Friday, November 22, 2013

I Know, I Know... Horrible Person Says Something Horrible. But...

I was in the tub reading Slate (I read my iPhone in the tub... this will end in tears) and came across an article by my girl, Amanda Marcotte, about what noted human hemorrhoid Rush Limbaugh had to say concerning the end of the filibuster on judicial nominations:

Let's say, let's take ten people in a room and they're a group.  And the room is made up of six men and four women.  Right?  The group has a rule that the men cannot rape the women.  The group also has a rule that says any rule that will be changed must require six vote of the 10 to change the rule.

Beginning, we can take as understood that comparing judicial nominations to rape is, uh, the stupidest goddamn thing ever.  It's offensive and sexist, sure.  But it's mostly just hella dumb.

Having dispensed with the obvious problem of this comparison, let's move onto the part that really struck me:

You guys, I know a LOT of men (and have known my fair share, if you know what I mean... heh heh heh).  In those numbers are a lot of lovely, wonderful, strong, feminist men (like the one I'm all married up to).  Some of them are just kind of OK men.  Some are straight up assholes. But I do not know (and have not known) ANY man who would vote to legalize rape!

Some of the worst men in the world are in the U.S. Senate.  Ted Cruz is a homelier version of someone James Spader played in a movie in the 80s.  Jim DeMint can eat a bag of dicks.  I hope James Inhofe drowns in the run off from a melted glacier. But none of those dudes would vote to legalize raping their female colleagues.  And they've got the Senate 80 to 20.  The dudes could easily break a rapin' filibuster if it all came down to gender lines.

Look, obviously all reasonable people can agree that Rush Limbaugh is an ambulatory infection. He is what happens when a burst blister gains the power of speech. He is a bandaid floating in a public pool, a pubic hair on a shared bar of soap.  He is a tumor.  He is the side-by-side used tampon and used condom you step on in the alley behind a frat house.  He is a bloated rat corpse. I do not care for him.   I am not surprised when he says horrible things.  

But that motherfucker evidently has 14+ million weekly listeners.  Do you think 14+ million listeners are going "shit, thank GOD there are so many women in my peer group otherwise we'd all start to rapin'"  

Who listens to this pestilent scab and thinks, "Ohmigod! My wife is the only woman in her office of four!  If we have majority rule for judicial nominations, she's sure to get raped!"

Who listens to this guy?  Don't tell me no one.  It's 14 million people!!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fixing to Watch SNL and Wondering About the Sudden Rage

I'm actually not feeling ragey now.  I'm looking forward to watching SNL with Laney.  While I miss my darling little punkin pie baby, it is nice to be able to giggle at the dick in a box joke from The Neighbors that Laney sorta got.  She's innocent of the sexual connotation but thinks that penises are hilarious.  To be fair, they are.

I was in the car recently and the song Roar by Katy Perry came on and I found myself feeling really pissed and wondering why I felt pissed. Katy Perry inspires no rage from me.  She writes catchy, cromulent pop songs.  Her public personal is professional and inoffensive.  She's cute.  I sing along.  And then I remembered - I was pissed about when Katy Perry was on SNL and she did that song.  Let's take a look at screengrab from her performance:

The xy component of the internet at large got its boxers all up in a bunch about the grave disrespect that Katy Perry showed to the fellow playing guitar there.  How dare she ask guitar dude to wear this ridiculous outfit?  Who the everlovin' eff does this poptart think she is?  

Note there is a woman singing somewhere behind both of them who is dressed in the same manner as the guitarist.  No one was particularly upset about the indignities she was forced into.  Weren't her professionalism and artistic integrity equally as threatened? Hasn't she worked as hard to make it, studied her craft with the same diligence?

Apparently not. We are inured to the potential humiliation of the countless female background singers and dancers costumed in whatever nonsense best sets off the image the (male) frontliner is trying to suggest.  

On a stage men (especially white men) are privileged with an assumption of legitimacy that women (especially women of color... but that's a whole nother blog post) are not.  If you got pissed off about Katy Perry's furry guitarist - pay attention to the other musical acts you watch and check yer damn privilege.

It's 10:30 now, let's all enjoy whatever cray Lady Gaga brings to the SNL stage.  It will not achieve the soaring heights of Kanye West's cray.... oh shit, you guys think I'm kidding, right?  You know I love Kanye, for real?  I mean, he's not on my fantasy dinner party list because I'm pretty sure he's a narcissistic asshole.  But he does some really amazing stuff!  Let's watch a little Kanye West SNL cray. How amazeballs and gorgeous is this?   


Monday, November 4, 2013


I was going to write tonight about the moment Laney asked me about Santa Claus because it was one of those rare, sparkling parental moments where I felt like I handled it just right.  Those come along, what?  once? maybe twice in life?

But instead I think it's time I wrote about my sister-in-law because I have things I want to say about Debbie and things I want to say to Debbie's children; my beautiful nieces, my handsome nephew.

Debbie is a hero of mine.  She taught me so much about how to be a mother.

I told her that the last time I saw her which will likely be the last time I ever see her.  I cried.  I lost control.  But I'm glad I told her how much she's meant to me.  This is hard to write. Let me go back a little.

I was nervous the first time I met Don's family all those years ago.  But Debbie (always and definitely the head-sibling-in-charge of the Westhoff clan) only ever expected me to love her brother and be willing to be family.  That was it and I was in.  And I was so glad to be in.

Debbie's house:  Debbie's house is good food and ready conversation, comfortable places to sit and lots of laughter.  Debbie's house is warm.  It may have bordered on magnificent at Christmas, but it was always cozy.  It always felt like home.

I spent a lot of time in that house, sitting in comfortable chairs and watching her be the kind of mother I wanted to be.  The kind of mother who delighted in her children, who let them grow up and be independent but she always, always, had their backs.  One of the first stories I heard was about Kelly, Debbie's eldest, and how she got frostbite from a time when she was a toddler and the car died and Debbie had to carry her through a snowstorm back to the farm. Kelly just wrapped her arms around her mother and held on even when the mitten fell off.   Debbie is a mother you can hold onto.  She was so strong.  And everything around her was so warm.

Another time, years later, I was visiting and Laney had just leapt off my lap, post-snuggle. I told Debbie how sad I was that one day Laney would stop wanting to hug and snuggle me.  And Debbie just smiled and said, "Oh, you'd be surprised."  And then, hours later, Debbie gently called my name from another couch.  Her youngest, who must have been 17 or 18 then, was snuggled up next to Debbie, her head on her mother's shoulder.  Debbie tilted her head to Beth and smiled at me, "See," she said, "It doesn't go away."

This was such a small moment, but I never forgot it.  I never forgot that simple kindness; the graceful way she remembered me in that tender moment.  The way she loves her children.  The way they love her.

I lost my own father too young too. He was a lot like Debbie.  He made things around him warm and comfortable and he let me grow up without feeling abandoned to adulthood.  And I remember how shattered I was when he died.  I am shattered now knowing that Debbie is leaving us. And my heart is broken because I know the loss her children face.

But I also know, just like Don wrote today, that at least we got to have her. At least, for a while, we got to warm ourselves in Debbie's heart and humor and her kindness.

I am so grateful to have had her for a sister.  I am so sad she's leaving us.