Monday, March 25, 2013

Springtime in the Rockies! Ain't nobody got time for that.

Oh boy. The posts across the country from my friends about spring are just givin' me a case of the facepalms. Yes, it is spring. Has been now, too, for about...oh...less than a week now. At least from a calendar standpoint. And because it is now the season of bunnies and daffodils and crocuses and robins and finches and new beginnings, said friends are assuming that spring also means, with little variation, warmer weather. And less/no snow. These are friends that, I must hasten to add, live in such temperate locales as New Hampshire and Wisconsin and Colorado. And when we get snow...OMG what's happening it can't be happening here it's SPRING not winter that dadgum groundhog lied to us all!!!

Please. Snow in spring - even large storms - are as common as Easter. Every year we get 'em. March is the snowiest month on average in Denver...and this year has proven this statistic right - the storm from two days ago gave us 10 inches of glop, a week or two after another 8" storm. I've seen big snowstorms hit Denver as late as late April. Snow can hit us in May. There's even been a trace of snow measured in June here before. And I'm certain that the aforementioned locales have similar weather patterns. So hesh, you. Bitching about snow after March 20th makes as much sense as bitching about summerlike weather after September 20th.

Besides, I'm no fan of shoveling snow (did I REALLY have to forget taking down the snowblower AGAIN this winter?), but at least at this time of year, it's nice to have light at 7:00 while you're shoveling.

And apropos of nothing, here's your dose of late '70s yacht rock. Some songs you forget about for years. Then you hear 'em, and either they promote involuntary reverse peristalsis, or they just hit you all kinds of right. This one's the latter for me. (With apologies for that damned ad before it.)

Thursday, March 21, 2013


There. I said it. And I fully believe it, too.

I haven't been camping out at the Steubenville courthouse, so anything I hear has been second-hand, but the media aren't looking too good for making the boys out to appear victims. As well they shouldn't. As far as rape goes, that looked awfully premeditated and...well, isn't that the definition of "first-degree"? And yet again, the young woman was blamed for being...what? Overly seductive? Too much of a tease? REALLY? Have some respect - for yourself and DEFINTELY for her. Think about her family. Her friends. Her future. Think beyond your crotch and the next 15 minutes.

So. How not to annihilate rape culture: Exhibit A.

A good friend posted this tonight, and again, I agree with the sentiment. But GOD. As a man (and yes, I place myself in the company of all my brothers, straight and otherwise), this reeeeeallly rubs me the wrong way. Allow me to retort to certain of these 10 tips to end rape.

1. Don't put drugs in women's drinks? Fine. (Already biting my tongue to hold back the snark here.)
2. Got it. The next time I see a woman walking alone, I will leave her the HELL alone.
3. I will do my damndest to hold back my animal urges when I pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down. Actually, tellya what. I won't even bother pulling over. My animal urges might get the best of me.
4. I will make sure not to rape a woman if I happen to get in a lift/elevator and she's the only one there. In fact, I will just stay the hell away from her. Won't even get in the goddamned elevator. Who knows what awful impulse could come over me?
5. I will stay the HELL away from the window of a woman's house. I will stay the HELL away from a woman if she is anywhere near two parked cars. And I SURE AS HELL will not rape her.
6. I am so fucking stupid and violent that I can't keep from assaulting myself, let alone assaulting other people. I am the very embodiment of why the buddy system is so badly needed to protect the citizenry of our good society. Ya know, why don't you just arrest me on account of I may do something rash anyway. Probably better for all involved. Consider it a preemptive strike in the war against rape.

Okay. I can't go on. You see how twisted and perverse I get? This graphic is so incredibly demeaning and condescending and disrespectful and sexist that it just makes my skin curdle. Makes me want to have absolutely NOTHING to do with women. And it definitely makes me want to have absolutely NOTHING to do with anything rape-related. Including helping those who have been raped.

I know that my sentiments come across as infantile when compared to the very legitimate anguish that a rape survivor has to deal with for the rest of his (yes, I said "his"'s not a crime exclusive to women) or her life. And I admit that I have my emotional funny bones - hit me in just the right spot, and you'll cause a deep, irrational, lingering response. This graphic does exactly that. This is NOT the way to address the issue of rape. It may be a way for women to get their anger and frustration out, but it's perilously close to counterproductive.

Reminds me once of seeing a woman on the college lecture circuit. She was incredibly brave to come forward and talk about her experience of being raped repeatedly one night in college. It was brutal to hear. It was also tremendously unnerving to hear how she had to muster up the courage to report to her RA about it. His response? Silence, at first. Then getting up from the chair, and punching a hole in the wall. Because that's what she really needed to experience after such a violent attack: another indirect form of violence.

Annihilating rape culture. As if that's something that could just be permanently and quickly erased. But here's a start. Once again, our man Hank here to save the day. Key quote: "To me, the problem that needs to be addressed is where in the information chain were the two offenders made to understand that what they did was not wrong on every possible level?" Another key, kickass quote: "...let young people understand that women have been kicking ass in high threat conditions for ages and they are worthy of respect." THAT'S what I'm talking about.

(No. Seriously. If you didn't click on Hank's link above, fucking click on it and read it in its entirety.)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"...and morally...uh...straight?"

Let it never be said, much to my chagrin, that I was ever a consistent blogger. I feel like perhaps I should do the hackneyed "answer one question every day for a month" routine, just to keep my quill semi-sharpened...and you, my adoring few fans, on the edge of your seats. On to the pithy stuff, shall we?

The new pope: Meh. I'm not Catholic, and only by the most tangential of tangents Christian. I should care exactly why? The whole thing reeks of an insanely ornate drag pageant, anyhow, with no links to the real world. The pope is the closest person to God? Please. I'm sure Jorge is a perfectly fine fact, on the surface, he looks infinitely better than Ratzinger ever did (not that that's a high bar to clear), but I just...Look. Much ado about nothing, in my book.

Retrograde Mercury: c'mon, people. Get realistic. It's a planet. Because a planet looks like it's reversed its course in the sky for a bit does not mean it's the cause of all manner of communication and/or transportation snafus that may occur at that time.

Boy Scouts of America has sent out a survey to pretty much everyone associated with them in re: how to wring their hands about the whole gay thing. Yours truly got the survey as well (I was an Eagle Scout), and you best believe I filled it out and sent it back. I had to laugh about the whole "is it okay for a homosexual to share a tent with a heterosexual" questioning. Well, it hasn't seemed to be an issue up to this point, and this sort of thing has been going on since...oh, since the beginning. We're just now out about it. Honestly, I'm glad the dialogue is taking place. I reiterate what I originally said about the potential ramifications of undoing DADT: if a gay boy/young man is coming on too much and disrupting the morale of others in their patrol/troop, then that's an issue that should be addressed by confronting said guy. If others are just really freaked out about OMG ONE OF TEH GAYZE IZ AMONGST US! AAAIIEEE!, then that's a whole other issue, and those guys need to sit down and ask themselves exactly why they are so freaked out. I expect that as time goes on, this will approach the level of non-issue. At least amongst the more rational of those associated with BSA.

Today's Grumpy Cat post brought to you by a mom who once thought - and bragged to her friends - that I read through the Bible three times. (Nope...not even once. Really not sure where she got that.) Also brought to you by the friends of mine who, despite their wits about them, still lean on astrology as a crutch (and believe that retrograde Mercury is the source of all their woes a few times a year). Finally brought to you by a fellow summer camp counselor back in the mid '90s who fantasized with me about just fleeing to Mexico together and shirking our duties as aquatics director and wilderness survival counselor...and who let on that to him, homosexuality was not an issue. (Still smacking my head over totally missing exactly what he was saying to me.)