Saturday, October 24, 2009

Aunty Christ just wants your extra time and your

Hey, Internet. Please cease and desist the following: Fail, facepalm, nomnomnom. Thank you. Love, Aunty Christ.

Although all but the last in that series has amused me at least once, I am increasingly annoyed by all of the above—and, quite probably, any and all new neologisms that will come to replace them. Nomnomnom is actually just disgusting, and I feel bad for using it here. I certainly shan’t ever again.

Dear Society, I find your interest in the following topic to be troubling: Cougars. Please drop it. Love, Your Aunty Christ.

It’s true that it’s only the terminology that’s (kind of) new—oh, for fuck’s sake, why don’t we call in-shape older ladies cougars?—as, for at least as long as I’ve been alive and paying attention, men have seemingly felt ambivalently turned on by hot old broads. What was Dynasty if not one person’s ode to the sexy mama? Call it the hag-whore syndrome. The thing that irritates me about this cougar business is that, on the face of it, it appears to give value to ladies who otherwise have no worth (Come on! They’re over 30!), but in reality, whatever value they are given in terms of male attention is negated through asking us—everyone, I guess—to view them as clowns

I could go on, but really. That was topical maybe a year ago. I’m just trying to vomit up all my peeves, old and new.

Why is that, you ask? Am I trying to make room in my spleen for future annoyances? How perceptive of you, my child. I am!

One of my favorite blogs, a few weeks back, had a post in which the blogger explained that she had recently remembered that one must make time for things that make one feel good, as though it were a job or something. Which is something that I knew, once, too, and then forgot, and now have had pointed out to me again. And while it’s true that there is almost no end to the time that I can set aside to do things like drink PBR Light or become irate at things I find on the Internet, I often tell myself that I will go for a bike ride once these four files are done—but then I realize that the thug dogs need to go outside, and then it’s time for a PBR Light, and fuck. Will you look at that? Where does the time go.

Being reminded again that my brain, small as it is, can’t be expected to make time in its busy schedule for things that are good for it, I have joined a gym. Earlier tonight. So, I haven’t actually been there to exercise yet, unless exercise is meant in a more general fashion, such as “Signing up for a gym membership was an exercise in frustration.” I also, at the gym, petted two small dogs, so it’s kind of worth it already.

Along with the recommitment to health (gym!), I have decided to start going to the Humane Society every now and then to “volunteer,” by which I mean, of course, kiss and coo at tiny animals like an insane person. I mean, fuck. Why not. It helps the Society somehow (I guess), and it helps me immensely. An hour of kissing tiny animals is like eight whole hours of kicking Glenn Beck, for me. Although, to be fair, I’ve never actually kicked Glenn Beck, so for now it’s just a hypothetical comparison. I kind of would like to try, just to test out my theory.

Long-time readers will remember that I have an irrational love for differently abled critters. This little guy is blind in one eye and therefore adorable. I kissed him so much! Yes, I did!

And here is his mate, who is wearing, like, the worst rug ever. Shh! Don’t tell him. He thinks it looks real.

So, I’m feeling kind of happy about life and all that. Can I say, though, that the blog world—at least the one I inhabit—is kind of crazy lately? Can I say that? I cannot go into every example, because that would take a very long time indeed, and I kind of feel like getting out of the house at some point. But briefly: Reading comment threads annoys me more and more these days. In one of the blogs I read was a comment thread in which one young woman commented (kind of off-topic, to be fair, though not in a really alarming way) something along the lines of “Meghan McCain? Don’t like her. She’s disingenuous and smart enough to fool some people into thinking she’s changed the subject, but not smart enough to say anything interesting.” Other people said (in essence), “But Meghan has been trashed by men for her appearance, and trashed by everyone for being a young woman in politics, and as feminists we really shouldn’t pile on to criticize a woman who’s already been criticized so much. Especially when so much of the criticism is just due to her being a woman.”

And I see that point. (If that was the point that was trying to be made—I’m explicitly not using direct quotes, as I’m trying to talk about my interpretations of such, and not what other people, who I do not know, think about some public quasi-political figure I could care less about.) On the other hand, if feminism is about not criticizing or judging or hating other women, no matter what they do or how very much I hate them? Can’t do it. I just can’t. I hate everyone, fair and square, by fuck. I promise not to hate you because of your gender, race, religion, fashion sense, hook hand, nasty breath, smelly lunch, accent, what have you, but there’s a good chance there’s something about you I dislike. Your giant out-of-control dog with whip scars all along its back. Your propensity to scream at everyone you live with. The garbage that you throw into my back yard because you’re too lazy to place it in a garbage can. (Yes, each of those examples describes my neighbor. Yes, I hate her a lot.)

Point is—or at least I think this was my point—people are awful. They make me want to pet tiny animals. (Until such time as Mr. Beck’s shins are available.) People comment on blogs. Blog comment threads are awful.

Except for mine, I mean. You guys are the best.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Aunty Christ buys some beer

  1. Won the stupid essay contest. Even without the form. Put that in your ear, sticklers.
  2. Didn’t get the ACLU internship.
  3. Still waiting for my LSAT scores. And by “waiting,” do I mean refreshing my Yahoo email every 1.5 minutes? Yes I do.

A few nights ago, at the local organic grocery store, I bought two 18.7-ounce bottles of Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal, two giant cans of thug food, an overflowing sleeve of Dancin’ Goat coffee beans, and a carton of half and half. Threw the whole mess on the conveyor belt and watched the checkout boy ineptly hit on the foursome in front of me, who desired to buy a six-pack apiece. They were approximately—I think—22-23 years old, each of them.

“Can I see you fine-lookin’ ladies’ IDs?” our hero said.

They collectively patted themselves and concluded that they had left their wallets at home.

“All right, all right. Next time,” said our red-cheeked lad.

I stepped to the cash register and slid my debit card through.

“You want a bag for these?” he asked. I nodded, and he shook open a tiny paper bag and started to put my items inside

Moments later, I had a heavy, fully packed bag, with the cream carton and the beers’ foily heads peeking out.

“Uh—you kin stick it under your arm.”

“I’m sorry?”

““Wha’?” said our boy.

“That sounded odd,” I said.


“The way you phrased that was strange,” I said, very slowly, as if talking to a very small child, who is hard of hearing and perhaps a bit slow.


“It’s all right,” I enunciated. I balanced the bag in my arms and quickly walked away, taking comfort in the knowledge I’d be home soon with Rich, who shares my disgust in stupidity, wherever it is found.

“Hello, Sir. I think you were telling me where I might stick this? Your ideas fascinate me.”

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Aunty Christ is lucky in bed

To be completely up-front about it, this is less of a blog post and more of the kind of long, rambly letter I would write to you if you were my best friend who lives too far away for us to talk every day.

Rich and I met the She-Bear and Rich’s mom and her husband and Rich’s brand-spankin’-new-college-freshman niece at a Chinese restaurant last night. It was fun, and it was also something of a special treat, since I haven’t seen any of them in a very long time. Case in point: Halfway through dinner I noticed the She-Bear (who I haven’t mentioned on this site for a while, so I will point out to you that she is Rich’s gorgeous daughter, who is a brand spankin’ new college sophomore) had gotten her braces off, but I was embarrassed to say anything because (1) it had been so long since I’d last seen her, that it’s quite possible she actually has had them off for eight months or so, and (2) it had been so long since I’d last seen her, that it’s quite possible that she had them off the last time I saw her, and in the intervening time period I completely forgot about that and now it seemed totally new to me, and now I fear that for the rest of my life, every time I see her, I’ll say, “Hey, you got your braces off!” and it will become clear to everyone except myself that I have lost my mind.

Anyway, at the end of the dinner came the obligatory fortune cookies, and one by one we went around the table reading from the slip of paper that fate had bestowed upon us. They were all pretty typical fortune-cookie fortunes: You have a surprise coming, or You are a good person, etc. Except for mine.

Like so, more or less.

And it’s true. I really do.

All of the above was my long-winded way of saying that I am so, so just baffled by life right now.

Over the past few weeks, I entered an essay contest for free entry into a workshop-type networking opportunity thingy, interviewed for an unpaid internship with the ACLU, and took the LSAT. Over the last few days I realized that I only submitted half of what I needed to submit to qualify for the essay contest, so that’s something that I can probably just assume I’ve failed. I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for a response from the ACLU people, but since I was told at the interview that they would make their decision in about a week and a half, and Friday marked the week-and-a-half point, I’m figuring I’m on the Easy Let-Down E-Mail list and not the Congratulatory Phone Call list.

So that leaves the LSAT. And here’s the thing: I was feeling superconfident about the LSAT immediately after I took it. On the practice tests I’ve taken, there’s always one logic game that I just don’t get and have to guess on and invariably get wrong. On the LSAT, though, the logic games were easy. The reading comprehension was easy. The essay was a breeze and a pleasure.

But did I do well enough to apply to any of the law schools I want to go to? I won’t find that out for another two weeks.

And it’s killing me.

Well, and frankly the realization that I had only sent part of what I needed to send in for the essay contest kind of completed this overwhelming feeling that something is definitely wrong here. There’s that: an easy mistake. And this: I arrived five minutes late to the ACLU interview, which is a huge no-no. I didn’t leave myself any time to get lost, or to run into traffic—both of which I did—and when I finally parked, around the block from the office, I walked eight blocks out of my way before realizing that I needed to head back the other way to get where I needed to go. And the LSAT? Which I’m now totally obsessing about and hoping that I did well enough to go to, well, not Yale or Harvard or anything, but somewhere within the continental United States and not in, like, Guam or Honduras or something? I did two practice tests while sitting in various bars in Maui drinking fruity cocktails last winter. And that’s it.

I’m putting all this together in my head:

  1. Wanted to win free entry into stupid workshop, but failed to fill out form correctly and didn’t get it.
  2. Wanted to get internship at ACLU, but failed to show up on time and didn’t get it.
  3. Wanted to do well on LSAT, but failed to study at all for it.

So, I’m sabotaging myself, right? Does it mean that I don’t really want what I think I want? Does it mean that I know I’m going to fail anyway and want to be able to blame my failure on lack of proper preparation rather than lack of actual talent or smarts? So dumb. So, so dumb. If I were anyone other than myself, I’d know what to do with this, I think. As it is, no clue. Not a single clue.

Damn fortune cookie. Tell me something I don’t know.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Aunty Christ is perhaps incoherently mad

Hello. Were you hoping that I’d comment on the Roman Polanski rape thing? Because I swear to god I will pull this thing over and talk about the Roman Polanski rape thing right now, if you don’t stop hitting your sister.


Over at Bitch Ph.D., where I hang out on occasion, when I’m not obsessing over other internet things in an effort to avoid actual work, or over other things in general in an effort to avoid actual life, is a post about the Roman Polanski rape thing. In which post is postulated that the really really offensive thing about this particular rape is that the person who Roman Polanski raped was, at the time of the rape, only 13. While Mr. Polanski was 43.

Bitch Ph.D. writes,

I want to make it clear that I really think that the root reason why Polanski raped that girl, rather than just "had sex with" her, is that yes, she was 13 and he was 43. And I suspect that most people who feel firmly that Polanski was a bad man think the same thing--that it wasn't the alcohol, or the drugs, or even the "no" that are the salient issue, but that enormous, enormous age gap. Yes, it would have been rape if she was 40 and he was 43 and she'd said no--or been drunk/drugged--but I don't think we'd be quite as shocked that some folks want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

And in the comments:

Do you not think, though, that if they had been peers--say she was 40--and everything else had been the same, that while yeah (duh) that would also be rape and offensive and blah blah, that it would be somewhat less *outrageously* so?

Point taken. The age gap—that’s pretty outrageous, right? We should all be pretty disgusted by that. And we are, right?

But here’s the thing. I can’t help thinking that when we start placing value judgments on rape situations, we uphold this ideology that values some victims above others. Which totally happens—I get it! The 13-year-old girl is a more shocking victim than the 50-year-old widow. In fact, maybe we find the 50-year-old widow completely laughable as a victim, Right? I mean, she’s old! Who wants to have sex with an old? And anyway, shouldn’t she know better? Hey, lady: Try being more virginal and sympathetic next time, and then maybe society will give a shit!

So, okay. What we’re working with here is a system where the rape of a 13 year old is more shocking and abhorrent than the rape of a 50 year old. Probably, if we were thinking straight about this and not all mad, we could come up with some kind of chart rating the abhorrence level of the rape of various victims:

  1. Children under 14
  2. Children between 14 and 17
  3. Virgins
  4. Young blonde women (particularly if they’re good students)
  5. Mothers
  6. Drunks
  7. Non-English speakers
  8. Drug users
  9. Homeless women
  10. Gay women
  11. Men
  12. Prostitutes
  13. Gay men prostitutes
  14. Drug-addicted prostitutes
  15. Drug-addicted gay men homeless prostitutes

Or some such thing.

But, you see what I just did there? Thirteen-year-old rape victim: Cute as a button, innocent as all get out. Awful! I am shocked! And disturbed!

Forty-two-year-old alcoholic who sometimes lives with her sister, but lately has been living in her car unless she has enough money for a hotel room, who was raped by the night manager of the hotel: Well, that’s too bad, I guess.

Forty-year-old meth addict who sometimes lives with his sister, but lately has been sleeping in the park, who was raped by a guy who picked him up on the street after asking him for a blow job: Well, why the hell did he go with that guy? Why didn’t he fight him off? Didn’t he kind of deserve it? Guy? Raped? Come on!

What it comes down to, what we’re really creating with this value system of victimhood, is a society where it’s kinda-sorta okay to rape some people but not others. Now, am I arguing that it’s not supposed to be shocking when a 13 year old is raped by a 43 year old? Not at all. I just worry that once we decide that the rape of a 13-year-old girl is more horrifying and outrageous than other cases, then it necessarily follows that the rape of a 40-year-old woman does not offend our senses all that much, and so forth and so on.

Again, this is the system that we already have right now. And it sucks. People should be striving to do more for victims, be more compassionate towards all people who are raped, not arguing that the system where some rape is rape-rape and some rape is not really rape just makes good sense, when you think about it.

Some links, for further investigation:

In case you’re still wondering if it was really rape or just statutory rape, here’s the girl’s grand jury testimony.

In case you are under the impression that the girl looked older than 13, and thus Polanski didn’t do anything all that bad, here’s a photo.

In case you don’t know where the term “rape-rape” comes from, here’s the clip.

N.B.: I will stop all this infernal rape-blogging soon. Next post: Puppies—why are they mommy’s wittle baby? Yes they are! Yes they are!