Once upon a time, I wrote these posts almost every week.
I don't really have a compelling excuse at the moment, aside from the tiny man currently ruling everything about my life. I don't get much time to even touch a computer, let alone think about writing anything.
I SUPPOSE I could have written more this weekend, but I was super busy with a triathlon.
And by triathlon, I mean that I watched the entire season of Orange Is The New Black (more on that later), I finished two books and pulled two all nighters in a row. Three things.
There. I did it.
Okay, not really a "triathlon", but these accomplishments should at least be worth one of those stickers to put on the back of my car, right???
Let's get to this week's list. I should warn you that this list is in no way all-inclusive. It's just the stuff that happens to come to mind while my fingers are screaming out this rant onto the keyboard.
I Do Not Think That Means What You Think It Means...
A friend of a friend (and I use the term loosely here....) participated in a "Patriot Ride" this past weekend in Florida. Yeah, those air quotes are intentional.
Just because you call something a "Patriot Ride" doesn't magically turn it into one, folks.
Basically, a bunch of people decided that they'd do a drive by of the Islamic Cultural Center in Fort Pierce, in order to "show their pride" and "demonstrate their patriotism"...reasons that fairly quickly revealed themselves to be much closer to "let them know we aren't afraid of them and take back our country".
So you think that organizing a huge group of bikers to buzz a place for the Islamic community to peacefully gather is an acceptable way for you to declare your opinions to "them", and that it's not a form of intimidation???
I know that if I had 50 or 100 bikers show up on my front lawn, revving their engines at me, staring me down, blocking my entrance and exit, showing me who is boss, I totally wouldn't think that was some kind of veiled threat.
You have a right to your opinions right up to the point when they become assault. You start fucking with other people's lives, you start intimidating people, you start using large groups of people to send a message....guess what?
You've just become a terrorist.
I'm pretty sure there's a hat for that.
p.s. If you participate in or support things like this, you can still redeem yourself as a human. Realize that what you are doing is wrong. Apologize. Educate yourself about the community you're lashing out at. Intervene when other people start bashing them or suggesting these stunts. Be a better human. Be an actual Patriot. You can do it.
Orange Is The New Black
Before I write anything about the season, I want to first say that you can ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you that I have loved this show from the beginning, but pretty much hated Piper from the first moment I saw her. I mean, I GET IT. The book that the show is based on was written by a white woman, rooted in her experiences in prison. I do. As a result, it was from the perspective of a white woman. But mygodshehasalwaysbeenannoying and Piper's privilege of whiteness is in full effect this season.
The show has been a important one from the beginning for the role it has played in the whole enlightening society about what life is really like for inmates thing. Most people who've never been to jail or prison have no idea, don't care and never want to even think about it.
Until you toss in a few psuedo-lesbian porn scenes with some hot white chicks, and suddenly you have a success on your hands. Hard eyeroll.
Anyway, I have loved the show for its realistic portrayal of much of the things that most people don't understand about life for these women.
This season, though. Goddamn.
but more important
Again, I GET IT. I get what they are trying to do. I do. Honest. I'd get it a whole lot more if there was more diversity on the crew writing the show, though. Any white-inmate perspective should have expired when the pages from the book ran their course.
What is bothering me, really bothering me all the way through to my core, though, is the fact that so many people are totally devastated at the way the season ended...but can't see that not too much about this season was "fictional"...and yeah, I'm using the air quotes on that one. This season borrowed heavily from actual news stories of actual things that have happened, and I just can't rally behind that OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE THE SHOW RUNNERS DID THAT thing when reality says shit like that happens far too often in real life and people contentedly turn a blind eye.
I mean, do we really need to see a character we've come to love for years (especially one who is already a member of the most marginalized segment of society as a LGBTQ person of color) get killed in order to grow a conscience about the way people are treated by the system? Do we?
Clearly I am making the argument that we shouldn't.
It's like the whole "what if was your sister" argument about why people should care about rape. Why the fuck does it matter????
It shouldn't matter.
You should care about rape and you should care about how fucked up the prison/justice system is because people are hurt every day and sometimes they are killed and you need to know the names of the real people, not just the ones on TV.
This isn't about Poussey, because she's a fictional character exploiting all the worst things about recent news stories for ratings.
This sure as hell isn't about the background of the guard who killed her or couldn't deal with her death, because the fact that we're even told that story is drenched with privilege.
This is about Sandra Bland and all the women (and men) you've never even heard of because the media didn't bother to tell you.
This is about where the for-profit prison road travels. Read this if you haven't already.
This is about the deeply rooted institutional racism present in law enforcement, in prosecution, in conviction rates, in length of sentencing, in time spent in solitary confinement.
This is about the effect of a few decades of criminalizing non-violent drug offenders.
So, yeah, watch the show if you want. Just don't think it's truly fictional, because even if you can turn it off and walk away and go back to your normal life, there are plenty of actual people in this society who can't. If you can't or don't need to watch it because you already know people live it, I get that.
Also, go read this. Go. I'll wait.
A quick and dirty list of ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
- Rick Tyler, running for office in Tennessee, put up some billboards advocating for his candidacy with the promise to "MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN". I really wish I was kidding.
- Eric Casebolt, the cop that threw a teenage girl to the ground last summer because she happened to be at a pool party while black (and that upset some old white lady who called the cops), isn't being charged with anything. If only we had video of the incident to remove any debate about what actually happened.....oh wait. We do.
- There will also be no charges in the death of Kendrick Johnson, a teenage boy found dead rolled up in a wrestling mat in a high school gymnasium because his death was ruled an accident. WHAT. His death was ruled an "accident"??? How exactly do you figure that? He sure as hell didn't roll himself up in that mat. Anyone who rolled him up in it did so intentionally, and even if they might not have intended to kill him, that was the consequence of their actions - so there should AT A MINIMUM be a charge of manslaughter here, and that wouldn't even be good enough.
Guns don't kill people, people kill people....
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I've heard it. I'm tired of it. I'm over people telling anyone who brings up how gun deaths are preventable every time another person dies at the hands of someone with a gun that right now isn't the time, and this is a tragedy and we need to pray for the family.
When is the time?
It wasn't after a movie theater became a deathzone.
It wasn't after a classroom's worth of little kids were killed.
It wasn't after a nightclub was attacked.
It won't be after a mother who advocated for her right to protect her family killed her daughters. I'm SO glad she had the right to protect her family from whatever theoretical threat she perceived. Too bad no one protected them from her.
It won't be after the next toddler shoots a sibling or a friend or a parent or themselves because someone left a gun within their reach....because this happens on a fairly regular basis and we haven't done anything after any of these deaths.
Congress won't do anything. Any time someone on a state level attempts to do anything, they're met with immediate lawsuits and recall elections. At least SCOTUS has figured out that the thoughts and prayers for the families of dead people aren't going to magically create time machines and take us back to a place where we can prevent the deaths just by praying. They said this week that states can prevent those convicted of domestic violence from possessing weapons in Voisine v. United States. Misdemeanor assault convictions for domestic violence are sufficient to invoke a federal ban on firearms possession. It's a step.
Clinton can't pick Warren because "no one" will vote for two women
The rumor mills have been circulating for a while now that Hillary Clinton may choose Elizabeth Warren as her running mate. As someone who hoped Warren would be the one running long before now, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about all this. Regardless of how I feel, it's looking more and more likely given the joint appearances the two are making and the more deliberate attacks Warren is making on Trump as of late.
What I'm seeing a whole lot of as a result of these rumors are people saying that there's no way that she'll pick Warren because people won't vote for two women.
It would, apparently, be objectionable to vote for a team composed of two people of the same gender.
Oh you mean like how every pairing of President and Vice President since the inception of this country have been two dudes???