Ssssilly Gender Defaults

First, it escaped.

The director of the zoo expressed confidence that the snake was still in the reptile house and said the snake would probably avoid open areas. “To understand the situation, you have to understand snakes,” Jim Breheny, the director, said in a written statement. “Upon leaving its enclosure, the snake would feel vulnerable and seek out a place to hide and feel safe. When the snake gets hungry or thirsty, it will start to move around the building. Once that happens, it will be our best opportunity to recover it.”

Then it started to tweet.

Then it acquired a tweeting wife.

Then a tweeting mistress.

Then it was recaptured.

The adolescent female snake is in good condition after her weeklong foray into cageless freedom. “We’re really happy to announce that cobra missing for seven days has been found,” Jim Breheny, director of the Bronx Zoo, said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. “She’s alive and well … resting comfortably and secure.”

Or rather, then she was recaptured. The original tweeting snake is still in pretty good condition, but the wife and mistress? I think they’ve got more problems than a #snakeonthetown.

Oopssss.

Huckabee Exposes Right-Wing Projection

A couple of weeks ago, Thers at Whiskey Fire put up a post examining the bizarre ideas revealed by James O’Keefe’s “sting” videos that’s worth thinking about.

But there is another level here that’s worth peeling back.

The most bizarre aspect of this wingnut “sting” is its intended “gotcha.” What the wingnuts thought they would be able to “prove” is that NPR is a biased socialist left-wing organization that would be thrilled to spread Islamist propaganda for a hefty paycheck.

What got the NPR executives fired was their alleged meanie comments about the Teabaggers being racists.

But the O’Keefe ratfuckers did not set this up in order to “bust” NPR executives as media moguls who do not like conservatives.

No, they hypothesized that NPR executives would be delighted to take money from shadowy Muslims and use it to undermine American security.

This is something we’ve been over in regards to the other recent O’Keefe “sting,” of Planned Parenthood. That “sting” depended upon the right-wing fantasy that there exist extensive well-organized juvenile “sex-trafficking” rings, something that upon even cursory examination turns out to be utter crap.

It’s only Thers’ conclusion I have problems with.

What I’m getting at is that I don’t think it is at all recognized the degree to which right-wing “ideas” are merely the emanations of a carefully constructed, internally coherent, yet deeply nonsensical folklore. It’s a hothouse cargo cult that scavenges in plain sight, battening off frequent, generous Fox News airdrop cultivation.

Actually, I rather wish that were the case. However, “folklore” implies that this all happens somewhere away from “real” life, in a land of the other. To a weird friend of that friend who knows everyone, or to those people who end up in the newspaper.

The problem is that these ideas do have analogs in reality–in right-wing reality, where these people live. O’Keefe thought NPR would play ideologue for money? You mean O’Keefe thought NPR was News Corp. He thought there were pools of young people kept subservient and preyed upon sexually by adults? How many authoritarian pastors caught molesting and raping kids do you want listed? O’Keefe thought others would aid the sex rings? How many institutions like the Catholic Church that try to control the sex lives of everyone but their leaders taking sexual advantage of their positions do you need?

It’s no secret that those screaming loudest on the right about redistribution of wealth are supporting a system that has been shifting wealth to the wealthy, or that those screaming about class warfare are insisting on a “shared sacrifice” in which the wealthy contribute nothing. The people who claim feminism is bad for women are not exactly known for supporting women themselves. Those who accuse the left of restriction religious freedom make the claim in support of government endorsing their version of religion over others. While the right is whimpering in fear of communist conspiracies, they’re electing Family men who introduce ALEC legislation.

The list goes on and on. In the latest example of the right being what they claim to fear, we have Mike Huckabee (starting at 30 seconds):

Thanks to Chris Rodda for preserving the footage.

It’s the combination of laughter and applause that gets to me. “Tee hee. Tee hee. Oh, that’s such a daring joke! Oh my blessed God, he’s serious! Yay!” Those who are terribly concerned that schools are indoctrinating our children go from disbelief to cheers when religion and the threat of being shot are added to the mix.

For all the work that the right-wing does to try to make us afraid, I think it’s time we start giving them some return on their investment. From here on out, I’m going to stop talking about conservative bogeymen. Everything they tell me I need to be afraid of, I’ll believe them. They know better than I do what bizarre forms of ugliness and evil want to intrude on our public life.

They have to. They own them. And now I know where to look to find them.

Saturday Storytime: Irish Blood

Tate Hallaway is the author of the Garnet Lacey series of paranormal romances and the young adult fantasy Vampire Princess of St. Paul series. She’s also Lyda Morehouse, who has just published the long-awaited follow-up to her fantastic science fiction AngeLINK series, Resurrection Code.

“Indigo Bunting” belongs to none of those series. It just amuses me. An excerpt:

Myself, I’ve been a good Catholic. Well, good enough to attend Mass every Sunday; not good enough to keep from spending my time in the church watching Fiona McCarthy bow her pretty head so fetchingly. That sight, my boys, was far more divine than anything coming out of the side of the mouth of Father O’Rourke. I can see how the wee folk get such pleasure out of teasing the likes of priests. Sure, and half what they say is nonsense. It’s not proper Irish faith, at all.

Another wave racks through me, braking my reverie. My fists grasp uselessly at the crumbling dirt and shriveled grass between my fingers. I moan lowly. I wish I had the strength to curse. It’s time for going, but I’m not ready yet.

A shadow blots out the sun. I focus on a tall figure standing over me. Sure, and doesn’t it look like the dark angel himself. His eyes strike me most of all. They’re a piercing sort of black. I think they stand out so much due to his pale, almost Irish complexion. I smile. I always knew the Devil was Black Irish, like me.

“So, you’ve come for me then?” I ask. My voice sounds strange to my ears, like it’s coming from a long distance.

“I have.” I’m disappointed not to hear a Donegal accent in his words.

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