking hell. fuucccccckkkkkkkinnnnnnnnnnnng hellllll.

FUCK.

fuck.

goddam.

mother.

fuck

.

*sob*

i am terrified and upset and i hate everything right now and it's the end of the goddam world as we know it AGAIN and i am getting my goddam period AGAIN and some things come in cycles but if you don't know when one will end that doesn't help

fuck it.

i can't go on i'll go on




**sigh**

U.S. to citizens, world: We can throw you in jail indefinitely with no trial. Yes, you, too. Democrats: Send us more money.

This is just fascinating. So I just finish reading about how essentially the rolling over and passing of this latest abomination means, well, ahhhhhhhhh.

Just go read Glenn Greenwald. Try not to stick your head in the oven.

Opponents of this bill have focused most of their attention -- understandably and appropriately -- on the way in which it authorizes the use of interrogation techniques which, as this excellent NYT Editorial put it, "normal people consider torture," along with the power it vests in the President to detain indefinitely, and with no need to bring charges, all foreign nationals and even legal resident aliens within the U.S. But as Law Professors Marty Lederman and Bruce Ackerman each point out, many of the extraordinary powers vested in the President by this bill also apply to U.S. citizens, on U.S. soil.

As Ackerman put it: "The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights." Similarly, Lederman explains: "this [subsection (ii) of the definition of 'unlawful enemy combatant'] means that if the Pentagon says you're an unlawful enemy combatant -- using whatever criteria they wish -- then as far as Congress, and U.S. law, is concerned, you are one, whether or not you have had any connection to 'hostilities' at all."

This last point means that even if there were a habeas corpus right inserted back into the legislation (which is unlikely at this point anyway**), it wouldn't matter much, if at all, because the law would authorize your detention simply based on the DoD's decree that you are an enemy combatant, regardless of whether it was accurate. This is basically the legalization of the Jose Padilla treatment -- empowering the President to throw people into black holes with little or no recourse, based solely on his say-so.

There really is no other way to put it. Issues of torture to the side (a grotesque qualification, I know), we are legalizing tyranny in the United States. Period. Primary responsibility for this fact lies with the authoritarian Bush administration and its sickeningly submissive loyalists in Congress. That is true enough. But there is no point in trying to obscure the fact that it's happening with the cowardly collusion of the Senate Democratic leadership, which quite likely could have stopped this travesty via filibuster if it chose to (it certainly could have tried).


** that amendment failed. as did all of them. no habeus corpus.

Greenwald continues:

Thomas Jefferson, in his letter to Thomas Paine, 1789. ME 7:408, Papers 15:269, said: "I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution." And Patrick Henry warned us well in advance about Government officials who would seek to claim the right to imprison people without a trial:

Is the relinquishment of the trial by jury and the liberty of the press necessary for your liberty? Will the abandonment of your most sacred rights tend to the security of your liberty? Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings--give us that precious jewel, and you may take everything else! ...Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.

In one sense, these observations are compelling because they define the core of what our country is supposed to be. But in another sense, they don't matter, because our Government is controlled by people and their followers who literally don't understand and, worse, simply do not believe in the defining values and principles of America. They know that this bill is a seizure of the most un-American powers imaginable, but their allegiance is to the acquisition of unlimited power and nothing else.

It was taken as an article of faith by Beltway Democrats that Americans want to relinquish these protections and radically change our system of government in the name of terrorism, so no political figures of national significance really tried to convince them they ought not to. We'll never really know whether Americans really wanted to do this or not because the debate was never engaged. It was ceded.

And as a result, we are now about to vest in the President the power to order anyone -- U.S. citizen, resident alien or foreign national -- detained indefinitely in a military prison regardless of where they are -- U.S. soil or outside of the country. American detainees are cut off from any meaningful judicial review and everyone else is cut off completely. They can be subject to torture with no recourse, and all of this happens on the unchecked say-so of the administration. Really, what could be more significant than this?



****

Well, apparently, getting people with a "D" after their name in seats; as of just now my email contained about half a dozen of the same goddam "we're almost there, we just need more cash" chirps from Kerry and Reid and fuckall knows who else.

Terrific.

And yet, says Greenwald, goddamit, even now, it matters, yes. Although he is under no illusions about the D's (12 of the Senate Dems, please note, voted FOR this bill), even so:

For all their imperfections, cowardly acts, strategically stupid decisions, and inexcusable acquiescence -- and that list is depressingly long -- it is still the case that Democrats voted overwhelmingly against this torture and detention atrocity. The vote total on yesterday's House vote on Heather Wilson's bill to legalize warrantless eavesdropping reflects the same dynamic: "On the final wiretapping vote, 18 Democrats joined 214 Republicans to win passage. Thirteen Republicans, 177 Democrats and one independent voted nay." And, if nothing else, Democrats are resentful and angry at how they have been treated and that alone will fuel some serious and much-needed retribution if they gain control over one or both houses.

By reprehensible contrast, the Republican Party is one that marches in virtually absolute lockstep in support of the President's wishes, particularly in the areas of terrorism and national security. It was a truly nauseating spectacle to watch each and every one of them (other than Chafee) not only vest these extraordinary powers in the President by voting in unison for this bill, but beyond that, blindly oppose every single amendment offered by Democrats -- including ones designed to do nothing other than ensure some minimal Congressional oversight over these extraordinary new presidential powers. It was like watching mindless zombies obediently marching wherever they were told to march. That has been how our country has been ruled for the last five years and, unless there is a Democratic victory, we will have more of that, and worse, over the next two years.

There is one other consideration which, by itself, ought to be determinative. The only branch of government that has shown any residual willingness to defend the Constitution and the rule of law is the judicial branch. But critical Supreme Court decisions such as Hamdan -- which at least affirmed the most minimal and basic constitutional protections -- depend upon the most precarious 5-4 split among the Justices. One of the five pro-Constitution Justices, John Paul Stevens, is 86 years old. If George Bush has free reign to replace Stevens, it will mean that the Supreme Court will be composed of a very young five-Justice majority of absolute worshippers of Executive Power -- Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, Alito and New Justice -- which will control the Court and endorse unlimited executive abuses for decades to come.

In a GOP-controlled Senate, Democrats cannot stop a Supreme Court nominee by filibuster anymore because Republicans will break the rules by declaring the filibuster invalid. The only hope for stopping a full-fledged takeover of the Supreme Court is a Democratic-controlled Senate.

Continued unchallenged Republican control of our government for two more years will wreak untold damage on our country, perhaps debilitating it past the point of no return. There is only one viable, realistic alternative to that scenario: a Democratic takeover in six weeks of one or both houses of Congress. Even that would be far from a magic bullet; the limits imposed by Democrats even when they are in the majority would be incremental and painfully modest. But the reality is that this is the only way available for there to be any limits and checks at all.

In the real world, one has to either choose between two more years of uncontrolled Republican rule, or imposing some balance -- even just logjam -- on our Government with a Democratic victory. Or one can decide that it just doesn't matter either way because one has given up on defending the principles and values of our country. But, for better or worse, those are the only real options available, and wishing there were other options doesn't mean that there are any. And there are only six weeks left to choose the option you think is best and to do what you can to bring it to fruition.


And ends on a note of infinitesimal hope:

And I think there is one other point that needs to be recognized about yesterday's vote: In 2002, virtually all of the Democratic Presidential hopefuls in Congress (Kerry, Edwards, Gephardt, Graham) voted for the Iraq war resolution, because they thought they had to be accommodationist in order to have a chance to win.

But this time, all of the Democratic Presidential hopefuls in Congress (Biden, Clinton, Feingold, Kerry) voted against this bill, because now they know that they can't be accommodationist if they want to win the nomination. Call that the Joe Lieberman Lesson. That is genuine progress, no matter how you slice it. Is it glorious, tearing-down-the-gate-with-fists-in-the-air Immediate Revolution? No. But it's undeniable incremental progress nonetheless.



****

So that's swell. And there's no doubt that I'm going to be voting, or who I'm voting for.

But you know: this time two years ago I was sending money (that i really wish i had now) to various campaigns, phone banking, and so on.

I still feel sick when I remember the night of the '04 election. And I feel sick now. And how many other times these past few years have i had that plunge in the guts? Who's with me here?

And you know what: it's like this. I think GG is probably right on this. It's the same damn line i said in '04 and '02. Last chance last chance last chance. I suer as shit don't feel like making some halfassed gesture on behalf of a "third party" that's fifty times MORE ineffectual and lameass and unlikely to win than the Democrats.

But I...

Maybe I should save my money, you know, for the flight in the middle of the night and the expatriation. I bet that sort of shit doesn't come cheap.

Unlike some people.

oh FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK

Revamped the blogroll

Some cleanup, some new links, but mostly just a whole bunch of new categories and rearranging. If you're in there and have strong objections to where you ended up, lemme know & I will change. just trying to get organized (ha). will probably keep tweaking as the week goes by.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Quote of the day

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

--Ecclesiastes 9:11

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

On second thought, maybe Cthulhu would be better at this "democracy" thing


Fucking hell.

WASHINGTON - The House approved legislation Wednesday giving the Bush administration authority to interrogate and prosecute terrorism detainees, moving President Bush to the edge of a pre-election victory with a key piece of his anti-terror plan.



The mostly party-line 253-168 vote in the Republican-run House came shortly after senators agreed to limit debate on their own nearly identical bill, all but assuring its passage on Thursday.

Republican leaders are hoping to work out differences and send Bush a final version before leaving town this weekend to campaign for the Nov. 7 congressional elections.

For nearly two weeks the GOP have been embarrassed as the White House and rebellious Republican senators have fought publicly over whether Bush's plan would give him too much authority. But they struck a compromise last Thursday, and Republicans are hoping approval will bolster their effort to cast themselves as strong on national security, a marquee issue this election year.

House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, all but dared Democrats to vote against the legislation.

"Will my Democrat friends work with Republicans to give the president the tools he needs to continue to stop terrorist attacks before they happen, or will they vote to force him to fight the terrorists with one arm tied behind his back?" he asked just before members cast their ballots...

With elections just weeks away, the debate over the legal handling of terrorists was often partisan with some Democrats contending the bill would approve torture.

"All Americans want to hold terrorists accountable, but if we try to redefine the nature of torture, whisk people into secret detention facilities and use secret evidence to convict them in special courts, our actions do in fact embolden our enemies," said Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va.

Others vehemently opposed language that would give the president wide latitude to interpret international standards of prisoner treatment and bar detainees from going to federal court to protest their treatment and detention under the right of habeas corpus. Supporters of the bill have said eliminating habeas corpus was intended to keep detainees from flooding federal courts with appeals.




Pathetic. The lot. Absolutely fucking pathetic. Yay! Yay! Let's give Fearless Leader MORE POWER to decide what is and isn't torture, because he knows so much better than the entire fucking rest of the so-called civilized world. Keep us safer. because he's done such a fucking swell job thus far; clearly, what we need is MORE TORTURE.

The Russians Are Coming! The Giant Robot Elder God Army is Coming!

Vladimir "Soulful Gaze" Putin Weighs In on Robots, Sex, [and giant Lovecraftian Horrors, not necessarily in that order]

“Yes, we will use the latest technical devices. Already now they are being stationed, for example, in the southern parts of our country,” Putin said when reporters asked him after the conference whether Russia planned to use “gigantic, humanoid war robots” to defend itself.




Asked to elaborate about what he meant, Putin said: “These are unmanned aerial vehicles. And maybe the time will come for gigantic robots. However, so far we have put our main hope on people — namely border guards,” Putin said, Kommersant reported.

Asked about the possible awakening of the giant mythical octopus Cthulhu, the fourth-most popular question among the more than 150,000 sent to Putin, he said that he believed something more serious was behind the question.


He's right, you know.

Thanks to a fool in the forest for the link.

How thoughtful

Via Depressed Single Mother, a heartwarming story of "charity" gone horribly, horribly wrong:

"Tarantulas flee charity store"

(and no, i am not posting the picture for this or that for the following link because AAAGGHHHH go see for yourself).

Two giant spiders, believed to be pet tarantulas, are on the loose after escaping from a glass tank which was given to a Worcestershire charity shop.

The palm-sized spiders, which are not thought to be venomous but may inflict a painful bite, went missing from the British Heart Foundation in Redditch.

The creatures and their tank were among nearly 100 bags which were given to the shop in Market Place on Friday.

The shop manager said people need to be aware not to put spiders in bags.

Pauline Thorne, the manager of the charity shop, said: "We are extremely grateful for the support and donations we receive.

"But people need to be aware not to put things like this into the charity bags which are handled by our helpers."


Call me a cynic, but somehow i am not thinking that whoever the assclown in question was did have good intentions here.

Then again, some people, really, really do lurve their GIANT SPIDERS:

from about a month and a half ago,

Britain's Biggest Spider Dies


A spider which was thought to be the biggest in captivity in the UK has died at the age of 20.

Lucretia, a goliath birdeater tarantula, had been the star attraction at Stratford Butterfly Farm in Warwickshire until her recent demise.

She was 10in in diameter, about the size of a dinner plate...


Strangely enough, the response to this has not in fact been hoarse cries of relief and pitchforks and torches finally dropped from exhausted, trembling hands; but rather, mourning, andbut, luckily we still have this other GIANT SPIDER THAT EATS MAMMALS AND FROGS that will eventually reach this size, to wit, the size of a DINNER PLATE.

yes, i am prejudiced, i expect. go tell it to the Arachnid Anti-Defamation League, and lemme 'lone.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A little too depressing to be funny, somehow.


Or maybe it's just me. Hell, good ol' Paul Cameron, always good for a laugh. Anyway: the latest Daily Show clip starring Paul "Anal Probing Gay Aliens Are Coming To Take My I Mean Your Precious Bodily Fluids" Cameron: Jason Jones & the Gay Translator.

thanks to brownfemipower for the link.

Monday, September 25, 2006

"Ain't got a grill, but I still wear braces."


Weird Al wants to roll with the gangstas, but gee whillikers, he is just too darned White and Nerdy.


My rims don't spin, to the con-trary,
I think you'll find they're quite stationary
All my action figures are cherry
Stephen Hawking in my library...



Makes a nice companion piece to "Angry White Boy Polka,...um, yo. Word. Groovy! DY-NO-MITE!

Thanks to zuky for the link.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Wo, Bill!

Goddam. Did he ever kick this much ass when he was in office? I don't think i recall ever seeing him quite this pissed. In a good way, i mean. Please, sir(s), can we have some more??


*******

"Do you think you did enough [to capture Bin Laden], sir?"

"No"

[overlap] "Right."

"But at least I tried. That's the difference btween me and some. Including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying; they had eight months to try; they did not try. I. tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terrorist strategy, and the best guy in the country, Dick Clark--who got demoted. So, you did Fox's bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. What I want to know...How many people in the Bush administration did you ask this question of?"


more here

Saturday, September 23, 2006

And now, a matter of utmost urgency:


Cottage cheese.

What is up with this "smooth and creamy" bullshit? Listen, if I wanted "smooth and creamy" I'd've gotten bloody cream cheese. It's called CURDS AND WHEY for a REASON, people; and no, I do not want any of that low-fat crap either. 4%. Small curd. NOT smooth. CURDS. is it SO much to ask? i am a woman of simple needs, simple, I tell you.

**UPDATE!!**

And! AND!! AND ANOTHER THING. I have been watching Carnivale on DVD. I have no cable. I have, I say, been watching Carnivale, I am midway through Season Two, and just as I am getting -thoroughly- hooked i find out that the series has been CANCELLED. -Cancelled.-

Why, God? and why am i always the last to know these things?

I have no cable, and i must scream

Oh Jesus fuck. Fuck -off.-

...Via brownfemipower, apparently T-Rex of firedoglake (he of the becoming-infamous "stop assailing your betters, [uppity WOC]") is determined to keep on digging till he breaks on through to the other side. not that China is likely to give him a much warmer reception than he's been getting over here, if he keeps talking like this:

Oh, and of course, I’m gay, but I guess in Liza’s world, the queers don’t count as a minority, cos (BECAUSE) I could swear I saw a couple of them at lunch with President Clinton. Or maybe the fact of my homosexuality is outweighed by my white-man-ism. (Or would that be my white-man-hood?) But hey, Pach is gay and Latino, so he gets double points on the aggrieved minority scale. He’s got my back.


Well, T-Rex. Since we are now playing Oppression Queen For A Day: I am queer AND female AND Jewish AND I have an extra head; therefore, I am senior to both of you (as well as an ice-cream salesperson). And as such, I have the authority to tell you: you're being a GIANT asshat.

Oh, wait; actually, I think I'd pretty much think so anyway.

And Liza's spelling and grammar look just fine to me; and exqueeze me, but who told you your own prose is so very sparkling? Oh, maybe I did, once upon a time. Well at any rate I used to think that you were, you know, not quite so much of an asshole. Too bad.

That Clinton luncheon was problematic for being ALL-WHITE. It's not a damn either-or: yeah, they ALSO need more diversity in sexual orientation. So the fuck what? It's bloody Harlem; all-white bloggers. Whining defensively about how very very well-meaning you are and how all those disgruntled meanie meanerton POC are just jealous ANYWAY does not change shit about the results. Just. accept it. and. do. better. next time.

And, AND, people writing at your fairly newly adopted site/friends/patron have been, yes, racist. Several times, now. Full stop. Liza called y'all out. She's not the only one. Deal with it, Mary.

update: and yet more, this one dated only three days ago, not six, so i don't even have to feel vaguely uneasy that i might be addressing old news and he's actually in the interim gone "my god, i'm sorry, what was i thinking, i'll never mix cough syrup and Clorox again:"

UPDATE 2: Due to widespread misinterpretation, the word “betters” has been struck from this post and replaced with something that more accurately conveys my authorial intent. Please. Stop. Whining.

What a coincidence! Here i just was saying the -same damn thing.-

"Transformative politics."

Kevin over at Slant Truth has been writing this amazing series of posts. You should really check them out.

Here, here, here, and here.

If you're there for the first time, grab a cuppa coffee and check out some of the other posts, and some of the links in the 'roll as well.

(KAE, if you read this, I can't seem to find your first post on this, if there is one--the "beginning" one reads like the, well, beginning, but the url says "2,"--is it called something else?)

Friday, September 22, 2006

"Class(y)"

Just one more take on the whole Ann "BREASTS!! BREASTS!!!!ZOMG BREASTS!!!" Althouse thing, because it is a slightly different angle. It's one that kind of understandably got missed due to the, well, see above wrt BREASTS!!!1ONE!ELEVEN!!!1 business.

Actually, I think I'll be covering quite a bit of ground here; hopefully you'll see how it comes together by the end of it.

I'm going to start this with a comment taken from Bitch PhD.'s wonderfully acidulous take on the whole matter:

Commenter:

How about this: they are both wrong. Althouse's commments are disgusting and inappropriate but Jessica is old enough to know that when you have lunch with the former POTUS, one should wear a dress or a jacket.

Oh, and isn't it Laura Ingraham or Anne Coulter who now has a career because one or the other wore a leopard print miniskirt for a photo shoot on new Republicans in the NYT several years ago?


As it happens, I agree completely with Bitch's response to this:

Um, excuse me, a dress or a jacket? What-the-fuck-ever. NONE of the non-Clinton people in that photo are, in my humble fucking opinion, dressed especially well. This is probably because none of them are as rich as Bill Clinton.

Also, last I checked this country was a fucking democracy, and the president or ex-president of the nation was not a king for whom one is expected to dress as if appearing at court. These folks were at a working lunch. Far as I can see, they're all wearing appropriate work clothes for same.



Wacky notion, right? Not everyone can afford to dress themselves in head-to-toe Prada? We don't live in an aristocracy (supposedly), that would have been sort of the whole point of this whole United States project?

O, but, well, one can still wear a JACKET, can't one? At least cover up one's more prominent naughty bits (back to the boobies, sigh) and shockingly bare arms. Respect! Respect for the ex-President!

Well, a couple of things about that bit before we move on:

1) Not that I think the above-cited commenter is among these people, but just an awful lot of those who voiced similar sentiments at Ann Twerp's and similar sites were the exact same folks who make it abundantly clear that they have NO respect for this particular ex-President; were, in fact, among those who fervently wanted his pervy, lyin' ass tossed from that hallowed Office. Oh, and that a real feminist (sorry, I can't type this in this context without cracking helplessly the fuck up) wouldn't dream of being seen with the likes of That Man. So, which is it? Not enough respect? Or too much?

2) BC himself, of course, unlike the current "Grownups Are Back In Charge" Commander, never did put much stock in the wear-a-suit-and-tie thing, especially. He's always been a shirtsleeves kind of guy...

and, o. Well. That does tend to segue rather directly into my next point:

Clinton himself. Not Classy. Point of fact, he is and always will be to a lot of...minds, the charming moniker known as White Trash.

What's that you say? Snobbery against the white folks who are poor-to-blue-collar, not-formally-educated, Southern (especially, not exclusively) and/or rural (ditto) is mainly a liberal cultural elite thing? Well, I won't deny that this and other snobberies/bigotries are alive and well among the loosely-defined left. Matter of fact, I'm going to get back to the "other" eventually here. But for anyone tuning in who's still possessed of the belief that the Republicans, whatever else about them, are more in touch with the salt-of-the-earth, just-folks people (hey, would Rush Limbaugh have had the degree of success he did if he couldn't give that impression?), I give you, just for a taste: White Trash Wednesdays, a lighthearted little game participated in by (apparently) some of our current RW leading lights (or maybe mid-level lights, I'm not that au courant) in the blog O'Sphere.

Or, well, I don't know: apparently there are folks, and then there are folks. Something. It's just lovely, whatever it is. Only meant with the best of gentle affectionate intentions, I am sure. Or, you know, irony: the all-purpose ass-cover. No doubt.

But what does this have to do with the luncheon in question, I hear you ask? Surely no one is suggesting that Jessica or any of the other bloggers are white trash.

Well, no. Not that. Obviously.

Let me come at that one in a slightly oblique way. Let's go back to the Ur-Scandal here: Monica Monica Monica Monica Monica Monica.

If I weren't a feminist, I guess I'd call her a pathetic little slut.


Lewinsky -- coiffed, painted, coached and at times poised -- tried to present herself as the girl next door. Only if the house next door is a bordello.



Let's see, what would we normally call a woman so slovenly, so avaricious, so promiscuous........Ah yes, a slut - that's what we would call her. Do we have sluts anymore?...The Lewinskys are indeed one strange family. Shamelessness, or is it vulgarity, seem to grow on the family tree.


Clinton was in the Oval Office fiddling with his "Jew's harp," while Hillary burned.

..oh. ah. That last one.

Well, all in good time.

First the really important question: "Do we have sluts anymore?"

Well, apparently there's a pressing need for them. It's true that cutesy terms like "sexbots" and hinting around like "trashy" and "not classy" don't quite cut it. It is certainly a word with a fine and venerable history, is "slut:"

Although the ultimate origin of "slut" is unknown, it first appeared in Middle English (1402) as slutte (AHD), with the meaning "a dirty, untidy, or slovenly woman." Even earlier, Chaucer used the word "sluttish" (c.1386) to describe a slovenly man; however, later uses appear almost exclusively associated with women. The modern sense of "a sexually promiscuous woman" dates to at least 1450;

Another early meaning was "kitchen maid or drudge" (c. 1450), a meaning retained as late as the 18th century, when hard knots of dough found in bread were referred to as "slut's pennies." A notable example of this use is Samuel Pepys's diary description of his servant girl as "an admirable slut" who "pleases us mightily, doing more service than both the others and deserves wages better"


In other words: low-class. Quite literally. She serves a lot of purposes, doesn't she. Good help: so hard to find these days. Yes, of course she spends all day cleaning up our shit; but dammit, does she have to look so, well, dirty? Ew. Icky. Gross. O well then: she must prefer it down there. Down in the cinders. Down in the gutter. Down doing all the dirty work. Which, let us not forget, also includes those particular vulgar sexual acts, the ones no lady would ever perform (which is why the menfolk often have to go see those other women, the...ladies of the evening, on the down low). Including, but not limited to, blowjobs. Yup, even still. Certainly the memory of oral sex as taboo, even illegal, is still quite fresh in our collective psyche, even if individually we may not quite clock this:

A common misperception is that oral sex is still nominally illegal in some states in the U.S. However, in the U.S. Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas (2003), Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, struck down all anti-sodomy laws in the United States, declaring that such laws violated the liberty phrase of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

There, you see? We are a modern, enlightened society, the You Ess of Ay. We've struck down all such antiquated laws. Three whole years ago.

But so, what happens when there is both a need for a "slut" and a vast overwhelming contempt for both her and the services she performs*? No one can stand the designated human toilet; and yet, what would we do without her?

(*Prostitution in towns is like the sewer in a palace; take away the sewers and the palace becomes an impure and stinking place."
- Saint Thomas Aquinas)

Why, you give the job to the women who don't count...as much. The next rung down the ladder, as 'twere. Historically speaking. Currently it is officially ever-so-slightly more fashionable to tag the "white trash" among us as safe bearers of this role. Anna Nicole. Jenna Jameson. Britney. Even good ol' Paris Hilton, vexing everyone with her inexplicable "trashiness" despite her fine background. Well, we can all breathe easier now: all these women are now wealthy, and therefore it is more than acceptable to stick 'em in the "trash" slot, if any of us were feeling just a tad guilty about making fun of the women who look/act like this and aren't rich. I mean, look at them! Especially the first three: they have no self-control whatsoever. Slovenly. Loud. And: FAT. oh, could I ever do a whole post on the connection between "too much womanly flesh" and class! Between FAT and class! And if it's not fat per se, it's "baby got back" and BIG TITTIES. You begin to see some of the connections here, perhaps.

But, and perhaps this is what is sticking in a lot of peoples' craw, ultimately: these days, call it "raunch culture" or "political correctness" or what you will, the lines are, on the surface at least, a bit more blurred. Where are the sluts of yesteryear? Goddamit. Why can't they know their place? They're making more money in a day than I ever will in a lifetime! And now suddenly I'm expected to look and act like that, now it's GOOD I guess to be all painted and blow-job-giving, even if I don't want to, don't I already have enough troubles surviving as a woman in this pig-dog sexist culture? Where is the justice?!

But, but, but. Point. The other thing about the sluts of yesteryear...yesterday...yesterhour...is that (more) traditionally, they are not blonde. They are brunette. They are, in fact...dark. Like Monica. Like Jessica.

I don't even have time to get into the real end point of that particular equation except maybe tangentially, at the end of this post: I will save that for my continuing coverage of the Angela West book "Deadly Innocence," specifically the part wherein she talks rather smartly about how one of the main reasons black feminists have tended to look at white feminists pleas for sisterly unity with a rather jaundiced eye is in fact because traditionally they have been rather emphatically shoved into the "slut" role. If that isn't too mild a word for "slaves," of course; but even after slavery officially ended, why: yes indeed, Brown Sugar, and good help, and and and, well, more on that later, I think.

But there are layers and layers here; and somewhere between the white lady of the manor and the chattel, there have been these other folks, who are also considered white...now. They weren't always, however. The Italians. The Irish. And oh yes. the Jews. All part of our colorful American melting pot history, yesyesyes; and by God, we're all melted now, aren't we? Sure we are. Especially the folks whose ancestors were from Europe; hey, they worked hard and got ahead, and we all admire that, right? Hard work, getting ahead: would never dream of calling such things "climbing," and if some of "those people" are, well, vulgar...well, you know, vulgar: loud, obnoxious, grasping. No class. But damn, that's got nothing to do with...what century do you think this is, anyway?

And so, coming back to here and now and the Clinton luncheon, here I will post this one comment I found over at Miz Twerp's, because I really found it rather, well, extraordinary:

" her blog uses sexuality for promotional purposes."---Althouse

***

(commenter response to AA starts)

Yes, but it's a certain kind of sexuality.

I've looked at her Flickr photos....hers is a a kind of wholesome--

nice-Jewish-girl-ethnic-Brunette-who-just-happens-to-have-breasts...

---sort of a look.

She has pictures of her cherub father interspliced between semi-wholesome, yet all-knowing, shots of her emphasizing breasts.

Women know how NOT to expose body parts. I don't care if you are a 44 DD, there's a certain style of dressing, and body language, whereby you can turn it completely off.

Jessica hides behind this veil of the good-Jewish-wholesome-Italian-Ethnic-brunette facade, which probably makes her unassailable on the surface.

Yet, it's so obvious what she's intentionally contriving to put out there.

It's that wholesome/semi-ethnic look....you can't criticize her, she's got her father up there, for God's sake.

Very clever.



Yes. Very clever, pretending to be wholesome. And of course you can't say anything about..such people...these days. Nice (semi-ethnic) girl next door. With a father and everything! Just like Monica. Wants us to think she doesn't have any ulterior motives. That she's NOT a slut; that she's NOT just a jumped-up vulgar shameless climber. But we know better, don't we.

And, you know, I was going to say something about the author of that particular comment, whom I followed back to her own place out of sheer morbid curiousity. I'm not gonna provide the link, because I've made myself pretty clear that I think spotlighting an off-the-radar blogger for the purposes of piling on is creepy. I just mention it because, well, it would appear that the commenter in question is in fact "semi-ethnic" herself, or at least semi-Jewish; and, well, I got a strong sense of...look, I'll be honest, her blog nearly did my head in. I'll leave it to you to do the legwork if you really want to guess why. For now I'll just say this: as I have been noting recently, the fact that ones' evangelical Christianity means one is well conversant with both the Old Testament and a big ol' Friend O' Zion, even coupled with "some of my best distant relatives are Jewish," does not in fact mean that one cannot be anti-Semitic. There are, you see, Jews and Jews, just as there are folks and folks; and there is a difference between the admirable religious family-values-keeping sort and the more, well, purely ethnic sort.

Anyway, to answer the Bitch PhD. commenter's question, way up there, the thing about Ann Coulter, perhaps Laura Ingraham too, don't know her as well, but Coulter can wear a micro-skirted little black dress to a breakfast interview or anything else she chooses and still not be called out by the right-wing slut-baiters, ever. Because, well, first of all, her politics, of course; but second of all, well, she's, you know, classy. Yes! Ann Coulter, classy! Know why? Because she has stick-straight blonde hair and a properly rail-thin body and a lovely proper name and Daddy and that lovely boarding-school accent, you know, the one that sounds like you're only just keeping from vomiting in sheer disgust at the crassness of it all.

I will just conclude this section by noting that I still don't know exactly what the commenter at the Ann Twerp thread meant by asking me,

And Are you gonna eat that last bagel?

but said genius is cordially invited to take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.

And so we come back full circle to the luncheon in question. Well; yes. Layers and layers here, aren't there. And so it comes to pass that we have a pearl-clutching right-winger slut-baiting the middle-of-the-road, "semi-ethnic" Democrat in the Gap top; at the same time, we have,, Bill Clinton, the "first black President," scorned for his "trashiness" but proudly embracing his of-the-people-ness by putting his office in Harlem, not only has only white bloggers at his high-profile networking event, but the luncheon, as noted by one of the attendees:

had some local Harlem cuisine (fried chicken, cornbread, sweet potato fries, salad, spinach, corn, and sweet tea)


(quotage found via Bint Alshamsa)

Ah yes. Local cuisine. Served and prepared by...? Mm.

And then, when bloggers of color note the irony and protest the lack of inclusion, they are responded to with such gems as,

So, Liza, dear, before you go assailing your betters and making Jane stand in for every blond white woman who ever pissed you off, maybe you should head back to eighth grade English and, you know, learn to spell and to write in a linear fashion.


Yeah, damn that Liza, anyway. Doesn't she understand how it works yet? Doesn't she know her place in the pecking order--because there always has to be a pecking order of some sort. How dare she question, much less "assail," "her betters?"

"It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fuck.

Another one bites the dust: Vociferate, who seemed like she was just making a comeback from an earlier, less permanent-seeming shutdown, and whom I was feeling like I was just starting to get to know. For the record, Andrea, if you read this: I am sorry for all the tsuris you and your sister are going through, and had no other agenda than to try to talk to you and anyone else who was willing to, you know, talk, and get past some of the Eternal Subject Wars to maybe some other subjects.

and am sorry some people are being such relentless fuckwits. And no, it's not about me, either.

Hope you see fit to come back one of these days, and good luck.

while I'm on the general subject: Kaka Mak, would love to see you back online whenever you're ready. I miss your blog and your presence.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Carnival of Feminists, take XXIII

...is up at Lingual Tremors, and Lingual X has done an amazing job organizing around the theme (among others) of women and health care. And yes, one of my posts is in there as well (thanks to whoever nominated!)

The Carnival just keeps getting better and better in terms of selecting themes, it seems to me; and I have a LOT of reading to catch up on from the past few carnivals as well, still.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Keith Olbermann on 9/11...

If you haven't seen this clip yet, you really must.

"I see no color." Yeah, that's kind of, you know, the whole problem...

Over at Pandagon, Pam Spaulding sums up the real problem with that Clinton luncheon, as others have been doing: it was whiter than Whitey Whiterton. and the luncheon was held in Harlem, no less. Predictable responses and defenses have been coming up, oh, well, we DID invite people of color, well, one guy (out of twenty), but, well, he couldn't make it; what are we supposed to do? I don't see the problem! It's not like we were excluding POC bloggers on purpose; it's just, well, we don't really KNOW that many, which, that, is purely a coincidence on account of there mumble must not be that many good ones then, or, well, we meant well. God! Is no one ever satisfied? We INVITED a black guy! Truthfully we just "see no color" and don't understand why anyone else insists on dredging up these petty complaints. You're just upset because YOU weren't invited to the party, aren't you. Well, run along.

*sigh*

As I said over there, in response to one of the other comments:

Sep 19th, 2006 at 10:31 am

>I can’t help but think the “blizzard” is a result of willfully having blinders on—and not just about including bloggers of color. I think it’s a deliberate attempt to appeal to/work with certain demographics while ignoring others. Not ignoring out of a sense of disrespect, but ignoring because of an assumption that it is too hard to appeal to or work towards reaching those “others”; a “let’s stick to preaching to the choir” move—the “choir” in this instance being white, college-educated, middle-class bloggers within a certain age range.>

***

Yup. It’s actually deeper than unconscious garden-variety racism and sexism and so on, although that, too; or maybe that’s what this is based on: it’s a profound lack of curiousity about one’s fellow critters. Not really wanting to learn anything you don’t already know. Which, if you don’t have that, then how are you going to get to genuine empathy? You’re not, is what, so everything becomes about rules and shibboleths. “Well, racism is bad, I don’t want to be a bad person, one defines ‘racist’ via xyz, I won’t do xyz, okay, got it, we’re good.”

…and then kick and scream when someone politely points out that no, actually, “we” aren’t good, because in fact it isn’t about -you- and how good or bad you are, it’s about the OTHER people. Who weren’t invited and don’t have a place at the table and have their OWN concerns which STILL aren’t being addressed; it doesn’t MATTER how guilty you do or don’t feel about it; what are you gonna DO about it, hm?

And no, “I see no color” cuts no ice. Of course it’s much easier to see no color when you -see no color.- That tends to happen when your circles are blindingly white. “Oh, I never even thought about it.” YES. That kind of would be, you know, the point?


***

Meanwhile, Jessica makes T-shirts of the lemon-mouthed Ann Althouse's offerings:

"These BOOBS are made for blogging."

Get 'em while they're hot!

"Football? No, no simmering homoerotic tension here. Move along, nothing to see here..."

Another good point by fastlad.

What lies beneath? It's something I've wondered about since I first arrived here in the United States: those cropped camera angles on American football players that are ploys to prevent you from seeing their magnificent behinds.

No matter how firm or shapely those same buttocks are, they are rarely to be seen in the nations living rooms, pool halls or sports bars. Why?


...actually i don't even watch televised sports enough to notice that particular discrepancy. but um, yeah: speaking of objectification/exaggerated attention to naughty bits and secondary sex features: helLO, football uniforms! baseball, too, as fastlad notes.

what does MY head in is how playing football and other sports is precisely what's still widely recommended as a good solid antidote to creeping male homosexuality. Fastlad says this plays out differently in Ireland, this uhhh whatever it is, this (male) homophobic, homoerotic, AND homosocial all at once thing we have going on here. (i.e. unlike in some other macho cultures, perhaps, it's at least vaguely suspect for manly men to spend too much time with WOMEN). any other thoughts on this?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Out of curiousity: do you remember your dreams?

Do you write them down? How much attention do you pay to them? Ever have a lucid dream? A "nested" dream? A (gulp) pre-recognitive dream?

I'm sort of an agnostic on the latter, but...well, yeah, more thoughts on how that might or might not work at some point. But I mean: I pay attention to synchronicities and suchlike. Those of you who find this sort of talk hopelessly woo-woo, 'scool, but: let's just take it as a given that you find it woo-woo; I kind of want to hear from the folks who maybe don't so much.

Which, but, by all means: talk about dreams, regardless.

I...kind of got no dog here

O, not the whole "the West is doomed, we shall run rampant through your land whilst spilling blood and alcohol and cackling maniacally" bit, fun as that always is.

no, Pope R. vs. the Flying Fundamentalist Foamers, Moslem division.

I mean: how frigging hard is it to at least offer a proper apology? Papal duties can't be THAT taxing, can they?

Well, he -sounds- like a garden-variety bigoted asshole, but he's God's own asshole, I expect; hence, This Means War. cool! now the Catholics are in for it as well, not that a lot of them probably weren't already covered with the whole "death to the entire West deal;" but, oooohh, revenge! revenge for the Crusades at last! the original ones, that is. Yay! FREE FOR ALL

Sunday, September 17, 2006

In which the author is utterly weak and gives in to the dark, seductive, throaty cry of Schadenfreude once again

Just, heh, over at Nine Pearls, Veronica notes that Ann Thingie, you know, the feminist who is very concerned about the threat that a Feministing blogger's breasts poses to the entire movement, i.e., she R a Serious Thinker, this one,

anyway, Veronica notes in passing Ann Twerp's affection for the show Project Runway.



my, she’s…deep, isn’t she. I can totally understand why she’d be concerned that young airheads like Jessica might be giving Feminism a bad name, even if she had left her breasts at home (how gauche, really: no white shoes OR breasts after Labor Day…)

But in addition to the astonishing level of insightful feminist commentary on this pop culture phenomenon, interlaced as ‘twere with surprising yet astute quotations from various philosophers, poets, political theorists, and her parrot, this bit caught my eye:

It was surprising that Laura acted so weak. Her confidence was shattered, she’d been blindsided, she was so terribly tired. She cried. But it wasn’t all weakness. She had the strength to bully Angela, really to try to play a mind game on her, telling her she didn’t deserve another chance…

***

I think I see what she sees in it, now.

CRYING is a sign of WEAKNESS!!! FINISH H-..oh, good, she still had some bullying left in ‘er, that's the spirit.

chomp chomp chomp the popcorn

Lovely person, really; I think she ought to branch out, write childrens’ books, some shit like that.

Dream archive, one more

just a short one; this one from two years ago December:

almost lucid (dream), women brought me to a room where they were going to “roll the beads’ i.e. masturbate me, but also it was some sort of divination, like tarot, “read,” something. consisted of a number of tests. the room was red and carpeted. put me on a table/bed/something. almost pleasurable anticipation. and then. one was “choose one word, just one. that sums up your philosophy,” and among the many many choices were fury, Fury! fury and (something, i forget now), and a bunch of others, fear i think, fright. i chose “fight” or “flight,” even though technically that was two. they seemed to be urging me, no WERE, to hurry, just choose, clock was ticking, they were getting impatient, i was getting somewhat panicky. the one after that, right before i woke up, was something about making a word out of a bunch of other words, or rather making a phrase...anyway i woke up with “stimulation,” or trying to make something out of it...

so woke up making the connection “stimulation=fight or flight.” hm.

From the archives of the dream journal

Just for a change of pace, and because Alex of Train Mama has been inspiring me with his own dreamtelling. I haven't really kept up with the journal for a while; thought i'd pull an old one or two and see if i had any different take on it now. this one's from about a year and a half ago.


a group. a confusion between irl group therapy and supervision and (spiritual/pagan group I was attending at the time). anyway it was a newly starting group, some people were familiar and some were new. and some of the people who were “familiar” weren’t irl. but ___ from group was there, and she was seriously getting on my nerves. but first of all so this particular group was meeting on this island that was just off the coast of the island of manhattan, you know, some heretofore unknown like roosevelt, but this was more interesting. at one point we were driving, me and [group leader] (i think) and ____ and some other girl,

and it was this lush green island with trees and little...ponds or something...for part of it, and ____ was going on and on about how she’d moved there and how much better it was than the city, and i exchanged a glance with [group leader], you don’t like grass and water, do you? and he said he was more into rocks and hills. and i said i liked all the green, but if i moved i’d be glad that nyc was just across the way, and ____ kind of sniffed. oh, and i asked her what the rents were like and she said they were *very* expensive (she had some other deal going on i guess), $600 an hour. and i said, per HOUR? and she nodded, annoyed. and i said, i’ve never heard of rents being by the hour, that would come to, what, like $36,000 a week? more? i was calculating. and she or he said something about it being a very in-demand vacation spot, which made more sense for the by-the-hour rather than by-the-month bit, but i was still incredulous. there was a lot of that, with ____, the arguing.

later, at some other point in the dream, we were being shown to the “room” in which we were to meet, at least part of the time, and it was kind of cool and wonderful, if a bit daunting, here we were in this kind of deserty landscape with big spectacular (pink i think, “painted desert” colors) rock cliffs and little grottos or whatever carved in, caves, rooms, anyway that was where we were, and i think in this bit there were flashes of the madeline l’engle book i’d reread recently, set in some kind of mythical noah’s ark day, so semi-biblical but with mythological creatures and hints of magic,

anyway there was a bit about nephilim at one point, with the wings, although i think we were just mostly studying about them. so at this point we were gathered and waiting for the rest of the group, which turned out to be quite big, we (me and this other girl) counted to be at least nineteen, not counting the people who weren’t here that week. and we were talking about judeopaganism, which was apparently more or less the point of this group. but at one point ____ and i seemed to be seriously in competition for this other girl’s attention. like, the girl was asking us about tarot, and ____ was showing her her deck but she said, oh, don’t pay attention to the numbers, the important thing is (whatever it was) , some kind of kabbalistic thing. and i was all, well, the way *i* do it, there’s no way not to...

____'s implication was that she was doing it the jewish magic way which was of course the *better* way, and i was arguing that tarot was derived from european traditions, certainly not just kabbalah, you could have a kabbalic deck but in this case it made sense to use the more wiccan approach--but then i realized i didn’t recognize ____’s deck and i was sort of admiring it. but so there was serious competition there.

finally the girl asked ___ specifically if there was a gay and lesbian (wiccan? magic? plain old group?) group that she knew of and ____ nodded with a little smile, but didn’t say more than that before i jumped in with, oh, i go to one on wednesday. and i also volunteered that i belonged to a judeopagan mailing list, and was volunteering the url and talking about how scholarly it was, and at some point in this ___ got fed up and spun away, kind of pirouetting off by herself somewhere in the distance. and i was glad. and so then it was mostly me talking to this other girl, and i don’t know if it was a sexual attraction or not, at first it seemed so but then it was more like the girl was younger and eager/naive about all this new knowledge and i was getting to be the kind of “senior” person. but also i liked her a lot more than ___, she was a lot easier to take.

then we were talking about the study materials, there was a packet of some sort (some biblical i guess, some other? magical i guess) and i was trying to sort it all out, and at one point ___ was back and we were arguing (again) about the proper way to interpret some old testament passage, even though i was aware i was probably very much at a disadvantage here since ___ knew hebrew and had actually studied judaism.

and at some other point we were being shown the room, or climbing to get to it in a way, it was lovely but the climbing was tricky at a couple of points. there was also something about keeping it relatively secret, the whole thing, or at least that room--that is the intimation of oppressive forces and having to close and lock up the room before a certain point. the dream ended and i woke up as we were counting all the various participants (nineteen was a large group, i commented) and we were gathering in a circle, preparing for something or other, to get started i guess. intimations of sunset. pink. lots of *learning,* and connecting with groups, and new people as well as familiar ones, and magic, (coming into power? apprenticeship?) and the excitement of it all...

Just one last question, really:

this one more specifically related to this last particular kerfuffle and some of the, uhhhhh, people? that i have been exposed to--it's actually quite exciting, whole! new!

--well, not new, of course not new, but i had managed to nearly block it from my memory for a while there, i am now realizing with dawning wonder and not a little nausea

...whole! other! levels! vistas, dimensions! of SHEER HOPELESS FUCKWITTERY

...anyway, I just have this one question:

Three or four DECADES from now, where we're all back to bashing each other with sticks and rocks over who gets the last can of food in the fallout shelter, are some of these assclowns gonna, what, croak out of their second or third mouth,

"damn.....(horrible grinding sound)...you...(koff)...Bill...Clinton! (shudder, fall to ground)...i...blame..youuUUUUU!"

..?

...but, huh, huh, BLOWJOB, huh, huh, cough, expectorate vile blackish substance...huh, uhh, huh-huh...blooooooowjobbb...[hideous mewling sound]...blue...huh...dress...[snicker, barfs up the remains of what used to be a lung]...ci-garrrrrrrrr.....[death rattle, finally, MAYBE????...]

On a somewhat related note,

(to the Feminist War/Stoning crap, not the intro thread, I mean)

my friend fastlad has this great post on the gender/sexuality politics of American 60's B movies. Sex Panic! Mock the slut! Stone the slut! KILL the slut! for fun and prizes! how dare she express sexual autonomy! and now just look at what she's unleashed: you see what filthy BEASTS men are really, it's always been the same and can NEVER EVER CHANGE... uhhh, wait, no, that doesn't mean what you think it means; it's uh. different. very very totally COMPLETELY different. like, WAY. like RADICALLY, it's different, when we. um. do. hey, look, shiny thing--

60's B Movies. Titillating, cheap, via media's into the anxious cold war/erotic subconscious of the era? Well, yes, clearly. Certainly they share recurring motifs: skip the obvious nuclear threat and your left with the desire for (and rage toward) women, the begrudging acknowledgement of female sexuality and female eroticism, and the consistent and particular contempt for women who are conscious of their own sexual allure, resulting in punishment (usually made literal, through murder/death).

The men in these films have only just emerged from the caves. No one ever sees anything remarkable about this. Enslaved by their own desires and propelled by them, men fight each other for tribal dominance, and they take whatever it is they desire by force. (And any woman who dares to do likewise is automatically a monster).

Since coming to America I have been struck time and again by the frequency of the Sex/Death trope in what you might once have called the American B movie genre (but these horror/slasher/teen sexcapade films have all gone mainstream now and the motifs of late night shlock have become standard fare, recognizable in the cultural mainstream).

But what gets me - hence this rant - is the galling fraudulence. Everyone knows that the bestial male will slash all before him in pursuit of his reluctant prize, everyone knows that the alluring girl will be humiliated terrorized and then killed, yet here they are once again performing the same old bogus dance, quite literally dying on their feet if you will, with the audience anticipating the same old catharsis they have paid $10 bucks to see.


***

There are a number of embedded links to relevant and vastly entertaining YouTube links; go to the original post to click through to 'em.


Also check out the video at this post. WE'RE NOT GAY!!

Reminder, and for those just tuning in:

If you look over at the sidebar, under "Favorites," there is a post entitled Introduce Yourself Here... Consider it still open. and welcome to all new readers and posters if I didn't already say howdy.

So, a manifesto, then:

Call it the Sexbot Manifesto if you like. I am proud to stand by my sexbot sisters if this is what the alternative looks like. Breast-jutting, cocksucking, sports corset-and-fetish-heel-wearing, husband-pleasing-housecleaning, out-and-out-prostituting and all. Because, among other things? I've been meeting a lot of such women lately, and you know what? As far as actually supporting other women goes? These women, at least? They're a lot more "feminist" than you in my book, even if they don't apply the moniker to themselves at all. (And if they don't, may I note, I lay the responsibility squarely at your feet. Not Rush Limbaugh; not the "backlash;" you. Too, at least. You're walking self-parodies, some of y'all, especially. You and your REALNESS bullshit). Also, frankly, a lot smarter and a lot more interesting. And more interested. In other people. In other women.

But bottom line:

It goes like this. In my book? "Feminist" = "concerned about women and furthering womens' rights, ideally maybe eventually does something useful to that end." It does NOT mean "appointed myself my sister's keeper, on account of I'm vicariously embarassed by her, or some shit like that;" and ESPECIALLY not in the area of personal adornment and sexual choices--and yes goddamit I said choices, they may be shaped by the System but they're no less valid than yours no matter how much self-righteous up-your-own-arsehole gazing you've done.

Because

1) My body, my choice. Yeah, it's individualist, it's Enlightenment-based, there are things you could pick at with it; but the thing is, lemon drop? You ain't doing that. In fact, I submit, you don't know the first thing about what you're talking about when it comes to your ideological ancestors. That's because, examining, you know, occasionally requires not just picking 'n' poking 'n' drooling over other women and whatever flashed across your headlines today, but occasionally going to the library and cracking open a damn book; and I don't just mean the ones that tell you what you already know, either. (NOTE: it is in fact possible to do this, go to the fucking library and read a book, even, whilst wearing a pencil skirt and high heels. If Joe Patriarch doesn't think so, know what? You can kick him in the 'nads. This can be especially effective whilst wearing stilettos. You may need to rip a slit in the skirt first if there isn't already a kick-pleat. There: isn't that much more satisfying than endless agonizing over your "choices?")

2) Yah, there is such a thing as consciousness-raising. Some folks think it's effective for widespread political change, others don't. But the thing is? Even among the ones who DID find it useful, historically? You were supposed to raise your OWN frigging consciousness. Dumbass.

3) How much farther does this sort of "stone the slut in the name of feminism" crap have to go before it finally dawns on your enlightened, wrenching-itself-free-of-its-Patriarchal-moorings, modestly-covered ass that this whole deal smells REALLY familiar, and not in a good way?


As the saying goes, if you don't feel this applies to you? I probably ain't talking to you. But if the comfy shoe or sensibly modest Prada pump fits, baby.


This patriarchy-enabling message has been brought to you by Pan Bimbo, Romy and Michelle, Fetish Diva Midori**, and Cyberdyke**.

**not literally.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

And so call this my little axe-a-grinding

(quelle surprise),

but, back on the Ann Whatsis/Jessica of Feministing for a mo',

MAY i just say that when you have some of the bigger “real” feminist bloggers saying shit like “sexbot” and when you wear those heels and that skirt you’re making us all look bad, well, is this really all -that- different? No. It’s one step beyond, is all, and i’ve no doubt that a lot of the same people who were all nodnod wrt the Random Bird thing or Rachel Kramer Bussel thing or the "bad actual prostitutes for giving -real- sex-positive feminists (like us) a bad name! bad!" or the “pencil skirts, sexbot” crap that’s been going on for what seems like for damnever, here will be rallying to the support of Jessica, and rightly so;

(ON EDIT: wrote that before even checking, but: ha! and lo! 'twere e'en so!!)

but is it -really- because this situation is SO unfamiliar to us in the supposed “feminist blogosphere?”

or is it because Jessica is One Of Us and Ann is not only a Real Journalist (you know, kind of like Rachel Kramer Bussel, only a lot more so) but so -clearly- a vile reactionary misogynist braindead asshole that, well, it’s a bit uncomfortable-making to realize just how close *we’ve* been coming to this, point of fact?

and, well, we aren't ALL of us so very invested in blowjobs and we don't all wear "slutwear" and we certainly aren't most of us (shudder) (in a totally non-whorephobic/misogynistic, only-concerned-about-theabuse-and-exploitation-sort-of-way) prostitutes;

but, well, shit, we've all or many of us got tits, don't we? or at least know someone who does? and plus goddam, well, she...reminds us of us, more, does Jessica. Up the Establishment!

And you know what: you don't even have to answer that.

All we're (this is the Royal We here, please note) asking here is that you, oh what is the word, uhm, uhm, uhhhhhhhh

examine?

why, yes!

...your shit.

'Cause that is what this has been, what this ALL is, you do know that, right? Shit?

(EDIT THE SECOND: Vanessa at Plucky Punk has been thinking along similar lines)

EDIT THE THIRD: So, okay, Majikthise (among many others, thank God) has been fisking this briskly and, well, it, gobsmack.

I just want to single this bit out for consideration:

Jessica Feministing:
Wow, Ann. You certainly like talking about my breasts. You know, if you feature t-shirts for women, they tend of have breasts in them. And as for my "pose," I moved to the side because I figured that people would be more interested in seeing Clinton than me standing directly in front of him.

As for attacking the content of my site, that's just kind of low. I posted about this on feministing because I was trying to make a point about the insanity that is feminists attacking each other. This is just kind of sad.
2:50 PM, September 15, 2006

Ann Althouse:
Jessica: Why don't you attempt a substantive defense of your own blog instead of saying things here are "low" and "sad"? I'm really disgusted with women fawning over Clinton and playing up to him. Why not read the posts I've linked to here, like this one, and get to some serious reflection about feminism? You come across as a lightweight seeking attention on the web for pretty much nothing. You load up your blog with breasts, and then you're offended why someone points it out. That's low and sad if you want to just dribble out three letter words.

You do not impress me at all. I don't see how you have a damn thing to do with feminism. You seem like a self-promoter appropriating and debasing a word that's important.

Or better yet, why don't you try blogging without those crappy silhouettes and tight T-shirts? And start taking what Clinton did seriously. Then I might begin to have some respect for you. But I expect you'll just come back with another wow, Ann, you're really low and sad to talk about my breasts comment. And that will be totally lame, let me say in advance. It's obvious that you're bending over backwards -- figuratively and literally -- to keep the attention on your breasts. How about some actual intellectual substance instead?



***

And that right there, friends and neighbors, is a classic example of Bullying 101. Study it closely. Note the heavy use of projection, the "we've just suddenly changed the rules without even acknowledging it," the general strange sense of coming untethered.

But most of all, this is really rather extraordinary, in a banal sort of way:

You've got a lot of explaining to do. I can see why you prefer to go on the offensive and attack me. But all you're attacking me for is something I pointed out about you. Why don't you defend yourself?

Let's zoom in on that even further, shall we?

"Why don't you defend yourself?"


What a question, eh?

IOW:


"I AM ATTACKING YOU AND WOULD GREATLY PREFER THAT WE KEEP THE FOCUS ON YOU, BECAUSE ANY POINTING OUT OF -MY- PART IN THIS IS LIKE AN MORTAL ATTACK ON MY FRAGILE LITTLE EGO. I DON'T DESERVE SUCH TREATMENT! I'M NOT LIKE YOU! I DON'T LIKE PAIN! IT HURTS ME! C'MON, LET'S PLAY MORE!! GIVE ME SOMETHING ELSE TO WORK WITH SO I CAN -REALLY- GET MY TEETH INTO YOU! "DEFEND" YOURSELF! BECAUSE GODDAM DO I EVER LIKE BEING OFFENSIVE!"

***

EDIT THE FOURTH AND HOPEFULLY LAST:

Nasty little perv that i am, it occurs to me, not for the first time, to wonder just what is going on with women like this; for I have encountered them, albeit perhaps not -quite- so egregiously assholish. You know: deeply conservative, very hot and bothered about the shameful, shameful way young women dress these days. Deep cleavage, no bra, everything hanging out, you can see the outline of the panties, jiggling everywhere, I didn't know which way to look; that sort of thing. Sure, to a certain extent this is a cultural/generational thing, or can be. But they do go on, sometimes, some women, is the thing, and the tone can sometimes turn rather...odd. Unpleasant, certainly. But...odd.

and of course people tend to immediately leap to, well, as here: jealous much? Vicariously embarassed because you're desperately trying to avoid being cast as the "bimbo" your own sweet climbing self, tag someone else gets to be it?

And all of that, sure; but, I gotta say it: yer average wingnut man who goes on and on about another man's attire and wanton attention to one of his more fetchingly seductive body parts, well, people are pretty goddam quick to call "oh, good morning! I smell deeply closeted repressed sex-u-AL-ity! mmMMMmm, internalized homophobia and thwarted lust..."

...even if said wingnut -doesn't- manage to throw in a homophobic slur (although it also occurs to me that given our particular mores, that scenario is pretty unlikely, isn't it? somehow managing to talk about another man's looks or fetching attire without at least insinuating that he's gay. could happen though, i guess).

But here, well, not so much. Women are "allowed" to say such things in ways that men are not. Focus on another woman's body in great detail, for good or for ill. Usually for ill, natch.

But even so. If no one else will, I'm gonna say it, just because I am that sort of person:

What else about this woman's breasts is vexating you so, Ann?

"Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right! Here I am..."

"stuck in the middle with...?"

Or is it even the middle? Probably not by most peoples' definitions; but then, perhaps, that's the point. I'm feeling a bit tired of most peoples' definitions, on the whole. ON EDIT: "Sociopolitically and otherwise."

(i am NOT TRIPPING. NOT ONE TEENY TINY BIT. NO).

...and I don't know as I want to stay "stuck."

just on the whole i feel roughly like, it's not so much that I see "black!" "white!" and am all, "it's all shades of grey! possibly all even more or less the same shade of grey! soothe soothe! can't we all just...?"

more like, "dude, didn't this box of crayons come with like a whole bunch of OTHER colors? this shit is boring, and I can't even see the picture anymore."

And it suddenly occurs to me

speaking of Feminist Uber-Mega-Mega-Mega Thrash, World Without End, Round XXVIII, or rather in this case some insipid little sparrowfart called Ann something of whom i'd never before heard, who is apparently exercising her great concern for the state of feminism by critiquing a fellow feminist blogger's (Jessica of Feministing, give it up for the woman! congrats!) being invited um I mean decision to appear with former President Bill Clinton, on account of well garsh, should *feminists* -really- be appearing with, you know, That Man? and also oh by the way, sez Ann whosis, something or other about Jessica's tits. and what she's wearing, and how she's standing. Ann apparently does not approve; and neither do her four hundred thousand squillion regulars, I guess, and also that Feministing blog has, well, -people talking dirty- on it.

(no I am not going to provide the direct link to Ann whosis or the people talking about her right now. I'm tired and lazy and cranky, so nyah).

ANYWAY

this latest little gastrointestinal attack passing itself off as (oh, it's just not even making an effort anymore really) "feminism," given the context, suddenly reminded me:

Say. What did the Great Feminist **Blowjob** Wars of 2006 and the Hunting of the (last real) President have in common?

Three guesses, and the first two don't count.

Oh, no. We're not collectively hung up about sex at all. Not us! Nooooo.

And our collective non-existent hangup about sex has NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH MISOGYNY, of course.

even when we call it Feminism! ESPECIALLY when we call it FEMINISM!

or, at minimum, you know, we just rilly rilly care about women like poor little Monica Victim Deludanoid Sexbot Slut Hobag my GOD did you see what she is WEARING Lewinsky/random blogger who said a Bad Thing/that woman on the street in the pencil skirt/faceless, nameless "pornstitution" worker until she has the temerity to speak up.

Friends. Somewhere in there i thought i caught the phrase "friends of feminism."

Or no, maybe that was something else, it's all becoming this kind of mulchy pinkish blur now. "Friends of Israel," perhaps. yes, one of the other asshatteries, never mind.

But in any case:

"With friends like these, who needs enemas?"

Friday, September 15, 2006

Can't argue with that logic

Just more wisdom from Fearless Leader. Via a comment at Kakistocrats, this observation was apparently made:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. If a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State feels this way, don't you think that Americans and the rest of the world are beginning to wonder whether you're following a flawed strategy?

THE PRESIDENT: If there's any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it's flawed logic. I simply can't accept that. It's unacceptable to think that there's any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective, Terry.


Well, that explains certain ummmm conversations I've had recently, I expect. here i was thinking "nail polish remover fumes? large blunt objects making forceful impact with tender unprotected bits? alien transmission via fillings?"

But no; duh; I simply haven't been watching the "news" for quite a while. Quacking heads and all; from whence this comes; from whence this comes and comes and comes.

and NOW i remember why the intranet feminist flamewars seem so very compelling;

because it helps me forget that all this other shit is going on, God help us all.

And now: the Kitty Cat Dance

i love this website

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"I DEFY you, Miss Haversham!"

"Senate panel defies Bush on terror" (AP)


WASHINGTON - A rebellious Senate committee defied President Bush on Thursday and approved terror-detainee legislation he has vowed to block, deepening Republican conflict over terrorism and national security in the middle of the election season.

Republican Sen. John Warner (news, bio, voting record) of Virginia, normally a Bush supporter, pushed the measure through his Armed Services Committee by a 15-9 vote, with Warner and three other GOP lawmakers joining Democrats. The vote set the stage for a showdown on the Senate floor as early as next week.

In an embarrassment to the White House, Colin Powell — Bush's first secretary of state — announced his opposition to his old boss' plan, saying it would hurt the country. Powell's successor, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, jumped to the president's defense in a letter of her own.

All this played out after Bush started his day by journeying to the Capitol to try nailing down support for his own version of the legislation — and by issuing a threat to the maverick Republicans.

"I will resist any bill that does not enable this program to go forward with legal clarity," Bush said at the White House.

The president's measure would go further than the Senate package in allowing classified evidence to be withheld from defendants in terror trials, using coerced testimony and protecting CIA and other U.S. interrogators against prosecution for using methods that may violate the Geneva Conventions.

"The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism," Powell, a retired general who is also a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in his letter...



In other news, there may be something to this "climate change" thingie after all; Americans seem to be a tad overfocused on the sexual act they call "blowjob;" Britney Spears is looking a bit past her prime; and Soylent Green is probably not something you want for din-din even if it IS the next Iron Chef battle ingredient.

Well, O.K., if youse insist

Via Bitch | Lab, a number of links to articles where, in her words, conservatives implore us to "Fire our asses!"

On a more somber note: R.I.P., Ann Richards.

Thank you, brownfemipower

...for posting this:

Did you know that…

* women can be raped by other women?
* women can sexually assault other women?
* violence occurs in 1 out of 4 lesbian relationships?
* lesbian domestic violence often includes lesbian rape?
* lesbian rape is almost always unreported?

Why don’t we hear more about this?
Because many people define rape as penetration by a penis, woman to woman rape is not acknowledged or is not taken seriously. But in fact, it is estimated that 1 out of 3 lesbians have been sexually assaulted by another woman.

Lesbians and bisexual women are targeted for sexual violence. Most of these crimes go unreported. In addition to surviving sexual violence perpetrated by other lesbians, lesbian survivors are also raped by men. In the U.S., homophobia and heterosexism set the stage for many forms of violence, including sexual violence against lesbians. The majority of these crimes go unreported.
...

Rape is about power and control and not about roles. There is a myth that butches are never raped and femmes never rape. The fact is that regardless of how one identifies s/he can be raped. There is no way to tell by looking at two women who is the rapist and who is the survivor. While some butches rape, so do some femmes...

Barriers to confronting same-sex rape:
Women who survive same-sex rape go through a similar recovery process as people who survive opposite-sex rape. This can include feeling confused, angry, scared, etc. In addition to these feelings, we also experience barriers to recovery as a result of living in a heterosexist and homophobic society. Some of these barriers include:

DISBELIEF. Many people do not want to believe or are unaware that same-sex rape happens. If it is acknowledged, often it is thought to be “not as bad” as male-female rape.

DENIAL. Even lesbians and bisexual women do not want to believe that we could hurt each other. But rape and sexual assault happen in our communities: on dates, in relationships, between acquaintances, coworkers and strangers.

HOMOPHOBIA. Another reason for hesitating to talk about same sex rape is the fear of being accused of betraying the queer community. Because of denial and disbelief on one hand, and the homophobia and heterosexism of the society on the other hand, many lesbians and bisexual women do not want to hear that women can hurt each other. The survivor may be accused of betraying “the community” an be isolated from support.



Also includes some more general basics that we should all know by now, but...



Most of the me who sexually abuse children are heterosexual. Statistics show that unlike the popular opinion, most of the cases of child sexual abuse are committed by heterosexual men...

Most of the rapes in the U.S. are committed by white men. Many people in the U.S. wrongly believe that the majority of rapes are committed by men-of-color against white women. The fact is that 90% of rapes occur between people of the same race. However, men-of-Color are disproportionately incarcerated.

Differently-abled women are at higher risk of being sexually assaulted than other women. Women with disabilities are often targeted for sexual violence. This violence is often made invisible by society’s false assumptions that rape is about sex and that women with disabilities are asexual. Women with developmental disabilities are at 50% higher risk of being sexually assaulted/

Women-of Color are raped at a higher rate than white women. Women-of-Color have survived rapes by men of their own communities, in addition to rapes committed by white men. Myths such as “women of color are unrapable or oversexed” were intentionally created to erase the history of rape and brutalization of Women-of-Color by white men.

Women do not ask to be raped by dressing a certain way or being out late at night. A woman may be raped in any kind of clothing. Rape is a violence choice made solely by the rapist, and has nothing to do with what a woman wears. A woman should be able to choose what she wears, where she goes, who she has sex with, and NOT BE RAPED. Rape is used as a way to control women and their choices.