Archive for convention

What Women Want

Posted in Rants & Rages with tags , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2008 by tigereye

Let me first say that when I was 13 and Walter Mondale, even in the face of doom, chose then-Representative Geraldine Ferraro, I was tickled as hell, along with all my Democratic female relatives, which is to say everyone on both sides of the family except one extremely sickening cousin. He probably wasn’t going to win, and we didn’t know jack about this woman — but she was bright, and kicked George Bush I’s skinny butt in the VP debate, and I held fond memories of her for all these years. Until this spring, when she pulled off her “Mission Impossible” mask to reveal a white hood, but that’s another story.

Let me also say: what y’all may not know about me is that I was a Hillary Clinton supporter long, long before I’d ever heard of Barack Obama and John Edwards. I would have taken a bullet for her. I got beat up at a rally for the 1992 Clinton/Gore ticket, and felt my black eye and bloody nose were as much on Hillary’s behalf as Bill and Al’s. I hate that she comported herself so awfully by the end of her campaign. Unlike Ferraro, I feel her legacy deserves better. Just because I found candidates I believed in more fully doesn’t mean I don’t have, well, feelings for Hillary, the way you sometimes hold a soft spot for years for that guy you dated a long time ago. You don’t want to be with him now, but you wish him well.

So I’m insulted.

On behalf of all women who supported Hillary Rodham Clinton; on behalf of all women who have ever worked and earned less than a man doing the same job; on behalf of all women who identify as feminists, not just co-opt the term and twist it into some unnatural mockery of what it’s supposed to mean.

Does John McCain think women are interchangeable?

“Look! Look, you former Hillary voters, over here! See, we have a woman too! That’s what you wanted, right? Isn’t that what you women wanted? See, here’s a woman, why don’t you get excited over her now?”

If Hillary Clinton had been the Democratic nominee, he’d probably be trotting out Alan Keyes to try to woo the Obama supporters.

I don’t like anything about this woman except her glasses. I really don’t. I haven’t seen anything admirable or likable about her, which should surprise no one: I tend to think uncharitably of Pat Buchanan supporters in all walks of life. But that’s not the point.

The point is, who thinks like this?

It’s bad enough that in 2008 women can’t make the same wages men do. It’s headache-inducing to think the world, and my own country, are full of people who have no trouble thinking I’m less of a citizen, less of a worker, less of a vote, less of an opinion. We’re 51% of the population and less than 20% of the representatives we elect. And worst of all, we’re taught not to mind. Some of our families passed this down to us the way it was handed to them. Some of our families told us it was wrong but our teachers and friends and employers and government didn’t, so it was hard to keep that message in mind. I cannot think of anything harder to do, right now, than raise a daughter. It would break my heart for her to find out her society didn’t love her as much as I did.

And that someone representing half the population of her country thinks she would be interchangeable.

You idiot, what the Clinton supporters — the real ones, not the ones with little reins leading back to Karl Rove’s web — wanted wasn’t a woman. It was that woman. They believed in what one particular amazing woman was trying to do, even when she lost sight, near the end, of how the ends don’t always justify the means. They held on stubbornly even when they knew she was wrong, even when their friends wanted to wring their necks and stamp our feet and shake sense into them. And most of them came around.

Sarah Palin can stand on that platform by John McCain and invoke Hillary Clinton’s name all day long, but that’s all she’s doing: name-dropping. She couldn’t stand more diametrically opposed to what Hillary Clinton stands for and believes in if she was Mothra or Lex Luthor. And it’s even more insulting to have a woman ask us to vote for her ticket because she has a body part in common with us.

Hell, all this and I’m an Obama supporter.

I hope thousands of other people are as angry over this as I am.

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Postcards From the Road

Posted in Slices of Life (add $1 for ice cream) with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by tigereye

I just had a FANTASTIC time visiting friends. Lots of them are known around WordPress World, though, so I’ll leave them — and myself — their/our privacy and focus today on another aspect of the trip, which is Road Trip World.

I love road trips, personally. I have an immense collection of CDs, not just the bought-at-the-store kind, but many homemade discs. I play around on iTunes and create theme CDs. Hey, some people knit, some smoke, some watch TV: I make theme CDs. And I haul ’em all with me, so I never have a moment of silence on a road trip. Silence = death, especially when you’ve been driving for 8 hours straight and might doze off going 80 around a West Virginia curve.

Here are a few observations:

West Virginia, to my complete and utter shock, has the best drivers in the world. The only place that comes close to it is California. I was astonished to see people riding in the correct lanes for their speed, truckers staying where they’re told (the far right lane, thank God), drivers using turn signals and moving over to let others merge… I didn’t expect this from West Virgina, which previously only existed, in my mind, so we crackers from SC could make fun of somebody. I only experienced ONE asshole driver with a WV tag. I have no idea how this is accomplished, but I don’t care. As far as I know, the WV highway patrol could be pulling over lousy drivers and shooting them, then dumping their cars down the mountainside. If this is the case, someone please let me know, because it means there’s work for me in West Virginia.

Along with West Virginia, Virginia is the most beautiful place I’ve seen on the East Coast. Rolling hills, untouched mountains, towns few and far between… It was like looking at the U.S. the way it should have been left, before we came along and paved/electrified/billboarded/tunneled through it all. It was beautiful, but at the same time very sad.

If anyone had told me there was more farmland in Ohio than in SC, I’d’ve said they were smoking something. But it’s true. Instead of our ubiquitous tobacco and hay and peaches, there were acres and acres of corn. I felt right at home, like any minute now I’d see a sign that said “Tigereye’s Hometown, 17 miles.” And the Amish country is lovely.

Back in the Carolinas: Ludacris is right. MOVE, BITCH, GET OUT’ THE WAY. Jeeeeezus H. tap-dancin’ Christ, why does my state produce such total morons? The worst drivers in the U.S. are from Florida, Georgia, and, unfortunately, SC. There were assholes driving the speed limit in the left lane, assholes tailgating me when I’m speeding 20 miles faster than I should be, assholes who drive slowly until you try to pass them… I understand road rage. It’s why I don’t keep a weapon in the car: I’d be overly tempted to use it. Well, a real weapon, anyway — there’s always the tire iron. But really, I’m tired of being embarrassed for my home state. CAN’T YOU IDIOTS DO ANYTHING RIGHT? You vote red and you drive badly and you fly a goddamn Confederate flag — I belong here like flour in a torte.

I am the palest person alive. I saw five states’ worth of people to prove it. In a photo y’all won’t see, I’m posed beside a mannequin that’s only slightly paler than me. This hair sure does show up vividly, though.

In a hotel room in West Virginia, I stepped out of the shower to find a wolf spider crouched in the corner of my bathroom like a tumor set free. For those of you who don’t know, wolf spiders are black or gray, hairy, and they JUMP. He stayed still a while, and I dried off and went away. I returned to the bathroom twice and there he was, still in his corner. (In case you’re wondering, I didn’t kill him because I didn’t have any bullets, Malathion, or hydrochloric acid.) Then I discovered, on my third return, that the only thing worse than having a wolf spider in your bathroom is coming back to the bathroom and not knowing where the wolf spider went.

I brought two lovely pairs of shoes and schlepped around all weekend in my ratty Birks.

Virginia and North Carolina have the cleanest rest stops I’ve ever seen. These things are important. I only encountered one stop, on the Ohio turnpike, that was actually worse than a single man’s bathroom.

MapQuest’s new slogan should be: Close Enough. It took me off the highways and into Amish country, and while it was a scenic route, I prefer an all-70-mph course, thankyouverymuch. I then discovered MapQuest doesn’t allow you to select “mostly highways” as a planning option, although you can opt out of highways altogether. To which I say, WHAT THE FUCK?! I’m supposed to get from SC to Ohio using all back roads? How does one do this without taking a hot air balloon, pray tell? Also, MapQuest gave me a few key wrong directions, solved by my own sense of place (I know Columbia is south of Charlotte, for one thing) and the assistance of one of my hosts, about whom I will say Kevin No Last Name Officially Kicked MapQuest’s Ass. He got me onto the turnpike and knocked at least an hour off my trip.

A hotel drink machine stole a $5 bill from me and I was so incapacitated with a leftover migraine I didn’t feel like doing more than glaring when the manager told me to piss off. It’s a chain hotel, though, which means it has a website. Dude, all you had to do was be nice to me and give me five bucks — I did it all the time in retail. Now I’m home, healthy, and havin’ a grudge. Just wait.

 I came home to 6 work assignments, 135 emails (about 40 of which I didn’t delete), a cat pissed off at me for boarding him, and a thermostat on 77. You know you’re back in the Carolinas when the temperature is over 101 and the gas is under $3.90.

I miss my friends, though. I’m ready to do the whole trip again, this time without the spider.