Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Brain Leaking Out Ears, Can't Deal with Internet Right Now

Let this serve as an apology for not writing anything here and for slacking off writing anything at Pandagon. Basically these people are highly skilled at whipping up a tornado of pure insanity and right now, this is about the part where the roof has blown clean off and I'm hurtling through the air gripping the sides of a claw-foot bathtub, hoping I don't get beaned in the head by a flying cow.


Supposedly this all ends tomorrow morning. SUPPOSEDLY. That leaves me hoping the bathtub makes a smooth landing and the cow lands 30 yards over yonder, instead of right on top of me like I'm thinking it will.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Weddings: Still Very Definitely Not a Fan

So, I went to this wedding over the weekend up in Santa Fe, and I have a question for y'all:

Say you and your significant other arrive about 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning. And say your significant other is staying in a different hotel with his relatives, and say he's on his way up to his room when he runs into the groom.

And say the groom has a bleeding cut on his forehead and generally looks a little rough around the edges.

Now just suppose the groom and your significant other exchange awkward pleasantries, and suppose that then the groom lays out this story about having gone out to Denny's, in the middle of the night in Santa Fe, the night before his wedding, and about having been jumped on the way back by three vatos, all of whom the groom, manly man that he is, thrashed soundly.

Suppose your significant other is . . . skeptical. But then suppose he relays the story to his father that night, and then suppose your significant other's father, who happens to be the father of the bride, is kind of a talker, and suppose your significant other's dad winds up relaying this story to the bride as she's on her way out the next morning to her 7:00 a.m. bridal hair appointment.

Then suppose that the groom tries to deny any of this ever happened.

And now say people come back to your significant other and want to know what gives? Say your significant other stands by his story, forcing the groom to relent and grant that, okay, he really did fend off an attempted mugging and he really did beat up three guys.

Now say you're me: Do you buy any of this? Hell, no, you don't. You ask me, weren't no Denny's, weren't no three Hispanic men. You ask me, I think the groom ran afoul of a pimp. No man runs out to Denny's, in the middle of the night, in 35-degree temperatures, the night before his wedding. No one does this. It doesn't happen. And even if it does, dudes in their late 40s, I don't care how fit, don't beat up three younger dudes, either.

You know what I think? I think my boyfriend's sister just married herself a real schmuck, and a racist schmuck at that.

Well, better her than me.


So we're on the way back home and I ask my boyfriend, "You think there's any chance your parents will stop by?"


"Do you think they'll swing through Las Cruces on their way home?"

"Fuck, no. It's not even on their way."

My boyfriend's getting agitated because he's never even considered this possibility, that his parents might drop by for a visit.

My boyfriend is a born fool.

"Calm down," I tell him. "I just want to know, is this a possibility? Because that sounds like just the sort of thing they'd do."

"They didn't say anything to me about it while we were there."

"But does that rule it out?"

"Of course! They didn't even say anything about it."

"And you think they definitely would?"

Now I can see my boyfriend is really getting wound up. He says, "No, listen, they can't do that. They--it's not even on the WAY. They didn't even say anything to me. They couldn't--they're just not going to do that."

He sounds more as though he's trying to convince himself of this than he is trying to convince me.

"So far," I remind my boyfriend, "Every time I have predicted what your parents will do in a given situation, I have been right, and you have been wrong. Every time."

"Well not this time. They're not doing this. They can't do this. They didn't even say anything--"

"Yeah yeah yeah they didn't say anything to you about it. Of course they're not gonna say anything to you about it! Your family doesn't communicate--unless it's your dad dumping bad news on your sister four hours before her wedding. Now that kind of communication--"

"Can we please quit talking about my family for awhile? It's giving me a headache," he pleads.

So we talk about something else.


Today at 12:30 p.m., when I received a cell phone call from his mother, en route to Las Cruces from Santa Fe, I was this surprised. Yessir, you bet.

On the plus side, my house is now very, very clean. His family can say what they like of me--and they do--but "she lives like a pig!" isn't going to be one of the things they say.

On the minus side, they aren't leaving until Thursday morning.

Have I mentioned that my boyfriend's parents are extremely Catholic? Extremely conservatively Catholic? I'm-not-certain-Vatican-II-was-a-good-idea Catholic? Probably-fans-of-Bill-Donohue's-Catholic-League Catholic?

Pseudonyms: I can't recommend blogging under one enough.

Friday, February 16, 2007

It's Friday, You Say?

Is_it_a_crime, originally uploaded by ilyka_damen.

Then I guess you get cats. Very, very, very much in love cats.

See Also: Utilized*

"People with all your fancy 'dictionaries' and whatnot trying to tell me 'enthused' is a word? I’ve got one question for you: who’s The Fucking Editors around here?"

*Except that "utilized" really is a word--a word I despise in the marrow of my bones. And now that I've said that, you're all going to make sure to use it in your comments, aren't you? Well, you suck for even thinking of doing that.

Happy Birthday to Rob

He's finally old enough to vote, give or take a few years.

Photo: Gratuitous Pawn

Stop by and wish him happy birthday, plus another 50 more.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I Need Advice

What the hell should I do with this blog?

It's like this: A couple months or so ago, I started getting back into politics here and there in my posts. That was great and all, but now I've got this Pandagon thing and my inclination is to leave the silly and/or personal stuff here, save the issues stuff for there.

But then the Edwards thing blew up, and I'm realizing, I'm not going to be able to play it that way, after all. Anyone I piss off at Pandagon is just going to follow me here.

On top of that, I have legacy trolls already--people who are pissed off that I don't agree with them so much anymore. I have never quite figured out why that's so enraging to some people, but clearly, it is. I guess everyone needs a hobby. What that means for me is, I need better bannination capabilities. I'm just not willing to put up with someone, some hypothetical troll, some imaginary skunk who could be named anything, perhaps even "Marlene Dick," or "Seth Weaver," leaving her tapeworm-segment-studded skid marks all over the comments just because OH HEAVENS, I'M A COMMUNIST NOW.

Do you know what I had for breakfast this morning, by the way? Poached embryos on English muffins. They were delicious. Next time I'm going to try them in a little hollandaise, which I will also make, naturally, out of human embryos.

Where was I?

Right! See, with Blogger, I can either manually delete trolling comments after they've already appeared (and usually, thanks to my wack schedule, after they've already been responded to by a few of y'all--thanks for that, btw), or I can put EVERYONE on moderation. You know how I feel about that last option.

So I said a long, long time ago I planned to use Blogger only temporarily, but, you know, I'm lazy, and then the Blogger beta came out and I kind of liked it, and again, I can't say it often enough, I'm lazy. But I'm thinking now's the time to get off my ass and go shopping for hosting plans. I'm getting pretty fond of that Wordpress from using it at Feministe and Pandagon.

If I do that, though, no more eponymous blog--"Ilyka Damen" has outlived its usefulness, though not its stupidity (never, never that). I would like, if she'd be cool with this, something collaborative with Genni. You know what? She's the artist. I should ask HER to name it, right?

My goodness, I'm an idiot.

So that's what I'm thinking, I guess. Tentatively, you know, how I do.

Any suggestions? Complaints? Ideas? Shoulder shrugs?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Compare and Contrast

Chris Clarke, former Catholic:

In honor of recent events: A brief story about an actual Catholic. Well, technically, two actual Catholics. Because I was Roman Catholic back then as well, when Benjamin Cobos was my homeroom teacher. He was a Catholic priest. He was one of the finest men I have ever met.

Frank J., practicing Catholic:

[Amanda Marcotte] made a fool of herself and John Edwards, and now she has some rants up playing herself the stereotypical victim to all those stronger, mean men out there. It's disgusting, really. A woman with self-esteem would admit her mistake and take the consequences... not try and dodge them by hiding behind rantings about a "patriarchy." I know many strong women in my life, and these "feminists" do nothing more than make a virtue out of weakness. Women have gained too much over too long a period to have to suffer the likes of such fools.

It is a sad, sad thing when the former Christians make better Christians than the actual ones.

But I am not done with Frank J. Oh, no, not by a long shot. Did you know "the consequences" of making a fool of yourself--I'm feeling charitable and will grant Frank's interpretation of events for the moment--include an inbox filled with emails like:

It’s just too bad your mother didn’t abort you. You are nothing more than a filthy mouth slut. I bet a couple of years in Iraq being raped and beaten daily would help you appreciate America a little. Need a plane ticket ?

I make a fool of myself every day and I don't get email like that. If ever I do, I'll be sure to share it with you, so Frank can complain that I'm whining.

Yes indeed, that is some swell bearing false witness you have going on there, Frank--the way you mischaracterize Amanda's announcement that she resigned her position as a "rant," for one, but that's not the star of this show. No, the star is your boldfaced lie that Amanda was whining. I notice you don't quote anything to back that up, Frank--probably because you couldn't find anything that would fit. Certainly this comment of Amanda's makes a liar out of you:

I’m serious, I love hatemail. While it’s obvious to me that Bill Donohue doesn’t have a spiritual or loving bone in his body and only uses Christianity as an excuse to hate women and shill for the Republican party, it’s not obvious to everyone since he does demonstrate some semblance—at times—of an ability to ineptly use dog whistles and code words. But the people who lift their heads when the dog whistle is blown show no such restraint. Turn on the light and the cockroaches scatter, etc.

But let's NOT be honest. Let's just manipulate every complaint by a known feminist until we've forced it to fit into one of our ignorant strawfeminist templates. Which shall we use?--We've got "There They Go with Their Love of Victimhood Again" or "Ha, Ha, Frothing-at-the-Mouth Hysterical Feminazis Need To Just Chill Already." Say, I know! Let's just USE BOTH.

Really, Frank. When did you become such a sad little hack?

More to the point, when did you become so adept at ignoring the teachings of Christ? Because here's what I thought would happen when I clicked your trackbacked link from Pandagon: I thought what would happen was that you would express horror at the people who invoked your God, your religion, to write things like:

Catholics are concerned about killing unborn children, you stupid bitch. Chop away if it suits you, but we don’t have to accept that as moral. That’s why it’s called a religion. Look into it.


after reading your vile screed against Catholics and the Holy Spirit, I just had to see what you looked like. (I envisioned you eyebrow-less, with no visible pupils, and a blank, dead stare.) I see I was correct about the blank, dead stare, but other than that you’re not too bad. I then thought maybe you were mad at God (and by proxy Catholics) for making you ugly, but now I’m figuring you’re just mad at him for making you a woman.

You remember how Jesus was always calling sinners ugly and refusing to 'sociate with 'em because of that? Wait, that wasn't the Bible--that was Mean Girls. I got confused for a minute. Say, what's this?

Problem with women like you, you just need a good fucking from a real man! Living in Texas myself, I know you haven’t found that real Texan yet. But once your liberal pro feminist ass gets a real good fucking, you might see the light. Until then, enjoy your battery operated toys b/c most real men wouldn’t want to give you the fucking you deserve b/c the shit that would come out of you ears.

Although this author doesn't explicitly identify as Christian, so perhaps we should give him the benefit of the doubt--just like you did with Amanda, Frank.

You couldn't stand up and say, "Amanda, I disagree with your positions vehemently, and I was gravely offended by what you wrote about Catholicism--but I am also sorry that some Catholics felt sending you rape threats was an appropriate way to defend their faith, and I want you to know that not all of us support that behavior."

You couldn't do that. Instead, you taunted Amanda for doing something she didn't even do--whining. Instead, you mischaracterized what she wrote. Instead, you lied to your readers for a few cheap laughs. Instead, you took the opportunity to kick someone when she was down, just like Jesus was always doing.

And that says all I need to know about your so-called faith, right there.

UPDATE: Were I blogging the Frank way, the hack way, I might take a moment to note disgustedly that the most ostensibly fervent pro-Israel, anti-anti-Semitic right-wing goybloggers were only too happy to get on board the Amanda-bashing bus with Bill Donohue, a vile bigot given to such remarks as:

Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK? And I'm not afraid to say it. That's why they hate this movie. It's about Jesus Christ, and it's about truth. It's about the messiah.

Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost.

You have got secular Jews. You have got embittered ex-Catholics, including a lot of ex-Catholic priests who hate the Catholic Church, wacko Protestants in the same group, and these people are in the margins.

But I am not blogging the Frank way, the Darleen way, the we-only-support-Israel-because-Bush-sort-of-does*, but-if-ever-the-Palestinians-find-oil-and-promise-us-a-sweet-deal-on-it, or-alternately, just-say-something-mean-about-Amanda, you-can-kiss-our-support-goodbye, wingnut hack sort of way--because I don't blog like that, I will just say that I think it is perfectly possible to be angry with both Donohue AND Amanda, because it is. Duh.

Of course, if that were so--if the boo-Amanda crowd were equally horrified by the anti-Semitism of Bill Donohue--one might expect to find one or two posts denouncing Bill Donohue mixed in with all the anti-Amanda hysteria--but one might only expect that if one had just connected to the internet for the first time yesterday.

*Except when he doesn't, but I notice those posts of Meryl's do not get nearly so much attention on the right.

And Guess What Else I Hate?

"You'd better leave now if you're gonna get a parking spot," I nagged my man helpfully this morning.

"Yeah, and I want to stop for coffee."

"Go through the drive-thru at Starbucks."

"Takes too long. I'll just get some at McDonald's or something."

"It's too bad they closed that one shop across the street from campus. Hey, you're coming straight home, right?"

"No. I thought I'd do a little shopping afterwards."

"But you went to the store yesterday!"

"Honey," my boyfriend says tiredly, "what day is it?"


"But what DATE?"



"Look, don't get me anything. I thought we agreed last year that we're through celebrating this dumb non-holiday."

"I don't remember that. What's the big deal? Let me get you a little present."

But of course, that means I have to get him a little present. And then 10 days from now, on his birthday, I have to get him another one.

I HATE Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I Hate Weddings

--but I just realized, I have to go to one Saturday, and I don't even like the woman getting married. Life is cruel.

So anyway: Pantsuits--completely not acceptable wedding attire? Sometimes acceptable wedding attire? I'm pretty sure you're all going to tell me they are never okay, which means I am going to have to buy a dress, which is going to make me cry. And yes, I can make a melodramatic production out of ANYTHING. Why do you ask?

Speaking of weddings, all I have to say to this is, I never liked when fundamentalists on the right wanted to butt into your personal business and make everything about their politcs, and I don't like it when someone takes a simple request for wedding suggestions and turns it into "should you even be getting married as long as that right is reserved to heterosexual couples?" Jiminy Christmas, SHUT UP. Let a woman get hitched without it being A Thing for just once. Not everything needs to be a motherfucking action item.

Of course, you're free to make everything an action item anyway, but then I'd better not hear any complaining when someone points out that progressives are just as capable of being annoying Butthead Buttinskis as fundamentalists are, and how that like shouldn't even be a valid comparison because fundamentalists are so wrong and progressives are so right so, you know, they aren't equal. To which I say "I think you are mostly right about that, but when you behave in a manner completely indistinguishable from the people you think are so wrong, don't feign shock when the rest of us have difficulty telling you apart." And because I can't get enough of cliches lately, just insert something here about if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, etc.

Just personally, I don't care if you're making my business your business because you hate inequality, or because you hate fornication. Either way, you're in my business and you need to get out.

Damn, but I hate going to the mall. It just makes me so cranky.

UPDATE: Next time I need to solicit your advice more than five minutes before leaving for the mall because, unsurprisingly, it turned out you were all right, and there were very nearly NO skirts or dresses to be had. It's ALL pants suits these days. Did I bask in that knowledge? Did I celebrate it properly by buying pants? No, that would have been too easy. Instead, I dug out the one sweater/skirt combo I could find that didn't look completely ridiculous. Which is not to say it didn't look mostly ridiculous, because--well:

When I exited the dressing room, my boyfriend immediately commenced whistling "On the Good Ship Lollipop," because he's a dick. But he's an at least semi-accurate dick (points off for not realizing that "On the Good Ship Lollipop" is actually a song about airplanes), because the outfit does sort of give off that Julie McCoy vibe. And what's with that cutesy ribbon at the neckline? It doesn't actually untie anything. It's just there to look twee.

Oh, well. If worse comes to worst I can wear it to job interviews for Princess Cruises.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Game Over

It's not an ideal win, but I'll take it:

Statement on Campaign Bloggers

John Edwards in News Feed of
2/08/2007 at 11:36 AM EST

The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte's and Melissa McEwan's posts personally offended me. It's not how I talk to people, and it's not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it's intended as satire, humor, or anything else. But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word. We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in.

Also, what Gavin said, though I prefer to express it in nerd video form.

I don't care if you're full.

EITHER YOU'RE STUPID OR DISHONEST, AND I'M SICK OF TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHICH IT IS, IF IN FACT IT ISN'T BOTH - AN UPDATE: Sure enough, I have a commenter doing the old stick-fingers-in-ears, pretend-can't-hear-you, keep-repeating-same-lines-as-though-that-will-make-them-true maneuver:

What accounts for Amanda's hatred? She seems deeply engrossed in theological issues like "Limbo."

She seem highly perturbed and demonstrates a white hit pursuit of Roman Catholic teaching.

Has she ever expressed religious beliefs of her own? Maybe she on the road to Damascus.

This will not be lived down. Wait till Hillary's guys Carville (a Catholic) and Begala (I think he's catholic, too) get ahold of this.

Johnny-boy, you just might need to get back to channelling dead babies in the courtroom.

"If we just keep saying this will hurt Edwards, maybe it really WILL hurt Edwards" is the refrain of the week, because saying so makes it true if you absolutely under no circumstances EVER QUIT SAYING IT. But never mind--let me deal now with this whole "But wasn't what Amanda said very offensive to Catholics?" thing once and for all.

Oh, wait; I already did that today. Well, if repeating things often enough helps them sink in--

Professor Blather, try a little reading yourself. This very post, for example:

One imagines that the next notion down the pike is going to be that Allah was merely writing satire. And indeed, normally, we’d be down with that. But when you read the Hot Air piece in all its switchbacks and updates, you find that Allah and Bryan have already carefully blocked that exit, doing a #2 woo-woo war dance of outrage over the notion that Amanda’s writing should be taken at anything but than face value.

The problem is not that anyone here fails to recognize parody. The problem is that the bloggers at Hot Air fail to recognize satire or context. And the context of Amanda’s post that Allahpundit is clutching his pearls over is a debunking of the misinformation on birth control that a Catholic premarital seminar was providing–and I’m being charitable by calling it “misinformation.” “Boldfaced lying about how birth control pills work” would be more accurate. Amanda’s weapon of choice against that nonsense was satire. Cribbing from the definition helpfully provided by Sean in another thread:

1.a. A work or composition in prose or verse which (usu. humorously) exposes prevailing vices or follies or ridicules an (esp. prominent) individual; a lampoon; a performance or broadcast of a similar nature.

Here’s the best part: Allahpundit, Preston, and even the crazy one all know this. Normally–that is, if no political hay were to be made off Edwards hiring Amanda–they’d even agree with Amanda that the Catholic church’s teachings on birth control are pretty backward (when they’re not outright false). I mean, last I checked, not one of them was the father of seven good Catholic children.

I’m tired of this sudden conservative genius for missing the point. You guys are not actually that stupid. You know damn well what the point was–with Amanda’s post as well as with what Gavin did here, which was to show that the standard ol’ Cuckoo for Cockopuffs tries to apply to Amanda’s writing doesn’t work when it’s applied to his ideological cronies, and therefore likely doesn’t work applied to Amanda either.

Now if you’d just quit trying to play the rest of us for fools, that would be fabulous.

--then maybe reposting it here will help.

See, the problem is, someone reminded Sadly, No! of an old post Allah wrote that was a little harsh on some Catholic practices. The things is, "Allah" was a character, a parody of a deity gone mad for jihad, and so duh, of course the Muslim deity is going to think transubstantiation is a nutso doctrine. All fine, all good--it's a parody, and the Catholic-bashing is being used in the service of the parody, and the point of the parody is to make fun of jihadists, and if we can't make fun of people who blow up shit for Allah then I don't know what we could possibly have left to laugh at, honestly. Now please pardon me a minute while I whip out the bold and the caps in a futile attempt to prevent another tidal wave of stupidity-or-dishonesty-or-both from crashing down on my poor head:


So why do I bring all this up? Simple: Because there's that stupid-or-dishonest thing again, in which what appears to be nearly the entire right side of the blogosphere is suddenly pretending not to notice WHY Amanda wrote mean, nasty things about the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary (something that, thankfully, none of them ever do, and certainly none of them ever yuk it up about how fuckable the Blessed Mother is), and I'll bet it is not really going to surprise any of my readers to learn that she did it for a similar reason: To make fun of something stupid. And, people, excommunicate me now if you must, but let's not kid ourselves about this: The Catholic church's teaching on contraception is stupid. It's so stupid that very few Catholics even pretend to follow it.

But not only is it a little stupid, some of it's dishonest. Telling lies about how birth control pills work?--I'm not putting that down to stupidity; that one gets marked in the dishonesty column.

And for pointing this out, for attending a Catholic seminar that peddled this birth-control-pill-as-abortifacent dishonesty, and then for coming home and posting about it, observing that lying about the way oral contraceptives work is harmful to women,--for that, well. You saw the results this week. Amanda hates God, she hates you for loving God, she hates all religions everWHAR!!!

This, mind you, from a guy who did an entire blog using the Muslim deity as a spoof character, who had to explain that he didn't really hate Muslims, he just hated Muslims who were prone to blowing things up. Funny thing: So do I. So do most people. So we're cool, right?

Except not really, because if what you want is to make fun of Muslims who blow things up, it might be better to title the blog "Osamapundit," you know, after a Muslim who enjoys blowing things up, instead of using the name of the god all the Muslims who DON'T blow things up ALSO WORSHIP. And since this is bound to come up, because there are no limits in the game of cake or death, or excuse me, stupid or dishonest, note that this blog is called Jesus's General, not "Jesuspundit" or "Jesus is in the House."

None of this is actually difficult to figure out, so I apologize for boring you all with it. I don't know what happened. I DO know that this rant will hereafter serve as my only explanation for why your dumbass Amanda-hates-Catholics comment disappeared from this blog (or, for that matter, from any posts I author at Pandagon): Your comment disappeared and your dissent was cruelly crushed along with it because it was either stupid or dishonest, and I'm not very fond of either quality. The end. Good NIGHT. And for fuck's sake, stop whining.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Why I Support Amanda and Melissa

It may be too late, but here is what I sent the Edwards campaign this morning:

I support Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan and hope you will keep them on board. Both are bright, witty writers, incisive analysts, and dedicated activists who can give this campaign exactly the progressive credibility it needs to distinguish itself from that of Hillary Clinton.

It would be a grave mistake to let the manufactured outrage peddled by right-wing extremists and bigots such as Michelle Malkin and Bill Donohue dissuade you from committing to your original brilliant decision to hire Amanda and Melissa: It would say to your supporters, "We don't have what it takes to lead this country out of the jingoistic, xenophobic, hate-filled place the Bush administration has driven it," and it would say to your opponents and detractors, "You are right; we do not really stand for what we claim to stand for; we are opportunists and politicians, not leaders; it is true, the Democratic Party is filled with unprincipled, fickle wimps."

The criticism John Edwards is receiving for hiring Amanda and Melissa is nothing but proof this campaign is on the right track, for all the most virulent bigots are enraged by it. They were never potential supporters, and they will always find new mud to sling no matter who is attached to this campaign.

Have the courage to do the right thing, Mr. Edwards. Reject the manufactured outrage. Retain these two women whose work means so much to voters like me who would love to support you.

And now just a word or two about how I feel personally about this:

Amanda and Melissa may lose their jobs, and you, the usual complete tools, may crow loud and long about it; but there were women watching your vile production yesterday who began to wonder how much, exactly, the right wing hates women; who began to wonder if this smear campaign would have been carried out in quite the same way had it been Duncan Black or Markos Moulitsas Zuniga whom Edwards hired; who began to wonder if this tidal wave of hate could ever conceivably come crashing down on them.

I say to them, it can.

And if ever you commit the unpardonable sin of changing your mind about anything, and you make the mistake of changing it in the wrong direction, it will.

More from Liza Sabater at Culture Kitchen, who has a roundup of responses.

UPDATE: Almost forgot--contact the campaign yourselves here. Write something supportive even if you don't like Melissa, even if you don't like Amanda.


Yes. Write something supportive even if you don't like Melissa or Amanda, because what's happening to them could just as easily happen to bloggers you do like.

See, no blogger's archives are clean. That's what makes blogging lively, enjoyable, and timely--the ability to dash off your thoughts and receive back the dashed-off thoughts of others, until pretty soon people begin to form opinions, gradually, cautiously. But first, you have to have the brainstorming session. First you have to start with raw ideas.

Blogging is the brainstorming session writ large. As such, it is often messy; but at the other end of the spectrum, you have most political writing, which is banal, sterile platitude after banal, sterile platitude. The ideas have been finessed and massaged right out of most political writing. That's why it bores everyone to tears.

If you like the idea that someday it could even be you running a presidential hopeful's web site, then get behind this. Tell the wingnut bullies you won't say uncle, you aren't going to eat no mud today. Remind them that what goes around comes around. Let Edwards know that whether you agree with their opinions or not, you support the rights of Melissa and Amanda to blog them, and that you think his campaign's hiring decisions are the business of people who are considering voting for Edwards, not of right-wing racists and anti-Semites.


Let's get this out of the way up front: I have no taste in anything, not music, not movies, not clothes, not slipcovers, not shower curtains. I like what I like and what I like is usually crap. I'm aware of this. Given when I grew up, it was pretty much inevitable; or at least, I would have had to work really hard to fight it. And I don't work hard at anything.

That said, will you please tell me I'm right and the Fug Girls are wrong? Because they are:

They loved this getup; I hate it. The color is that horrible light cyan, good old 0x00FFFF; a color great for highlighting text in a Word document, tolerable for a spring or summer dress, and absolutely terrible for an evening gown. And yet, the color is not the worst of this. No, the worst part of this dress is the way it makes her boobs look--like two oranges in aqua-colored sacks being weighed on individual produce scales, they just sort of hang there, limply.

And then there is that empire waist with that old-lady trim beneath the bust: Vanessa Williams does not need to wear old-lady trim, and she does not need to hide her waist. The woman has a waist, and it is fabulous. Witness:

See? SEE? The Fug Girls didn't like this one, though. They liked the more
"toned down" aqua ensemble. I have my hackles about that "toned down" business. Now there's a phrase that's loaded.

I don't know. I think they got it wrong on this one. Or maybe I don't mean wrong; maybe I mean that all of a sudden the Fug Girls sound very, very white, white like sterility, white like tundra. Not every celebrity needs to follow the Hollywood template of straight light hair, understated gown, boring neutral color, "classic" drape, inoffensive texture. Damn it, we already HAVE Nicole Kidman. One's enough.

Vanessa #1 is Barbie; no more, no less. But Vanessa #2 is fierce. Vanessa #1 is a copy of a copy of a copy of an old mimeograph. Vanessa #2 is the original other people copy.

Am I wrong?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Great Moments in Mudslinging

Some of you might have smelled the smoke from the wingnut witch hunt of Amanda Marcotte, known around these parts as "the nice lady who done gimme a job," this weekend. Basically, the John Edwards 2008 campaign hired Amanda to manage Edwards' campaign blog without consulting Wingnut Nation, and now Wingnut Nation is all kinds of mad because right up until Edwards did that, they were totally going to vote for him.

It seems the court of wingnut opinion finds Amanda guilty of expressing opinions they don't like about the Duke lacrosse case. If this is the sort of triviality we're going to get hung up on in blogland, then I vote we just go ahead and shut the internet down right now. What's the point of saying your piece anyway? Why even have opinions? They cause so much incivility.

Remember this nonsense the next time a right-winger asserts that it's actually liberals who are anti-free speech. Uh-huh? You don't say!

Here, then, are the top five idiocies of wingnut nation's latest fake scandal--or, "Out with Jamil; in with Amanda:"

5: Amanda Marcotte owes the Duke lacrosse team an apology

Source: Dan Collins, Protein Wisdom

What would it take to end the cycle of interblogger violence occasioned by Amanda’s ascension to Edwardian Blogatrix, at least here at PW (if you guys don’t mind my suggestion)? One thing, and one thing only:

Please apologize to the Duke Women’s Lacrosse Team.

I’m not even asking that Amanda apologize to the guys. They’re going to exact their apologies through the legal system (perhaps Edwards will take it on pro bono).

That’s all she has to do, and we’ll leave her alone. Fair?

Why It's So Stupid: You mean aside from the mind-boggling moment when you realize some putz on the internet actually thinks he has the power to make people type what he wants them to type? Because I thought that part was plenty stupid, myself.

Oh, fine: How 'bout because Amanda simply didn't do anything to these guys that might require an apology. It wasn't Amanda who suspended the players for the rest of their season, and it wasn't Amanda who took this case to the press, and it wasn't Amanda who requested DNA samples from the team--and it isn't Amanda who has any power to affect the fortunes of the lacrosse players in any way whatsoever.

For suggesting the most obvious idiocy, Dan Collins just squeaks into the number five spot; sadly, he's going to have to work much harder at his craft to do any better than last place. Better luck next year, Dan!

4. Amanda's got a foul, foul mouth

Source: Multiple, but hitting the Early Times Foulmouthed Bourbon especially hard lately are an advocate of (selective) sweetness and light; this repulsive creature; this one guy who at least admits he's a potty-mouth himself, but doesn't let that stop him from getting on his high horse about Such Language; and, for that grace note of irony that makes even the rottenest fruit smell just a tiny bit sweeter for a moment, a commenter at Protein Wisdom--you know, the site that was scrubbed from Right Wing News' blogroll for profanity? The site which garnered cheers and chuckles galore for producing this?

Why It's So Stupid: Really, wingnuts, people can use Google, okay?

For so perfectly illustrating the double standard that feminism's opponents are always insisting doesn't exist anymore, every purulent pustule who complained about Amanda's language whooshes straight down the porcelain bowl to septic tank number four.

3. I don't know whether to hate Amanda for her not wanting to fuck me, or for her not being a woman I'd want to fuck

Source: Dan Riehl, Riehl World View

Why It's So Stupid: No one wants to fuck Dan Riehl.

For tempting me to rip off The Editors' "Easy Answers to Unnecessary Questions" shtick, Dan Astroglides singlehandedly into the number three position.

2. I'm Concerned: The Classic Concern-Troll Maneuver
a. Amanda won't play in Peoria.
b. This hiring decision really reflects poorly on Edwards.
c. Didn't the campaign office research Amanda before hiring her?

Source: Multiple, including James Taranto:

At the very least, this is potentially libelous, given that the lacrosse players--although still charged with sexual assault (but not rape)--haven't actually been convicted of anything. It is also, shall we say, rather intemperate in tone, and one wonders if Edwards knew just what kind of blogger he was hiring here.

An imaginary Democrat who apparently didn't pay attention to the 2006 elections:

This is to funny - thanks for the laughs. I am not a troll and stumbled on this site from KC’s DIW. KC and Bill A. are brillant, articulate, excellent writers, well schooled and of course, have a vocabulatory that extends beyond using cuss words. Amanda is “bored” - who cares. Of course, she is not going to play in Peoria or outside her group of like thinkers and cursers. To compare her to Ben D. is insulting because he can write. I am a life long liberal Democrat, but had no intention of voting for Edwards anyway. I am going with the gentle warriers Rudy and McCain. The Democrats have lost their base. .

And commenter Earl at Feministe:

I think it is very poor public relations for the Edwards campaign to hire someone who regularly refers to Christians as “godbags.”

I say this as someone who is generally strongly supportive of Edwards, especially his “Two Americas” theme - income inequality in America is way, way out of control and someone needs to do something about it.

Put simply, Amanda Marcotte won’t play in Peoria. Edwards needs to cut her loose before Fox News gets hold of the vitriol she regularly spews.

Why It's So Stupid: I'm just going to crib from my respone to a concerned citizen commenter at Feministe. The commenter's original remarks are italicized:

I read Pandagon and agree with Amanda more often than not, but I think that the text Earl quoted is in poor taste, misrepresentative of the facts of the Duke case, and inconsistent with the quality of most of Amanda’s writing at Pandagon.

Funny thing about that: I’d agree with a kinder, gentler version of that assessment, and yet it never once occurred to me to try to harass Amanda out of a job for speaking her mind; nor do I think her disagreeing with me about the case has any effect on her ability to do the job for which she was hired (that was blogmaster, remember, not press secretary, campaign manager, political strategist, or speech writer).

But then, I’m not a posturing propagator of faux outrage, so I guess that figures, huh?

For supposing that (1) we're stupid enough to believe that this smear campaign has anything to do with Edwards' chances at winning the Democratic Party presidential nomination; (2) we're stupid enough to think Amanda Marcotte has any more influence on John Edwards than you or I do; and (3) we're stupid enough not to notice that the only people who hyped this hatchet job are dedicated misogynists--for supposing all that, every concern troll in this pretend scandal can now pat him- or herself on the back for having reached numero dos on the idiocy list. Congratulations, Concerned American Citizens: You beat the dynamic Dans.

1. Amanda Marcotte is a delusional bitch and, something something some other thing, blah blah--and therefore, the Edwards campaign should fire her.

Source: Gee, guess.

Why It's So Stupid: Because, Dan-O, for a guy who tries to pull this off:

I don’t care that Amanda’s working for John Edwards, and you’re right, Libby, that I’m not drawn from the pool of potential voters for the Bunnyman. I don’t even suppose that it necessarily reflects terribly badly on Edwards that his staff has made such a bizarre gaffe in choosing the Edwardian Blogatrix to run their blog.

--you sure fall flat on your face in the process. Look: You clearly do care, very much, that Amanda's achieved something your sad hack-of-a-hack ass never will, and it's obvious to everyone who reads you, Dan, that your left nut is never going to descend back down out of its happy place until that horrid bitch Amanda is toast. And that's why this is the alarm that sounds in the head of every woman who has had the misfortune to date your type, Dan:


So congratulations, Mr. Collins: For your surprise comeback from last place to first, for your transparent dishonesty that didn't fool my dumbest cat, and for your touchingly naive belief that you could simultaneously (1) hammer the same stupid points over and over again and actually (2) NOT have anyone wonder if perhaps you're a bit obsessive, you've reached number one on the Top Five Idiocies of the Amanda Marcotte Witch Hunt.

Here's your prize!

UPDATE: The divine Pinko Feminist Hellcat, Sheezlebub, on the blatant hypocrisy of Amanda's critics:

While you're at it, perhaps you should look at your own uncivil and bullying behavior before you freak out over the fact that a liberal had the gall to tell you to shove it in the past. Mocking Molly Ivins' death pretty much makes your moral authority nil. Maybe, in other words, you should follow the moral code you insist liberal women follow.

Aw, now, where's the fun in that? "Morality" means "I get to set arbitrary and hypocritical standards for other people," not "I have to live up to those standards myself first."

Monday, February 05, 2007

Further Adventures in Vanity

Later on I hope to have something up about the latest nonscandal enthralling the usual complete tools. In the meantime, click that last link to figure out how I got reminded of the MyHeritage face recognition tool that Jill found last summer.

I am pretty pleased with the results, though less happy to see the bride of Satan in there. Still, not bad for an old broad--and at least it didn't turn up Tor Johnson. Glass houses, stones . . . I used to know a fella who hates Amanda a lot more than you do, Dan, and even he could figure out to put the rock down.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

At Last, Something to Look Forward To

Hey! How come I'm only just now finding out that Prince is doing the halftime show today?

Oh, right: Because I never follow sports or entertainment news. But geez, one of you could have told me.

In celebration I present the best Prince song ever. There will be no arguments about this. Like the oily sheen of misogyny clinging to Michael Douglas, it just is.

UPDATE: Well! That was . . . hmm.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Says It Better Than I Could

Oh, exactly:

From this day forward I will call myself a Feminist. That’s it. No radfem, no sex-pos, no anti or pro-porn, no modifiers anymore. There’s too much baggage attached to modifiers. There’s too many restrictions, rules and regulations. There’s too much wagon-circling, too much banding together against the wrong opposition. Too many needlessly hurt feelings. This goes for all of us.

I wanted to leave Vera a comment saying how much I wished I'd written that, but I couldn't figure out how to register. So, Vera, I'm linking, and thank you for putting it so well.

And those five-foot-long utensils are going to come in so handy at the next food fight. One word: Catapult!

Whither Civility?

Cancer remains a guaranteed laugh-getter on the left:

"Mrs. Ivins lived a hard life bashing conservatives in her daily syndicated columns, so unfortunately this her diagnosis wasn't a matter of 'if' but rather 'when,'" said Dr. Thomas Butters, Chief Physician at the University of Texas Medical Center where Ivins died. "When we first discovered Molly had liberalphoma the growth was relatively small considering her history of viciously attacking Republicans starting all the way back to Nixon during Watergate. We advised she rethink future printings of her "Bushwhacked" novel criticizing President Bush, but she wouldn't hear of it. It was almost like she had a death wish."

Liberalphoma, so named because of its' irrational growth rate and side effects that include abnormal bleeding of the heart, has become one of the fastest growing cancers in America.

[holds up hands, palms facing outward, thumbs at 90 degrees]

Whoops! I always have struggled to tell the difference between left and right, but that "liberalphoma" word reminded me to double-check. And what a good thing I did, for it turns out this post is NOT an example of cancer being a guaranteed laugh-getter on the left! Rather, it's just another example of why complaints about civility from the right blogosphere are increasingly greeted with "Yeah? You first, pal. You can start by remembering that cancer isn't fucking funny."

(Via update here.)

Blog Pimpin'

Two posts up now at Pandagon:

Iraqi Police Officer Targeted for Daring To Exist After All - on Jamilgate
Beg, Borrow, or Steal (But Mostly Borrow) - on the minimum wage increase

And then, of course, there are like all these other bloggers posting stuff, but who cares about them?

Oh, fine:

Sheezlebub - Extraordinary Hypocrisy
Chris Clarke - When Corporations Literally Suck
Roxanne - On "Articulate" Black People
Auguste - LGFers Deliver an Early Christmas Present

I am not going to stoop to begging or anything, really I'm not, but it does cross my mind occasionally that it might be nice to see a few familiar names in the comments once in awhile.

You Aren't Meant to Drink It

Helen has been KILLING me this week. I basically had to stop in the middle of reading this, just to link it before I could forget to.

I have not consulted Genni yet on this blog's official position on the subject, but for my part it is somewhere in the neighborhood of fervent agreement. One's not bad; the other is horrible.

I eagerly await speculation on the influence Helen's topic has had on my political thinking from the usual knobs.