Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Can't Stop the Outrage

Where to even begin?!

I resent the idea that failing to spank my child will inevitably mean that she will grow up with no conscience. She is beautiful and smart, and the idea of anyone, ever, hitting her makes me physically ill. When I look back on my own experiences involving spanking, which I only recall happening a couple of times at the hands of my stepfather (oh, a whole 'nother blog entry could be devoted to that topic) as my mother did not spank us, I do not think to myself, "Yes, that physical assault by someone much larger than me certainly made me a better person." What I think is, "It was unfair and made me angry and frightened and didn't teach me anything except to fear and hate my stepfather." Certainly there should be consequences for bad behavior. I just don't think they need to involve violence.

And! The unmitigated arrogance! Gah! Urgh! Fuh! Meh! I'm so upset, I'm molting!

From what I can tell based on the commonalities to these forwards, there is a rabid group of email-forwarders who believe in the following:

Prayer in schools whether you are Christian or not
Physical violence as motivator to recalcitrant children
Blow the shit out of the Iraqi people for no good reason
Gay people are bad and should die, or at least go back to the closet
Sexual perversion is only if it's between two men or two women
Teenagers won't have sex, get pregnant and have abortions if we don't give them birth control
Being concerned for the environment means you are some kind of pagan hippie
God makes bad storms happen because He hates us
You're some kind of coward if you don't forward this to all your friends.

Um, yeah.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Get ready, folks, for a bit more outrage. Dad sent me another "forward" today. I display it here for clarity:

"Something not to laugh about :

If they know of him at all, many folks think Ben Stein is just a quirky actor/comedian who talks in a monotone. He's also a very intelligent attorney who knows how to put ideas and words together in such a way as to sway juries and make people think clearly.
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary:

Herewith at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart: I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are they so important?

I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife.

Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are.

If this is what it means to be no longer young. It's not so bad.

Next confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?

I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

(Note: from here on the words are not Ben Stein's.)

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this Happen?" (regarding Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about and we said OK. Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it.. no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in."

.... Okay, people, are we ready?

This piece has so much going for it at first. I agree with Mr. Stein's viewpoints up to a point. The whole idea of separation of church and state should not mean that we can't be open about our religious views if we choose to be, and although the crass commercialization of this season has little to do with its spiritual significance, it's a lot of fun and blah blah blah I could go on.

Then, however, it segues, without really indicating that it does so. I added the line between Mr. Stein's words and those of the mysterious writer of the rest of the piece. It was the only thing that I altered, and I did it so that it would be clear that all that stuff about Billy Graham's daughter and so on did not come from Ben Stein.

Like most of the "Christian"-themed forwards I get, almost entirely from Dad, it makes its point about prayer in the schools and how Godless we all are etc etc with a few pithy examples (generally quite subjective) and then mires itself, and presumably you the reader, in its pit of guilt. It dares you to forward this to some other person so that they can see what a bigoted moron you are.

And, um, we get hurricanes because we are bad? I thought it was just that the planet has, like most, its own independent weather system that is not under human control and that events occur with no regard to whether or not they are convenient to us. Or considerate as to where we build our homes or how well we protect them from the forces of nature. To say that God makes catastrophic hurricanes occur "because we are bad" is to say that God is like a petulant child, visiting death and destruction upon innocent children and the like (along with the "bad" members of Louisiana society, say for instance) regardless of how deserving each individual child might be. If God expects us to be morally developed people, with compassion and love for all others whether they deserve it or not, why would He punish the good with the bad? It makes no sense. Please. Shut up.

But here's the line that first made me sit up and start shouting expletives:

"Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide)."

Okay, so, we should spank our kids because NOT doing so will cause them to suffer devastating mental illness?

It is so many kinds of offensive that anyone would bring up Dr. Spock's son's tragic suicide in an attempt to convince people that corporal punishment is okay.

Even more offensive than that is that Dr. Spock's son did not commit suicide.

Shut up, Dad. Or at least get your facts straight.

Three More Things

1. Making pumpkin pies, which smell soooo good and taste even better. Am pie-baking savant.

2. Baby giving me tight hug with her tiny lil' pipestem arms at bedtime.

3. Cold wind blasting through heralding the rain, making it feel all Novemberish outside. Note to self: might be time to finally retire capri pants until next summer...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Craigs-list responders take note

Dear Craigs-list responders,

When responding to an ad offering free items, kindly refrain from doing so thusly:


A more polite version might be found here:

Dear Extremely Kind Person Offering Highly Desirable Free Items,
On behalf of the entire world, thank you so much for your generosity. Might I inquire as to the disposition of said items? They would certainly come in quite handy in our household, and I await your response eagerly. I can be reached at (phone number), at your convenience.
Sincerely yours,

.... Okay, okay, maybe that's a little thick, but honestly, if you are unable to use a computer without TYPING IN ALL CAPS then perhaps you should go back to loitering in bowling allies and leave the rest of us alone.

And, using all caps does not impress urgency any more than yelling at people who don't speak your language makes it any easier for them to understand you. Just sayin'.

3 Things That Do Not Suck, or Not Much Anyway

This is my attempt at the "Three Beautiful Things" format. I had a look and decided I liked the idea but the thought of coming up with three beautiful things might be a little daunting, so I toned down the expectation a bit which I think makes it more suitable for me personally. :)

For yesterday:

1. Blustery afternoon with leaves and garbage can lids and smallish cats being blown all over the street. Delia was even a little freaked out when the wind gusted as we were getting into the car. I, however, weighing as I do a bit more than 30 pounds, found it all to be exciting and refreshing. (I just didn't know it was going to be this windy!)

2. Receiving a Mechanical Squirrel from fellow player Jay. It follows me around the game serving no practical purpose, but sniffs and peers around and cleans its face with its paws just the way regular squirrels do.

3. Passing fluency final in my psych class. No more flashcards!

For today:

1. Passing two tests and having a week and a half until the next ones.

2. Meeting an extremely fluffy black and white tuxedo cat in the street. Very affectionate and with curly belly fur (a variation on Saggy Belly Fur). He is a stray that Neighbors have adopted as an outdoor cat, as Mrs. Neighbor is allergic and can't have him in the house.

3. Watching through the window as Delia ran excitedly to the door, when I came to pick her up from the Neighbors' house after my tests.

Monday, November 06, 2006


It's been raining steadily all day, hard at times. It's the tail end of a typhoon, evidently, making its way through the area. The offspring and I went out to get the mail and had a long, satisfying puddle-stomp and lingering loiter down by the storm drain. I stood maternally nearby wielding a huge umbrella and fulfilling my duties as the Official Bearer of the Pink Kittycat Umbrella (With Ears) when it was not needed, which was much of the time, while the kiddo leaped happily from the curb into the gutter, stopping occasionally to thrust fistfuls of leaves into the drain. A good time was had by all, to the immense amusement of the neighbor across the street, who sits smoking in her garage with the big rolly door open at various times of the day.

I have studying to do but my extreme "devotion" to The Game has caused myriad delays in completion of same. (See, calling it "devotion" rather than "addiction" makes it so much more palatable!) But, I have straight A's at the moment so there's no need to panic. :)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A List

1. My uncle once: streaked naked around my grandma's house, fell down and scraped his butt in the gravelly mud puddle.
2. Never in my life have I: smoked a tobacco cigarette. Not even one puff.
3. The one person who can drive me nuts: this friend of a friend who likes to fuck with people just to see what happens. I can't stand her.
4. College is: looming on my horizon.
5. When I’m nervous: I crave sugar.
6. The last time I cried was: last night remembering my old cat who died last year.
7. If I were to get married right now my bridesmaids/groomsmen would be: really happy not to have to dress up in weird wedding clothes.
8. My hair: "used to be red." Is growing out into a bob again.
9. When I was 5: we moved to Oregon from Florida.
10. Last Christmas: I got the most beautiful earrings from my better half.
11. When I turn my head left, I see: shelves.
12. When I turn my head right: Maxfield Parrish prints hanging on my walls.
13. When I look down I see: my laptop, which I love more than is healthy.
14. The craziest recent event was: trick-or-treating with the baby
15. If I was a character on Friends I’d be: Chandler in female form
16. By this time next year: I'll be 40.
17. My favorite Aunt is: my Aunt Lea, but I only have one other and I love her too.
18. I have a hard time understanding: my father.
19. One time at a family gathering: my other Aunt belly-danced. She was really good too.
20. You know I “like” you if: I can hardly speak to you.
21. If I won an award, the first person (people) I’d thank: my partner, and then my Mom.
22. Take my advice: stay hungry, stay foolish.
23. My ideal breakfast is: one somebody brings to me on a plate.
24. If you visit my hometown: I'll take you around and show you stuff.
25. Where do you plan to visit anytime soon: maybe the beach.
26. If you spend the night at my house: you’d sleep on a lumpy futon in the living room and the cat would pester you all night. Plus you'd get up early because the baby does.
27. The world could do without: George Bush
28. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: um, nothing. I wouldn't lick the belly of a cockroach.
29. Most recent thing you’ve bought yourself? A soda on my way to class.
30. Most recent thing someone else bought for you: my Mom bought me this laptop for my birthday. Thanks Mom!
31. My favorite blonde friend is: Karen.
32. My favorite brunette / black hair friend is: Brenda
33. The last time I was high: I was 21.
34. The animals I would like to see flying besides birds are: my cat
35. I should have been: a nurse a long time ago.
36. Once, at a restaurant: I cried in the bathroom.
37. Last night: I went to bed early.
38. A better name for myself would be: Nurse Ratched.
39. If I ever go back to school : I'm already there...
40. My birthday: is in September.
41. The last time I had sex was: none of your business. A lady doesn't discuss these matters.
42. And by the way: my troll hunter is level 36!