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.”
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.