Monthly Archives: December 2008

Last Stream Of Consciousness Post of 08

End of the year house-cleaning:

Music City Bowl Madness!  This town is on FIRE, baby! (ok, not so much)

I thought Vince Young looked pretty good on Sunday, considering the number of snaps he took this season.  I say we should be encouraged.

S-Town Mike should be ashamed of himself for using up all the available bandwidth of the internets with his goody two shoes reporting on the TVA disaster.  Otherwise, I’d be all over it.  (Southern Beale, you should feel some shame too, sister)

I have three good friends out of work.  Its hard to celebrate when people you care about are struggling.

Got to meet some bloggers last night that I have “known” for awhile, just never met.  That make any sense?  And may I say, that Christian G. is a cutie!

I think I can safely say that the mere act of inviting politically engaged bloggers to a meeting to discuss strategy is a positive step.  I heard some stuff that alarmed me, and i heard some stuff that encouraged me to stay involved.  In the beginning, the meeting suffered by having no outline, and no clear agenda.  Also, it was immediately apparent that elected officials and bloggers don’t always speak the same language, but overall, everyone there seemed intent on listening to us.  Perhaps one or two them ran home afterward, fired up their Commodore, dialed up the interweb, and recorded their thoughts onto Lotus SmartSuite word processor. ;)

Its been a rough year.  09 looks like it may be rougher.  Its hard to fight the urge to hunker down, stock up, and bow out.  (I don’t know how to hunker, exactly anyway) I know I’m making hard choices, and I’m about to make my kid’s lives miserable for awhile, as i demand that they take on more responsibility here at Coyote Creek.   But I have faith in them.

Wishing all of you a Happy New Year!

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Sludge, Rockets, And Racists

Last year, I thought to put up a “Closed For The Holidays” sign on the front door of The Chronicles.  Sadly, this year, I just locked the door and went home.  Apologies.  I’m hoping that after Tuesday, i’ll know which direction I’ll be taking this blog.  Meanwhile, I can tell you that I’m watching what is happening on the Gaza strip, Roane County, and of course, waiting for someone at the RNC to denounce, repudiate, and then apologize for Chip Saltzman.  Oh, and the Russians are squeezing their neighbors to gain total control of the gas distribution pipeline.  Viva Europa!

I gotta give mad (major) props(accolades) to S-Town Mike for being all over the TVA for their dishonesty.

Back soon!

UPDATE:  I forgot!  Pakistani troops beefing up along the Indian border.  No biggie.

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FGF-Best Live Performance Ever

If you sing or play guitar, this is what you should use as your benchmark…

(Well, someday, someone needs to explain why people who post videos to You tube sometimes prevent you from embedding those same videos.  Seems hypocritical.  So, it was an unbelieveable performance by Pete Townsend doing “Drowned”.  Awesome.  In its place, I’ll post this, which occured on the same night.  What a show.

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Herd Word

I always have mixed feelings about this time of year.  The horses went to Winter pasture early, since we ran out of grass so quickly in their lot, so of course I miss them.  I went down to the other side of the property to see them yesterday, with apples and carrots, of course.  They ran down the hill upon hearing me call, the two goats doing their insane weaving in and out from horse to horse at a break-neck pace.  We had a brief visit, I checked the condition of their feet, rubbed a nose or two and walked back up the hill.

This time they spend on Winter grass is good for them.  They must run up and down hills, and they get to see the parts of the property where they will be ridden.  My feed costs go way down, (except for the hay I put up) and I am able to work out back without bothering to close gates behind me every time I need to do something.  The hard part of this arrangement, though, is that all the time you spent with them in the Spring, Summer, and Fall will mean nothing for a few weeks when they return.  You have to start all over again, earning their trust, and their respect, if you want to deal with them safely.  This will be Supermousey’s year to take control of the day to day care and feeding.  She doesn’t know it yet, but I plan to pile more and more responsibility for what happens here on the farm on her.  Nog too, but he hasn’t embraced the large animals yet.

img_0036

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I Am Favreau

In the past few days, I have been told that I am in need of a “lesson”, told to seek therapy, called a misogynst, and had it inferred that i support violence against women, all because a drunken 27 yr old Holy Cross grad made a clumsy and insensitive attempt to make his friends laugh.  Or, rather, because I felt that the heat directed toward him was a bit over the top.  I never called the act harmless, or good fun.  I never uttered the phrase “boys will be boys”.  In fact, I thought he should be called on the carpet by his superiors, and that his dressing down should be somewhat public.  And I said so.

Let me be clear.  I think that calls for him to be fired in addition to being  publicly humiliated are misguided.  Sure, he will still make a lot of money in his career, he is a brilliant wordsmith, and someone will utilize his talent, but that isn’t the point.  Taking away a person’s livelihood over one stupid act strikes me as unnecessarily cruel.  He will probably have to wear the label of misogynist for the rest of his life, and I object to that as well.  I mentioned in some comments here that I might very well have done the same thing, if a perfect storm of fatigue, alcohol ingestion, and elation had taken place in my young life.  The reality is, it could have happened in this part of my life.  The idea that I would forever after be branded a misogynist as a result infuriates me.  To all the PUMAS and PUMA apologists out there, don’t you get that?  Go ahead and call me out if you think its insensitive.  Call it stupid and demeaning.  But try and hang the label of misogynist around my neck, and you’re in for a fight. My brother and my sisters and I know a little about domestic violence.  We were victims of it for years.  To me, the label of misogynist carries with it the implication that as such, you condone violence against women.  Since I remember hiding, terrified, upon seeing my mother struck with a lamp, I have never raised a hand to my wife or children, and have been financially supportive to Women and Children’s shelters, so my only response to be called a misogynst is a hearty fuck you.

Then there are some political realities to consider.  Its funny, because in an attempt to find articles to support my contention that overly strident feminist arguements do more harm than good, I decided to use the phrase rightly or wrongly attributed to Andrea Dworkin:  “all sex is rape.” (paraphrased, further down I’ll offer up a quote by Cathy Young as to why)  That attribution to Ms. Dworkin, which, after researching it, seems fair, offered the Right Wing an incredible opportunity to dimiss her and her entire body of work.  How easy it was to frame that into a perfectly logical sounding argument that feminism, at its core, is about the hatred of men.  It is folly to think that didn’t drive countless women away from feminism in general.  (Not to mention supportive men)

Here are two more quotes attributed to Ms. Dworkin:

“Childbearing is glorified in part because women die from it. “
“Seduction is often difficult to distinguish from rape. In seduction, the rapist often bothers to buy a bottle of wine. “

Cathy Young, writing for Reason Online, said this about Dworkin:

Unfortunately, she took her battle with her private demons into the public square, and ended up doing far more damage to feminism than any right-wing cabal. (Ironically, some right-wingers eagerly embraced not only Dworkin’s antiporn zeal but her argument that sexual liberation has hurt women.) Men, too, have been casualties of a climate in which a Vassar College official could tell Time magazine that a false rape charge might be a beneficial consciousness-raising experience for male students.

A new twist in society’s perception came in 1975, when Susan Brownmiller published her book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. In it she attacked the concept that rape was a sex crime, arguing instead that it was a crime of violence and power over women. Throughout history, she wrote, rape has played a critical function. “It is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation, by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.”

Out of this contention was born a set of arguments that have become politically correct wisdom on campus and in academic circles. This view holds that rape is a symbol of women’s vulnerability to male institutions and attitudes. “It’s sociopolitical,” insists Gina Rayfield, a New Jersey psychologist. “In our culture men hold the power, politically, economically. They’re socialized not to see women as equals.”

This line of reasoning has led some women, especially radicalized victims, to justify flinging around the term rape as a political weapon, referring to everything from violent sexual assaults to inappropriate innuendos. Ginny, a college senior who was really raped when she was 16, suggests that false accusations of rape can serve a useful purpose. “Penetration is not the only form of violation,” she explains. In her view, rape is a subjective term, one that women must use to draw attention to other, nonviolent, even nonsexual forms of oppression. “If a woman did falsely accuse a man of rape, she may have had reasons to,” Ginny says. “Maybe she wasn’t raped, but he clearly violated her in some way.”

Catherine Comins, assistant dean of student life at Vassar, also sees some value in this loose use of “rape.” She says angry victims of various forms of sexual intimidation cry rape to regain their sense of power. “To use the word carefully would be to be careful for the sake of the violator, and the survivors don’t care a hoot about him.” Comins argues that men who are unjustly accused can sometimes gain from the experience. “They have a lot of pain, but it is not a pain that I would necessarily have spared them. I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration. ‘How do I see women?’ ‘If I didn’t violate her, could I have?’ ‘Do I have the potential to do to her what they say I did?’ Those are good questions.”

Those who hope to raise society’s sensitivity to the problem of date rape would do well to concede that it is not precisely the same sort of crime as street rape, that there may be very murky issues of intent and degree involved. (emphasis mine)

In this comment thread, I implied that the Women’s Movement has not even convinced the majority of women that feminism is important to them, so how on Earth were they to attempt to “teach us men”?

Those two ideas quoted above, I believe, were not written for real world application, but, rather, for like minded female academics to nod in agreement with.  Because no one else will, and, in politics, the idea is to frame an argument in a way that attracts rather than repels.

I also decided to see what that noted Patriarch Andrew Sullivan had to say about the whole affair, since he knows a thing or two about oppression.  Zilch, except to bestow his Moore Award (for bitter, divisive, Left-Wing rhetoric) to Dee Dee Myers for her take on it.

And this about Dworkin, which i think lends support to at least part of my argument:

I’m not surprised that so many on the social right liked Andrea Dworkin. Like Dworkin, their essential impulse when they see human beings living freely is to try and control or stop them – for their own good. Like Dworkin, they are horrified by male sexuality, and see men as such as a problem to be tamed. Like Dowkin, they believe in the power of the state to censor and coerce sexual feedom. Like Dworkin, they view the enormous new freedom that women and gay people have acquired since the 1960s as a terrible development for human culture. Cathy Young has a great blog item exploring these connections here. Dworkin, of course, was somewhat too frank in her hatred of sexual freedom to achieve any real political power. But the theocons … well, they’re helping frame big government conservatism as we speak.”

I have several pages of quotes cut and pasted into a wordpad document that show, in my opinion, that you can be a Liberal, be supportive of Women’s Rights, be sensitive to dangerous characterizations, yet, still disagree with overly strident, yes, shrill(somebody please explain to me why some women want to take ownership of this adjective) statements about men, or about men’s intentions.  Or, what value symbolism holds in a political discussion.  Or the assertion that seduction is really rape.  All I’m asking for is to be convinced, not labeled a Neandrethal for not agreeing with you.

This probably won’t make me anyone’s internet boyfriend…

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FGF: Doesn’t Have To Be Music

Cuz, this makes me feel good.

a_smaller_id_by_fierce_monsoon

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Another From Her Collection

vampires

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Photographer and Model, Both Age 12

I’ve decided to feature some work by a VERY talented 12 yr girl photographer.

waterincolor

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Happy Birthday Heartbreak!

Or, as they like to say ’round these parts…sigh….

Lordy Lordy, looky whos forty!

Just wanted you to know that I will always be thankful for our relationship, weird as it gets sometimes.  I have so many fond memories of watching you perform, and your voice has always sent goodly shivers up my spine.  Damn goodly.  Enjoy your day, kiddo.

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Once More, Into The Breach

Though I’m loathe to continue to point out this story, it seems to have hit home with many local bloggers, and, it sparked a long conversation on Google talk between me and Aunt B.  It was weird how fast we brought it full circle, and i was alarmed by something I’ll reference in a bit…

Sharon Cobb wrote about it, calling for the Prez-elect to fire the young speechwriter/symbolic molester.  Sean Braisted responded, Aunt B responded to that, Coma chimed in this morning (well, I read it this morning) and now I feel compelled to respond myself.

However, I don’t care to debate whether or not the young lads should canned.  I’ll just say that ending a promising career over a stupid prank seems counter-productive.  So are comparisons to date rape.  One cannot draw a line connecting the two, straight or otherwise.

Some time ago, I wrote about whether or not condescention was hostility.  I don’t believe it is, without really stretching the definition of that word, but the debate was lively and civil and very informative.  I have also been taken to task for using the word “shrill” to describe a woman’s argument.  I believe Aunt B would call that a “teachable moment.”  She may be right, but in our conversation this morning, I began to realize how little some very smart feminists understand about the average man.

So, I have to wonder how you teach, without knowing how your average pupil processes the information in the lesson.

Advocates tend to adopt “scorched earth” approach to their issue.  Every slight is elevated to a Class A Felony.  (Ha, I should admit here that Aunt B countered this by saying that burning ahead of the fire is good strategy, and i staggered a minute before composing myself)  By trying to connect something intended as harmless humor to something intended to cause injury, advocates lose their intended audience.  Then, I have to ask, who are you teaching?

An example:  The other day, I took my 12 yr old daughter and her friend to the mall to shop.  We were having fun, laughing at each other’s jokes, and we were cutting up inside a dept store.  Somewhere near the mall entrance, the store had a full sized mannequin wearing a skirt so short you could see it’s buttocks.  As I walked by, I patted it.  Of course the girls cracked up.  I have done this same thing in front of The Primary Wife, and she usually just shakes her head in feigned disgust, but gets the joke.  Sure, she knows me, and knows that I am not a controlling person, that I mean no harm, and that it is funny because it is so preposterous.

Now, she knows a little about rape, and its horrors.  I would wager that as a veteran E.R. Nurse, shes seen more rape victims than most feminists.  But it would never occur to her to connect that prank, or the one committed by Favreau to the act of rape, forcible or otherwise.  It is precisely that reason that if she braced me about something regarding women’s rights, (for lack of a better word) she would have my attention.  I’ve known this woman for 17 years, and she is never shrill.  Never.

This is getting too long, but my point is that sometimes, feminists assign an evil intent to an act where it does not exist, at least not in the mind of the offender.  And that is precisely where it matters.  Our legal system places a great deal of importance on intent, so the person who does something careless isn’t held accountable for some unforeseen outcome.

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