Wednesday, February 15, 2006

wolves in the Vatican, gay lollipops, and a side of rage.

Am already beginning to wonder if I have the mental resources/time for this blog-- am working two jobs, plus my writing commitments and my kids. I'm tired, damn it, and so far I haven't really managed to contribute anything of great import to the blogverse. And so far I doubt anyone's reading (not that I'd blame them at this point).

But on a local level, I note that yesterday was stunningly irritating. I had to go to the teacher's lounge in Main first thing in the frozen morning (by way of explanation, the high school I teach at is so large that the administration uses golf carts to get around; I work on West campus, so that's a major haul). I was told all teachers had to check their boxes in Main to pick up the "candy-grams" that students had sent each other, and then distribute said sugary valentines first period.

I was quite irked to discover I'd trucked all the way over to Main with my lips going numb for one freaking Tootsie Pop/card combo, but that was nothing compared to my rage when I overheard another teacher (male, teaches Welding) complaining that he received several same-sex candy-grams, and that he didn't want to hand them out.

What. The. Fuck. It's just a goddamn lollipop. Get over your idiotic, prejudiced self. Is it of note that said teacher is black? Perhaps, considering what other bloggers (cf Pam's House Blend, etc.) have noted concerning the widespread homophobia in the black community. At any rate, it pissed me off royally, but I bit my tongue and stalked off, because I was about to be late for first period.

And then, later in the day, I was mad at myself for not ripping him a new one and just being late.

Shortly thereafter, I found out that another teacher, a kind, sweet lady (one who really deserves the term "Christian") who teaches Bible History, is being investigated for "spreading Pagan propaganda." Once I picked my jaw up off the floor-- because there is nothing more patently ludicrous than this devout Catholic lady doing any such thing-- I asked her what the deal was.

It seems that the fact that we even have a Bible History class at this (public) school isn't enough to satisfy the Christian Taliban, nor the fact that we have no fewer than four Christian clubs. Apparently, some of the kids in her class right now are uber-evangelical, and have taken offense to her *mentioning* The DaVinci Code in a discussion, even though she clearly stated that it was a work of fiction. Now there's a parent coming to watch her class, and they're also ticked that this teacher, at least, understands the fact that it's a history class and will not let the gits evangelize during it.

It's a bloody wonder I haven't been investigated yet. I'm not taking off my pentacle, and I'm not changing the way I teach British Literature. If they succeed in stomping out diversity and free thought in the schools (more so than they have already, especially here), we're all doomed.

Bah. I need a cookie.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Self-fulfillment is not a motivation for the Prairie Muffin.

Christ on a cracker.

Esther Kaplan has a post up at Talk to Action regarding the current emphasis by conservative Christians (dominionists specifically) on returning women to June Cleaver status: The "Feminine Mystique" Redux. It's a thoughtful post, but the thing that boggled me most was a comment that included the Prairie Muffin Manifesto.

It appears to be real, though the crap it spouts is so repugnant that I was sure it was parody at first. Intellectually, I suppose I knew that there are women who are so eager for the jackbook of patriarchy on their necks, but give me a fucking break.

The whole thing is nausea-inducing, but these are some particularly vomitous highlights:

9) Prairie Muffins do not reflect badly on their husbands by neglecting their appearance; they work with the clay God has given, molding it into an attractive package for the pleasure of their husbands.

-- Don't forget your pearls and your Brazilian wax, Muffins! To do otherwise makes your Prairie Dawg (Jesus fucking Christ) look bad!

18) Prairie Muffins are fiercely submissive to God and to their husbands.

-- Wow, not just submissive, but fiercely submissive. Does that require piddling on the spotless floor?

22) Prairie Muffins try to maintain a peaceful environment for their families by keeping their voices quiet and their tones gentle as much as possible.

-- In this sense, "don't speak up" is taken quite literally. Dulcet tones, Muffins! You'll find this is not difficult with the suitable addition of a little Xanax, otherwise known as Magic Muffin Sprinkles.

36) Prairie Muffins are happy to be girls—they rejoice in the distinctives which God sovereignly bestowed on them which make them feminine. They are also happy that their husbands are masculine, and they do not diminish that masculinity by harping on habits which emanate from the fact that boys will be boys, even when they grow up. In addition, Prairie Muffins are careful not to use their feminine, hormotional weaknesses to excuse sinful attitudes and actions, but learn to depend more and more on God's grace and strength in the midst of any monthly trials.

-- That's right, Muffins, never forget you are cursed. Grovel abjectly on your knees before the Father-God who cursed you, and maybe He'll send you some heavenly Midol.

You know, as a Wiccan I try to respect all life, but if I actually met a Prairie Muffin, I'd have to consider being a coyote.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The British are coming

Some additional facts and figures regarding the horrific "gag rule" policy over at Talk To Action: Nearly 70,000 women and girls died last year because they went to back-street abortionists.

I discussed this with my English classes the day after Alito was confirmed. Being careful, as always, to tread lightly around potentially explosive subjects (nothing quite like being a teacher in a very conservative school district to make you aware of the thin thread your paid employment hangs by), I asked the classes to consider the question of Roe v. Wade.

After first dealing with the horror that well over half of the students did not know what Roe v. Wade was, I asked them to consider the issue absent of moral considerations and just answer one question: whether you're against it or no, do you think outlawing it will make it go away? Most agreed that it would not. I then said something along the lines of "so, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, it's back to the coathanger." One girl had no idea what I meant, so I explained. She (an anti-abortionist) did not believe me when I said that was in fact how abortion was done in America before it was illegal. I suggested she invoke the mighty power of Google if she didn't believe me.

And here the women in Africa aren't "back to the coathanger"-- they've never left it. Thank the Goddess, indeed, that the British have more true empathy for "life" than we do.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

burning the Reichstag

I just read a thoroughly bone-chilling comparision of the Patriot Act with Hitler's "Enabling Act": All About the Patriot Act. Go, read, freak out. Have some bourbon (or your medicinal substance of choice), and then read it again.

And help get us out of the mess we've gotten into. Right now I know that no one's reading this blog (too new, certainly), but I'm going to add my small voice to the dissenters-- to those who say that this is not my America.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

oh, Goddess. We're fucked.

Samuel Alito was just confirmed to the Supreme Court, 58-42. (hat tip, Shakespeare's Sister.)

America just moved a huge step closer to a Christian theocracy. Wonder how they treat Wiccans in the Greek islands?

Sadly, given my financial status and family obligations, that wouldn't be an option anyway.

[/escapist fantasy]

The politics of regret

So I've been thinking a lot these days about where I fall on the political spectrum, and where I go from here.

Up until recently, I've considered myself a Log Cabin Republican-- I identify as bisexual, am socially liberal, but I consider myself fiscally conservative. I had hopes that the good things about the Republican party (emphasis on small government, limited taxation, a strong military, and individual responsibility) could be somehow reclaimed from the far Right. I voted for Bush the first time with a clear thought that I was doing the right thing; I voted for him the second time with great trepidation, and only after agonizing over the matter at length. My decision was tipped by the consideration that I felt he would be the leader most likely to see the Iraq war through in a strong and efficient matter, rather than letting our soldiers linger and twist in the wind.

Oh, how wrong I was.

It's a bitter pill to swallow, but I admit my grave error. The more research I do, the more I read, and the more events in Washington unfold, the clearer it becomes to me that Bush has utterly abandoned the core Republican values in favor of theocracy, making government more intrusive and spending insane amounts of money on all the wrong things. He has lied time and again, thus completely invalidating my original understanding of him as a man of integrity, albeit one with which I did not completely agree. Our soldiers are stuck in a no-win situation (cf the body-armor travesty) while Bush kowtows to people (Dobson et al.) who would cheerfully burn the likes of me at a stake.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. My eyes are open, but what now? The Disgruntled Chemist recently wondered if there was hope to be had in the Green Party. It's a good question, akin to my dilemma regarding the Log Cabin Republicans. I think, on the whole, that I was also wrong in thinking that there was any place for a moderate Republican voice in Washington right now. At best, the LCR's are going to get a little lip service from BushCo., but let's face it-- how much weight can any LGBT-aligned group carry with the homophobes?

There's also the question of numbers, and that applies to the Green Party as well. Odds are against getting an acceptable Republican candidate to vote for in any given election, and those that are moderate are, at present, politically hamstrung. A vote for Green might only drain votes from the Democrats, thus putting more unacceptable Republicans in office, which strikes me as condition-critical right now. But, as noted everywhere, the Democrats right now are pretty damn spineless.

It's a heck of a quandary, and I've got to figure out where to make camp in short order. But something has to be done.

So, hate me if you will for waking up late, but at least I'm there now.

First post, and a good spot for the rationale behind the blog.

I've got several years invested in Livejournal under another name, but that space is primarily a function of my participation in online fandom as a writer/fangirl of Lord of the Rings, and it is inextricably bound up as a social space where I'm pleased to say I've made many wonderful friends from all over the world. However, in the context of that space, I'm only comfortable talking about the mundane details of my day ("had toast-- the marmalade was terribly disappointing") or fandom things. The social expectations of fandom are complex, and although it's my LJ and I'm perfectly free to voice different opinions (and, in fact, have rather a reputation for so doing), the inevitable fallout is tiresome to deal with.

So this is a space for me to think out loud about current issues, politics, spirituality, and whatever else strikes my fancy, with absolutely no self-editing going on.

And because that all sounds rather stuffy, I did not have toast this morning, and I am sad about it.