There is nothing more indicative of Uncle Pat than a bunch of oppositional nuclear family units getting together to swap judgment over each others’ income bracket (gifts) and make underhanded remarks about the other’s age, failing (patriarchally constructed) looks, and weight (meet my family!) for Christmas.
On Christmas Day this year I was called an asshole. I was called an asshole by a really really big asshole (creepy perverted uncle to ice that cake) so I am still waiting to be insulted but, nevertheless, it is the reason for being called an asshole that I am interested in addressing.
Somehow, and I don’t recall how because I don’t go advertising my opinions during BullshitTehHappiness Holidays, the topic of children and Christmas was brought up. I was asked at what age I would tell my children Santa is not real.
If and when I decide to have/adopt children there will be no lies about a white Capitalist Dewd who runs a sizeist servant factory for lead-laden child-killer-toys.
I said it like this: “I don’t want my children ever thinking Santa is real.”
Family Chorus: WHAT?
“I don’t believe in Christmas,” I say “and I’ve never been a follower of Christ, so why would I?” I add: “You people don’t follow Christianity by any stretch of the imagination either” for extra bite.
“No Christmas? No presents? That’s cruel to kids!” says my aunt. “How mean.” My aunt is a rather flamboyant yankee who loves shitstuffandshit.
“What about their imaginations and fantasy—you’re gonna take that away too?” asks my mom.
Immediately I am reminded of the way the pornstitution works: construct a lie, indulge the lie in fantasy form, market it as porn—then feel so entitled to it that the lie becomes a “right” should any evil feminist question it.
“Yeah!” Chimes Auntie. “Kids need to use their imaginations.”
Assuming children need lies to exalt their creative capacities is an insult to the mind. Fantasy by way of lies is escapism. Fantasy by way of truths is invention and advancement.
I try not to be peeved.
I really hope, I tell them, my children’s imaginations are not considered compromised for never having drummed up all the ways a fictional creature delivers them materials. More so, I should think they’d feel quite flattered mom credited them with enough selflessness and brains to know this roving pink-cheeked (high blood pressure to be sure!) madman with bags of crap doesn’t exist!
I don’t want them thinking, I say, that giving is simply the reciprocal of receiving.
To this my mom waves me off like a puff in her face. My aunt is still chewing on the word “reciprocal” when my Uncle blurts:
“You’re an asshole! Don’t have kids!”
(Perspective time! My Uncle came over to the United States some 20 odd years ago leaving growing children and an ex wife in Europe to be with my aunt. As he tells it, he was an amazing parent having given his children all the tools they’d need to survive in the world thanks to his “discipline” techniques: a 2×4 and a fist…I should add his only daughter won’t speak to him and his son tried to swing dead from a noose last year…)
But, nevertheless, the Family Chorus agrees. “[Pisaquari] is an asshole!”/rahrahrahrah
Minutes later my younger sis walks in and immediately they are on her with their lassos, ready to reel in another for the Good Side*.
“[Pisaquari’s sister],” they ask, “are you gonna tell your kids there is a Santa?”“
No,” says (radfemmy) little sister. “That’s stupid.”
Now matter how much I try explaining, to the point of going blue/teary-eyed in the face, I am shut down, shut out, called names, black-listed, accused of needing meds, or a variety of other defense tactics spewed from very closed, very scared minds. But, you know, this is not for affect, not for attention–the things I say, the often radical philosophies I hold dearly to are BIG COMPLIMENTS to the capacities of people.
Sometimes I am hopeful enough to think others will catch on.
“I need a new shade of lipstick. It can’t make me look like a prostitute but it has make me look easy.”
Said the pregnant customer to my younger sister who works retail for the beauty industry (much to her disliking).
Proof of the P in ’07!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS YA’LL!
“Shine” Joni Mitchell
This is the kind of return album only Joni can make. Pleasant enough to quietly soundtrack a still day and complex enough to split down the middle verse, arrangement, and sound. She is so sharp. As always she leaves you longing for those conversations you don’t have often enough with the best friend you wish you saw more.
Read about her grammy nom for “Shine” and other wonders here: www.JoniMitchell.com
“Icky Thump” White Stripes
Jack plays guitar against a backdrop of blues tradtions he chops and slaughters, using only the most ferocious and electric remains, to create his messy and acclaimed cut/paste style. For many, his is an acquired sound, a new ear for blues that startles the unsuspecting with jumpy volume mixes. Meg’s style, always suprisingly perfect for Jack’s playing, finds a new direction in the more Celtic and Spanish tracks.
More on White Stripes here: http://www.whitestripes.com
Just another traipse down Rape Culture Way.
A Saudi Arabian woman, who was sentenced to 200 lashes for being with an illegal property owner, has been pardoned by the King Abdullah. Apparently, the young woman was sitting in a car with another man whom she was not married or related to when a group of seven other men abducted and raped the pair. The original sentence was 90 lashes but more than doubled last month as the sentence for the rapists was set at 2-9 years.
This noble gesture by a King over a piece of Saudi Arabian real estate gave me a much-needed dose of negotiated-to-lowest-common-denominator joy. But imagine the nervous laugh-cry I gave* when I read this:
“the White House has expressed its “astonishment” over the woman’s sentence. Canada called it barbaric.”
Now, clearly, I understand the international public relations crapshoot that is Bush&Good Ole Boys, Inc. And Canada is no Consent Revolution either (rape convictions at a going rate of 8%). So when countries tsk tsk other countries for an act they hardly criminalize in their own country I have to call bull shit.
The White House is no more astonished Saudi Arabia decided to lash this woman (over sending her here as a mail-order bride) than they are to learn there is something called “rape.” You see, here in the United States (and elsewhere), nonconsensual piv sex is hot. People fantasize about it—masturbate to it–meet up with each other off networking sights to act it out.
If you can wrap your head around this mess you’ll generally understand it to work something like this: sexual acts are really hot when people have consented to suspend the disbelief that what they are engaging in has not been consented to.
The overall wtf-ness of this only escalates when these same-often “feminist” toting- rape fantasizers get wind of yet another “rape” trial gone terribly wrong here or abroad (think: “what was the little slut wearing/drinking” variety).
Outrage! they cry. Who would do such a thing!? That’s soo fucked! Disgusting/pathetic/horrifying. I mean, like, UGGH!…gonna be sooo hot to act out later though…”
Listen, I get it. You “consented” to indulge in the very thing that keeps your sisters down. And somehow you also claim to be a consent crusader. But I can no longer take anyone seriously when they claim to want to preserve the righteousness of consent while simultaneously getting off imagining it’s not there.
I mean…Have you read the rape statistics? Have you any idea about South Africa? The Congo? Comfort women? Your deep-ceded dominance/submission conditioning to patriarchy’s whims? Have you ever thought about what consent would look like without all your social constructs? Do you know nonconsensual acts destroy lives? Are keeping you down right now?
Why in Lucifer’sHotTub do you think we are in a position to muddy these waters?!?!
Seriously…Cut that shit out.
-No “feminist” who defends these acts as salvageable for womynkind is an ally of womyn.
-No “feminist” who conflates what gives her genitalia pleasure with the liberation of womynkind is an ally of womyn.
The amount of cognitive dissonance it takes to even maintain these sorts of positions within feminist spheres is incomprehensible.
*A note on the “nervous laugh-cry”: I do it often, unbeknownst to myself. It sounds like a good hearty HAHA and can be quite off-putting for those who maintain (how?!) a straight/sad face while relaying horrific tales of oppression. No, no, not me. It is a survivor technique, a release of temporary serotonin so I don’t temporarily go insane while absorbing the very Real and Disturbing nontemporary situation that is The Patriarchy**.
**Normally I don’t extend such defensive explanations but I understand there are a lot of SICKO’s out there who get their funnies off rumblin’ over some good ole rape tales–I won’t be associated.
Watch. Then go create.
(warning: video uses a couple paintings of typical nudie art but they are fleeting)