Archive for May, 2022

That which divides unites

Friday, May 6th, 2022

On the list of “Things I always wanted to do, but was and am too chicken to do” —

Walk by a clinic where a batch of protesters are in front shouting aggressively things about Jesus. Shout out, “Abortion is murder!”. And when the protesters take to clapping or showing support of one level to an expression of solidarity, add a shout of “There is no God!”

Could some cynical edge lord (or whatever internet lingo for “lulz loving troll”) go out and do that? But It probably happens all the time, but is not recorded, A sneeze and that’s all.

Things become comical. I see at the am conservative “time to take a playbook from the left”. I see at the Nation ” time to take a playbook from the right!”. Yeah, you go both do that, I guess.

I stumble over a Huffington Post headline alerting me to a speech “for men” by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, which has me running back through her political history — the year is 2006, she wins election to the US Congress as a “blue dog” in rural upstate New York, and is re-elected in 2008. When Governor Patterson picks her as the replacement for a Hillary Clinton moving on to a Secretary of State post in the Obama administration, there is a bit of hand-wringing that he sent up a canned able rural blue dog in this, blue New York. But she steers herself over to the right direction on, say for instance, gun control. I imagine on abortion she may not have done such a 180, but simply moved from simply keeping her head down on it to avoid electoral repercussions to having her goals in the national party sense. Understand, politicians who do not make such switches in policy and attitude get hammered and blasted as cynical opportunists — see Krysten Sinema. And who knows? Maybe they are.

whatever the stakes, these are not they

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

I am reading an editorial on the state of things in Honduras in presenting a bleak fore-ringer on life in a post Roe v Wade America. I await the autonomously governed war zones that allows for the level of devastation wrought in institutionalized rape and plunder. I am thinking there is some other problem here that has nothing to do with frantic shouting of definitions of “ensoulment”.

It takes a few and a few more paragraphs in this CNN article to explain why Loving cannot possibly fall — presenting the question — Why bring it up then? But a second not provided answer…

Because unlike that which exists for any restrictions of abortion, there is no popular support for banning interracial marriage. On removing gay marriage, there is probably a tad more, but only a tad. There we see Donald Trump the first president to come into office supporting such a thing, and there I imagine whatever cracks at the local level will get codified away at a national level in midrange order. Laws on contraceptions may bring into the fore issues on whether a Sisters of the Poor or Catholic Charities has to provide such things, or if we should provide condoms in middle school health centers and what needs to be provided in health care plans, but beyond that there is no popular support for banning contraceptives…

… Unlike there is, has been, and remains for limiting or restricting Abortion.

The total effect is one where where confronted with the hysterical premise of headlines alerting us to the history of the Loving decision — I have a hard time seeing how precedents will be challenged, new segregating marriage laws will get enacted and codified, and the measure will move up the court system.

But everything just gets thrown into a mix, a tossed salad of repression defined with Matt Gaetz a poster child of horrors. Draw up a historical record which affixes one historical stream of manichean good and evil.

Juvey book politics

Monday, May 2nd, 2022

In seventh grade, my middle school librarian took scissors and taped paper to an issue of “Sport” magazine (or “Sporting” or something like that), not to be confused with Sports Illustrated. It was the much halcyon-ed “swimsuit issue”, which I suppose the publishers figured ” Our dominant competitor does it, we do too!”. The librarian stripped the magazine of the busts and butts of the various models, and taped paper in as a replacement. And two boys and I leafed through the magazine, mocking it in immature Beavis and Butthead fashion — or at least they did while razzing me.

I suppose that the Sport (or… Sporting) magazine swimsuit edition then ought qualify for the “banned book week” list — except, I guess, we have no actual challenge on it — which are the citations which propel things onto such a thing — whether the library board removes it, moves it to some “only eighth grade” check-out, or simply gives a perfunctory “thank you for caring” comment.

On that “eighth grade check out”, I refer to the situation with SE Hinton”s Outsiders, which I always saw sitting in the librarian’s office window with a note explaining ” reserved for eighth grade check outs”, A situation I found puzzling as it was a (kind of tedious) staple of seventh grade curriculum so everyone’s already read it, and I appreciate if students loved it so much to re-read, A cheap paperback edition shouldn’t be hard to find.

Today I see a headline from The New York Times. “How a Debut Graphic Memoir Became the Most Banned Book in the Country”. It strikes me as a funny use of the word ” banned”. Like, early in sixth grade (or maybe seventh, I don’t recall), I noted a stray copy of a flimsy bestseller from Jerry Seinfeld, one which I imagine gluts mid and big sized libraries before being shelved into the “buy for a quarter” stores. It did not belong at the school library, but damned if I thought the librarian bought it into circulation. I smirked and mocked privately bad library resource use. I found out, no — it was some kid’s copy from a proper library. Maybe my town’s public library — the one that when I checked out some Tintin books the librarian commented that they had moved them from the children’s section to the adult (741 point three digits I can’t recall) because “they’re not really politically correct”. At any rate, I could picture in the process to buy the Seinfeld book parental or educator objection — based on it failing the mission of the school library — if anyone were so foolhardy to put it on the list.

The book in question, “Gender Queer” — And having to jump through this article to find a reference to what various conservative websites point at becomes irksome.

Some who have lobbied to have the memoir removed from schools say they have no issue with the author’s story or identity. It’s the sexual content in “Gender Queer” that is not appropriate for children or school libraries, they say.


It’s a graphic memoir that deals with puberty and sexual identity, and includes a few drawings of nude characters and sexual scenarios — images that critics of the book were able to share on social media to stoke a backlash. The book explores the author’s discomfort with traditional gender roles and features depictions of masturbation, period blood and confusing sexual experiences.

It takes fourteen paragraphs to get to references the images that make it a ready made lightning rod, understandable even if one disagrees with polite and impolite condemnation. Responses in comments land on such become a tad unreal — it is the pointing out that kids have ready access to pornography anyway. Yeah, sure — and parents have to draw up how to navigate the presence in their kids’ lives.

I suppose my middle school librarian might have taken scissors and cut the erect or mounded penis and out as she did to the bikini bottoms of women on the magazine. Which I guess may makes for a compromise for communities who want to assert ally ship with lgbtq communities while maintaining boundaries. Or… maybe there is a queer Judy Blume proficient with the written word thus by definition not trafficking in dirty pictures?