Monday, June 29, 2015

On Glass Houses and Stones

Bristol Palin is pregnant. Again. Outside the bounds of holy matrimony. Again. She who took off the Candies Foundation for a quarter mil for preaching abstinence has somehow found it impossible to keep from scratching the itch before she "put a ring on it".

It should be pretty obvious to anyone paying attention that whilst advocating for teen abstinence, Bristol, who was already a mother of one when she was 18,  hasn't exactly been, ahem, abstaining. Now, amazingly, she says that she wants no judgment, no lectures, that her family is disappointed, and that this pregnancy was, in fact, planned.

Okay. No judgment. No lectures. In exchange, Bristol Palin should just admit that she likes sex. A LOT. Oh, and she should give back the money. And, she should stop with the judgments and the lectures and the references to the Almighty, because that just makes her look like more of a hypocrite, as if we needed more of those.

If you haven't already guessed friends, this is another one of these posts where I observe how we in this country confer celebrity status on people who shouldn't be anywhere near it. Bristol Palin, whose mother ran for VP in 2008, is a particularly vapid example of those who preach a kind of repressive morality that they don't themselves practice, and get paid a lot of money to do it. So while Ms. Palin may want a pass for her obvious lack of integrity, she may just find rocks being thrown at her glass house.

Just Sayin'....

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Madness Comes Full Circle

Last week, after a long moment spent staring long and hard at the face and hair-do of Rachel Dolezal, she who would be outed for attempting (and succeeding for nearly a decade) to pass as black in Spokane, WA, we got jolted back into lurid reality from absurd fantasy. Down in Charleston, SC, a young man barely out of his teens (yea, barely out of diapers!) with the most awful impression of David McCallum's hair-cut from "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." proceeded to commit mayhem at a Bible study in one of the oldest historically black churches in the nation. After sitting for an hour with the attendees, and after having second thoughts because, as he said, "Everyone was so nice," he murdered 9 people, all black, including the pastor. He left one woman alive (after asking if she'd been shot yet), and explained to her that he had to do this, "because you're raping our women and you're taking over our country. So you have to go."

Let's just clear a couple of things up right from the off.
This is a racially motivated hate crime. Full stop.
Dylann Storm Roof is a domestic terrorist. Again, full stop. Somewhere along the way in Eastover, SC (a real place; not to be confused with East Over Shoe), this pathetic young man who had to repeat 9th grade and decided it wasn't worth the bother, became radicalized listening to the sweet rantings of the Council of Conservative Citizens which believes, among other things that mixing the races is against God and the natural order. Dylann Roof actually got the idea that no one was actively doing anything about the USA's steady movement toward inclusion and equality, which, despite all the focus on what's wrong right now, has been happening. If it weren't, we wouldn't be talking about a kid with a bad haircut shooting up a church full of black people.

So he had to act. Can't have these black and white folks getting together. God only knows what might happen. We might find out we're all (gasp!) the same. Dylann Roof was going to make damned sure that never happens, and in the process, start a race war (which radicals on the political right have been hankering for ever since I can remember). Civil War 2.0.

Funny thing happened though. The victims' families, instead of lashing out in absolutely understandable rage and pain, saw through that, and offered forgiveness. Now forgiveness is not something you do for other people. It's something you do for yourself. These families were taking the first step towards healing for themselves as they watched Dylann Roof on a courtroom screen being arraigned. He'd confessed to the murders. Now he looked a bit sheepish that his bold statement failed to have the effect he intended.

So what we have here is a restating of events. Just to be clear, this isn't a one-off. This is a pattern, a sort of deranged synchronicity playing itself out to its own strangely logical conclusion. Incidents of police brutality towards black citizens have been getting press for about a year now, but those who seek to profit from dividing us keep insisting race is not a factor, and that these people are just getting "what they deserve". Those same people are sputtering now to apply the same logic to this case and apoplectic that it doesn't hang as well. This case is pretty, as they say, black and white. Open and shut. The killer confessed. Even if we indulge the talking heads for a moment and say that these other cases are dubious, THIS ONE AIN'T. It's as clear cut as a case gets, and the victims could not be more innocent. It's time to connect the dots.

Let's quit kidding ourselves. The USA has a lot of ugly history to face up to and resolve if it wants to move forward, and the Dylann Rooves (plural of Roof), and their enablers cannot be allowed to frame the discussion anymore. They cannot be allowed to confuse the issue, divide us, and profit from that division. They have nothing to stand on and nothing to contribute. It's time we tune them out so that people who understand the truth can grapple with what the world will look like now that it's been proven that we are all the same, that we are all one.

Big Blue Marble, a PBS series that ran from 1974-1983. It showed us how we're more alike than not.

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Wreckage of Trains

Kim Kardashian is pregnant. Again. They (Kim and her husband, Kanye West, known in entertainment circles as "Kimye") have somehow, inexplicably decided that what the world needs now is NOT love, sweet love, but more of their conjoined DNA. And more of the freak show that is "Keeping Up With The Kardashians".

I groan.
The pain.
The pain.

Speaking of freak shows...

TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" has been hastily pulled from the air since revelations broke of Josh Duggar's molestation of 5 underage girls, some of whom were his sisters. I shan't delve into the details here, dear friends. Much too ghastly these goings on in what is essentially a train wreck of a family that got a TV reality show because a shameless network decided it couldn't make money by being "The Learning Channel".

These are the same folks who gave us "Here Comes Honey Boo-boo" before it unexpectedly went off the air after the mother took up with a convicted sex offender. I'm not really certain what the premise of the show was, other than to showcase an overweight child beauty queen and her family of human Kiboko. But I'm pretty sure that no one cares a damn about that now.

I take some comfort in the idea that the big top that is "reality programming" will one day come down, and the circus will finally leave. Unfortunately it may take more train wreckage before that happens.

Stay off the tracks.

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P.S. The word "kiboko" is Swahili for "river horse". It refers to the hippopotamus.