A possibly unnecessary explanation

Take a look at this document from the shitgibbon, released before he was elected became President:C9ts5EWXoAEhGP_.jpg-large.jpegYou will no doubt note all the red Xes, used to designate items that Twitler has not managed to accomplish within his first 100 days.  You will also no doubt notice that every single item has a red X over it.

Ran into a numbskull on Twitter yesterday who was chastising the person who originally posted the document.  “You’re against his entire agenda!” this person said.  “Shouldn’t he not passing any of it be a good thing?”

Here’s the thing.

Yes, I’m glad that the shitgibbon hasn’t been able to get much, if any, of his agenda enacted.  Yes, I think that’s a good thing.  His agenda is mostly completely evil and I don’t want things that are completely evil to happen.

However!

Every so often things happen in America that are supposed to, at least in theory, be beyond partisanship.  And, believe it or not, I am generally in favor of competent governance— even when it is run by a Republican.  The shitheel in the White House has proven himself throughout his entire life to be absolutely incompetent at every single thing he does.  And if and when, God forbid, something happens in this country that demands some sort of nationally unified response, I don’t want morons at the wheel at that time.  For all the shit I talked about Mitt Romney while he was running for office, he met the not-especially-high standard of being basically competent and not insane.  Hell, I hated George W. Bush with a passion that bordered on deeply unhealthy at times and even that stupid motherfucker could be trusted to occasionally go out in public without stepping on his goddamn dick.

This guy?  He’s a 70-year-old narcissist with dementia and a host of raging personality disorders.  There is no one in the White House who has ever so much as passed a bill in Congress.

So yeah, I’m perfectly capable of hating his entire agenda and finding fault with his complete inability to pass even the tiniest part of it.  Because they mean he’s fucked up in completely different ways, and none of them are any good.

(Also, and somewhat unrelated, I’m frustrated with Republican America’s utter inability to see through this fucker during the campaign.  There was never any chance at all that he was going to be a good President.  He’s never been good at anything in his life.  Never once.  That was not going to change once he got the hardest job on the planet.)

Syria and the limits of my knowledge

SIRIA_-_TURCHIA_-_RUSSIA_-_pace_paese.jpgI’ve kinda had my head in the ground for the last couple of days; I’m sort of still there, as it’s taken me a good five or six minutes just to write this sentence.  It’s been a shitty few days to be an American, or at least to be a sane one.

(It’s been a worse few days to be a Syrian; I hope that I didn’t need to clarify that, but I’m going to anyway.)

I’ve been very clear here on multiple occasions about how I feel about how this country should treat Syrian refugees.  What I’ve been less clear on– in fact, I don’t know that I’ve really addressed it at all– is how we should treat Syria.  There’s a good reason for that; I know when I’m in over my fucking head, and this is absolutely one of those times.  Even before we get into “Should America take a side in the Syrian civil war?” there is the very important “Can America do anything about the Syrian civil war?”  There is also the minor fact that the Russians are involved and anything we do with Syria runs the risk of provoking Russia, which is something I suspect all of us would like to avoid.

I don’t know what to do about this, except for the part that is both relatively uncomplicated and morally clear: we should accept every refugee from this conflict that we possibly can.  Period.  I don’t have the tiniest idea what the hell to do about the rest of it.  I don’t feel bad about that.  I’m a fucking furniture salesman from Indiana.  There are people for whom figuring this shit out is their jobs.

Which, speaking of that: another thing I am absolutely certain of is that none of the gang of scam artists, poltroons and quarterwits currently occupying the White House have the vaguest fucking clue what to do, and I don’t trust them even the tiniest little bit to get any aspect of this shit right.  Barack Obama went to Congress to authorize military action and they turned him down; the shitgibbon fires fifty Tomahawk missiles at an airport, warning the Syrians and the Russians first but not bothering to notify Congress, and somehow fails to even disable the airport.

That is a failure of such epic proportions that it simply had to be intentional.  The point was to make a bunch of noise and waste a bunch of money but not to actually do anything worthwhile.  I suspect when Obama asked for Congress to authorize military action this was not what he had in mind.  Was what he wanted the right thing to do?  I have no idea.  I know that I trust Obama’s judgment infinitely more than I do the shitgibbon’s.  But that doesn’t mean he was right either.  For all I know there may very well be no way to cut this particular Gordian knot.


Fuck ’em for the stolen Supreme Court seat, too.  Which doesn’t really fit in this post but I’m including it anyway because it’s my blog.

On my feminist agenda

detail.jpgOn the plane on the way to Denver it became obvious very quickly that the young woman one row ahead of me and across the aisle was going to the same event I was.  She was in her early 20s, blonde, pretty in a girl-next-door sort of way and, as it turned out, really chatty.  She spent the entire trip talking with everyone around her, a circle that grew bigger as it became clear just how many of us were on the plane for the same reason.  The guy she was seated next to, who was in his late forties or perhaps even his early fifties, wasn’t with us.  I overheard her mention her boyfriend at least two or three times during the flight, and it’s not as if I heard their entire conversation.  Later on, she told me that he’d spent some time talking about his daughters, one of whom is a recent high school graduate– meaning that she and the eldest daughter were no more than three or four years apart.

I’m betting that if I stopped talking right now, you’d all be able to predict how this ended.  Because of course he either magically ended up in the same car rental shuttle pickup as her or he actually followed us, and of course he asked her out, despite her making it clear that she had a boyfriend and despite her being less than five years older than one of his own daughters.

Because, y’know, she talked to him, which is exactly the fucking same as wanting a date.


I heard a lot of presentations from furniture company reps and various executives in my own company over the last week.  What got to me was the repeated and constant gender essentialism of goddamn near every single presenter we heard from.  The funny thing?  None of them agreed.  Some of the reps refused to use any word other than she to refer to the buyer, because why would men be interested in something like furniture?  Obviously only the women would make decisions like that.  Others went on and on about how these features of the furniture would appeal to the girls and these more practical features would clearly appeal to the men— and it was always the more practical features– construction, say– that were for the penis-people and style or color concerns that were appropriate for the more vaginal among us.

It was constant.


Had a conversation at our table at one point about whether being married or unmarried was a detriment to being an effective salesperson.  One of the salespeople– another young, unmarried woman– said that she’s figured out that if she wears her Irish wedding band on her left hand when talking to couples she’s a lot more likely to close the sale.  This contention came as close as anything did during the week to actually causing an argument.  On my end, for whatever it’s worth, I’ve not noticed that any particular demographic or combination of customers is more or less likely to buy from me.


That one dude who won’t stop explaining basic simple concepts about sales or about furniture to every woman at the table, and won’t accept corrections from anyone except for the men, at which point he immediately starts pretending that’s what he was saying all along.  Had him too.


On the last day of the trip we’re allowed to wear streetclothes because we’re all headed to the planes after the final exam.  I wear my ASK ME ABOUT MY FEMINIST AGENDA shirt, which I have legitimately packed accidentally (I have a plain shirt of a similar color) but I’ve got it with me so fuck it.  The following things happen:

  • While helping a friend frantically search the pool and hot tub area for the glasses that she realizes she’s lost the night before, something I am very obviously participating in, a dude in the hot tub– meaning in a bathing suit– looks at me and, out of nowhere, says “I’ll bite!” at me.  It takes me a moment to even parse that the half-naked wet man is  talking to me, and another moment to realize that he’s not hitting on me, and about two more to tell him that I’m fucking busy at the moment, because obviously I’m busy right now for fuck’s sake, I know what the shirt says but I’m still not talking to you right now.
  • One TSA agent winks at me and tells me he likes my shirt.
  • A second TSA agent, waving me out of the microwave scanner or whatever the shit the thing is, noticeably growls at me and says “You’re done, whatever your… agenda is.”  I’m weirdly pleased at having annoyed him a bit.
  • We hang out in a bar at the airport while we’re waiting for our first flight to board.  A dude at the bar asks me to explain my agenda.  He seems friendly.  I smile and say “right now my only agenda is to get the fuck home, but if I can smash the patriarchy along the way I’ll take it as a win.”  He laughs.  I pat him on the shoulder and join my friends.
  • Eventually the co-worker who is on the trip with me asks about it.  I ask him how long of a conversation he wants to have and we agree to put it off for a bit since we’re both tired.
  • As I’m getting on the last plane, sweaty, fat, and gross, the motherfucker in the seat next to me has his backpack in between his legs and he is honest-to-god fucking manspreading in the plane seat.  As I’m putting my bag away and taking my hoodie off, nothing changes.  I weigh my general urge to not be rude to strangers and my general urge to not start shit on airplanes and my current mood and in the politest way I possibly fucking can tell him that I paid for the same size seat he did and to put the arm rest down before I sit.  He does, which surprises me, and I passively-aggressively shove his knee out of my legspace for half an hour before he either gives up or actually falls asleep.

For the record, and possibly for future reference via some sort of preprinted business card, this is a representative but not complete list of the items on my feminist agenda, such as it is:

  • As a man, my first and foremost priority is to force other men to see a man wearing a shirt that says FEMINIST.  Even if there’s not another word to be said.  Men need feminism as much as women do.  My son needs to know that I his daddy is a feminist as much as any (currently hypothetical) daughter I might ever have would.  Men need to be aware that men 1) can be and 2) are feminists.
  • I support equality between the sexes in all respects, but I am most concerned as a former teacher with equality of access to education.  I believe girls in particular need to be encouraged to move into STEM, and I believe that the culture of adult STEM environments needs to change to welcome those women when they get there.  Training little girls to do science experiments won’t do any good if the culture of programming classes in college is impossible.
  • I believe access to free, reliable and high-quality birth control should be an essential part of any ethical insurance program, and support Planned Parenthood completely.  I believe in the right to an abortion as well.
  • I believe intersectionality is critical to any successful feminism, and believe that women of color and trans women and gay or bisexual or asexual women face challenges that straight white women do not.  I also believe that white feminism frequently privileges the first word over the second.
  • I believe that feminism is about choice, and that a woman should be able to willingly choose to wear hijab or a bikini or anything in between if she wishes.   Her reasons for doing so are none of my business either way.  I do not believe that clothing in and of itself can be feminist or antifeminist, but the attitude of the law to clothing certainly can be.
  • I want rape culture ground into the dust and consigned to history.  I believe that “boys will be boys” is a cheap excuse and not a truism.  I believe the way that you stop rape is by teaching boys not to rape, not by teaching girls to avoid it.
  • I believe that publicly declaring myself as a feminist male does not mean that I deserve cookies, and do not expect to be offered any.  I am also aware that as a feminist male my position in any feminist movement, such as it is, is mostly to shut up and listen, with a side dish of doing what I’m told to help out. I believe that I can and will and probably frequently do get shit wrong, and I need to recognize that someone telling me that one of those things is happening probably deserves to be heard out.
  • The following is true despite the fact that I’ve literally just written 1500 words about what I think feminism is.
  • So deal.

I could probably write more, but it’s 10:30 and I have to sleep sometime tonight.  This will pop tomorrow morning; be aware that I likely won’t be able to respond to any comments until I get home from work.

On schadenfreude and self-improvement

Flagg.jpgSo there’s this house I drive past basically every time I have any reason to drive north, and since I live on the south side of town “heading north” happens quite a bit.  It’s a shitty house.  There’s mold on the siding, visible plant life growing in the gutters, the roof is rotting, and the garage is not anywhere close to plumb.   I suspect I could push the thing over if I wanted to, and there have been nights on the way home where I was tempted to get out of my car and do so.

There have also been a couple of prominent Confederate battle flags flying prominently around the house for the last several years.  They keep moving them; sometimes they’re on the garage, sometimes by the side door, sometimes in the windows, sometimes just flying off the back of the shitty rusted-out pickup truck that you were already picturing in their side yard even without me telling you it was there.

I have no idea who lives there, but I kind of hate them.  I don’t need to see your racist bullshit every time I leave my fucking house, and at this point anyone still willing to fly one of those symbols of treason over their house is pretty clearly signaling they’re not someone I’m going to enjoy associating with at all.  These people are almost certainly assholes of some stripe or another and I don’t feel bad about not liking them on reflex.

The last couple of weeks I’ve noticed the flags were gone, and sometime in the last day or two a bunch of bank auction signs have sprouted up around the house.  So it looks like the bank foreclosed on whoever lived there and is trying to sell this half-decayed house to recoup some of its costs.

And my first thought upon seeing all this was Good.  Fuck ’em.

I’d like to be the kind of person who doesn’t celebrate in even a minor way when people lose their homes.  For all I know there are kids living there who don’t deserve to be tarred with their parents’ asshole brushes.

I bet they’ve found a way to blame black people for them losing their house, though.  Which brings me back to “Fuck ’em.”

Sigh.