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American Politics Are A Black, Morbid Circus and We’re All Crammed in the Clown Car
c is for cat
catvalente

There comes a time when you look up from your constant work and open the windows to let the spring breezes of current events in and take a deep fucking lungful only to say:

What the fresh hell is going on in this country?

Trayvon Martin gets shot to death by a neighborhood watch who stalked him, decided his bag of Skittles was threatening, shot him through the kid’s tears and screams for help, claims self-defense, and the police don’t so much as arrest him? They don’t intend an investigation even though the shooter has fled the city, most likely the state, and disappeared?

NYPD just straight up beat OWS folks into the ground while hissing obscenities at them because they dared show up at Zucotti Park after a rally? Obviously no charges filed, because fuck those hippies.

Rick Santorum–RICK SANTORUM–the senator with the most notorious surname in politics, the one so crazy and mean the whole internet got together to make him no longer viable as a political entity, is winning primaries and might actually be the Republican candidate.

And apparently, APPARENTLY, all of that lovely talk about how American feminists should shut up because the battle is won and everything’s SUPER COOL and happyfunequalitytiemz now is just so much wishful thinking, because we are returning to fucking VAUDEVILLE levels of woman-hating right now. Want an abortion? Well, we’re going to need to violate you with this penis-shaped, condom-covered instrument then, just to remind you of the devil’s work you did to get into this situation in the first place. Nobody knows how birth control or a goddamn uterus works, we seem to be having an actual discussion about whether it’s appropriate to be on birth control as an adult woman, and though conservatives want to frame it as a health insurance issue, it’s really about taking contraception away entirely, as evidenced by the Arizona bill that wants to make it legal for an employer to terminate a woman because she’s on birth control. (No word on Viagra, of course. That’s for a serious medical condition! It must be covered!) Since women already get fired for being pregnant, the logical solution is don’t hire women anymore, and PRESTO CHANGO WE’RE BACK IN 1957 WHEN EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT AM I RITE.

And now, NOW, this asshole in Georgia wants to make it illegal to remove an ALREADY DEAD fetus from a woman’s body until she “naturally passes it” because “that’s what cows and pigs do.”

WHAT. WHAT?

It’s not even an abortion, it’s hazmat removal. To say a woman should risk death and incur obvious psychological trauma from carrying around a corpse as long as possible because cows and pigs do it? Ok, you’ve done it, you’ve actually blown my mind. It seems pointless to say a woman is not a cow or a pig, that anatomy is not identical across the animal kingdom, that it is cruel and beyond the pale to deny necessary medical treatment to a woman because it kind of sort of reminds you of abortion, that the default state of the universe is not Men = Human, Women = animals. That oh my god now not only are women’s lives not as important as fetuses, they are much less important than dead fetuses. And some people will vote for this! They will look at this thing and say: sounds good to me. A pig can make bacon, maybe we should start rounding women up for meat, too.

Is it seriously just that we have a black man in office, so conservatives cannot cast their reality-blocking bubble spell as completely as they did during Bush’s years? Because at least when Bush was around they weren’t telling me not to take birth control on the very flimsy excuse of supporting the Catholic Church, which most American far-right Christians think is a wretched hive of scum and villainy and also witches and idolatry. Is it that the very notion of reality including a black man in power so totally destroys the decency centers of conservative America that all their oldest, ugliest, most ridiculously old-timey sexism and racism comes flying out like psychic vomit? Men who can’t even bring themselves to say the word vagina are deciding what I can and can’t do with mine, and it’s not because the government should stay out of health care, it’s probably not even because babies are so sacred, it’s all about putting those whores in their place, which is not in the office, it’s not in college (else why keep calling women in college co-eds like it’s 1920 and they just let a woman into Oxford for the first time, whatever will the menfolk do? They’re students, you unbelievable jerks), it’s in stirrups, it’s in the kitchen, it’s out of sight and out of mind, with their icky, icky parts hidden away.

I get in trouble when I talk about politics on this blog. Back when McCain was running I posted a paragraph about how grotesque I thought he was and got a rash of comments and pingbacks about how authors should shut up about politics and stick to writing about elves. So most of the time I just don’t say anything, because I don’t want the grief. But things are getting unreal. The level of cognitive dissonance it takes to insist the Republicans are the party of small government while supporting their desire to legislate every aspect of the sexual lives of everybody (think straight men’s sex lives won’t be affected by women not being able to get birth control? Think again) actually hurts my brain to contemplate. Yet half this country blithely spouts it–and quite a lot of geeks, who would never call themselves conservative and certainly would like to get laid a whole lot, gleefully support Ron Paul, who’s so libertarian that he supports practically no government regulation EXCEPT ON THE LADIES AND THE GAYS YOU GOTTA REIGN THAT SHIT IN.

And all the while the only people who even want to talk about the mass financial crimes of Wall Street or the crises facing young people as the economy circles the drain are being beaten like dogs for opening their mouths in the same place that some tents were pitched last fall.

Oh, and it’s 75 degrees in March in Maine and we’re running out of oil and just about everything else. But the Bible doesn’t say that can happen so we should be fine. Don’t even think about researching alternative fuel! That’s not how we powered our Cadillacs in 1957! Therefore it’s suspect!

I don’t get it. I fundamentally don’t understand how in 2012 this is the country I live in. I want to believe it’s the last death throes of the old world, of the terrible, toxic ideas of the 20th century finally spasming out, but these people control a significant part of our governement, and Santorum isn’t even old. We can’t just sit back and say they’ll die off eventually. The earth will never run out of assholes. And this obsession with the essential goodness of the past, the need to not just live life by conservative principles but force everyone else to do the same so you don’t even have to think about anyone ever being any different than you…I can hardly think of an uglier instinct in humans. Rather, I can, but they all come from this same one. And we’re hip-deep in it–but anytime someone gets angry enough to speak out, they get a can of pepper spray to the face. (Seriously, who is training the police these days?)

It’s so much more fundamental than a single election. Hell, it contaminates other countries–the UK is considering, for some kind of insane reason, to scrap their NHS and adopt our system, a system that doesn’t work for us at all and harms our populace. A system so bad it’s the punchline of jokes. But it’s more than that, even. A huge part of the country I live in wants to silence and crush people like me–and that “like me” has multiple vectors. Female, queer, young, liberal, artist, techie. It goes on. I once thought you simply couldn’t put the genie back in the bottle when it came to a lot of these issues. You can’t force a nation to re-shackle itself. But maybe, if your hate is strong enough, you can do it piecemeal, bit by soul-killing bit.

We need an It Gets Better campaign for America–except I’m not sure it actually will.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.


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Heh, we're back-to-back on my Twitter feed today:



The UK is trying to tear down one of the few things that still makes it great (the NHS) while the US has decided women aren't human, and now I want to go live in a cave.

Bravo - I could not have said it so clearly. it is the very definition of incomprehensible. And, I have no idea what I can actually do about any of it, other than live unashamedly (whore), try to participate in the (lack of) dialogue in any way I imagine might be meaningful, vote with my dollars, support the very few politicians who I actually think get it and I hence forth respect, and link to this. And, that project you said you'd need a photographer and road trip partner for seems all the more important in this atmosphere. It certainly takes on a new level of shadow and resonance to me. If you have space to do it, do let me know, I remain interested and muse on it often.

The UK isn't considering scrapping the NHS, they're howling at the government not to. But 3 posh boys in power have decided to do it regardless of the fact that a) they specifically promised they wouldn't, b) it wasn't in the plans when they negotiated a coalition to get power, and c) no-one voted for it.

The blinking astonishment of where we're at in 2012, that any of this heinous bullshit is even being spoken aloud let alone made into law, is hitting liberals worldwide. I just... don't understand it. And I... I mean... I can't articulate it. Because it's surreal and illogical. Did I imagine the past 20 years of people saying things, and everyone knowing we'd moved on? What the... I just...

Can they do it without support? Wouldn't it destroy swathes of the economy over there?

Well, I'm not liberal, but I also don't buy into extremism, no matter who spouts it, and this is definitely extremism.

As a registered Republican, my serious consternation this election period is that there isn't even ONE Republican candidate in the primaries that believes in true separation of church and state, truly limited government that gets it nose out of social issues and sticks to the things people actually need help with (running our own lives just isn't one of them), and actually seems to read the Constitution before spouting their plan for our nation.

I'm only Republican because the very first time I registered, it was more likely to find that in one party than the other, but recently, I haven't encountered candidates on either side that seem to realize their personal beliefs don't belong in our government. I don't care if they're liberal, conservative, or anything in between: they are NOT supposed to forbid or respect any religion. Any. No establishing Muslim prayers and forbidding Christian ones. No establishing Christian health laws and forbidding agnostic ones. No. No. No.

Every single person has the right to believe what they choose and do what they choose as long as they aren't hurting other people (and I don't mean their feelings).

So whether or not we agree on every point (I doubt anybody agrees with anybody on EVERYTHING), I agree with you on this. Thank you for posting it.

I gotta ask, where are Muslim prayers being established by the governement while Christian ones are being forbidden? That doesn't sound right to me.

I have huge issues with the Democratic party and wish we weren't a two party system with a ridiculous electoral process, but I don't see a lot of Democrats forbidding any religion. I see a lot of Republicans/Fox accusing them of it.

We need an It Gets Better campaign for America–except I’m not sure it actually will.

This one sentence just summed up everything that I feel.

And me, as well. Nicely done, all the way around.

It's not as bad as you think. Really. There's a lot of bullshit (including Ron Paul wanting to return us to a 19th century "free market" in which the corporations owned the government and were allowed to shoot protestors and work 5 year old children for 12 hours a day) but most of this bullshit makes the news because it is fringe beliefs. That's not to say that it isn't dangerous, but at least it's not some kind of cultural norm as it used to be.

And that birth control exception was killed in a flurry of anger from both the congressional hearing and the Rush Limbaugh idiocy.

But it's not fringe. It's the guys running for actual President from the major party. Romney says he'll "get rid" of Planned Parenthood. Santorum and Gingrich both are completely out there in their positions on women and gay rights--and getting major funding and support.

O_O An elected official in Georgia actually SAID that? Wow. Just...wow. I am so saddened by the Trayvon Martin case. It makes me sick, to be honest.

We need an It Gets Better campaign for America–except I’m not sure it actually will.

"The best way to predict the future is to create it" - rough paraphrase.


What we need is a "Make It Better" campaign. As Garth Lenz put it, "We all live downstream...." There's nowhere to go that isn't touched by this insane ugliness.

I am completely with you on this.

All I want to know is, how would we start it?

A-fucking-men !!

My theory is that sometime around the turn of the century all the knee-jerk ass-hole far-right conservatives took a look at what was happening, at what the future would look like... and shuddered in fear as they realised there was no room for them.

So they ramped up the hatred, spreading the world about the future being a scary, scary place and are trying to stampede the flock back full speed to the 1950s and a buttoned-up theocracy, with them at the helm of course.

I think they actually got scared by the hippies/counterculture, so it's a bit earlier.

Remember all the people claiming that candidate Obama had called Sarah Palin a pig because he'd made a comment about "putting lipstick on a pig"? Funny how none of them have said a word about an *elected official* who has actually said women should be treated like pregnant sows, isn't it?

Except that IOKIYAR.

Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes.

What I'm really hoping is that the left will wake up and recognize that politicians (the ones we like and the ones we hate) are not the issue. They are a symptom of the issue. We as a group really need to worry about the voters who think any of this is okay, and by most statistics, you can pretty much call that half of the country. Half of the voting populace has for some reason adopted these ideals not reluctantly, but with some perverse kind of relief — thank God for Dick Shitlube. Thank God Dick Shitlube is shutting them up about their vaginas. Did I say the v-word? I meant hellmouths. Be on the watch for that third nipple from which the Devil may suck.

Here's where I talk about the hypocrisy (my own included) that the left perpetuates when it talks about proletarian and lower-class concerns and at the same time makes fun of the Midwest and the South. Speaking as a former Texan (recently escaped with my wife, in the same way one might spirit a woman out of Saudi Arabia), I can tell you that the lower-middle and lower classes of these parts aren't fond of "liberated" women or gays or atheists or anyone "different" (Jesus Christ, white males.). Tolerance and diversity and the kind of economics that accounts for ends instead of means are are not virtues among many of these people. We need to realize that we cannot put these virtues into our government if half the people think they are vices, and that half is the same group we claim to represent.

I don't know how you turn these people around. I don't think you do it at the ballot box or with petitions or even with marches and sit-ins and demonstrations. I know all deconstructivist detournement culture-jamming pomo-narrative tactics don't work, because the right has adopted them. All I know is that we have to seriously change the culture, and we'll probably never get it done as adversaries. We've been adversarial thus far, and it has made every inch we fought for too costly to afford the next one.

Help. Just help.

It's not regional really. All the stats show that it's urban/rural. If you have to deal with people not like you, you stop being such a total dick even if you're still a fiscal conservative or whatever.

And I've kind of given up on the left waking up to anything. We'd rather have drum circles than effect real change.

At this point, I'm rather hoping the doomsday soothsayers are correct and the world is going to end this Dec.

Because if it doesn't, it might as well have at the rate we're going.

I am a woman, and I live in Texas, and I hope to fucking hell that someone shoots the fucking dipshit Perry. We've lost our ENTIRE WOMEN'S HEALTH PROGRAM because of his feudal BULLSHIT knocking PP out of being a viable provider, which lost us Medicaid for ANYTHING TO DO WITH WOMEN'S HEALTH (Medicaid provides 90% of our women's health dollars to the underprivileged), which pisses me off because Medicaid for MEN'S HEALTH IS STILL PRESENT. And I work in healthcare. It is no longer a proud profession to be in in this state.

I fucking hate the GOP like nobody's business right now. And if you haven't seen it yet, check Twitter for #ididnotreport and tell me we don't live in a culture that DESTROYS women.

Unrelated, but hey there Texas! Brave woman for sticking it out — this Texan got the hell out.

Good luck, and take care of yourself.

Thank you for the co-ed comment! That drives me up the wall!!!!

I also thought that was great.

About that question of who is training the police these days...

shunra

2012-03-19 04:33 pm (UTC)

The military is. And the training isn't even specific to the U.S. military.

The Israeli & the Bahraini ones. http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2011/12/04/prior-to-violent-occupy-oakland-raid-opd-trained-alongside-bahrain-military-and-israeli-border-forces/



I just had a rage meltdown complete with screaming and tears. I'm afraid to fly. Not because I'm afraid of terrorists, but because I'm afraid of the TSA. As a transgender person, I am afraid of the humiliation and violation of being manhandled by strangers masquerading as law enforcement.

I can't even begin to coherently address my feelings about the political situation right now, or birth control, or just freaking health care. My state is losing millions of dollars of funding for preventative care for women because my governor is a complete drunken lunatic.

I am so despairing. I try to do things like support PP and write my reps and talk and give money, but I honestly despair. I just don't even know what to do anymore.

This is awful. Wishing you courage and the love of close friends.

Just hearing you echo my current political frustrations made them a little easier to bear. Thank you.

Also, I figure every time you make a post of this nature, it cancels out something Orson Scott Card said somewhere on the Internet. Like neutralizing toxins.

My British in-lawa gave up plans to emigrate to the US to be near my husband and me, because our immigration lawyer sat them down and said, "At your age, you're going to give up the NHS? Have you REALLY thought about that?"

There is no reality I understand in which anyone would give up the NHS voluntarily.

I just try not to let the fear outrun the anger.

Oooh, nice coping tactic. I'll give it a go.

One last politics post since my friendslist is all over your LJ entry and loving it (I took the opportunity to plug Palimpsest, heh).

Protesters are planning a *candlit vigil* for the NHS. What will that do? Is there any more defeatist / defeated image they could project? How about some goddamn riots instead?

Here's David Cameron's election campaign promise, which he has broken already with £20bn of NHS cuts:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--ldXQMVBsrQ/TshSFoDk4BI/AAAAAAAAAhs/JPAfkAHq2kg/s1600/Deficit+not+NHS.jpg

And no, we don't know how we got a Prime Minister who looks like C-3PO made out of ham.

It truly disturbs me how much more interested in theater the protesting left is than efficacy.

Thank you for saying it so well. Sometimes here in the bubble of Massachusetts one can forget the stuff that goes on in the rest of the country.

Perhaps the connection with Obama is, that he's rolling over for the Republicans and the Catholics, which makes it hard for Pelosi and other Democrats to fight them.

When the Bishops started this fuss, c. 28 states already had Catholic schools and hospitals insurance plans covering their employees/students contraception (and abortion iirc) with no fuss. It was a matter of state law, from decades: don't discriminate against women, and contraception and abortion are established part of health care.

The Bishops make a fuss, and instead of Obama ignoring them, he ROLLS BACK what we already had. Now everywhere, contraception is something negotiable, subject to 'accomodation'. Because of OBAMA's choice not to stand up to the GOP.

Reclusive Leftist blog puts this better:
reclusiveleftist.com/2012/03/06/the-myth-of-free-birth-control/
Interestingly, the Georgetown employee healthcare plan does include birth control, because the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would rain hell on their ass otherwise. That’s because of the EEOC ruling from 12 years ago that birth control is normal healthcare and that excluding it from an employee’s prescription plan constitutes sexist discrimination.*
[....]
*This is likely to change, now that Obama has created a new “religious liberty” exemption for contraception. For the past 12 years Catholic employers have been covering contraception so as not to be in violation of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits sexist discrimination. Obama’s new policy allows employers to omit contraceptive coverage for women on religious grounds.


Obama proposed a figleaf, but the Catholics and other GOP are fighting that (with the Blunt amendment etc). Any hope that Obama won't eventually roll over on that, too? We'd better put some pressure on HIM.

As far as I understand it, that's not the case. The GOP are bellowing, but Obama has made a rather brilliant compromise that forced health insurance companies to pay for whatever birth control religious organizations wouldn't. That isn't budging, though they're howling about it.

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