And Then They Came For Britney

This blog has declined to take a side in the Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry feud. We weren’t ready to face the world’s ugliness, head-on. As punishment for our negligence, we’ve paid an unimaginable price.

Katy Perry is on the cover of Elle‘s March issue. Elle is apparently interviewing and featuring all kinds of people these days. When asked about the being a pop “star”, Katy Perry replied:

“It is a hundred times harder a dream than the dream that I dreamt when I was nine…You think you signed up for one thing, but you automatically sign up for a hundred others. And that is why you see people shaving their fucking heads.”

Katy, I can’t imagine what it’s like to have your job be harder than you imagined it would be when you were nine. I’m sure that’s awful and you have my sympathies. But Katy, you don’t need to worry about why people shave their fucking heads. I understand fame. I’ve performed in three professional melodramas in a small gambling town in Colorado. I’ve had my chicken fingers bought for me in a casino, unsolicited. But you don’t hear me telling Elle “that is why you see people marrying David fucking Gest.” Because you see, Katy, people like us can’t understand the motivations of superstars.

No one but the greats can understand why some things happen.

This was bigger than you or I could comprehend.

People  who shave their fucking heads were the most memorable part of a Superbowl performance that also included Aerosmith and N’Sync at a time when people still wanted to have sex with all the members of both bands*. People who shave their fucking heads danced their goddamn faces off and were more compelling than a million silver tiger/lion puppet things**. People who shave their fucking heads are known as the “Princess of Pop” not the “Gallagher of Pop.”

Learn from his subtlety.

Learn from his subtlety.

Because, for real Katy, you and Taylor Swift can fight through songs and Twitter and left shark attacks all day long. Go nuts. Have John Mayer throw shade and complain about how you’ve been cast as the mean girl while lesser DJs fight your battles for you. But leave Britney Spears out of it. She is a national goddamn treasure and we’ll be listening to “Hit Me Baby, One More Time” long after people can’t remember that “Firework” and “White Horse” existed. Hell, we’ll be listening to “Mmmm Papi” that long. Don’t worry about why people shave their heads. That’s never going to be your concern.

Britney Superbowl

Treasure.

*Mostly.

**Seriously great to see the War Horse people working though.

How Privilege Comes to Your Door

I was on the elliptical today watching ESPN because the news depresses me at the gym. Fortunately, ESPN showed a snippet of their “Outside the Lines”* interview with Redskins team owner, Daniel Snyder. He took this interview not to defend his team’s shitty preseason performance but to defend his football team’s name because it’s a rich tradition and he has never met a Native American who objects to the name. He somehow missed the Oneida Indian Nation, the Hoh Indian Tribe, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and the other twenty tribes and fifty Native American groups protesting the name.

To be fair to Mr. Snyder, everyone understands the importance of tradition. The Native Americans slurred in his team name probably understand and appreciate tradition better than anyone. Their tradition is a little bit different than wearing another culture’s ceremonial headdress to celebrate adult men giving each other concussions. Their tradition is one of persecution and subjugation under people who look and sound an awful like Dan Snyder. Different traditions, but both special in their own ways.Ugh

Dan Snyder’s position is one of privilege**, standing on the field, wearing a shirt he was given for owning a team he inherited. He has never known poverty or being mistreated for the color of his skin.

But we learned today that, though it helps, you don’t have to be a white man to enjoy privilege. CeeLo Green, songwriter of the ironically titled, “Fuck You” and previous co-host of The Voice pled no contest last Friday to giving a woman ecstasy during a dinner date. The woman alleges she was slipped the ecstasy, passed out, and woke up in CeeLo Green’s bed the next morning***. A rape charge wasn’t filed due to lack of evidence. Mr. Lo Green then tweeted the following:

CeeLo Green Tweet

Followed by: “If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent,” which I think means that awake, I’m allowed to decide but if I’m passed out (whether I got myself there or was helped by a spiked drink) I’m a hollow shell to be used as any man sees fit. Also, maybe that just being with a man means you’re DTF. I slept through my inarticulate rapist classes in college, so I’m not sure if I even agreed to take them. The tweets and his account have since been deleted.

Bieber committed his crimes in Canada today, so i don’t have a great celebrity candidate for abusing white privilege. Even without a figurehead, many of us enjoy the privilege of not being hassled by police just because of the color of our skin. We enjoy walking up to a porch looking for help when our cars break down without being shot to death. We enjoy the right to protest without being harassed and moved to multiple locations without being told why we were in police custody. Black Americans face a systematic betrayal by the American justice system day in and day out. I do not have the authority to speak about systematic racism but I will say that not shutting up about Ferguson (both the death of Michael Brown and the subsequent mistreatment of protesters there), Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, and countless others is key. Talk about all of it. If you’re among the privileged, those conversations will be uncomfortable and guilt inducing. That’s pretty small compared with being denied equal rights; privilege at its core. Enjoying a privilege denied to others is profiting from systematic prejudice. And tolerating any kind of privilege legitimizes all of it.

Ferguson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Respect for ESPN’s pun game.

** A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

***To be fair, if CeeLo’s date had never gone out with him or if she’d worn date rape drug detecting finger nail polish or not been audacious enough to have a vagina at all, she might have been fine.

 

Happy Labor Day

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Sorry to Debbie Downer all over this holiday. Living standards have gone way up for a lot of people. We have maternity leave, child labor laws, weekends, paid sick leave, minimum wage. But not everyone gets these benefits. And minimum wage is not a living wage. This can’t be fixed overnight, but we could all do a little better at supporting businesses that take better care of their employees (shop Costco over Walmart; anywhere over McDonald’s).

Full disclosure: I shopped at Target today. It’s better, but not by a lot.

If you’re like me and hiding inside watching Breaking Bad reruns (I just started the first season so NO SPOILERS!) and surfing the internet on Labor Day, here’s Mike Duke’s rebuttal and here’s further wage discrepancy data from the Huffington Post. 

I’m Planning To Start Allergy Shots In Paris Any Day

No Justice

The next time you hear a doctor complain that Obamacare is going to hurt his income, ask him why the fuck he doesn’t look to all the overhead in our healthcare system and the corporate greed that perpetuates that as an income drag. We are paying thousands of dollars for artificial joints that cost $350 to make. Our healthcare system is identical to when you pay someone from craigslist to stand in line to get you a cronut. Except that you don’t need a cronut to survive, even if you think you do.

*Drops the mic….leaves this New York Times article here.

My Mom Found A Meme!

mom

Guys! I know it’s Wednesday, and also that I’ve become a lazy blogger lately. I also know that North Carolina is being steamrolled by some Tea Party Bullshit. They are restricting abortions. Let us please never forget that the pros of limiting abortions are to protect life and to prevent medical procedures, completely neglecting the fact that women’s lives are ruined in childbirth and by unwanted pregnancies all the time (“What if that aborted fetus was going to be president?!” “What if that woman forced down into poverty by single motherhood was?” No one is Doc Brown. We can’t know what would happen in other timelines; let’s not try.) and that giving birth is a Goddamn medical procedure. Have you ever heard of an episiotomy? That is a medical procedure that really leaves some lasting scars.

North Carolina already passed one of the most restrictive and saddest anti-gay marriage laws  in the Spring of 2012. I have yet to understand, at all, how gay marriage affects straight people anymore than I understand how forcing a woman to have a baby is a pro-human rights issue, but I’m wide open to hearing anyone’s non-Biblical views on either subject (your Bible does not belong in our Constitution. Sorry bro*.)

Welfare applicants must pass mandatory drug tests which I’m sure is not an expensive program for tax payers at all. Are you poor in North Carolina? You can expect to find a lot of Christians, but not a lot of charity…..

Student loans are going up, going back to that whole, “Oh, you’r poor? Fuck you and bless your heart,” attitude that seems to have covered the consciences of NC lawmakers like a blanket over a bird cage.

Also, if you’re a teacher, it would be good to keep your urine clean, because based on your salary in comparison to the rest of the country you are also fucked. Though not as fucked as you’ll be if you get fired or laid off. What is so insane to me, is that these people think they are doing the right thing by hoarding their money for themselves, as though infrastructure is free and as if keeping the poor down makes our country better. Any society is only as strong as it’s most vulnerable members.  Making women raise children they can’t afford without the aid of benefits they can’t get in a state with a high unemployment rate is the way to keep people down. Raising student loans keeps people down. Restricting health care access keeps people down. If you asked them, Republicans are the more patriotic party. They love America; they hate Americans.

I once heard someone who is related to me say that Occupy Wall Street was a movement of spoiled people who expected everything  to be handed to them. I politely excused myself to go the the bathroom because I’m not allowed to swear in front of my family members outside of my nuclear family, but come the fuck on. If you don’t understand that the Occupy Wall Street movement is about the gross inequality in this country, it’s probably because you benefit from said inequality. If you don’t understand women’s rights, or college tuition hikes, or the implications behind restricting gay marriage I envy the life you’ve lead and the character you’ve never been forced to build, but please do not comment on those things in front of me.

In other words, I won’t be moving back to my beloved blue-skied haven any time soon. As for my mom, she spends her Mondays picketing at the state capital because she is rad and also is retired.

 

*Bro like Broseph not bro like my bro, Pandito, who is awesome.

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Matthew 7:6:

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

Deuteronomy 15:11:

“For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ “

Meme Mondays: For The Good Of Us All

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Meme Mondays are proof that anyone can master technology but that if NBC can’t get a handle on their late night hosting situation, shit is going to get ugly.

Do you guys remember how mad everyone was when Conan got shafted on this? Like so mad. Also, fun fact, my mom thinks one of the Jimmy’s who has his own late night show is very cute, but she can never remember which one and I always feel like we’re doing “Who’s on first?” when we talk about it.

There Is Just One Thing I Need

Ever since she got fired from Fox News and the election was over and the buzz about Game Change died down, no one has been talking about Sarah Palin. Christmas was over and it’s hard for Protestants to really blow out Lent in a showy, public way and she can’t talk about Jew holidays or Ramadan. Congress is literally throwing this country to Hell in a hand basket, but Sarah Palin doesn’t have any interest in that silliness. Having the answers to political conundrums is hard and boring. What on earth was a lipstick clad hockey mom to do? Take some time, educate herself, and come back gracefully into the spotlight? Fade quietly into the Alaskan wilderness to take care of the family she claims should be the number one priority in America, eclipsing civil rights for all? Stalk Julianne Moore until she can kill her, skin her, and wear her on TV to publically apologize for mocking Sarah Palin on HBO?

Be careful Julianne!

Be careful Julianne!

No, Sarah Palin is writing a book entitled, A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas, which will encourage people to stray from their politically correct ways and obeisance to the golden calf of commercialism and put the CHRIST back in Christmas*. We all know that the much persecuted Christian religion is always coming under fire from groups that think they don’t have to follow it because they have their “own religious beliefs” or want “separation of church and state” or to “not sharing the same beliefs”. I feel oppressed by all those groups just typing all those things. Also, when you fear your treasured religious holiday is being over-commercialized, make sure to profit off that fear.

If I may be so bold, I’ll suggest that Sarah Palin is not doing this solely because of her ceaseless devotion to the Lord or the dollar. It’s possible she’s writing a controversial Christmas book in March because she wants attention. And it frankly disgusts me.disgusted

Recently at work, I made a new best friend; the Lascivious Lemur. He is good at math. He’s taught me a lot, but the reason we’re new best friends is because he taught me to commoditize attention. Attention is like cookies or bricks or Electoral College votes; it can be quantified and bartered for. When the Lascivious Lemur needs attention, he just asks for it. When I need attention, I just tell him, “I need attention.” In return, I must give attention when it’s requested of me. Simple. Honest.

If you want to make money selling a book that tells people not to spend money to support the crass commercialism of Christmas, I get it, I’ve seen Step Up 4: Revolution. But if all you want attention, be an adult and ask**.

Attention Please

Attention please!

 

 

*SPOILERS for everyone on my holiday shopping list, of all religions, you will be getting this as a present from me, stuffed in a stocking, held by an angel, sitting on Santa’s shoulder, in a manger.

 

**Or be smart, funny, or otherwise contribute to society in a non-fear mongering way.