Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the MC edition

Holy cow, you guys, there is a lot this week. I started making my TTPMOT list yesterday and it quickly took up over a page. There are so many things going on right now. So many things.

It's the last week of school here, which logically means that I had two kids home from school sick yesterday, and they just so happened to be the two kids of mine that are in walking orthopedic boots. One for a strained Achilles (plus a raging ear infection since she refuses to take allergy medication then her head fills up with mucus and festers and here we are...but noooooo don't listen to your mother, child.) The other for a mystery injury that might be a fracture, but they aren't sure what is going on and actually just scheduled an MRI because we need some answers about why it isn't improving at all.

Oh, and it's 48 degrees and pouring. We might get snow tonight. Colorado, you so crazy.

Let's get to the stuff on the list, though, because there is a lot.

Off we go.

The I'm not judging but I'm totally judging crowd
Lord. The internet is a lovely thing, really it is. Most of the time. When it sucks ass is when it gives people a platform to proclaim to the world all their opinions about how other people live their lives. I've just never understood why it bothers some people so freaking much how other people live. If it doesn't affect you, it's really none of your damn business.

In the past week, I've seen condemnations of parents who allow their children to have soda (or GASP have it in the house ordinarily). I've seen people climb up onto that soapbox to talk about the books kids shouldn't read and the movies they shouldn't see. I've seen people in one breath say that they aren't judging other parents but then go on and on and on about how the way they are doing it is really the only right one. I've seen people bitching about the "kind of people" who get tattoos (p.s. you should know that you're talking shit about me if you're talking shit about the inked, so keep that in mind, folks). I've seen people ranting about open marriages and polyamorous relationships, mostly in biblical contexts about the sanctity of marriage and chastity and loyalty.

That last one, just wow. If you think that open marriage and polyamory (which, btw are two different things that can in some circumstances co-exist) have anything to do with deception or betrayal, then you clearly don't know what you are talking about. Deception and betrayal are as forbidden in polyamory and open marriages as in traditional relationships, perhaps even more so. If you don't even understand the dynamics of the agreements and can't conceive of the fact that we're talking about consenting adults who are all completely open to the arrangements they choose, then spare the world your condemnation.

Just because you wouldn't choose something for yourself doesn't mean that other people can't or won't or shouldn't. Also, you should probably know that throwing the Bible at people who aren't religious is a waste of time.

Save Chase
In Florida, there is a little boy named Chase at the center of an intense legal controversy. Well, more specifically, his foreskin is at the center of the controversy. And no, I'm not kidding.

Chase's parents split up when he was a newborn. At the time, they agreed that he would be circumcised. She changed her mind shortly thereafter, saying that the procedure is unnecessary and dangerous. Chase's father has continued to pursue legal action to compel the surgery, even though Chase is now 4 years old.

Chase's mother was just arrested after taking the child and going into hiding to avoid complying with a court order to hand him over to his father for the procedure. Several doctors have refused to have anything to do with the matter, and the case has become a huge issue of contention between anti-circumcision activists and those who advocate for the rights of parents to force children to undergo medical procedures.

Whether you personally agree with it or not, whether your sons are circumcised or not, it is almost always a procedure done on newborn babies, not preschoolers fully aware of what is happening to them. At this point, Chase is sufficiently old to have full awareness of what his father plans to force him to go through. I can't believe that there are judges out there ruling that the father has the right to force this issue at this point, since there is absolutely no indication of necessity of this procedure. This isn't akin to the cases where courts will compel parents to administer chemotherapy to sick children. Chase is healthy. Removing his foreskin won't save his life, it will just make his father happy.

Chase should be permitted to grow up without being subjected to this surgery at this point in his life, and if and when he decides to remove his foreskin as an adult, that should be none of his father's (or anyone's) business.

Meghan Trainor isn't a role model
I feel like I've been saying this for months already, but she isn't a role model, she just plays one on the radio. Her songs are bubblegum pop with lyrics that claim to be about female empowerment, but really that isn't what they are about at all. All About That Bass might have claimed it was celebrating the girls with curves, but it did it at the expense of the "skinny bitches" and implied that because boys like a little more booty to hold at night somehow matters in the overall scheme of things.

Nope. All the nope.

We can celebrate body empowerment and embrace people of all sizes without shaming others or telling a bunch of little girls that their sex appeal to men is what matters most about their bodies.

Her new song, I think, actually bothers me more though. You've probably heard it. The Dear Future Husband one.  Ugh. If you haven't heard it, I'll share some of the lyrics here.

Buy me a ring
Buy-buy me a ring, (babe)

You gotta know how to treat me like a lady
Even when I'm acting crazy

I'll be sleeping on the left side of the bed (hey)
Open doors for me and you might get some kisses
Don't have a dirty mind

Here's the thing. I really don't care if her ideal future self doesn't give a shit about cooking and expects to be treated like a princess. That last little group of lyrics is extra charming because she's really saying open doors for me and you'll get some head. The kisses part might as well come with an asterisk. If you don't believe me, watch the video.

Which, again, is fine if that's how she thinks marriage works. Women are crazy but men need to deal with it, then if they just open doors for us and give us money, they get blow jobs in exchange. Uh huh.

Good lord. She is SO not about empowering women, as she rolls around on the kitchen floor...

I sincerely hope that my kids never believe for one second that an actual relationship is based on any of that shit. I'd rather them think that marriage is about commitment and shared interests and supporting one another and mutual respect. Not rings and BJs.

Let's just call it what it is - bad pop radio music made by a young girl who hasn't a clue about the world. She's not a role model and she certainly isn't advancing empowerment.

The Boston Bomber Verdict
In the event you missed it, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death last week for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing. Some people celebrated. I'm not one of them. There are a few reasons, and I could (and have) written entire posts about this topic. I'll save you the long diatribe and reduce this to a bulleted list because there's a lot to cover this week.

- The fact that we still use the death penalty is an international abomination, one that we were called on the carpet for yet again by the UN Human Rights Commission recently. We are not in good company when you see what other countries in the world also still use death as a punishment.

- Death sentences carry with them a lot more mandated appeals, dragging out the already lengthy appeals process and costing a ton of money.

- The last time someone was executed after being convicted of a federal crime was in 2003. There have only been three killed since the federal death penalty was reinstated.

- When you are dealing with religious fundamentalism, often death is considered a tribute to the cause. Killing him may only make him more of a martyr in the eyes of many people.

- We are supposed to be better than the terrorists.

I could go on, but I suspect I've already got a few of you out there shining up your pitchforks and getting ready to yell at me.

Game of Thrones and the trouble with Sansa
Ooookay, so if you haven't seen this week's episode, skip down to the next section. I'm going to write spoilers. Also...trigger alert...

Sansa married the very sadistic Ramsey Bolton this week, in a huge departure from what happens in the books. At this point, the books are really more like a suggestion more than a path we're on anyway, but there are a few departures that fans of the series are having trouble reconciling. Sansa's fate is a big one.

In the books, she doesn't marry Ramsey, and she certainly doesn't get raped by him on her wedding night as Theon (a.k.a. Reek) is forced to watch. I'm not sure how or why they did things this way, but I have to assume that it was to try and make Theon seem like a more sympathetic character given his past history of killing children.

There are a LOT of people pissed about the rape scene, about the violation of Sansa in this way. My personal perspective, though, is that considering the episodes leading up to this point and how she came to marry him, it wasn't exactly unexpected, even by her. In fact, there's an argument to be made (not that I'm making it, mind you) that she knew this would happen.

The show runners seem preoccupied with rape far more than Martin ever has and this is hardly the first instance where sexual violence was added to the show when it is absent from the books. They've never managed to come up with a compelling explanation for why that is. I'm listening.

AYFKM Disney?
Oh, Disney. Really???? The Princess of North Sudan is a movie supposedly in production right now. But it's not about what you think it would be about. Nooooooo.

It's not a movie about an African Princess. Nope.

It's a movie about a white little girl who says she wants to be a princess, so her daddy goes and declares himself the king of a piece of land in Africa, which makes her a princess. The best part??? It's based on a true story.

Who the hell thought this was a good idea?

Finally....what I wrote last week didn't actually need to happen....
Sheesh. I wrote in last week's TTPMOT about how I wonder what the reception of Sons of Anarchy would have been like had the gang at the center of the story been the Mayans or the Niners instead of SAMCRO. I wondered aloud why this show about the horrendous violence of a white gang was celebrated so much in a world that would condemn such violence from any other group.

Then Waco happened this week, and mostly white motorcycle gangs got into a huge gunfight that left 9 people dead. One of the gangs involved, the Bandidos, is the second largest MC in the world behind Hells Angels.

Like SOA playing out in real life, no lie.

What happened immediately and has happened in the days since, though is pretty freaking telling about our society. The main suspects were alive, sitting on the curb, chatting with police. Other club members are seen in pictures playing on their phones aside officers. The gangs involved are being referred to as "serious enterprises" by the media, not thugs or hoodlums. We aren't seeing lengthy discussions about the decay of the white family or the absence of white fathers contributing to white on white violence. The National Guard hasn't been called and there aren't curfews being issued. The NY Times called the altercation a "melee", not a gang war.

People are already shouting about how this has nothing to do with race. And to a certain degree, they are right. Gangs exist in every racial group. Violence exists in every racial group.

What is different though, is the way the gangs and violence are perceived and treated by the media and law enforcement.

And like it or not, that absolutely has to do with race.

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