Posts Tagged ‘dumbassery’

things that have made my week bad, and things that have made my bad week worse:

  • obstreporousness.
  • inefficiency.
  • miscommunication.
  • days with 24 hours in them, and weeks with seven days, and two day weekends.
  • short notice.
  • unknown unknowns.
  • cross-purposes.
  • insufficiently unobtrusive overlap boxes.
  • ringing in my twenty-fourth year with a nosebleed.

things that have made my bad week slightly less bad:

  • listmaking.
  • herbes de provence.
  • my beloved coworkers.
  • incrementally nicer weather.
  • getting shit done.

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I’m a little late to the game here, but the Portland (Maine) Press Herald issued an apology for depicting local Muslims observing Eid on September 10.  Apparently, a photograph of peaceable practitioners of Islam engaging in an activity mandated by their faith and protected by the First Amendment is “offensive” and “insensitive” if it occurs anywhere near September 11.

For anyone who is still confused about why this is FUCKED UP, let me offer a parallel.  Timothy McVeigh murdered 168 people on April 19, 1995.  Timothy McVeigh was raised Catholic.  Do Oklahoma newspapers still depict people celebrating Easter when it falls on or near April 19?

Some might argue that the 9/11 bombers were motivated by religion and McVeigh wasn’t (and in fact, McVeigh’s Catholicism seems to have waxed and waned).  I think the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world would take issue with the assessment that the 9/11 hijackers shared mainstream Muslim beliefs.  This was a perversion of religion, not an exercise of the religion itself.

Let me be perfectly clear.  Personally speaking, I am pretty down on religion.  I think religion undermines personal conscience and, like any social institution that substitutes its own morals for individuals’ morals, it can compel people to do atrocious things.  And while I can’t claim to know for certain, I happen to think it’s also delusional.  The best I can say for Islam is that it’s no more bloodthirsty a religion than any other, which is far from a ringing endorsement.  (Christianity, after all, has the blood of colonized people the world over — not to mention the innocence of many an altar boy — on its hands.)  But most of the Christians, Jews, and Muslims I know are lovely people who consider generosity and good works the proper observance of their religion, even if I disagree with them about many of the particulars.

I love the Bill of Rights.  I really, really love it.  It’s the heart of a system of government that doesn’t always get it right, but comes damn close a lot of the time — more often than I sometimes give it credit.  And I’m proud to live in a country where the number one right (that’s correct, folks, it was #1 for a reason) is the right to speak, assemble, and worship freely.  It pains me to know that a few loudmouthed bigots want to restrict the very freedoms our government is legally obligated to protect.  These imbeciles aren’t literally attempting to establish a state religion, but when newspapers can be compelled to publish apologies for reporting on the free exercise of religion, we have an environment that favors some religions over others.  And that’s not acceptable.

So screw you, Portland Press Herald.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  You had a chance to stand up for freedom of religion and freedom of the press, and you blew it.

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all right, breast cancer awareness month, I’M AWARE of breast cancer.  i’ve seen the commercials, i read the articles.  i have loved ones who’ve fought breast cancer.  i get that the komen foundation is rolling in dough.  and cancer is godawful, and early detection is crucial.

breast cancer kills approximately 40,000 people per year, and it gets October.
colorectal cancer kills 50,000, and it doesn’t get its own month.
lymphoma kills 75,000, and it doesn’t get its own month.
lung cancer kills a whopping 223,000.  TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE THOUSAND.  and… you get the picture.

for a moment, let’s think beyond cancer, because the median age of death for all of these cancers is upwards of 68.  and i’m not saying that 68 is old enough to put folks out to pasture — my dad is 68, so i certainly don’t want to see 68-year-olds dropping dead — but let’s just put this in perspective: cystic fibrosis patients die at a median age of about 23 years old.

now, by itself, cystic fibrosis is rare.  it kills a few hundred americans per year.  but cumulatively, rare diseases (those that affect fewer than 200,000 americans) afflict a total of 30 million americans.  you know what needs awareness-raising?  all of these rare diseases, for which research is woefully near-absent.  not diseases whose various advocacy groups have the resources to waste money on multi-million dollar boondoggles to raise “awareness” instead of funding research.  if half the money that’s spent on breast cancer “awareness” were spent on research for rare diseases, people would be healthier.

so i’ll go to the doctor each year like a good little girl, and perform breast self-exams when i think to do it, and in a few decades i’ll have all the mammograms my insurer will pay for.  but no, i’m not going to change my facebook status, and no, i’m not going to wear pink for a disease that happens to have better PR than most.

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david brooks wrote a cursory, pop-psychological/sociological assessment of the mel gibson crazypants spousal abuse clusterfuck in today’s new york times.  one reader comments:

“I would question whether a career ender should be based on a private telephone conversation involving a romantic break-up. Wouldn’t all such conversations be shockers to outsiders? The speakers always sounding like monsters? Can we really judge people by their lowest private moments, when extreme emotional shock drives people to the brink of insanity and irrationality?”

i don’t know.  but i do know i never threatened my exes with murder or assault; never alluded to punching them in the mouth and knocking their teeth out; never, in fact, punched them in the mouth or knocked their teeth out; never threatened arson because i didn’t get my libidinous way.  and none of my exes have ever said these kinds of violent, abusive things to me, either.

based on what i could gather from gibson’s panting, ranting craziness, he was pissed off because his girlfriend had fallen asleep waiting up for him, and consequently he didn’t get the blow job he was expecting.  does missing out on a single instance of oral sex (or any other kind) seriously represent “extreme emotional shock”?  i’m sorry, but this verges WAY too close to the kind of boys-will-be-boys catch-22 that dictates that women are entirely responsible for restricting the out-of-control libidos of men, but damned if you do, honey, because that will just make them threaten to burn your house down.  put on your big boy panties and deal with it, mel.

now, i’m all for privacy, and i think grigorieva’s first move should have been to turn the tapes over to the police instead of to radaronline (i don’t know enough about the situation to know whether she did or didn’t, or in what order).  i can say this: i would be embarrassed if my boss somehow got a hold of any of my private conversations that occurred in the context of a breakup.  but would i fear for my job?  HELL NO.  i think people should own their actions, and i don’t think you should treat anyone in a way you’re not proud of, a way that any reasonable person wouldn’t be able to empathize with.  under difficult circumstances, can you make a defensible case for expressing impatience, frustration, even anger?  sure.  can you make a case for abuse?  no.  never.


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