I needed a few days off, but (as of late last night) I'm back.
This has got to be the most overused insult in blogworld. I get annoyed when people, particularly writers of any caliber, take it upon themselves to alter the meaning of a word that's been around since the beginning of time.
This word, like "liar," "cheat," "murderer," or "thief," has a very distinct meaning, a meaning that is being blatantly ignored as the word is being hurled this way and that in an effort to piss off writers whose views differ from those of the assailant. It works. People get pissed off, and with reason....this is a highly offensive term that is being used haphazardly.
I went to Christian school as a kid...painful, brutally strict, Southern Baptist, hell-fire-and-brimstone, learn-Scripture-or-go-to-hell school. I learned about Pharisees, and as a result, have been well acquainted with the definition of hypocrisy for quite some time.
So allow me to do some enlightening:
A hypocrite is someone who preaches one thing and lives another.
A hypocrite is NOT someone who often contradicts themselves, lacks consistency, or seems uncharacteristically fickle.
A hypocrite is NOT someone whose political views do not mesh with your own.
MY FAN MAIL
What started my rant? Well, I can't blame it entirely upon an e-mail that I received recently, although that's what accelerated my motivation. I've actually noticed the term being abused within blogworld for quite some time.
Me? I was called many things: "arrogant," "naive," and let's not forget "scared, confused white girl," but "hypocrisy" was in there three times, and that's really the only one that annoyed me. No attempt was made to substantiate the accusation until the third mention...By his definition, someone who is "pro-life/pro-war" is a hypocrite.
Finally I had something to go on. Had some actual content not been mentioned, the e-mail would not have been worthy of a reply. I believe in debate, not unsubstantiated name-calling.
Here we go.
First of all, should I accept the description (pro-life/pro-war), it still would not make me a hypocrite. You could argue that the opinions contradict one another, but that's the most you could hope for (and I would debate even that.) For the term "hypocrite" to fit, I'd have to claim to be pro-life and claim to be supportive of the war efforts, yet secretly be using abortions for birth control and dodging the draft.
I jumped the gun on the second point. The second point is that I am not "pro-war." How can anyone be always for or always against war? That's ridiculous. Some are just willing to tolerate more than others before resorting to those methods. (It's like a bad tooth. Go ahead and have it pulled, because that's what needs to happen, or wait for it to fester and ooze and then pull it out. The end result is the same, but the preventative method works for those who trust the diagnosis, and the festering method works for those that do not.)
I do not unconditionally support war efforts of any kind. However, this particular effort, I support, and I will admit that when provoked or threatened, the Jacksonian in me is alive and well.
I'll keep the pro-life argument short and sweet: I think that when a child is developed enough to live and breathe on its own that it unconditionally has the same "right to life" that any other law-abiding American enjoys. That's it. I dislike abortion at any gestational point, but that's me. I can only argue the legal aspect of it from that point at which the child can live on it's own. (Meaning, yes, partial birth abortion is wrong and should be illegal today, tomorrow and everyday thereafter. And yes, there are exceptions to every rule, and no, I'm not talking about kids who are severely deformed and will die within their first year of life anyway.)
In conclusion, here are my Key conditions that must be present in order to accurately label someone as a "hypocrite":
1. You MUST know something about their personal life.
2. You MUST know that this behavior contradicts, not something that they said one time when they were eighteen, drunk and overly philosophical, but something that they preach on a regular basis and claim to live by, often even demanding such behavior from those around them.
3. You MUST be prepared for a fight, because even in this realm, where the term has regrettably become watered down from overuse, it is still slap in the face to those that know and understand the true meaning of the word.
Do I ever use the word? Only if I'm sure that it applies, and I'm thoroughly pissed off. So, have I ever been guilty of said offense? Of course, but not this time.
Thanks Rick. I needed a good rant. No, I could be wrong, but I don't think Rick's a troll. I think he actually likes some of my work, that which isn't saturated with my political opinions. But it's like this, the lefties and the righties, the moderates and the independents, we need each other. The typical blogger personality profile thrives on debate, and difference of opinion is a necessary prerequisite.
Allow me to change history for a moment. (I'll be over-simplifying in an effort to be concise.)
September 11, 2001 came and went without incident. But we did gain tangible intelligence on Al Queda, therefore the Bush administration began chasing their skirted asses down. Many accused him of being a "cowboy," a president looking for war, but he stood firm.
Meanwhile, Sadaam, always on the lookout for an opportunity to power up, share the brutality and show the Americans who owns the Middle East, decided to build those WMDs while the U.S. was busy "swatting flies" in the desert, and the UN was busy whining about it. (He'd have to find other radicals to fund, but that was doable.)
Within a year, Sadaam's "seek and destroy" mission was successful, and he managed to wipe out several embassies and a few tourist attractions (one on U.S. soil), - essentially killing thousands of people - with one calculated attack...
Okay, let's say that brings us to date. Now, what are we hearing? Wait, I know! Something like this:
"We knew Iraq was unstable. We've known it for years. Shit, Bush Sr. knew it. Why the hell didn't W. do something about Sadaam earlier?"
"Who cares if the UN was with us? We should have gone into Iraq when we had the chance."
"What are we doing wasting time and manpower chasing those weirdos in the desert? It's not like THEY'RE capable of planning a massive attack. We have no evidence that they have that kind of capability."
"Well, I tried to tell the President the best way to go, but he didn't want to listen, so I picked up my toys and went home...and called my publisher."
HE CAN'T WIN. (Well, he will win, but that's another debate.)
Without the benefit of hindsight, tell me what he could have done differently.
Let's say he got Bin Laden in August of 01. It would have made the news for a day, maybe a week. Some Americans would have cared. But he never would have been appreciated for preventing an attack that costs us thousands of lives.
If he didn't get Sadaam before he joined in with the mass destruction, that would have been W.'s fault. Why didn't he get him? Why didn't he see it coming?
He stopped him, and many hate him for it.
Hindsight is 20/20. We hear it all the time. Think about it.
SO, YOU WANT TO DANCE?
That's mighty sweet of you Adam. Can't I just retract my insensitive comment and be done with it? No? Okay, fine. I'll prepare something. It will be yours just as soon as I can conjure the time to devote proper attentiveness to the matter.
Update: Okay, I redefined and re-explained my over-analyzed comment via e-mail. I do see his point. I was very nice and as philosophical as I get without the aid of tequila. The ball is in his court. (He has permission to post.)
I'VE ALWAYS WONDERED
Now, I know.
Take the What type of blahblah are you? quiz at sugarmama.org!
THE NEVERENDING BIRTHDAY
IS FINALLY OVER
Thursday - We picked up a friend and went to Build-a-bear. Miss Priss is now the proud owner of a pink frilly poodle in a denim mini with stacked sketchers. (Friend made a koala, and dressed it in a flowered bikini and sunglasses.)
Friday - I picked up Miss Priss from school, along with five of her closest friends. We piled into my glorified SMV and took off for Jillian's. We bowled. We ate. We played. We spent. We went home. They stayed up half the night.
Saturday - Softball scrimmage. Zombified girls. I actually gave my child a Coke in an effort to wake her ass up for this event. And, yeah, we're coaching....Once the county has your number, you're a coach.
Sunday - The (uggh) family (uggh) get-together (uggh). We survived. I announced the event as being two 'til five, this in an effort to get the in-laws to leave BEFORE 8:00 at night. ...After much hinting, they left at 7:30.
Before leaving, my mother-in-law went out of her way to inform me that I did not have to invite my father-in-law (whom she divorced ten years ago) to family get-togethers if he wasn't going to have the decency to conduct himself properly.
I said: "I can't do that. I invite family because they are family, not because I do or do not enjoy their company."
I thought: Woman, he may be obnoxious, but you are BY FAR more annoying, so if I were to exclude people who get on my nerves, you'd be the first to go!
It is inconceivable just how annoying these people are. If you saw them on a sit-com, you'd dismiss the content as the most unbelievable tripe ever written.
More on that later...pressed for time, again. Hope all in blogworld had a good weekend.
MY IRISH BABY
Well, Irish, English, Cherokee, Italian, and German baby...But today, she's Irish!
Miss Priss was born eight years ago today, and the rest of my day will be consumed with celebrations. I am on a tight schedule, as she is queen for the day, and has, therefore, left me a thorough list to work through.
So far I'm good. The cupcakes were ready this morning and were prepared according to her specifications (chocolate, green icing, green sprinkles, little umbrella on top). The balloons were delivered to her homeroom around 1. And we'll be leaving shortly to complete the wish list. Wish me luck.
...I'm guessing her schedule will look a tad different thirteen years from now. (Not that I want to think about it.)
I'm gone! Happy St. Patrick's Day!
WANT TO DIET?
Check out my Key incentive plan:
Proceed to your closet. Get out all of your jeans. No, ALL of them. Now, try them on. I don't care how long it's been...PUT. THEM. ON. (Now.)
If most fit, you're cool. You don't need to diet. Go away.
I'd like to see someone beat my score. Here goes:
Total number of pairs of jeans retrieved from closet: 12
Total number that make it over the hips: 11
Total number that button: 9
Total number that button and allow for circulation: 5
Total number that button and allow for circulation and I actually enjoy wearing: 3
3 out of 12. And I translate my 25% success rate as a 75% chance of seriously benefiting from a caloric review coupled with some stair-stepping and sit-ups.
So there you have it.
75% - my "get-off-your-ass" score.
That would be me. Well, not really. I've actually been neglecting my blogroll due to my increasing hours at the office, coupled with the fact that I still have no on-line service at home.
I know, priorities...What can I say? The IRS took my disposable income! Don't lecture me about the true definition of disposable income. I don't want to hear it; I'm having fun being pissed at the IRS right now, so let me vent already.
Alas, I feel less needed anyway. The blogs that I have visited today seem to have everything under control.
Sam, Kelley, Gordon and Juliette have wrapped it up regarding the caving weenie-heads.
Rob and Jack discuss the retard who refused to listen to medical advice, which sets her apart not at all from every other woman who ends up carrying litters and then either giving them away or having them taken by DFCS.
And somebody on my blogroll summed up the latest Kerry situation quite nicely, but in my old age, I can't seem to recall where I read it. Let me sum up. Kerry is a piece of crap. I held off on the derogatory comments until I saw definite evidence. I have now seen. He is a piece of crap.
Kerry might be running for the position, but for the moment, W. is his Commander and Chief, and he may want to act a little more respectful. What is all of this bullshit about the world's leaders liking him more? WTF?
Initially, I thought, how dare he, but that graduated shortly to so? So the socialists like you better....that tells me all that I need to know.
And when someone in crowd pinned him by asking him to elaborate, he took the coward's route and deflected, asking the man if he was a republican.
Yeah, that made sense...because republicans aren't going to vote for him, and therefore aren't worthy of an explanation.
What kind of people actually like this guy? Oh, I didn't have to look long...Bro provides an example on his site.
IT'S MY HALF-BIRTHDAY!
AND IT SUCKS.
I'm guessing that I'm feeling about half as old as I will be feeling six months from now.
I can no longer count the wrinkles surrounding my eyes, I'm getting puppy dog cheeks, and the hang is what's really pissing me off the most.
It should be weighted. We should be allowed to look young and taut much longer than we should forced to look old and raggedy.
Okay, so this sounds tired, cliche', and obviously shallow... But the fact is that "aging" for me has always been a non-issue, something so far off as to render itself insignificant.
The realization is painful; it's no longer feeling so incredibly insignificant. No sneaking....what's up with that?
How is this affecting me? Allow some illustrations:
-I'm no longer carded. ever.
-Those annoying truck drivers that were always honking and scaring the shit out of me...no longer do so.
-Guys five years younger than me are calling me ma'am.
-High school girls no longer shoot eye-daggers at me. Rather, they smile and give me their babysitting rates.
Do I have to turn thirty in six months? Will it hurt?
(It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to.)
This one was home grown in North Georgia.
I had always heard that there were eight-footers in Lake Lanier, but I didn't believe it until I had proof.
THIS IS A PROBLEM
Every minute that my child has to live without Nickelodeon is pure torture. I guess I should have more closely monitored her usage. She was clearly abusing, and is now showing signs of withdrawal.
If not for nick.com, I'd have no peace.
She watched an empty channel for thirty minutes this morning waiting for it to come back. Try explaining ridiculous 40% rate increases to a seven-year-old.
Update: According to Viacom, they're only asking an additional six cents per customer. I don't know if that constitutes the "forty percent" accorging to Dish, but that, I'm willing to pay.
GUESS WHAT SUPPLIES THE ZODIAC WITH INTERPERSONAL ELECTRICITY?
YEAH BABY, AND THE PLANET OF LOVE IS HARMONIZING WITH IT
"Sudden passion bubbles up today when Venus, the planet of love, harmonizes with Uranus, the zodiac's supplier of interpersonal electricity. Look for a casual conversation to turn into a first kiss or at least the hint of pleasant events to come."
Forget the kiss. I could use some pleasant events. Send them on.
WHAT ARE YOU ALLERGIC TO WORK?
YEAH, ACTUALLY - I THINK I MAY BE.
Every day when I pull up to this office, I can anticipate eight hours of itching. I can not figure out for the life of me what I'm allergic to, but it must be something I'm touching, because my hands are the worst.
When I leave the office, I'm fine in a matter of minutes. What the hell? This is mad crazy itching. I'm going to go insane if I can't figure this out.
We all take shit. It's a matter of how much we're willing to take before we sever the bond. Most of us use the same guidelines although volumes vary.
For a stranger, we're not putting up with a bunch of crap. For an acquaintance, yeah, okay, a little. For a friend, quite a bit. For a spouse, we put up with as much shit as we can humanly take.
A lot of shit flies in blogworld. I've been distancing myself from blogworld a bit, simply because it is a ravenous monster that eats up all of my time. That, and my husband has little understanding for a brain-exercising, non-lucrative "hobby".
But I've met people, bloggers as well as readers, and I think that's neat. There are tens of thousands out there whom I've never heard of, and they are strangers. There are dozens who I manage to visit occasionally or who manage to visit me occasionally, and they are acquaintances. And there are the precious few on my blogroll, and they are friends.
Severing the bond is easy when a stranger or acquaintance pisses me off, but sometimes my friends piss me off. That's irritating. Why the hell won't they listen to me? I know best. Didn't they get the memo?
Not so in blogworld. EVERYONE has an opinion, and each and every one of us have backed our respective opinions reasonably and rationally, and therefore we are always right. Right?
Well, what about when we're not?
I met Rob several months ago, and I had been reading him way before that. He just so happens to be both the most victimized and the most self-righteous man that I've ever met.
He frequently called to tell me that I wasn't writing from the heart, and that I needed to write when I felt outraged about something. Then an arbitrary topic would come up, and we'd debate the hell out of it.
I lost that relationship in January. I have not regained it. I have tried.
He called me Tuesday to tell me that my posts sucked. That was the day he posted the now notorious post. I had not read it. But we still managed to fight for an hour about another matter.
THE OTHER MATTER
I know what it's like to have a poor excuse for a father. My father is now alienated, and I'm sure that he lives with regrets. If I can save anyone from similar pain, I will try. I want every man that has fathered a child to put that child first in his life, above himself. That means that when child is in need, dad's own personal/financial/psychological/even physical issues are meaningless until the crisis is resolved.
The conversation was disappointing. I won't go into it, but we were quite incensed. And those of you who know me, know that I am amazingly laid back. This is not typical. ...And had Rob not achieved "friend" status, I would have lost interest and hung up after ten minutes. But he's a friend, and if I don't kick his ass, who's gonna?
Then I came into work Wednesday morning and read the now infamous post. ...And I can't help but wonder if rage is some sort of mind-warping emotion that actually can contribute to temporary insanity. It's destructive. I know that.
Rob is very familiar with the buttons on society, and when he's pissed, he pushes them. I'm not defending him, because he's really pissed me off this time. I'm just making an observation.
This was over the line. The most egregious offense, in my opinion, was the link within the post. You don't use your friends. You just don't. That friendship was used. It was used as a "free pass" to push buttons at will, and hopefully get away with it, using an "in" as immunity. I know that she didn't receive a public apology, but I'm hoping that she received a private one.
You guys aren't going to like this part of my post. I don't know that I like it. The fact is, I make the argument that we are all guilty of racial profiling, both positive and negative. When I say all, I mean red and yellow, black and white. Here are some examples:
"You know that white boy can't jump."
"Oh great, Chinese driver, no wonder..."
"Why do all the Indians either become doctors or gas station owners?"
"No fair. They have three black girls on their team. They can run faster."
"You know 'daddy' landed the job for the new white guy."
"Once you go black..."
"How many Spanish people can you fit in one house?"
"Lock your doors. We may be parked next to that bunch of black guys at the light ahead."
Sometimes it's funny. Comedians rely upon it. Sometimes it's not funny at all. Where do we draw the line? Is it okay as long as it's not mean-spirited? I'd like to think so....that would certainly make for a more light-hearted existence.
This was mean-spirited, and it had to have been intended as a set-back. No argument there.
But maybe before we cast the first stone, we should think about our innermost thoughts that we know better than to share. Absolutely we've come a long way. The dividers between races are getting much smaller, but we have a ways to go.
That post was a hurdle, an unexpected slight. Some of you ran to the side, some of you jumped it, some of you knocked it down. Either way, we go on.
He still lives on my list of friends on the blogroll. I'm thoroughly pissed, and worse, disappointed, but I still hope. Perhaps I'm too optimistic, but I'd like to think that downward spirals can reverse themselves.
A GENERIC STATEMENT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO HATE TO BE WRONG
(See, I didn't say "men"...)
Not all of you, but many of you have blocks after you're an ass:
Lie. Say you don't care. You do. You've hurt people who matter to you. Say they don't matter. They matter. Admit it. Say you were wrong. Apologize. That takes bigger balls than deflecting, which is more common, and annoying at best.
I'm taking shit. I don't like it, and I won't do it forever. I don't expect someone with twenty times my traffic to thank me for not "de-linking" him, but I hope he'll appreciate the time, energy and thought that I've put into this friendship.
To err is human, to admit it takes balls.
(Your life isn't over. Fix it.)
1. ...your first grade teacher's name?
Mrs. Zellner. It was a private school, and in 1980, at this particular private school, teachers were allowed to pop rumps at will. We ran for our lives on our birthday, when we were sure to get seven solid smacks to the backside.
2. ...your favorite Saturday morning cartoon?
I should know this. I spent three solid hours in front of the TV every Saturday morning. Why is this Og creature penetrating my memories? Anyone?
3. ...the name of your very first best friend?
That would be Leigh. From birth to eighth grade, she was it. We completely suffered childhood together. Me, the back-woods country girl with no social life. Leigh, the neighborhood dwelling girl scout/swimmer/ ballerina/whatever the flavor of the month was. If not for Leigh, I would have had no childhood. Shit, I wouldn't have known how to cross the friggin street to borrow an egg from a neighbor, if not for my time with her.
4. ...your favorite breakfast cereal?
5. ...your favorite thing to do after school?
Nice weather - outside. Yucky weather - First objective was TBS, the favorite of our 4 channels, if it felt like making an appearance. If not, sketching in my room.
Yeah, I was boring. I do wish I had been a little more outrageous as a kid; had that been the case, maybe I wouldn't feel so compelled to make up for lost time during my "mature" years...
YOUNG DAVE TO THE RESCUE
I actually felt like writing today, but I haven't had the time. For those of you news junkies who also keep an eagle's eye on the economy, perhaps you can appreciate YD's wit as he borrows the tune from "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane:
by Young Dave
One hike makes it larger
And one hike makes it small,
And the ones Bernanke gives you
Don't do anything at all.
Go ask Alan
When he's 6 feet tall.
And if you go chasing profits
And you know you're going to fall,
Tell 'em open market operations
Have given you the call.
When he's got the ball.
When the men in the boardroom
Get up and tell you where to go
And the deficit is starting to mushroom
And the economy is moving slow.
Go ask Alan
If you think he'll know.
When logic and proportion
Have fallen softly dead,
And the White House is talking backwards
And Red China keeps taunting the Head.
Remember what Paul Volcker said:
"Heed your Fed. Heed your Fed. Heed your Fed."
HAPPY HAPPY, JOY JOY
HAPPY HAPPY, JOY JOY
Blogworld can be as childish as high school and as inconsequential as the legislative branch, but there are times that this place is worthwhile, warm and fuzzy even, almost smurfy...
ANY-WAY, I gotta present! I send her a gag gift, and I get a real one! Here's the note:
"You send me feminine hygiene products, I send soap. Hope we're not trying to tell each other something."
Oh yeah, you know you've got your hands on an interesting package when the smell precedes the unveiling. ...So I finally get the thing open and oh yes, I have received several varieties of home-made soaps.
Anna, you are awesome! Eat your heart out Bath and Body users. I got the real deal. I'm going home to soak. By tonight, I'll have a lavender head and a jasmine everything else.
Not to worry, Anna. Thanks to the fact that my readership has severely dropped off due to inexcusable neglect, I'll only be telling a hundred or so how truly warm-hearted you are, and with any luck, they'll keep it to themselves...
(Oh, and say hi to the kid with a string for me...)
NATURE KICKED MY ASS
Of course, I'm the one who attached skis to my feet and attempted an intermediate run, after nightfall brought ice to the slopes.
We had arrived on the mountain/hill in West VA around 3pm on Friday. We were hoping to arrive earlier, but we had had to fight a snow covered interstate in North Carolina (involving several accidents and back-ups) in order to get to West Virginia, where skiers were experiencing warm, spring-like weather.
Great. Sans the red dye, it appeared as though the slopes were covered with Circle K slushies. In fact, that was the exact consistency. I knew what nightfall's drop in temp would bring, yet I went on...
My husband had just lectured me on the appropriate position of my legs if I was attempting to turn and slow simultaneously. But, I'm telling you, I HAD IT. I did. I had it, until that nice patch of ice reared its ugly head.
When that happened, ONE of my knees successfully navigated the turn, the other decided to send the ankle uphill for fun and games. The result? BOTH of my knees went out, and I went down. hard. I bit the ice. But I took it like a man.
I lay sprawled in the snow screaming uncontrollably for a good five minutes.
I've taken dozens of spills before. I've woken in the morning battered, bruised, and sore, but not undeterred. So, it's no wonder that my husband came to a stop about ten feet ahead of me, and simply turned and looked at me expectantly, waiting for me to get up and get on with it.
Nope. Not happening. I was quite content to spend the rest of the night in that very spot. Once Hubby was sure that nothing was broken, he urged me to get up. "You're going to get run over laying there like that..." he informed. Valid point, I thought between moans, but the problem is that I really DON'T GIVE A SHIT! MYGAWD that was some pain!
But I was a big girl. I sat up and scooted myself to the edge of the run. About that time, a dude in a medic vest approached and asked if I needed to be carried down in a sled. Yeah. I picked that moment to begin working on my recovery. I told him that I'd walk the remainder of that trail, and I was fairly certain that I could handle the flattest of the three trails ahead, which all led to the lodge.
So I did. But I was done. I spent Saturday reading a novel (that I had brought just in case) on a sunny deck in front of the slopes. There I enjoyed the spring-like weather, a nice view, and the entertainment of a guitar clad gentleman that reminded me of pimp-pappy.
For the mother hens out there (gotta love ya), I did see the doctor about my knees. He says I'm healing nicely, take it easy, so forth and so on. My limp is already getting better, thankfully. But if I move the wrong way, I'm in agony. I realized belatedly on Saturday, that I must have appeared as though I had Turrets syndrome as I limped along wearing a benign expression one moment, then after twisting the wrong way, unleashed a string of obscenities before returning to the previous gait. (Hopefully, I didn't offend any youth group leaders; I tried to keep it muffled...)
So, there you have my "bonding with nature" experience. I don't know how well my soul and I are communicating, but I know that it was nice to have a day to shut down and not have to think about anything. I needed that.
That was nice.