Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Now let's see, shall we, what becomes of this experiment? It will be fun, won't it?
Ladies and Gentlemen - Ginmar.
I don't know what kind of reaction she was expecting, really. I mean, it's hard to say whether the experiment was successful (or even fun) because we don't know her hypothesis. But I read that post, and the (rather short) comments thread it spawned, and I'm put in mind of the immortal words, slightly paraphrased, of that great philosopher, Eric Cartman:
"It's my hot bloggy, Ah'll do what Ah want!"
yes, honey. yes it is. and yes you can. all day long. you can even rigorously screen out comments from people who disagree with your behavior, to make it seem like the whole world just loves what you're doing with your hot bloggy. because it's yours, and you can do what you want.
even if it makes you look silly.
it's your hot bloggy, after all, and you can do what you want.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Van Halen is touring?
except not with Michael Anthony on bass, but with Wolfgang Van Halen instead.
is this one of the seven signs?
note: for more delicious VH-related goodness (actually, a really cool post inspired at least tangentially by little old me) click here.
Mary Winkler is out.
Apparently she was treated for depression and PTSD, and released.
According to CNN:
Winkler never denied shooting her husband, Matthew, the popular new preacher at the Fourth Street Church of Christ in Selmer, a town of 4,500 people about 80 miles east of Memphis.
On March 22, 2006, church elders found his body -- with a shotgun wound to the back -- in the bedroom of the parsonage after he failed to show up for an evening service. His wife was arrested the next day with the couple's three young daughters in Orange Beach, Alabama, on the Gulf coast.
Mary Winkler was charged with murder, which could have sent her to prison for up to 60 years, but a jury found her guilty of voluntary manslaughter following an emotional trial in which she testified about suffering years of verbal and physical abuse.
In a statement to police after her arrest, Winkler said she didn't recall pulling the trigger .She said she apologized and wiped the blood that bubbled from her dying husband's lips as he asked, "Why?"
Prosecutors and Matthew Winkler's family members said he was a good husband and father.
But on the stand, Mary Winkler described a hellish 10-year marriage during which, she said, her husband struck her, screamed at her, criticized her and blamed her when things went wrong. She said he made her watch pornography and wear "slutty" costumes for sex, and that he forced her to submit to sex acts that made her uncomfortable.
She testified she pointed the shotgun at her husband during an argument to force him to talk through their problems, and "something went off."
A defense psychologist testified that she was depressed and showed classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mary Winkler initially received a three-year sentence in June. But Circuit Court Judge J. Weber McCraw required that she serve only 210 days, and allowed her to serve the rest of the time on probation.
She also received credit for five months she spent behind bars awaiting trial, which left only about 60 days to her sentence. McCraw ruled she could serve the time in a mental health facility.
the woman, a novice, challenges the man, considerably more experienced, to a duel on the blasted heath of the black&white squares. he accepts, intrigued. she smacktalks savagely, all bravado and bluster. he patiently waits until she makes a series of beginner mistakes, then takes her apart, like a cat delicately but savagely dismembering a mouse, until she realizes she's quite dead.
"good game", she says. she means it. they shake hands and part friends. she's exhilarated. the humiliation is delicious. addictive. they will meet again.
so here's the question. here we have a man, a woman, a chess set. considering that the woman is a novice, and men generally have dominated the chess world (as far as I know), what should a fellow do in this situation, if he considers himself a feminist, an ally, a profeminist man, whathaveyou? how should he behave in order to remain consistent in his principles?
a) grind her into paste, as that's the only way to learn to be a good chess player, and it is certainly desirable to encourage good female chess players (by any means necessary)?
b) let her win, so as to balance out the 2000 years of chess inequity, acting as an agent of reparations in a way?
c) "chess? who wants to play chess? that's soooooooo patriarchal. let's go shopping!"
I mean, when it comes to men and feminism, is it faith or works that distinguish the good guys from the bad guys?
Monday, August 13, 2007
it was a lovely ceremony, in Texas as I recall. and everyone was just thrilled.
(I guess that's how I knew it was a dream.)
but, naturally, when I woke up I had to go back to IBTP, for the first time in a while.
It's mostly the same as it ever was. The title of one of her recent posts is eyecatching and amusing, to wit:
"Are You A Fake Feminist?"
I take no small satisfaction in knowing that, apparently, I was a Fake Feminist waaaaaaaaay before it was cool.
The post is all about those stupid quizzes that show up here and there around the web, notably the "Are You A Feminist" quiz. She objects, naturally, and dissects the whole thing rather adeptly, and comes up with her own one-question "are you a feminist or not" quiz. Which, you know, no surprises there.
The thing about those quizzes is that they always, ALWAYS reveal more about the quiz-maker than the quiz-taker.
so here's Twisty's question to tell whether you're a feminist or not:
True or false: Anyone with the means to do so who doesn’t vociferously advocate women’s total liberation from male dominance and oppression is misogynist scum.
There you have it. Any thoughts? questions, comments, smart remarks?
Mind you, I personally can't answer the question before I know what she means by "means". fiscal? intellectual? emotional? what?
Nor can I really wrap my brain around what she's really after when she uses the words "liberation", "male dominance", and "oppression." So, if anyone has any thoughts on that, feel free.
A related question - is the author Gerda Lerner considered a reliable source?
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I don't know how many of y'all are really following the collapse of Heart's internet house of cards, but I have rather mixed feelings about it all.
which is not to say that I would not be distraught if (or, maybe more to the point, will not be distraught when) some idiot wind blows down my own internet house of cards. But nonetheless, I'm ambivalent --
One of the things I really admired about Heart, for all my disagreements with her, was her ability to build huge, apparently relatively diverse communities. And I still have to admit that her blogroll is enviably huge, her discussion threads enviably long, her readership enviably numerous and loyal (more loyal these days if not quite as numerous).
So, yeah, I'm awfully sad for her that her message board was destroyed. That's an awful lot of hard work and time and effort shot to hell - and that's a shame. That wide-ranging internet presence that is/was The Margins was not the result of an occasional offhand hour or two of HTML coding, but a real concerted effort to learn how to create functional web environments which, you know, takes real persistence and determination. And I have to say that even though our ideological differences are canyon-wide, I really respect that effort and dedication.
And now, all gone. Adieu, adieu, all's vanity. As a fellow human being who knows from loss, I can't help but grieve with her.
On the other tentacle, however, I hold no illusions that my shared grief will endear me to Heart or her pals. I am, and my pals are, after all, largely part of the problem in their eyes with all our porn-not-hating and Nigel-tolerating and patriarchy- um, whatevering. And that angers me to a level which threatens to eclipse my feelings of genuine sympathy. The idea that I, or any other nonradfem woman, is just the same as, just as bad as, a basement-dwelling adolescent 4channer is intolerably insulting.
I have to be honest about that, otherwise I feel like my expression of genuine sympathy is meaningless.
To be fair, maybe Heart herself doesn't believe that. but I get the sense that many in her community do. And I can't help but mention it.
Emboldened by my anger, and secure in the knowledge that she and her crew would spare me no tears if such a thing were to happen to me, I am moved to say this:
If y'all gonna talk shit, be prepared to draw flies.
Yes, I think that her campaign has something to do with the DNS attack. Absolutely. Presidential campaigns make people, um, inquisitive - just ask Gary Hart. People who are running for President ought not do certain things where people can see them - like hang out online with, and give all manner of approval to, people who would prefer to have aborted their male children rather than deal with knowing they masturbate with naked pictures. It's just not very presidential.
Yes, I think that it's reasonable to expect that a message board that amounts to a cesspool of intolerance is going to get hassled every now and then, not only by people with legitimate issues but also by people who think it's fun to wreck stuff and watch the fallout. And I think that a distinction should be made between one and the other.
Yes, I think she shoulda seen this coming.
So that's all I got on the subject. Good luck in rebuilding, Heart.
here's a related question: what was your adolescence like?
Traumatic? Agonizing? Excruciating? Carefree? Easy? Fun?
How did you make it through high school? Were you "tracked"? College prep? Vocational? Art/drama?
Anyone get their GED?
Did anyone's parents do anything RIGHT?
Saturday, August 04, 2007
"Heart, this is horrible. I¹m sorry that this is happening to you.
These people want nothing to do but to hurt you and your cause. I feel for
In fact, I want to feel you now. I¹d like to tie you down, take a
knife, and slit your throat. I¹d penetrate you over and over in all
orifices, and create some of my own to stick myself in."
And to this commenter I direct the following:
I have to wonder what you're really getting at here. Are you just trying to get a rise out of her? take the piss, as the british say?
I know it's fun to throw a little molotov cocktail-type comment like that into her internet living room, and watch everyone scurry like roaches to rush to her defense. But here's the problem with this particular type of attack - it doesn't work. It backfires. Nobody is looking at you like you're a hero - in fact you look like a moron and she looks like the Queen of Womanly Virtue.
I'm not saying that Heart is any great example of Human Brilliance - but the way you went after her only allows her and her pals to weep and moan and complain "see, see how men hate us? see how terrible those terrible men are? oh, woe is us! woe is us!"
which allows her to gain strength from all the "go sister" comments and praise she gets when she bitches about your comment. and with that strength she continues to spread her dubious philosophy like cow manure all over the internet. is that really what you had in mind?
Now, I'm not trying to tell you how to be or how to conduct your online life. But Heart and her gang are so dramatically illogical and irrational - why go for the low-hanging fruit of being sexually threatening, when you can actually address her on a more level playing field?
Just a thought. Knock off the immature bullshit and use your head next time.
here, I'll start:
Embryonic Journey, Jefferson Airplane
Fathers and Sons, Cat Stevens
Sleepwalk, Santo & Johnny
Isn't She Lovely, Stevie Wonder
or whatever you choose - what do you think would be cool?
thanks, all-a-y'all, for the words of encouragement.
so, anyone here homeschool? special-private-school? public-school? school-in-a-tree? school-underwater?
who has some thoughts on education they'd like to share?
Me, I'm intrigued by the whole homeschool/unschool thing, perhaps because the whole school trip made me totally bonkers. I rarely did my homework, hated math in all forms, skipped class to go to the library and read (that really made my parents mad) - and everything in my life from the time I was about 6 until I finally escaped was contingent on school.
Should an institution have that much power over a life?
All my parents and I ever did was fight. and I wasn't a druggie, I wasn't a noisy rock-n-roll chick, I didn't stay out late, I didn't run around with boys - I just didn't give a shit about school, so I had trouble at home. No end of trouble.
So I'm thinking - how about a life that is not so ground-into-paste by a tortured relationship with an institution that doesn't care if you live or die? I mean, The School System had no real investment in me or my life, beyond my performance on standardized tests (which I managed fairly easily). How about taking care of education in ways that don't cause World War Three around the dinner table every night? sounds like a plan.
BUT Antiprince has a few objections to the whole homeschool ethos.
Now, he himself had a rather chaotic childhood and a somewhat off-the-beaten-path educational experience. But, nonetheless he seems to think that public schools are adequate to the task.
or at least he thinks that homeschooling is no real solution to the problems presented by public school.
When he was working retail at the Discovery Channel Store back a few years ago, he noticed that a great many homeschooling families came to avail themselves of the many educational toys, games, videos and other objets d'smartypants that were sold there. He observed that some eight out of ten of these homeschooling families pulled their kids out of school to protect them from the eeeeeeeeevils of modern life - sex, rock music, the color red, that kind of thing. and the children of these homeschooling families were, in Antiprince's estimation, "odd", due to the social isolation that seemed to go hand in hand with homeschooling.
"Kittens spend lots of time playing with other kittens, learning to be big cats. It's the same with people. Growing up in isolation like that makes kids odd. I don't want my kid to be odd," he says.
"well, any more odd, anyway," I reply.
Funny thing - for as long as I've known him, this is the one thing we've ever disagreed on to any great extent...always in the abstract, until now...
anyhow - feel free to bloviate upon education. who knows, maybe Heart herself will stop by with her expert testimony on homeschooling, to edify us all with her extensive knowledge, or something.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
What's a doula? do I want one?
What's a "birthing ball"? How come nobody talks about Lamaze anymore? What's up with the "birthing tub"?
WHEN WILL I FEEL LESS LIKE DEATH?
And more to the point:
How can I make sure, absolutely positively rocksolid sure, that our child will love us? or even like us? or just-barely-tolerate us?
Because there's no guarantee of that, even if we were the Most Perfect Parents Ever.
I'm sure my mother didn't mean to be neglectful and drunk most of the time. I'm sure my dad wasn't trying to be terrifying. God knows they did their best, right?
And for my husband's part, I'm sure his parents did not intend to be too wound up in their own complex and disturbing pathologies to pay any attention to him and his sister.
blah blah blah, road to hell, blah blah, good intentions, blah.
And, you know, if those good people, our parents, who were by all accounts Nice People and Hard Working Solid Citizens with Good Traditional Values - if they could let it all come undone, what are the odds that marginal, barely-functional freaky types like us can keep it together?
It took me my entire life to learn to love my mother. by the time I figured it out, she was gone. As for my dad, well - the jury's still out.
And every decision I make about the baby, every thought I think about it, every option I contemplate down to the color of baby blankets is haunted - haunted - by my stepmother's curse, spat out between clenched teeth and narrowed eyes, aimed at my heart:
"I hope you have children who are JUST LIKE YOU."
So I could know how much I made them suffer, so I could see how awful, how terrible, how disgusting I was in mirror image, so I could be sorry sorry sorry I ever behaved so badly. So I would understand, finally, and regret, and Straighten Up.
because nobody really wants children who are JUST LIKE ME. how could they?
Riddle me that, Batmom.