Friday, March 26, 2010

Because I haven't posted about it yet...

So Monday night, when Chris was driving home from class, someone pulled up behind him honking, then pulled up beside him, and flipped him off.

Chris went: ?
And then: Oh. Right. Obama sticker on the back of the car. (This sort of thing happens in Turlock.)

The articulate driver rolled down his window to engage in political discourse (i.e. yell at Chris while he was a captive audience at the light). Chris obliged by rolling his down, too.

The unhappy driver's irate contribution was, "You actually like what this guy is doing to the country?"

And Chris, though enchanted, just rolled back up his window and continued home.

It was sort of par for the day--light, for the day. Teabaggers were busy accosting Democrats in the House, spitting on and yelling ni**er at black congressmen, and otherwise clarifying their position. Health care reform opponents were also cutting propane lines, throwing bricks, and generally making threats to people voting for reform.

...Now I know there's such a thing as getting riled up. I know there can be a lack of discipline at rallies, and that people can act out. But you know what a lack of discipline looks like at the kind of political actions I participate in? Sneaking in a mismatched flag that's not part of the message. Or letting out a "Where the fuck's the funding?," or getting snarkier on a sign than is necessary. It does NOT look like violence, racial slurs, or an actual need for extra security.

Number one rule of protesting: You demonstrate the comparative righteousness of your position if--though YOU are nonviolent--the opposition's only way to deal with you is to become violent themselves. Violence towards protesters sitting in or blocking the way or just being there is an admission of having nothing intelligent to say on the matter, is an acknowledgment that your position does not hold up on its own. Violence is the recourse of badly seated power, because it cannot win an argument, cannot peacefully engage, cannot win its aims by legitimate means, but only by a show of force or intimidation.

The dynamic can be made just as clear when the protest is what turns violent and ugly in the face of attempts at peaceful discourse.

If there's going to be a total regression of a segment of our country into the old let's-lynch-black-people-and-socialists days, I hope that the nature of said movement will at least become a little clearer to the general public. Not much in the way of silver lining.

...But you know what is?

32 million newly insured Americans. People getting to actually go to the doctor when they have a stomach ache, rather than when their appendix is already septic and about to rupture (unlike my baby brother, who got dumped off of my mom's insurance just in time to need major surgery, instead of timely surgery). People getting vaccinations and preventative care cheap, before we get rampant epidemics from untreated diseases and have to pay several times more to treat them in ERs anyway. And just possibly, maybe a little lowering in the absurdly high infant death rates and deaths from preventable diseases. Oh, and a lowering in the deficit. Oh, and of the overall costs of health care. Improvements in the lives of EVERYONE in this country, not just the ones who were uninsured.

Getting honked at and yelled at really seems absolutely worth it. Once in a while, persisting peacefully in the right works out.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Aventures in Animism (picspam day.. um.. continued)

...Because I just finished Bunny's sweater.

Doesn't he look handsome?

And while I'm at it..

Fred and Albert over Christmas:

(Albert looked like something out of Dr. Seuss. I thought this was a romantic shot.)

Clearly, I have spent the last two days drinking tea on the sofa while knitting and watching the first couple seasons of Ballykissangel. It's the only explanation.

Important: tomorrow is international Pi day (get it? 3.14?) and also Albert Einstein's birthday (another reason I had to post Albert pics). Double-geek holiday! We are making pies (HA HA), and if I can manage to get Chris to suffer it, watching Young Einstein.

And Wednesday, of course, is St. Patrick's Day. I may omit the traditional recipe/music/something maudlin post, this year; please take it as read! I will be cooking, singing, and drinking well into the night.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


This is my fifth attempt at writing this post. I hope this is the healthier, happier, more positive version:

Hair can be healthy.

Hair on a female body is not more unclean than hair on a male body; women who do not shave are not somehow unhygienic, and will not smell any worse than anyone else who does not shave. Hair on a female body does not grow longer than hair on a male body; left unchecked, it will not dangle several feet or turn into an underarm fright wig. Like male body hair, it will grow, stop being stubbly, soften, and stop getting longer, just like all the rest of the hair on every other part of every other body.

It is not somehow natural or inherently right to remove hair: women have not been shaving forever, and in the US, shaving underarms started with ad campaigns in the 1910's, and leg shaving sometime during WWII. Hair has served an evolutionary purpose in our history; before it thinned out, it served to warm us, and it still makes us more sensitive to our surroundings. Thicker patches help regulate temperature and carry pheromones out to other members of our species, which those of us prone to smelling one another can find to be a positive experience.

Women who do not shave are not messy or lazy; they have a variety of reasons for not shaving, aesthetic, political, social, or sensual. They are not by some strange commutative property overweight and unattractive. They are not unmatchable, as far as mates are concerned, whatever their gender of preference. There are plenty of people who don't care, who don't mind, who come to understand, who slightly prefer, who appreciate, or who adore body hair. They have a variety of reasons for that, too.

Hair is not the enemy. Hair can be fun; hair can be pretty; hair can be sexy. Hair can be soft, gentle, and comfortable. Hair can be confident and strong. Hair can be wild and feral; hair can be demure and tidy. It can be feminine; it can be feminist. It can be sweet and it can be stubborn. Hair can be anything we want it to be, and we do not have to hate it or be afraid of it. It is ours to do anything we like with. If that happens to be removing it, then happy hunting. And if not, it is ours to keep in peace and pleasure and thrift and comfort and anything else we like.