Category Archives: Politics

The Mojo and Tupper Show

So I got a new gig, which I might be able to keep for a couple of weeks before I get fired. I’m gonna be on the (web) radio! The deets:

Wednesday nights (for now), 11pm EST, on the405radio.com, The Mojo and Tupper Show:

Ever wonder what you’d get if you mixed the following:

One cup Female
One cup Male
Three Tablespoons Conservatism
One Tablespoon Humor
One Teaspoon Kink
One Teaspoon Risque
Mixed very well

Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out! Join Moriah Jovan and Bryan Tupper as they explore the darker side of politics – and life. Nothing’s off limits, until someone calls out the “safe word” – not that anyone’s really sure what that is anyway!

Thanks to John Grant and Liz Harrison for making it happen! If you tune in tomorrow night, you’ll hear either the most brilliant smutty politics ever or our souls shattering in abject humiliation.

Men who hate women

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Dude and I went to see this movie for his birthday. I haven’t been interested in reading the books because a) I’m not a thriller/mystery fan and b) haven’t had time to devote to sampling genres I’m not usually interested in. I’m still not interested in reading the books, because I either read the book or see the movie, but not both. (I got burned in the Bonfire of the Vanities.) I am interested in seeing the Swedish version.

mraynes at Exponent II has an excellent post up about the exposition of misogyny in the book/movie.

Ironically, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo phenomenon is a prime example of how our society hides from the culture of violence against women. In the original Swedish version, Stieg Larsson titled the book “Man som hatar kvinnor” or “Men who hate women.” Believing that such a title would turn readers off, American publishers renamed the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, changing the emphasis away from violent misogyny to the physical body of the (anti)heroine. This alone speaks volumes about our society. Instead of dealing with the discomfort that in fact, some men do hate women, publishers felt that the only way to sell books was to objectify and sexualize the female protagonist.

Please read the whole post.

This brought to mind a blog post by a Cale McCaskey, ostensibly ripping on romance novels, but really ripping on women, and after I read mraynes’s post, I realized: This is the mindset. Taken by itself, his opinion is irrelevant and he’s a woman-hating man who is single and likely to remain that way.

However, how many WOMEN have I heard over the years say the same thing with regard to romance novels and the women who read them? To hear WOMEN talk about the women who read romance novels, we’re all a bunch of fat Peggy Bundys who, instead of earning advanced degrees, becoming Important People, tending to our hearths with the efficiency of Martha Stewart or a Mormon cupcake baker on Ritalin, or fighting against [patriarchy, white privilege, male privilege, rape culture, insert philosophy of choice].

It is not rapists and abusers alone who silence and hide victims. It is we, society, in our unwillingness to stare evil in the face, name it, and confront it. Until we acknowledge culpability within our culture of violence against women, our daughters, sisters and ourselves will be at risk.

Some men hate women. But so do some very vocal women. Women need to look to themselves concerning their own misogyny.

 

Sarah Palin, round 2

So now that I’ve cooled off, numerous conservative tweeters apologized and deleted their tweets, Mike Cane and Aaron Worthing and Patterico came to my defense, and Fox News didn’t completely trash me, I feel like I can stand down.

What I should’ve said was:

or some variant thereof that was still sarcastic enough to get the point across.

(The “What if she’s next?” part is me displaying my mad Pshop skillz.)

Do I really think conservatism is dead? I don’t know. I struggle with it on a daily basis, and have for several years. However, the many tweeters who sent me nastytweets (save one, who apparently wanted me to sign away my citizenship), who then listened to me, then apologized, retracted/deleted their tweets with my name, and were willing to spread the word made me rethink it.

Despite my tagline, I really don’t often talk politics here on the blog. I leave that to my characters to do for me. But now that you know who I am and where you can find me, maybe you’ll stick around a while.

And I’m pretty sure y’all can find my Twitter name…

Conservatism is dead

I’ve been accused of having wished for Sarah Palin’s death and/or threatening her life because of this tweet:

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/MoriahJovan/status/23857842133929984"]

Now. Anybody who knows me, has read my books, has read my blog, has read my Tweets, has breathed the same internet air I breathe knows I’m a Reagan-conservative-moving-swiftly-to-libertarian Mormon with a side of objectivism to spice things up.

Thus, it didn’t occur to me that my tweet, made in conversation with someone else, in response to my utter disgust with the immediate blaming of Sarah Palin for Saturday’s shooting of a Congresswoman would be taken as a threat against Palin and/or a wish for her death.

It smacked me in the head last night when I was tweeted that I was “scum” who had threatened her, with a link to a YouTube slideshow of a collection of tweets that actually DID wish her dead. Mine and one other tweet were vague enough that they didn’t belong in the collection in the first place. I’ll not defend the others except to say that my first reaction on seeing them was, “They’re blowing off steam like everybody else.” Which is, I think, a reasonable thing to conclude.

Let me tell you what I was doing Saturday when I was watching all the Palin-blaming go down on Twitter: I was at a packed roller rink with my kids, in the middle of loud music and people-chaos, barely listening to their whining, looking at my Twitterstream for news on the Congresswoman’s status…and crying.

For the country. For what it means for political discourse when some nutjob pops his cork for no reason other than he’s a nutjob. For “my” side, which is being blamed for everything from eating their boogers to nuclear winter.

But mostly I was crying for Congresswoman Giffords, who was out doing her job and a guy with a mental illness decided to kill her, for the six innocent people including a 9-year-old girl who died, and the other 18 wounded.

If you are coming here because you saw that video or saw whatever random tweet in which some nutjob on “my” side put me in that list, and you actually are taking the time to find out who I really am, know this: The people who made that video and who are blindly tweeting make “us” look bad.

There is nothing that will kill an ideology or a movement faster than the nutjobs co-opting it: Because the reasonable people who can disagree without being disagreeable, who can let the slings and arrows go by like mature people, who can get “our” things accomplished, who can discern the nutjobs on the “other” side—people like me—will simply walk away quietly because they don’t want to deal with the nutjobs.

And in reference to my tweet in particular, even taken on its face: If you don’t get it, you need to learn nuance, sarcasm, irony, hyperbole. Buy a clue, rent one, steal one, I don’t care. GET ONE.

This is not conservatism. This is its formerly disenfranchised nutjobs peeing and shitting in its swimming pool.

God help us all.

UPDATE (2011-01-12 10:00 a.m. CST): Mike Cane has documented the conversation that led to my tweet. Thanks, Mike.

Dear neighbors…

(…who would know this blog existed if you ever bothered to come talk to us…)

We are not obligated to go ’round the neighborhood introducing ourselves and presenting ourselves for your approval as The Right Kind of People. Not when we moved in five years ago. Not now.

It’s yours. Your obligation to come to us to find out who we are. Until you do that, your judgments about us are your problem, not ours.

If you had come to our door, you might have realized we are quiet, well-educated and well-traveled people who live our lives with honor and dignity. The county government and police department have, fortunately, already realized this, thanks to your meddling.

You will not take that dignity and quiet away from us because you hate that your 40-year neighbor died and we bought her house. You will not take that dignity and quiet away from us because you hate that the neighborhood demographic changed nearly overnight from the nearly dead to the newly hatched. You will not take that dignity and quiet away from us because we don’t spend 24/7 working on our lawns because we’re too busy working on improving the whole of our lives.

We pay the same taxes you do, even though we don’t make as much money as you made when you were working, and you are now retired on the Social Security we are paying. You can judge us and co-opt our children when you start paying our mortgage, for the infrastructure repairs you can’t see on this 45-year-old house, and for someone to keep our lawn for us.

If our biggest sins are that we keep to ourselves, we’re quiet, and we let our tax deductions have a bit more physical freedom than you deem is proper, and we don’t have as much money or free time as you do, we can live with that.

No, we aren’t The Right Kind of People. And if you are, then we don’t want to be.

And oh, P.S. We don’t need to be friends with you. We need you to mind your own business.

The mysterious ways of the universe

I’m in the middle of writing Magdalene, book 3 in my series.

If you’re passingly familiar with Christian myth, it should be quite clear where I’m going with this.

But let me tell you a little about my main characters.

Mitch Hollander, PhD, metallurgical engineering; founder and CEO of Hollander Steelworks, headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He is also a widowed Mormon bishop who served half an 18-month mission in Paris, France. He likes fast cars and ZZ Top.

Cassie St. James, MBA; Vice President-Restructuring Division, Blackwood Securities. In a previous life, she was a high-dollar hooker. She is divorced, lives in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, has four adult children (all of whom live with her), engages in strategic revenge, and possesses a latent penchant for silliness.

So I was on the search for a special little gift that Mitch could give Cassie that meant something but was not expensive. After all, what do you give a woman who can buy anything she wants?

Naturally, I turned to books because I have a vested interest in people buying books (product placement!). I decided that Mitch might have a special book that he may have acquired on his mission and is probably in French. Naturally, I googled, and then headed over to Wikipedia where I stumbled upon a list of French novels. I doggedly worked my way through them one by one, read the synopses, then picked one based on a vague similarity of the plot to Cassie’s past.

I wrote it into my book as if I’d read the thing (but hadn’t), then decided I probably should read it. And it freaked me out. Big time.

The book? Angélique, the Marquise of Angels by Anne & Serge Golon, first published in 1958.

Unbeknownst to me, this was a huge hit in Europe and apparently a big hit here. I’d never heard of it, never stumbled across it in the intellectual drunkenness of my youth (that actually amazes me).

The book is heroine-centric, so it’s all about Angélique. The parallel I found between Angélique and Cassie was that they both had arranged marriages. The similarity stopped there.

Angélique didn’t know her contracted husband, feared him at first, then grew to love him.

Cassie knew the man she was to marry, adored him from afar and was eager to marry him, and then quickly realized that her marriage was a sham.

Cassie is familiar with the story via film, so she has no problem making this parallel and had, in fact, written a paper on it during her undergrad years.

What doesn’t show up in the plot summary is a description of the hero’s “unusual way of life.” Joffray (the hero) is described as “scientist, musician, philosopher.” I didn’t think much of it. Mitch is a scientist with his own lab, true, but he’s also a CEO and I’ve always thought of him in those terms.  He’s not a musician. He’s not a philosopher. At heart, he’s a blue-collar steel worker who loves steel enough to reinvent himself and the industry; steel is his life’s work.

Turns out that Joffray’s science is metallurgy. That was freaky.

Turns out that Joffray is hung out to dry, religiously speaking, for reasons that have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with power, politics, and money. That was even freakier.

As I got deeper and deeper into the book, I felt like I’d entered the Twilight Zone.

Then I got to the end. Angélique plunges out into the cold night, penniless and powerless, to exact revenge. That is so Cassie. I nearly expired from the freakiness the universe had perpetrated upon my person.

I couldn’t have picked a better novel if I’d written it myself.
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PS: Yes, I know Mary Magdalene wasn’t a prostitute.

PPS: In the mid-1980s, missions were, in fact, only 18 months long for men.

Tab A, slot B

If you remember, about 100 years ago in blog time, Eugene got lambasted all over the bloggernacle for his book, Angel Falling Softly, for various crimes from “not very spiritual” to “sacrilege” to calls for his excommunication or at the very least, pulling his temple recommend. Eugene’s tab did not fit into the proper slot.

A while back, I came across a blog I keep a little eye on and had commented just to clarify a point. Yesterday I noticed that “Anonymous” had chastised me for acknowledging that my book is filthy (it is) and for dropping the F-bomb in the first line of the story. The chastisement was something along the lines of, “You call that quality Mormon fiction”?

::gallic shrug::

Well, A) “quality” was used in terms of how well the book is designed by the publisher and how well it is constructed by Lightning Source and B) I don’t consider it Mormon fiction.

People have different tastes. Nice, sweet, nearly conflict-less LDS fiction wasn’t cutting the mustard for me with regard to sparkle and (dare I say it?) lust (which doesn’t have to be consummated, but could we acknowledge its existence?). Fiction by Mormon authors out in the wild might be my brand of wild but it’s short on philosophy and faith. Genre romance of any stripe, inspirational to erotica, suffers the same lack of one for the other, so it’s not us. It’s a general lack of crossover between faith and sex.

Slot B47c&&2kd existed, but there was no correlating Tab A47c&&2kd to put in it.

I, Random Reader, wanted my slot filled. I’ve been wanting it filled for a long time. And it remained empty, growing cobwebs. I wasn’t writing it, either, because I wanted to “get” published and you don’t “get” published with a mixture like that.

So I said, “Fuck it. I’ll write what I want.”

As far as I know, I only have 1 (count ’em, ONE) LDS reader who’s managed to get past the first page. That’s okay, too. I probably made a mistake in vaguely hoping I could find a small audience amongst my own who, like me, wanted something titillating and faith-affirming (er, maybe) at the same time. Or, at the very least, not anti.

What I didn’t expect was the positive reaction from non-members who found my portrayal of us as human and extremely fallible, struggling with matters of faith and sexuality, as sympathetic and relatable—and who found the addition of faith to these people’s lives just another layer of their personalities.

Eh, don’t get me wrong. Plenty of people haven’t liked it also, for various reasons including the politics and my prose style and the fact that my characters aren’t, well, very likable at times. But…I don’t like everybody else’s books, either, so no harm, no foul. Regardless of all that, though, who liked it, who didn’t, why or whatever, the fact of the matter was that for this consumer, the market had an empty slot. So I carved out my own tab. And lo and behold! I’m not the only one who liked the shape and size of that tab.

All the foregoing is to say that this past weekend, I was blessed to brainstorm projects with two religious types (one protestant, one Catholic and independent of each other) who also like the s(t)eamier side of genre romance. It doesn’t hurt that I love these two writers’ work already, but these two projects are so outside their creators’ norms AND they are outside of, well, everybody’s norms. And I love them for it. I would never have thought of these two ideas, but these ladies did and their tab fit my slot.

Now, ladies, hurry up and finish those things. I know this publisher, see…

The project orgy

XX and XY Tax Deductions notwithstanding…

I have projects. I adore projects. Alas, I am only one person.

Let me tell you what’s on tap this weekend.

NEEDLEWORK. I do it. I also make a bit of money doing it when I actually do it. The Proviso has taken up a lot of time lately (heh, understatement) and I’ve neglected this needle-and-thread part of my life, to some detriment. I have 2 projects to add finishing touches to, 3 projects to stretch and frame, 1 project to stitch, and 1 project to design. Add in completely revamping the website and that’s 8 projects.

FREELANCE WEB CONTENT WRITING. I do that, too. Sometimes. This isn’t as easy as you might think, considering I seem to have diarrhea of the fingertips. 1 project right now, but it’s a bitch.

My DDJ (damned day job, my main business), which I keep separate from this for reasons which should be obvious. Anyway, I have a little side gig off of that, which makes me a little money when I keep up with it. 1 project, but it’s tedious.

The whole PUBLISHING gig, which next 3 projects I’m giddy over, only one of which is the next book in The Proviso series. Go ahead and count this bullet point as 3.

SEWING for the XX Tax Deduction. 2 projects.

And yeah, READING. Working on The Hole (draft) by Aaron Ross Powell.

Is it too early to make my Christmas list to Santa? ’Cause I wish for 6 more hours in a day and the ability to forego sleeping.

You may feel sorry for me now.

Viral money-and-politics rant

In case anybody missed it, I’m a Libertarian. Now, RJ Keller got me started and of course, it doesn’t take much to push me over the edge some days. In Maine, where she lives, apparently, people on state assistance get to purchase alcohol and tobacco with their state-granted funds, so she’s a wee bit pissy about this. I would be too, because in 2000, I was pissy enough about what I was seeing as a weekend graveyard cashier at a grocery store to write the following to my congress-critter:

CAUTION: It’s long and way ranty. Because I do not believe any such systems can/will be abolished, I have come up with some complex solutions, even though I am well aware gummint is not into solutions.

My part time job is working graveyards at a grocery store on weekends. I check out people all the time who use food stamps. Before working there, I had a fuzzy sense of exactly what food stamps were used for, since it wasn’t something I thought a whole lot about. My only up-close-and-personal experience with food stamps happened to be that my best friend, single, with two children, used them. She was always very careful to buy cheap, whole foods, fresh produce, and the ingredients to make bread, as she makes it more cheaply than buying bread. Naïve me. I thought everybody was as frugal with their benefits as my friend.

You should see the crap people buy on food stamps! Not only do they buy pre-packaged, expensive junk food, expensive cuts of meat, shrimp and lobster, but then they turn around and buy whole cartons of cigarettes and lots of booze with cash. They buy tons of dog food for dogs that could eat your HOUSE and still be hungry an hour later—with cash! If they can’t afford to buy their own food, where do they get the cash for this stuff???

Anyway, I realize that it would be a futile effort to try to abolish the system altogether, so I would like to propose some reforms that would be the first step in the incremental abolition of food stamps. They are as follows:

1. Mandatory periodic drug and alcohol testing. I don’t have a problem with people who drink, but I sure do have a problem with people who drink on MY dime.

2. Limitations on the use of the food stamp credit card.

a. No usage between midnight and 6am (this is to discourage late-night trips to the store for a brownie mix, candy bars, and a case of Coke)

b. Use limited to once in every 24-hour period

c. No cash transactions during same trip through the check out line (this is to discourage cash beer, cigarette, and animal food sales; granted, this would be the hardest idea to enforce).

3. Limitations on food selections. Users would be required to shop from a list of approved foods (a la WIC). There would be no paperwork like WIC, but a food stamp transaction would require the user to scan his food stamp card before checking out. The grocer’s UPC scanners would be required to be programmed to provide a fail-safe for the approved foods. As a concession to the grocer-as-policeman, the food stamp recipients would be required to work for the grocer free of charge by the state to do the data entry required to make this possible (BONUS: JOB TRAINING!). The following requirements would have to be reflected in the approved foods list.

a. Whole foods only (which mean that users would have to GASP COOK)

b. No shellfish, lobster, or other expensive cuts of meat; if a user buys chicken, he will have to buy it whole and learn to cut it up himself; no boneless, butterflied chicken breasts @ $2.99/lb when whole chickens are $.99/lb

c. No junk food, convenience foods, prepackaged lunches, soda pop, potato chips, cookies, specialty foods, box cereal, ice cream, pop tarts, TV dinners, bottled water, etc.

d. Store-brand canned food only; no name brands.

e. Minimum percentage of total monthly benefits spend on fresh produce (say, 10%; if a user’s monthly benefit is $200, he should be required to buy $20 in produce).

f. Inexpensive cooking spices should be allowed.

g. Toilet paper, cleaning products, and feminine hygiene products should be allowed, but again at the discretion of the state.

Now, I realize that this will require more bureaucracy to regulate, but I have three thoughts on this:

1. Government loves more bureaucracy; they should be very happy that their jobs will be secure,

2. If I have to help pay for the crap these people buy to eat, and there’s no hope of getting the food stamps abolished, then we should have the right to regulate the hell out of it, and

3. If the users refuse to work a regular job, then they should have to work to get their food (the food I’m paying for) home.

I guess what I’m most angry about is not so much that people get food, and cigarettes and booze and dog food on my dime, but that they’re so damn smug about it. You wouldn’t believe the arrogance of these people; their attitudes are nearly regal, as if they are special for being able to get their food for free while I, the chump who has to work two jobs (to pay my self-employment taxes, actually) waits on them.

Now, if you’ve never worked as a cashier at a place that takes EBT (aka food stamps), you really may not get the level of anger here, or why it exists. I’ll tell you why:

It’s the attitude.

AND

Charity should be voluntary, not mandatory. Taking money out of my pocket to give to those the state deems worthy takes away my choices and is, in effect, legalized theft. It deprives me of my freedom and it deprives those I would have given to.

The USA has the highest percentage of charitable giving in the world, and that is in spite of what is wrested by force from our paychecks by the gummint to give to someone else. In the article Why are Americans so generous?, one point came through loud and clear to me:

“Most people think Americans are generous because we are rich. However, the truth is that we are rich, in significant part, because we are generous. Generosity is not a luxury in this country. It is a cultural norm.”

Can you imagine what we’d give if we had that money back?

Misckellaneous

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately that I haven’t been able to untangle, much less unpack on an issue-by-issue basis. What are they?Huh?

1. The election

2. Prop 8 in California

3. “Black October” in publishing

4. Independent publishing

5. Agents and editors (the “Gatekeepers”)

6. Mormon writers/Mormon literature

But a couple of posts on Nathan Bransford’s blog yesterday sorted at least one issue out for me, which is my firm belief that whether or not independent publishing becomes as accepted independent filmmaking and independent music making, it was the right choice for me. And I’m going to come back to that Espresso Book Machine thing because it’s tres important.

Which leads me to a post Mike Cane made recently about self-pubbing and an author’s inability to do it all, yet tries because he wants to save money. He’s right overall, but I learned long ago that creative types in one discipline are drawn to other disciplines and have the ability to do those well, too. What they are, though…that I can’t say. So that’s going to be my jumping off point for today’s Jack Handey.

Abolish marriage

“Marriage” is an ancient artificial construct that, in modern US society with no property rights attached to the female (i.e., dowry), has no real place.

As I said on chosha’s blog A Little East of Reality, what’s going on with California’s Prop 8 and the LDS church’s involvement with that, is one of defining the term. What needs to happen is that the underpinning law defining the term needs to change and then let linguistic evolution take over as to what is and is not marriage.

Here’s what needs to happen:

You and your intended(s) go to a lawyer and draw up a contract (people already to this for prenuptial agreements). You specify things like kids, power of attorney, healthcare decisionmaking, who does and does not have access to your healthcare information (thank you, HIPAA), and other things that heterosexual couples just…get…legally because they’re married as defined by law. In this case, the contract becomes the law. The lawyer files it with the court (like a divorce decree, only it’d be called something else like, oh, a companionship contract), the state collects its data, and everybody’s good to go.

If you and your intended(s) then want to go to your local ecclesiastical entity (whatever it is) and have a rite performed, you do that. Or don’t, if you don’t want to.

Or…do none of the above and after X number of years, you’ve converted from cohabitating to common-law “marriage” and that could apply to whatever living arrangement you have.

Here’s the thing. You change the labels and the populace will decide what marriage is based on their vocabulary.

Since I’m a libertarian, I have no investment in regulating what people do with their bodies as long as it doesn’t endanger me and mine.

I also have no investment in helping the church attempt to define “marriage” in California (although thankfully I haven’t been asked because then I’d be forced to be rude) because marriage has historically been about money and alliances.

What I find hypocritical is that the people who are most invested in re-defining marriage to include same-sex couples then turn around and vehemently protest polyamorous unions, which should have the same protections under whatever law gets passed.

William Saletan goes to great lengths to define why this should not be allowed and I find that simply ridiculous. Two people know what they’re doing, but three or more don’t? Let’s protect you from yourselves!

Here’s the answer. The number isn’t two. It’s one. You commit to one person, and that person commits wholly to you. Second, the number isn’t arbitrary. It’s based on human nature. Specifically, on jealousy.

Ah, okay. There’s a good argument.

In an excellent Weekly Standard article against gay marriage and polygamy, Stanley Kurtz of the Hudson Institute discusses several recent polygamous unions. In one case, “two wives agreed to allow their husbands to establish a public and steady sexual relationship.” Unfortunately, “one of the wives remains uncomfortable with this arrangement,” so “the story ends with at least the prospect of one marriage breaking up.” In another case, “two bisexual-leaning men meet a woman and create a threesome that produces two children, one by each man.” Same result: “the trio’s eventual breakup.”

Let’s protect the women and children!

Then he resorts to quoting the Bible, so he loses credibility with me right there.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: What’s good for the homosexual goose is good for the polyamorous gander and I defy any same-sex couple to give me a decent argument why that isn’t so…

…but that’s not my main point. My main point is this: You make it a civil contract between consenting adults, then let society’s usage of the word “marriage” define the word “marriage.”

Holding my nose to vote. Again.

McCain hasn’t been my favorite person in the world for going on about ten years now, so I was looking at McCain or Staying Home or The Libertarian Dude. It’d be the first time I’ve not at least voted against The Other Guy (like I have since, oh, King George I–bastid) and I sure as hell didn’t vote for ClintonPerot, the schizophrenic little freak.

So here I am again, having to hold my nose to vote. I already knew this, you see, but I don’t get much worked up about this stuff anymore because a) too old for all this bullshit, b) got other things to do, c) does anybody really think this is going to be worse than Carter?, and d) did everybody forget that economies cycle and we’ve been LUCKY for the past thirty years that we haven’t had anything like this happen when they usually happen every 7 to 15 years?

Repeat after me: ECONOMIES CYCLE.

That’s their job.

So, anyway, I couldn’t have broken it down better than this:

..

Oh, who am I voting for?

Obama.

Because when he completely fucks up, maybe we’ll get a real fiscal conservative in the White House in 4 years (and I am so NOT looking at you, Mitt Romney).

Beatrix Kiddo, feminist

I play with boys. Always have. I was the Batgirl and Princess Leia to my cohorts’ Batman, Robin, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, etc. Apparently, I am not the only one, since the “urban fantasy” subgenre (with the blatantly hard-ass heroine) has become such a success.

Only within the last few years have I run into women with sensibilities similar to mine and with whom I feel comfortable. Also lately, I’ve found a couple of blogs with women I relate to on a more matter-of-fact level (e.g., Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books).

But put me in the bloggernacle (a portmanteau of blog and tabernacle) and I have to start hanging out with the boys again because the women are…well, whiny. And inconsistent in their whining.

I didn’t realize this until I was reading over on Eugene’s blog about the Japanese movie, Freeze Me, which is, in his opinion,

…the standard Death Wish revenge fantasy formula: pacifist gets shocked into action delivers violent justice to evil-doers (“a conservative is a liberal who got mugged”).

But then the film disappoints him:

Freeze Me could have hummed and purred as well. Instead it alternately shivers and sweats and clunks and gives up without a fight.

Then Eugene goes on to blame:

Thelma & Louise which should more appropriately be titled: “The Original Dumb & Dumber.” This supposed paean to film feminism follows the exploits of two unbelievably stupid grown women who have spent their entire lives as victims of impulse and circumstance and aren’t about to let a little (almost justifiable) homicide stop them.

The good-guy cop (Harvey Keitel) finds them such a pathetic pair that he starts emoting like a father in pursuit of his two dimwitted daughters. Their exploits inspire pity at best, contempt at worst. Not once is logic ever allowed to compete with emotion, let alone overcome it. So why not just drive off a cliff?

It’s hard not to read a very obvious metaphor into the final scene: the caring man stands by helplessly while the newly “liberated” women cast themselves into oblivion. And a woman actually wrote it.

Which put me in the mind of Mormon feminist blogs. I can’t speak to feminist blogs of any other type because I don’t read those. (Except, well, I’ve stopped reading the Mormon feminist blogs, too. )

I can’t really get a handle on this feminist thing, being as I’m fairly new to the label. Some days I think I’m a feminist and some days I don’t. Most days I don’t know what a feminist is or how one defines oneself as a feminist. I mean, if it’s as simple as “equal pay for equal work” (and the definition of that is fodder for a different rant), I’m there.

This is what I have gleaned (albeit most likely incomplete) from my wanderings around Mormon feminist blogs:

1. You cannot be a feminist and against taxpayer-funded social welfare programs.

Where’s your compassion? Bitch. (Pssst: Did you hear that piece of the doctrine where Christ wanted people to be able to choose for themselves?)

2. You cannot be a feminist and a raging capitalist.

You’re contributing to the exploitation of women. Bitch. (Pssst: Did it ever occur to you that you can be more generous if you have money?)

3. You cannot be a feminist and pro-life.

(Yes, even amongst Mormons.) Bitch.

4. You cannot be a feminist and not want to be given the priesthood.

It’s just a natural extension of equality and you should want it. Bitch. (Pssst: Did it ever occur to you that God & Goddess might not be the ones doing the discriminating here? Oh, it DIDN’T occur to you. The church isn’t the final authority, you know.)

Oh, amongst other things. So it looks like to me the hierarchy goes like this:

Liberal-ish politics

Mormonism

Feminism

There’s apparently room for the traditional Mormon woman role in this construct, but what I find disturbing is the willingness to completely bitch-slap a woman if her political philosophies don’t align with the label of “feminist,” especially if it hints at a more conservative bent.

So the LDS women of libertarian capitalist leanings have only one place to play in the bloggernacle: With the boys. As usual. Who are a helluva lot more enlightened than they’re given credit for–they just explain their philosophies in Belch (yes, it is an official language).

My soul sister is reading AmBITCHous, which means I’ve put that on my TBR pile (she finds all the good non-fiction!) along with Rules for Renegades.

Mind you, these are just my gut impressions, but the “discussion” of feminist issues in the church has a whinier tone than I’m comfortable with. And at this point, I’m thinking I’m not so much a feminist (whatever that means) as a bitch.

Thelma & Louise or Beatrix Kiddo? I didn’t hear much whining in Kill Bill.

Religion. Money. Politics. Sex.

Haven’t talked about politics much, have I? Yeah. There’s a reason for that: I’m pretty burnt out.

Barack Obama: Untried newbie left-wing liberal with a yen to reach into my pocketbook. Yawn

John McCain: Moderate liberal who gave us McCain-Feingold attempting to pull the wool over the conservatives’ eyes. Yawn

(Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t thrilled with any other choice out there, either, so it’s not like I’m mourning the loss of, say, Romney, ’cause, oh, honey, I’m so not on the Romney wagon.)

Yeah, I’m not having a good time.

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