The Incomparable Corrupting Influence of Judy Blume (Also: Call Your Senators)

It’s Banned Book Week! And I haven’t written anything about it yet! You must therefore read my Blume babbling! Let’s get started, eh?

So I recently wrote about a new cartoon, Human Kind Of, produced by Facebook. I love that cartoon in part because the pilot takes on the topics of periods generally and menarche specifically with anything but subtlety and sideways reference. Although I was happy to share the cartoon, and happy as well to be informed my link led to pop-up madness (something I’d missed from having 3 ad blockers in constant use), I was disappointed that no one seemed to comment on the ambiguity in the post’s title An Unholy Pit of Horrors Coughs Up Something Amazing.

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Rage and Sickness

It’s hard to know what to say this morning, after Kavanaugh’s nomination to former Justice Kennedy’s seat on SCOTUS received the endorsement of the Republican-controlled US Senate Committee on the Judiciary. I feel rage. I feel nausea. But merely expressing those feelings isn’t nearly enough. Even voting this November, while necessary, isn’t nearly enough. The Republicans have most blatantly betrayed the principles they claim to espouse and at the same moment betrayed the people they represent, the traditions of the Senate, the Supreme Court, and even the more abstract course of – and frankly possibilities for -justice in the USA. We must understand both the magnitude of the Republican betrayal as well as its motivations and its methods.

This can’t be the post that does that. There will be many books written about those topics by persons far more knowledgeable than I. But I know enough to appreciate some of the magnitude, motivations, and methods, and even something as lowly as a pseudonymous blog post can be part of the initial efforts to understand these things. This post won’t do much in that department. I will write more later today and certainly even more over the weekend. But right now I encourage you to think not of my rage or sickness, but of that of Republicans generally and Republican Senators specifically.

Lindsey Graham has been called out, most appropriately, for his outbursts in yesterday’s Republican debacle. His rage is quite visible, quite audible. If like mine your skin tightens and your hairs stand while listening to his wounded aggression, his rage is palpable. But what is the content of that rage? It is most certainly complex (in ways future books will show), but the lions share is visible to all: he rages at checks upon his powers and prerogatives. I submit that much of the Republican Senatorial rage is similar. He takes personally the idea that he must pay a political cost in voting to confirm the nominees that will enact his anti-woman, anti-abortion agenda. With Republicans the majority in the Senate, he expects to be able to pack SCOTUS. With Kavanaugh rendered obviously unfit due to the petty lies in his testimony that would make him a perjurer even were he entirely innocent of the assault on Dr. Blasey Ford and also by the partisan temper and conspiratorial thinking on display in yesterday’s testimony, there is little time left for Trump to nominate anyone new before the midterms. He has the majority right now, but his power to do as he wills to the future of the US Constitution, its judiciary, and its practice of justice is hedged, impinged. It is not even eliminated, as shown by the committee’s vote this morning, but it is made both difficult and politically costly by the nation’s witness of Blasey Ford’s testimony and Kavanaugh’s pettiness, dishonesty, and entitlement.

The sickness, well: there’s never been a time when the Senate hasn’t been sick. Classism, sexism, and racism (just to name 3) have plagued the Senate since its inception. Yet the Senate has made progress. Now instead of simply dismissing the idea of a woman Senator of south-east Asian dissent, we actually have a couple! We just don’t let them use the private elevator. With so much distance between 1789, cultural as much as temporal, it’s easy to imagine that change as gradualist. But the change in Senators’ votes and positions over time, while constant, differs vastly in rate at different times. Sometimes the change does seem to move us toward a better society. Other times it moves us distinctly backwards, undoing positive changes that came before. But more frequently than moving backwards, it does neither of these things: changes move us towards a worse, more unjust society, but not the same unjust society as years before. When I can better organize my thoughts, I’ll talk more about the sickness I see today that is different from the sickness I saw 27 years ago when the Senate tormented Anita Hill. But for now, I will satisfy myself by saying that I believe this is one of those times. The Senate is developing new symptoms of disease rather than merely re-experiencing some that had been in remission.

To say what must be said will take us years, so let us act first, even as we are uncertain of the details of any necessary solutions, even as we are uncertain of the details of all the present problems. Contact your US senator, if you have one. Do what must be done even if it seems all hope is lost. Do your Dylan Thomas. Learn your Edmund Burke. Together we will become our Margaret Mead.

 

Hold My Beer: Lindsey Fucking Graham

I would think it was bad enough that your own party is defending as appropriate to promote to the Supreme Court someone credibly accused of attempted rape. I can understand an argument that it’s inappropriate to punish someone criminally for their 1982/3 behavior in the year 2018. Those arguments led to our statutes of limitation, and though we can debate whether they’re appropriate in every jurisdiction in every instance, in general they’re a good thing. But the issue is not whether or not Kavanaugh goes to jail. The issue is whether or not we confirm someone credibly accused of  getting off scot free with the attempted rape of a 15 year old girl after that person was nominated by someone who made this statement reveling in the fact that rich men get away with the sexual exploitation of teens:

“Before a show, I’ll go backstage and everyone’s getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it,” he said. “You know, I’m inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good.”

“You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody okay?’” he continued. “And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.”

So I cringe – or worse – hearing various incarnations of the GOP’s assertion that the rules that apply to criminal prosecutions also apply to confirmation hearings. That’s bad, and the GOP has been doing it for a couple weeks now. But Lindsey Graham just wasn’t satisfied that the GOP’s message was bad enough.

From Raw Story:

“All I can say is that we’re 40-something days away from the election and [the Democrats’] goal — not Ms. Ford’s goal — is to delay this past the midterms so they can win the Senate and never allow Trump to fill this seat. I believe that now more than ever.”

“I don’t know who paid for her polygraph, but somebody did,” he continued, raising his finger into the air. “The [Democratic] friends on the other side set it up to be just the way it is.”

“I feel ambushed as the majority!” the senator added.

ZOMG: Lindsey Graham thinks that he is the victim.


It’s also worth noting that this isn’t nearly the only crappy thing Graham has said today. WeHuntedTheMammoth has a roundup of many crappy things being said…about half of which are by Graham. Yeesh.

Girls Ruin Everything

The Guardian is telling me that Tennessee has given us yet another example for our ongoing examination of school dress codes and the sexism and racism found therein.

The evidence is, of course, subtle, but for those with a devil-worshipping, anti-christian, misandric bias, you can probably find reasons to believe there is a bit of sexism in the statements of Jared Hensley, athletic director of Soddy-Daisy High School:

I know, boys, you’re thinking, ‘I don’t understand why, it’s not fair, athletic shorts go past your knees’ … If you really want someone to blame, blame the girls. Because they pretty much ruin everything,” said Hensley. “They ruin the dress code, they ruin … well, ask Adam. Look at Eve. That’s really all you really gotta get to, OK. You can really go back to the beginning of time. So, it’ll be like that the rest of your life. Get used to it, keep your mouth shut, suck it up [and] follow the rule.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that the Guardian also reports that the sexist educator is now on administrative leave. Maybe also, too, we’ll find certain other individuals that have gotten media attention for their sexist, misogynist behaviors will also, too find themselves officially not working sometime soon!


There’s a video of it, in case you want to watch:

An Unholy Pit of Horrors Coughs Up Something Amazing [Ed: Updated Link!]

I am not on Facebook. I believe the company is pretty horrible with their disrespect for their own users. yet there’s something called “Facebook Watch” which apparently funds the creation of videos. This is the first one I’ve ever come across and it is AMAZEBALLZ.

You’ll have to watch it at Kiss Cartoon or on Facebook, if you do that kind of thing (I won’t judge), but if this is your first experience with the cartoon Human, Kind Of, race back here and tell me what you thought. Won’t that make a nice distraction from the Kavanaughcalypse? Of course it would. Go watch it right now.

Each episode is only 5 or 6 minutes. There are only 6 eps available at Kiss Cartoon, and only 6 listed at Wikipedia, but IMDB says that the first season (which started this month) is 21 episodes long, so it looks like this is a slow-rollout like a network show, rather than a mass upload like a Netflix series. So it looks like we’ll get to look forward to drips of deliciousness for months to come. Ah, Facebook, you have gone and made me so conflicted that now I’m thinking about … pirating all your content, stealing all your profits, and funding awesome shows like this without the attached evil.

What. Have You. Done!?!


Update: I changed the link to a youtube link found by ridana. Turns out that my adblockers made me fail to notice that kiss cartoon is a riot of pop up ads. Hopefully that will be a much friendlier link for folks!

The NYTimes & I Agree on Something

So, you may have read my recent post asserting that we need not focus on, much less prove, Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh to justifiably oppose, even strongly oppose, his confirmation. Law professor Kate Shaw of the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University has written an editorial for the NY Times that agrees with me in certain important ways, though she does implicitly place more importance on Blasey Ford’s allegations than I do.

She also adds something that I did not when I stressed Kavanaugh’s likely perjury during his own confirmation hearings – both his earlier hearings for a lower bench and also the current hearings on his nomination to SCOTUS. Whichever charges we deem most important – perjury over the past week or sexual assault 36 years ago – Kavanaugh is not being criminally tried and the standard of evidence thus shifts dramatically. Even the burden of proof shifts, though more subtly:

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Highlighting Wonkette Wisdom

There was a bit in a piece by Wonkette writer Robyn Pennacchia that was too good not to signal boost:

I have a theory on why women are the primary audience for true crime, for why we are the primary audience for crime procedurals. It’s because justice, for us, is a kind of escapism, it’s a kind of fairy tale — about as likely to happen in real life, to us or to anyone we know, as a pumpkin turning into a carriage. Nearly every single woman I know who has reported a rape or a sexual assault to the police has been told, more or less, to fuck off, nearly every one has been retraumatized. We have hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits, just hanging around in warehouses.

I, too, have watched hours of Law & Order in its original and SVU incarnations. I, too, have come to the conclusion that the criminal justice system is aptly named. How do I combine a dislike of how rule of law is exploited to produce its opposite and along the way perpetuate injustice after injustice with an affection for shows such as this? It’s exactly what Pennacchia said: fantasies can be as comforting as fresh baked bread.

Kavanaugh’s Nomination Should Fail, But Not Necessarily For The Reasons You Think

Just now there is a fucktonne of writing being produced about Brett Kavanaugh’s assault of Christine Blasey Ford. Here’s one on FtB. Here’s another. You can read them and the thousands of others like them if you wish. I’ve read some. I’m not going out and seeking more, because I’m not convinced that Ford’s allegation, even if proved true in every detail, is the best reason to kill Kavanaugh’s nomination.

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Bad Journalism 101: Perverted Motels Edition

Content Note: Child Sex Abuse

So, we here in my head are, as you might expect from the title of this blog, quite interested in both perverts and perversion. We believe that our blog name can and should be interpreted in 2 ways:

  1. Perverts deserve justice in the same way non-perverts deserve justice, and
  2. The course of justice must sometimes be perverted, that is redirected from what in the past had been considered the just outcome. After all, every major advance in justice has been denounced as a perversion of justice by someone.

But despite our interest in these topics, we never expected to have to defend motels from non-consensual obscene photography. Yet, apparently there is such a need. The following is an actual quote from Rawstory:

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