Thursday, November 25, 2010

Let's give thanks for our blessings.

For each and every person born or naturalized to this nation have been blessed.

I'm thankful that I'm an American, with a founding document that forbids the government from interfering with my God-given rights to talk about anything I want. I'm thankful that I have a voice in firing a government that I don't think is doing its job right, and hiring its replacement.

I'm thankful that I'm married to my best friend and partner. I'm deeply thankful for that, despite never having had an example of a healthy marriage to base my expectations on.

I'm thankful that I have at least a part-time job that I love doing. I wish I could be in front of a classroom again, but I'm also extremely thankful that I had the option of staying home with my young son and teaching all online.

I'm thankful for my son's spectacularly good health, despite his rough start.

I'm thankful, deeply thankful, that I'm still pregnant with my daughter, despite the discomfort. Each week she stays put makes it more likely that we'll avoid another long hospital stay with her.

I'm thankful for each and every one of my friends, whether they're real life friends or blog friends. OldCatMan, Mousie, Ricki, Ken, and many others--you all mean a lot to me.

I'm thankful that despite my rough childhood, I managed to grow up with remarkably few lasting issues.

The things I'm thankful for are never far from at least part of my mind. I may not express it often in public, but I never forget to Whom the thanks is due.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lessons forgotten, but not obselete: Rudyard Kipling's take


As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market-Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-bourne like the Gods of the Market-Place.
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings.
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Heading said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstone we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbor and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew,
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four--
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

* * *

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man --
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began --
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire --
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Recently, a blog I read posted a list of types of blame-the-victim rape apologists. I found it pretty accurate, and kind of funny, honestly. I didn't comment, because at first, I didn't have anything to say.

Then, in the comments, things got ugly. I don't know what it is about women in general and radical (or at least borderline radical) feminists in specific that takes any reasonable point made by a man and twists it to mean (in their mind) that all men are either rapists, or blame-the-victim apologists.

Actually, I think I do understand: women's brains tend to disengage when they perceive that someone is disagreeing with them. That tends to lead to the types of rather hysterical attacks, instead of the realization nobody disagrees with them. The men they're attacking as apologists also don't want women to be raped. However, since women tend to want to vent, and men tend to listen and try to think of ways to fix the problem, the men offer logical suggestions (i.e., don't drink way too much around people you probably don't know).

Women don't want to hear the logical, reasonable suggestions. They counter with "I should be able to drink as much as I want, anywhere I want, wearing whatever I want, and nobody should harass me about it." And then, they attack the man who dared offer constructive suggestions as if he was a rapist.

In a perfect world, they'd be right that they should never have to be careful. However, this world is not perfect. It has not been perfect since the first couple disobeyed their Maker in the one thing he told them not to do. Yes, we have the right to do what we want, when we want, however we want--however, just as it's the responsibility of any individual not to attack another, each of us also has the responsibility to do our utmost to protect ourselves. It is not anyone else's responsibility. It is definitely not the responsibility of a man--not even my husband--to defend me, now that I'm an adult.

However, it seems that just pointing out that this isn't a perfect world, and it is each individual's responsibility to maintain situational awareness and protect themselves is, in certain circles, tantamount to blaming the victim for the attack. And, as such, is as reprehensible as the rapist himself.

It's just another reason I dislike most other women. I prefer to hang around with people who use their brains as much as they do their emotions. Maybe that makes me a misogynist; however, since I am a woman, by certain arguments, I cannot be one.