Category Archives: personal life
That’s mostly because I’m broke, but also because I like to horribly procrastinate until the last minute before I start having a panic attack and rushing all over town to find the right gifts for people.
I’m a bit of a masochist at heart.
I’m also a huge fan of Christmas.
I told my mom this morning (while making biscuits and discussing making gingerbread) that if you can’t be cheesy and schmaltzy around Christmas time, then when can you be?
So we pour on the sentimental cheesiness during the holiday season. Christmas music everywhere, gobs of decorations at home and at work, Christmas trees and pretty wrapped packages, and hopefully a chance to give to charity a few times.
Christmas isn’t just a holiday or a season, it’s a mood and a state of being.
And yeah, that’s pretty schmaltzy.
Go ahead and laugh.
In the spirit of Christmas I won’t punish you by withholding sugar cookies.
Here’s a couple of Christmas songs by Pentatonix, you should buy the whole album.
Once it’s out there, it’s out there for good and anyone can read it.
That’s why I want to apologize for my sometimes haphazard spelling and sloppy editing. My brain moves faster than my fingers and I usually think whatever I’ve typed is so brilliant that I can’t wait for an editor to look it over before I press “publish”.
It’s one of my faults.
Anyway, I bring this up because I discovered something quite insane today about where my writing had ended up and why.
A teacher apparently assigned it* as reading for a writing prompt in their AP English class. I don’t know why, but apparently my series on Peter Singer’s Solution for World Poverty was the sort of thing that she wanted her class to read in conjunction with Peter Singer’s actual essay.
What the hell?
Yeah, I’m confused, kinda flattered…but ultimately confused.
I would really like to know how and why my blog was selected for this, but I don’t know if I’ll ever find out.
It’s a cool thing to have happen though.
As my mom said when I texted her about this development: “Ah, teaching critical thought to the youth of America!”
That’s a pretty awesome, if terrifying, thought.
So when you are writing, just keep that in my mind. You never know who you are going to influence.
So maybe one more pass through spell check is called for.**
*I say “apparently” because I don’t know where these kids go to school and none of the entries specified that she assigned my blog. Still, it’s too coincidental that all of them wrote about my blog.
**Also make sure you have your facts straight and do your research.
Sociopaths don’t cry over commercials about babies or articles about strangers giving their kidney to a dying man.
They just don’t.
Because they don’t care.
But sometimes the thought crosses my mind, especially when I’m talking to other people about politics. Normally I brush the thought aside as a recognition that other people are far too emotional about politics and they ignore rational responses to political problems or antagonism from people who don’t like them.
In simpler terms, they get their feelings hurt a lot.
I’ve never met the man.
I doubt I would have any serious problem with him if I ever met him, though I bet we would have some impressively long-winded debates on our differing views.
My relationship with Card’s books goes back far too long and I like books he’s written far too much to really let his views of homosexuality personally offend me or cause me to boycott him.
I first read an Orson Scott Card book when I was 11 years old and I was first getting into Fantasy and fractured fairy tales. My older brother had a soft-cover copy of Enchantment in his bookshelf, which I pilfered and never returned to him.
I still have it on my own bookshelf, 12 years later, pages yellowed and getting a bit brittle.
I love that book a lot and I received a copy of Ender’s Game for Christmas that same year.
My dad was always trying to get me to read Science Fiction, but I didn’t have a taste for it so I left the book to gather dust for a couple of years.
At 13 I read it and I loved it.
The story grabbed me and sucked me in and I read it as fast as I could. It was Enchantment all over again and I carried it with me all over the place.
Of course when I finished it I tried to read one of the sequels and the less said about that the better (other readers of the series may or may not agree with me on that) and I found that I didn’t really like many other Science Fiction books either, much to my father’s disappointment.
It was just that book.
Unlike many other people I was not “waiting forever” for Ender’s Game to be made into a movie. I’ve been skeptical since it was announced and I still am, having not gone to see it yet. One of my favorite things about the books was that it was so internal, so much about the Ender growing up and mentally dealing with how to navigate the world he was thrust into.
I couldn’t see how that feeling and story telling could be preserved on film.
I’m holding out hope that it will be good though.
And yes, I am going to see it, because frankly I don’t give a rat’s ass about Card’s view of homosexuality or gay marriage.
The truth is that I would read his books even if he called me a “dyke” upon finding out I was a lesbian. I read books based on what I like and what I think is well written and I generally don’t care about the political or social views of the writer, unless they are so overpowering that I can’t ignore them. (I would consider that a poorly written book, fyi.)
I learned in 2011 that I shouldn’t ever follow the twitter accounts of the writers I love, because in all likelihood I won’t agree with them politically and I don’t want those views to tarnish my love of their books.
I met Elizabeth Moon at a reading she did in Atlanta for the newest book in a series that has been a favorite of mine for years. At the end of the reading she reminded everyone that she had twitter and I immediately went to check it out.
She was posting pro-Obama tweets.
I unfollowed her.
I didn’t throw out my copy of The Deed of Paksenarrion though and I still wouldn’t throw it out even if she was calling conservatives morons and working for Organizing For Action.
Because the books she writes are special to me. It doesn’t matter to me that she supported a complete moron for President.
If someone made a movie for the series I would be cheering it on the entire way and I’d be there for the midnight showing.
I’ve had similar reactions to learning the political leanings of musicians and actors and other writers.
The key here is that I’ve learned to ignore it and judge their work for it’s merit and how much I enjoy it. If I refused to listen, read, or watch anything that was made by a person who had an opinion I thought was stupid then I would be missing out on a whole world of wonderful literature, music, and movies.
What’s the point?
(most of this was originally posted on my tumblr, but I wanted it on here as well)
FreedomWorks has reached the same point as me on the issue of Obamacare. They have started to work on a program called Burn the Card, which is:
This is a symbolic gesture to refuse government coercion by not purchasing health insurance through the exchanges. This doesn’t mean we want students to go without health insurance, we just want their insurance to actually be affordable, and most of all, voluntary. Students can purchase health insurance from a third party, an option that is not only legal, but in most cases, much cheaper.
The most exciting part is that we’re taking this message to college campuses. We’re partnering with Young Americans for Liberty; the largest pro-liberty organization on college campuses in the country, and the College Republicans. We are encouraging student groups to send us their best video of them burning their cards and simply saying no to government coercion. We also need them to educate their fellow students about ObamaCare.
Okay, so I actually may have reached a step further on my “can’t even” scale than they have, because I’ve reached the point where I stick my tongue out at the government and say “I’m not going to buy this and I’d like to see you try to make me pay the fine for it”.
What are you going to do about it Obama?
Garnish my wages?
HAHAHAHA! You can’t get blood from a stone.
Put a lien on my property?
I have no property morons. No house, no car, not a single thing for you to confiscate or put a lien on.
Confiscate my tax return?
Put me in a minimum security security prison against constitutional rules about debtor’s prison?
Oh please do. I’ll get 3 square meals a day, a bed, and probably a cake decorating class and yoga.
Not to mention free healthcare. Shooting yourself in the foot there.
You can’t do anything to me at this point.
So the jokes on you I guess.
I took a little lesson from both Martin Luther King jr. and Henry Rearden of Rearden Steel.
Civil Disobedience and refusing to give the government your voluntary cooperation in your own destruction.
“That is the flaw in your theory, gentlemen,” said Rearden gravely, “and I will not help you out of it. If you choose to deal with men by means of compulsion, do so. But you will discover that you need the voluntary co-operation of your victims, in many more ways than you can see at present. And your victims should discover that it is their own volition – which you cannot force – that makes you possible. I choose to be consistent and I will obey you in the manner you demand. Whatever you wish me to do, I will do it at the point of a gun. If you sentence me to jail, you will have to send armed men to carry me there – I will not volunteer to move. If you fine me, you will have to seize my property to collect the fine – I will not volunteer to pay it. If you believe that you have the right to force me – use your guns openly. I will not help you to disguise the nature of your action.”
- Hank Rearden (Atlas Shrugged)
So who’s with me? I hope you all are, because we have to be together on this. That’s the only way civil disobedience can work.
You just have to stop being afraid of what they can do to you and then they no longer have power over you.
If you are working toward a principle and you refuse to given in to their threats and bullying and endless paperwork and anger, eventually they realize they have lost the cooperation of the people. Their only option from there is force and then they have truly lost.
My how time flies.
I’m pretty sure that birthdays just get less and less exciting every year. A decade a go I would have been reminding everyone within hearing distance about how my birthday was in “3 months! 1 month! NEXT WEEK! OMG!”
These days it’s just another year gone where I haven’t accomplished enough goals to satisfy myself, but I have plans for the coming year!
I’m going to buy my first car and finally get back to writing on a couple of novels that I have planned out right now and see if I can’t get a bit more work done on my political writing/manifesto/book about how I’m more awesome than everyone else.
We’ll see how that goes.
And since it’s my birthday and you all probably didn’t have time to shop for a gift, there is a donation tab at the top of my blog. I accept PayPal and…well…PayPal. That’s it.
I have a special place in my heart for this movie for multiple reasons, one of which is that I finally gained a Disney/Pixar princess that shares my name (My name would, traditionally, be pronounced “Merida” in Scottish Gaelic) and another is that this movie came out at an time in my life where I was going through much the same series of fights with my own mother.
Well, I mean, she wasn’t trying to marry me off to a Scottish Lord, but the concept applies. My mom wanted me to live life the way she thought was right and I wanted to make my own decisions. As a 21 year old woman in America I had a lot more freedom to do what I wanted than Merida of course, but it was still morbidly hilarious to go see this movie with my girlfriend (who most of the arguments with my mother were caused by) and see the same scenario playing out.
Anyway, the story felt very empowering to me and in, what I felt, was a positive way. They didn’t make the mother out to be the villain nor was Merida entirely blameless in the story and I thought it was a very healthy way to show strong female characters who have to learn to compromise with each other and learn from each other, rather than insisting that their way is the only way to do things. Also, after that hellishly bad mother/daughter relationship in Tangled, they needed to clear the air as far as mothers go.
So, we have a Scottish princess who climbs cliffs, shoots arrows better than any of the men, rides off on her own adventures in the dangerous Scottish wilderness, and stands up for herself when her family tries to marry her off. What’s not for feminists to like?
The Token Libertarian Girl delivered a very heartfelt, emotional, and (in my opinion) completely off base assessment of why she is now anti-war and ashamed of her past support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and I feel the need to separate my views and denouncement of the current threat of action in Syria from her view. I recognize her right to her own opinion, I just don’t think it’s based in reality.
I’m a robot though. My friends will tell you that I often try to remove emotion from any political opinion I have. Sometimes this pisses them off.
I’m not anti-war. I’m about as “neocon” as it gets, if by neocon you mean someone who is pissed as hell and sees no problem killing off people who are a threat to national security.
I’m anti-dumb-asses getting us involved in wars without thought of consequence or responsibility or any long-term plan.
(If you don’t care about my personal life, please disregard)
In the interest of full disclosure: I really really really loved this movie. I was 20 years old when it came out, so I got my younger sister to go with me to see it (she really wanted to see it too, but sibling rivalry demands bribery) because otherwise I would have just been a really pathetic adult woman, walking into a movie theater alone on a Saturday afternoon to see a Disney movie.
This also could have looked sort of creepy.
So away we went to the theater and I had to shuffle around my list of top 5 favorite Disney films so Tangled could fit.
Unfortunately, not everyone felt that way.
I feel like I’m beating a dead horse (with a frying pan?) at this point, but the biggest issue that feminists have is that they read too much into every little thing! They forget that the movies target audience is, generally speaking, children. Children who generally don’t read “euphemism for loss of virginity” into the change of Rapunzel’s hair from blonde to brown at the end.
Quite frankly the idea that the writer’s of Tangled were sitting around a table, smoking cigars and drinking brandy, while they thought up clever ways to make a Tangled be euphemistically misogynistic is pitifully laughable.
When it comes right down to it, feminists have become a parody of themselves. They’re complaints have to shift constantly.
“Snow White just cleaned up for dwarves and couldn’t take care of herself” changes to “they made Rapunzel use a frying pan as a weapon and she really only was heroic because she was cleaning up the actions of a stupid man, which is the same thing as cleaning and cooking for dwarves”. They just shift the goalposts to give themselves something to whine about.