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Showing posts with label Political/Social Issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Political/Social Issues. Show all posts

Thursday, June 25, 2015

~ I'm A Loser, Baby: The True Heritage Of The Confederate Flag

Soon we'll celebrate 239 years as a republic with all of the cautionary mannequin burning, exploding watermelon, 'annnnnnnd that's how I lost my eye/hand' firework-y glory we can muster.  It's (July 4th) a celebration of winners.  Ask any American and they'll tell ya the story of plucky patriots who kicked Team King George's ass. 

They'll probably leave out that roughly 20% of the boots on the ground at the time were Loyalists.  For those historically challenged, Loyalists were colonists who took the side of the redcoats. 

Things you never hear: 
"...My 5x great grandfather was a loyalists."
 
Things you always hear: 
"...My 5x great grandfather was a patriot."
 
Mathematically this doesn't hold up.  ...Somebody's lyin'. 
Apparently, about one in 5 of everyone that tells ya of their looooong
line of American lineage has a pants on fire problem. 

By all rights up to 20% of Americans capable of tracing their familial roots to Revolutionary times should shake out to be what we would call, losers.  We don't.  But only because A) as a whole we're pretty shitty at knowing/understanding history and 2) Loyalists got to the 'bidness of lickin' their wounds and assimilating, (or movin' to Canada/hoppin' the boat back to England) and not to the 'bidness of holding onto a symbol of their traitorous beliefs and behaviors.   In short they had the good fuckin' sense to stop drawing attention to their participation with the loser side of history. 

...And that's the part of the confederate flag debate I've never understood.


For the life of me I can't grasp the concept of highlighting loser endeavors and affiliations.  There's a reason Coke doesn't remind us about New Coke, Ford isn't pushin' hard to feature the Pinto as part of their corporate heritage and the Cubs don't have a big ass mural devoted to the '19 scandal team in the outfield.   It's the same reason I, as a staunch Buckeye fan, don't rock a commemorative t-shrit from the '08 BCS National Championship Game.  (Or listen to, with any measure of enjoyment The Eye Of The Tiger anymore) Thanks, LSU

Reminder:  #LoserStrong (Is not an actual thing.)

That anyone would choose to hitch their heritage to the most spectacular attempt of sedition in our nation's history is batshit crazy boggling.  ...For ya know, folks who ostensibly would like ya to believe they're grrrrreat 'n loyal Americans.  'Cause nuthin' says 'loyal citizen' like, yeah, I'm down to wage war to overthrow our government.

The fact that 150 years after the end of the Civil War the confederate flag, the official symbol of a failed insurrection, is still so widely and popularly displayed leaves me only to assume that somewhere there's a large contingent of those who do fly a confederate flag who are also probably involved in petitioning for a National Benedict Arnold Day and in the push for Aaron Burr to replace Hamilton on the $10.   


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Friday, January 23, 2015

~ My Big Fat Abortion Stance

I have never had an abortion.


It was just never for me.  (BBG Disclosure:  I spent my formative years matriculating at Our Lady Of Bad Catholic Kidz.)  It was never something I considered.  Also, in full disclosure I was never a 15 year old, uneducated, and now severely limited in future life options, child, with a bun in the oven, so I was never faced with deciding between this being the statistical trajectory of my life, or considering an abortion so that some rogue sperm didn't map out the rest of my life (and that of my offspring). 
  • Almost 50% of all teen mothers and more than 75% of unmarried teen mothers begin receiving welfare within 5 years of the birth of their first child [Source: k]. 
  • More than 1/4 of teen mothers live in outright poverty while in their 20's & early 30's, compared to only 7% of women who postpone childbearing [Source: e].

I never had an abortion because I never had to consider how I'd tell a hungry toddler why s/he was going to bed hungry.

I never had an abortion because I never had a doctor inform me I was carrying a fetus with some horrific physical condition that would make its life unsustainable, or full of pain and invasive treatments and fixes that would ultimately serve to prolong life rather than provide any measure of a 'quality' life.  Nor have I been faced with the gut wrenching decision that in order to preserve my life and/or health an abortion was the medical solution.

I never had an abortion because I never needed one to save my life, or to keep another life from being wrought with procedures and an existence I'd never want to my worst enemy to have to endure.  

Never have I known I was too immature to do right by and raise a child and found myself knocked up.  (Fact:  There is nothing else anyone could say they were too immature to tackle that any reasonable person would push them into doing.  But parenthood?  That's the one we're fuckin' ok with?)  Never have I been at my maxim capacity for children I can manage and retain a semblance of sanity and been faced with adding another that I know will create a personally untenable sum.  Never have I not had the financial resources or familial (and friends-y based) support to make a child an unfeasible option.


I have never had an abortion because I have never been part of the 82% of women who have abortions who cite; not being mature enough to have a baby, not being able to afford to have a child, are not ready for another child /have completed childbearing, or didn't wish to be single mothers


  

I have never had an abortion.  But not because I'm opposed to them.  Because I've never been in a position where I felt like I needed one.  I've never been in in a place where opting not to have a child was what I knew was the best decision I could make at the time, and given circumstances at play. 

All of the reasons why I've never had an abortion are exactly the reasons I'm pro-choice. 

Well, those and that some other woman's decision on what is the best state of her uterus is none of my damn business.

While my belief system tells me that life begins when life begins, which is to say under my interpretation, at first breath (meaning a fetus/baby is a viable life when it's able to breathe and sustain life, whether on it's own, or as we're able to with the help of modern day science 'n medicine advancements, medically assisted).  But that's my belief system, admittedly formed by hours and years of religion classes, tutelage in among other things this lil' ditty that seems to be pretty biblically clear on when life begins;  (Genesis 2:7)  And the Lord God... breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.   And while I should have every right to manage my body by those beliefs I should never have the right to make a decision on how another woman, walking a different life path than my experience, with her own set of beliefs and approach to life, must run her body. 



Dear Anti-Choicers,
Save it.  I'm not here to change your minds.  In fact, that's kinda the fucking point.  No one should have to change their minds on this issue.  People, yep, women included, are allowed to hold views that are divergent--  be it to just you or millions, and as long as it doesn't prevent you from living the way your mind (heart, conscience, religious, ethical, moral compass, whateverthehell helps guide ya) tells you to do.  I swear this is true.  Another truth?  A rational response to such a dichotomy is you doin' you and taking care of your own business.  Not,  in lieu of mind changing, legislatively regulating away any option other than the one you'd pick.  In fact, this is what most people do when others engage in practices and/or beliefs that differ from their own, that again have nothing to do with them.  How is anything other than 'You're in charge of you/I'm in charge of me' not a rule of acceptable thumb for how this is approached?   As you see that as being *unreasonable* there really is no starting point to build to any sort of agreement.  So, really.  Save it.
Love,
~ BBG

 
This week is the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  It marks an anniversary of 42 years worth of women who have not died from sketchy back alley and DIY abortions.  (Reminder:  The alternative to access to legal and medically sound abortion isn't, has never been and will never be the end of abortive measures.)   Prior to 1973 it's estimated that 5,000 American women died annually due to lack of safe (licensed medical professional/actual hospital or clinic environment) abortion healthcare services.  Which to give a lil' perspective it is roughly about 1/2 of the number of Americans who will die from skin cancer this year.  Or in girl specific terms, about half the number of women who will succumb to uterine cancer in '15.  While no one celebrates an abortion, I celebrate anything that prevents women from dying.  I celebrate anything that prevents children from being in households that aren't loving and safe, where they aren't wanted, valued and treasured.  I celebrate a woman's right to, like a man, be self governing when it comes to their medical decisions and what does or doesn't happen to and within their bodies.   




Related Abortion-esque BBGWorld Posts:



* The elephant in the blog?  Adoption.  Yes, of course adoption is an option.  Personally I think its a very wonderful and loving option.  I just also happen to think it's not an option I want to see dictated to any woman.   #HerBodyHerRules
 


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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

~ Dear Po Po

As a copkid, I gotta tell ya, nobody wants to type this less than I do.  I have had more conversations backing your play than I could ever begin to accurately calculate.  The little girl who was so proud of her Mom and Dad for bein' badge wearin' badasses?  I remember her.  Mostly because I saw her the last time I passed a reflective surface.  No matter how much gray sets in or how many fine lines I spy, that lil' girl who thinks she comes from near superhero stock because her folks were cops gawks back.  I make it a habit to give shit to any and all fire people I encounter.  Two words:  General principal.  No matter how many gallons of blood I've donated I'm still a bit surprised when I look down and don't see blue filling up the bag.  I am the epitome of a leave the dance with the one who brought ya kinda girl.

Any presupposed notion that I have an axe to grind with the Po-Po is the plot line of your narrative, not mine.  Don'tcha hate when bloggers say things online that they can't backup?  Yeah, me too.  Boom

In fact, what I'm about to ramble say, I say out of a lifetime of love, understanding and respect, and a desire for this?  This climate?  This moment of time?  This way you're being looked at by the public?  This extra nutting up you must have to do these days to do an already supremely difficult job?  ...A true desire for all of this to be over.

I know you think the public has turned on you.  Whenever police are the worst conversations come up I often end up saying something classy along the lines of, 'now that you know this, that 'n the other about a situation put yourself in a LEO's shoes?  What the fuck different do you do?'   --Sometimes a 'viewpoint' is just a lack of earnestly looking at something from the other side.  Personally, I always find it a pretty shitty way to formulate a viewpoint about the 5-Oh, but I also find it a pretty shitty way to formulate a viewpoint about the public outta LE.

Seeing an issue takes eyesight.
Understanding an issue takes perspective. 
And not just your own.

It's a mistake many of you are making.

Please!  I implore you, stop looking at this as a them (civilians) against us (LE) thing.  Yes, I know 20 times a shift you're getting lots of feedback that feels and looks very Us vs. Them.  I swear to you, it's not.  This is a You vs. You thing. 



There is no solution to the protests, side-eyes and criticism you're experiencing that civilians have any control over.  None. 

Think about it.  Hands upping and #ICantBreathe-ing isn't an outcry for LE to turn into hug giving, daisy and crystal carrying softies.  It's not about hatred for the police, although some people are going to hate ya solely because you sport a badge- - some always have and I suspect some always will.  They are known as assholes.   It's a demonstration of the public wanting to see LE practices, procedures and training reflective of a system that does everything possible to avoid unnecessarily killing people.   Yes.  I said 'unnecessarily'.  I fully acknowledge the danger of the job and that sometimes a bad guy gotta die.  When my guy used to Sam Browne 'n vest it up I always sent him away with a reminder that, "you are to come home."  [BBGW post: Shoot Anybody You Have To]  He knew I loved him.  As he hit the streets I needed him to know that whatever popped off that shift, whatever had to happen for him to return to me was what had to fuckin' happen.  Period.  Full stop. People understand necessary deaths.  Ahem.  Reasonable people understand that some situations unfold in a manner that practically precludes anything other than a crim dying from being the outcome.  Those same reasonable people, I, expect that those instances are the result of their bad decisions.  Not that they're the result of your bad decisions.  (Not you specifically, LE-er/random blog stumble on-er.  For the Official Record, I believe that you are probably a part of the overwhelmingly vast majority of law enforcement that is comprised of well intentioned, honorable, kind, brave people called to serve their communities, to keep their neighbors safe and within the bounds of law and order.)  Again, who is best positioned to fix the unnecessary kills at the hands of LE, you or soccer mom Suzi standing on the street with a sign?  My apologies to Suzi's and soccer moms.

What you are actually seeing is an intervention.  You can deny and deflect, or you can choose to recognize that there's a problem that others see very clearly needs addressing. 
Which are you doing?

I hate to sound like I'm Monday morning quarterbacking, it's not my intention.  It's also not my intention to be anything other than (fingers crossed) insightful/helpful as you navigate the collective relationship status update large parts of the public have recently alerted you to. 

Obviously, I'm not the arbiter of what legally constitutes an unjustified kill.  But I have eyes.  And common sense.  And both tell me that with five? Six officers on the scene?  There were other outcomes which didn't involve a man dead.  As anyone with an internet connection can see this wasn't a time sensitive situation that simply stood no chance of de-escalating, where the only solution was going to ground and choke-holding, this wasn't a terrorist with a kill switch, this was a big ass guy selling single cigs on the sidewalk.  Look.   I get that like tango it takes two (or more) to escalate a situation.  But I also get that it's a crims job to be a crim (with all of the dumbassery, poor impulse control and bad decision making skills that accompany it) and it's LE's job to be the professionals in any and every situation that comes down the pike.  LE is trained in de-escalating, it, like qualifying, and paperwork is part of the job.   Having an actual snuff film featuring a failure to handle what probably could should have been the most minor interaction any of those officers had with a criminal element that day, going viral and the subsequent protest is not a sign that they are off the rails.  Give any 'yeah, but' response ya want, my answer would be the same--   Is that how you'd want your loosey slingin' family member to to be managed by the police if they were at the same level of agitation?  Every MOS has that family member.  (Full disclosure:  Mine was a cousin by marriage who got pinched on drug charges.  My Dad had to arrest him.  'Had' is disingenuous phrasing.  He didn't have to, any number of others could have, I think he thought his presence would make a difficult situation go down easier.  Needless to say Christmas's after that were awkward.  j/k.  We didn't Christmas together before.  There is also a distant family member arrested for shoplifting meat from a grocery.  I'm just sayin'; ...family.  We all got 'em.  If one draws down on LE, of course you expect they'll be unloaded on.  But you can't deny that you too would expect them to survive a LE encounter over a minor violation that doesn't include your kin tryin' to get lethal with LE.)     

If the protesters want no more than what your expectation of good policing would look like when applied to your family?  Are you starting to see how this has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with how Team Us is collectively conducting itself?

To get suddenly succinct?  Police your own brass and all of Team Them goes away. 

If you're not inclined to listen to some random blogger listen to @ChiefBlackwell:



Obviously, you are not responsible for any one other than yourself.  Again, most reasonable people understand this.  However, much like when you're working and you know who needs to get locked up, but you jusssssst need some wit to speak the fuck up to be able to start to fix whatever problem you've responded to--   You have to be the person to speak the fuck up in this situation, that is, if you wanna fix the sitch and return to your rightful place of being a looked at as the badasses you are, and not the bad asses we see played out too cringeworthingly often on the news. 

Instead of reacting like protesters have some kinda unmitigated fuckin' gall being outraged, consider why they have so much to be outraged about?

Stop giving people ammunition to be used against you.  If you don't want significant portions of the population to think you are a bunch out of control, bunch together to put a stop to out of control behavior.  What you see that never makes the news, people can't even imagine.  But look at the videos of late that leave nuthin' to the imagination...  Eric Garner12 y/o Tamir Rice.  John CrawfordMarcus JeterLevar Jones.  Marlene PinnockAlbert Flowers.   Officer punching child ...You can't objectively look at those and really wonder how Team Them arrived at suspicion, anger and protest.  I guess, ya can.  Look, it's fillin' up my feeds, but I sure as shit don't recommend it if your looking for perspective and an end to this.  Now, ya might not like how protesters are going about displaying their disdain over what they've seen, but you don't get to pick other people's reactions.  Ever.  But specifically when you've devised, instituted and sanction, either tacitly or expressly what it is they are reacting to.  Ya can't give someone sour milk and then be angry that they don't like getting sour milk, and angry that they puked on your shoe, ya know?  Bottom line is if they have nothing to be up in arms about, then you won't see hands up, et al type reactions.   

BBGProTip:  
This shit?  Is not the way to bolster benevolence from the public. 
It is a great way to ensure hard feelings, skepticism and animosity. 
It's a fantastic way to breed contempt in the communities you serve, and not with the assholes are never going to like you but with the solid citizens who want to have your back-- the people you count on the most aside from your fellow officers.  You're moving the line from hard to almost impossible to back you for too damn many Americans.     

BBGBonusProTip:
It's 2014.  There are cameras e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. 
Act like you understand that. 
(Please Note:  The threat of a viral video shouldn't be the
deterrent to dickhead deeds.  Decency should be.)

As things are, and just so we're clear, here's where we are...  One of my friends is also a copkid [actually, several are] her father recently tried to dissuade his grandchild from considering a career in LE.  Now, I've never known this man to be anything other than proud of his service to his community.  Proud of his profession.  (As he fuckin' ought to be.)  And he's tryin' to talk his grandkid outta badging up.  Not because he's afraid for the kid's safety.  But because he doesn't see any ebb to this current flow of mounting distrust of LE and doesn't want his family member to have to be painted with that brush. 

Maybe I'm naïve, but I believe I think the tide can be turned.  You just have to turn it.  Bad apple practices, procedures and people gotta go.  If your expectation level is that community members have to nut up and help solve a problem in their house/'hood, what would make the LE house/'hood any different? 

A giant step towards nutting up and solving the problems at your doorstep?  This:

As much as many of you would like this not to be a race thing.  In large part it simply is.  Look.  Yes, racism exists in every profession.  And if you aren't a racist, congratulations, you have met one of the bare minimum requirements the public looks for in a law official, and a decent human.  But institutionalized racism doesn't exists without people within the institution lookin' the other way, whether intentionally or out of ignorance.  Regardless, when there is actual evidence (see what I did there?) proving that race adversely impacts the interactions with LE at a disproportionately and disturbingly high level to the detriment of people of color, the U.S.S. BenefitOfTheDoubt has already sailed.  If you're busy denying racism within the ranks you're not adept at taking in clues and are in the wrong job. 

Denying something doesn't make it not so, or better. 
Acknowledging something doesn't make it worse, but it is the first step in fixing it.
If you're not willing to do anything about it you're definitely in the wrong job.  (5-O Fact:  Pussin' out is not a desirable attribute in an officer.)  It's not that people expect that LE should somehow magically be exempt from having bigots in the bunch.  Although you'd have a lot less shit to deal with if magic worked that way. It's not that people somehow think every other profession might/could have racists but LE is the only place the phenomena doesn't exists.  It's that the public expects that you will protect them against that too.  Clearly, that's not the experience of too fucking many citizens. (Or, apparently, fellow officers.)  Reminder:  That's not a Team Them issue to solve.  Team Them being fed up with it isn't the problem.  Media coverage of it isn't the problem.  Hashtactivist aren't the problem.  Too many good cops sitting silently as the dregs degrade the profession is the problem.  Don't be that badge.  Don't let others get away with bein' that badge on your watch.  It doesn't make you a loyal cop.  It makes you a weak one.  And a hypocritical one the next time you're pushing someone to tell the dirt on some sumbag they have knowledge of and you're nine kinds of pissed when they don't. 

I know you think this is a protest.  But if you look it really is an intervention.  As I glance at this long ass and curse-y post (honestly, through a few tears) I realize it's nothing more than that letter you see on TV being read by a family member who wants nothing more than to help to try to coax their loved one to be the best they can be, to help pull them from the grips of what plagues them.  The people on the street?  They might not think of you like family as I do, maybe they'd never sit ya down and have a heart to heart with ya like a good friend would like I sincerely am attempting to be, but make no mistake, no matter how you're seeing the message phrased or framed, no matter how much you don't want to hear that noise all Team Them wants is the same thing the same thing I do--  For this not to be.  For your reputation to be beyond reproach.  For all citizens to consider you their safety and not question if you are their danger.  (The exact same things you should want.)  As with all interventions, regardless of how much others desire *goodness* for you?  This battle to bring that to fruition is ultimately yours.   And I sure hope you want it as much as I do for ya.   I don't know what will happen if you don't.  This is a fulcrum moment.  Please tip yourselves away from the bad apple-ing that is rotting what should always be considered one of the noblest of titles, Police Officer. 

Love,
~ BBG 


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

~ Where's Your Wallet?

In my experience, it's fair to say unless you are currently engaging in the alcohol arts you probably know exactly where your wallet is.  It's one of those items we, with the exclusion of tipsiness, would never really let out of our sight, but more accurately, our presence.  Sans sandman time, we tend to keep our money on us.  Most people go to great lengths to secure their wallet.  It's so the norm that it's hard to conceive of a scenario where you would purposefully put your wallet in danger of being stolen, isn't it? 

Which is what made what I watched unfold earlier today so heartbreaking.

It was a quick stop at a gas station convenience mart for some smokes.  (From the Do What I Say, Not What I Do Files;  Don't smoke.  This isn't hypocrisy, it's when people who do something say you shouldn't do it, that's your sign-risy.)  As I pulled into the parking space a black guy wearin' a black hoodie walked by and in just before me, I passed him in an asile, he gentlemanly stepped outta my way as I breezed by.  That was the extent of my interaction with this stranger guy.  He wound up in front of me in the line for the cashier.  I had taken no special note of him.  Which is sayin' sumthin' because I am one of those drive up to a gas station (really, anyplace) take a second to look to see if anyone/thing looks hinkey before entering type girl.  (aka:  A girl who was raised by Police Officers to be situationaly aware.)  I want some smokes, maybe a pop.  I do not want to walk into a armed robbery, ya know?   

But it didn't take long for black/black hoodie guy to have my full and undivided attention.  As he stepped up with whatthefuckever he was purchasing he said something to the cashier and I watched him turn around step away from the counter, walk towards the motion sensor-y doors, bend down to get his backpack from the floor.  He proceeded to pull out his wallet and return to pay for his items.

As I stood there shame and pity overwhelemed me.  I felt it wash over me from head to toe as I recognized that a man didn't recklessly leave his money at the entrance of a store just begging to be pilfered.  I wanted to be wrong.  And I hate being wrong.  I so wanted him to be a dumbass who just didn't understand the ramifications of leaving ones valuables unattended in a public place.  I knew I wasn't.  But I asked anyway... Come on, humanity-- No Whammies!

"If you've got a second I have a weird question for ya?"

Once I completed my transaction I turned to find black/black hoodie guy misguidedly patiently waiting for me, as we stepped outside I super nosily asked him, "why was your backpack on the floor?" 

His answer?  '...girl, you know.  Less hassle...' 

I heard his words.  But what I felt, what broke my heart and filled me with shame for our society was his subtext;  As a black man in 2014, in America, I live in a culture where it's preferable to have all of the valuables I'm carrying stolen than it is to walk through a store with anything that might give someone even the slightest of notions that I might be committing a crime. 

The next time someone tries to tell you about what a magical post-racial climate we're livin' in before you nod in agreement, ask yourself if that's actually true?  Or if the only truth is that s/he is a skin color that is culturally afforded the benefit of the doubt that s/he probably isn't there to thieve and isn't made feel that in order to avoid being unnecessarily inconvenienced the safest, easiest, best course of action when buyin' a snack is to leave their wallet on the floor by the door?  


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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

~ Election Day: I'm Pissy. Are You?

Election Day reeeeally pisses me off.  ( -- Apparently, I'm easily holiday irritated, as Memorial Day and Veteran's Day also annually bring out my ire. [see below])

How much so?

...Just about this much:

 

Dear America,

Do.  Fucking.  Better.  You're tellin' me 42% (expected midterm voters today) of givin' a shit about active participation of the framework our forefathers set us up with, and payin' our debt to the men (and women) who ensured our ability to freely do so with their lives...  42%That's all ya got?  Now you know that's some bullshit. 

...And nooooo, not just because I say so.  Because, well, look for yourself: 

According to Wiki:
(they average low turnout [midterm] elections and higher
turnout [presidential] elections during ranking period)

This is America.  Why is Estonia beating us in anything?  (Apologies.  No offense, Estonia.  You are a very pretty girl with a great personality.  Now stop crying.)  ...Let alone leading the chorus on 'Democracy:  This Is How We Do It'?  (Fact:  One of Montell Jordan's more patriotic, but lesser known follow up releases.  [Fact:  That was not an actual fact.  Sometimes I just can't help myself.])  And Malta?  A country that by all rights ought to have a frothy chocolate malt as part of their flag is beating our ass double?  Whaaaat?  

Actual Fact:  We can't continue to be all, "USA, We're #1 U-S-A"-y about everything when we're not first in anything.  Including the shit we actually started.  From Malta to Switzerland they are all out USA-ing us.  ...Which should be unacceptable to any and every American.  

But, clearly, that's not the general consensus 'round here.  

Understandably so.  I guess?  I mean, it's fantasy football season, and do you know how many pumpkin flavored items you can buy now?  Plus ebola?  Basically, elections?...  Ain't nobody got time for 'dat.  People are still bloated from binging on Halloween treats.  Tuesday is probably going to be too rainy/cold/snowy/hot/sunny to get to the polls.  In your mule powered covered wagon, back and forth over the treacherous You're Gonna Die Pass that will take 14 hours.  Coupled with the possibility of standing in a line?  We all know lines are for iPhones, concert tickets, Brown Thursday/Black Friday deals, and every four years the DMV. 

Voting takes time, effort and energy.

...Perhaps if they made it easier for us we'd do better... 

Ya know.  Easier, like, fighting off a buncha red coats whilst tryin' to get a nation off the ground.  Or, maybe easy like giving your life in service to your country.  Until then I guess I'll continue to be pissed off every first Tuesday in November. 

Q: Is this the year you join me?

Love,
~ BBG

Update:  2014 Midterm voter turn out worst in 72 years. Only 36.3% of eligible voters voted.
...Like I said, congratulations 'Murica.

Related Posts


 


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

~ I Like Those Titties

...Was exxxactly the reaction I was hoping for when I dressed myself today. (Disclaimer:  ...Now the other day because, I'm a shit blogger.)  So, thanks, three guys' sittin' in the car in the parking lot at Lowes. 

It was pretty awesome to be minding my own fuckin' business running benign errands like buying screen to re-screen my slider and to be put in a position where my choices were to stride over to you and start slappin' every one of your guffawin' faces (which, P.S.  your Mom, sister, wife or daughter would have totally sanctioned upon discovering your behavior towards some random ass DIY capable chick) or ignoring your crass ass comment. 

Today I chose the latter.  You may be wont to believe that I chose that course of action because;  A) It wasn't any big deal.  2)  It was just a joke.  Or III)  It was a no harm/no foul situation.  ...Or any of the other completely bullshit reasons one uses to justify being a, well, I'd say dick, but that would be doin' a disservice to dicks.   It wasn't.  It was because there were three of you and I knew I couldn't take ya all when things inevitably got contentious.  So, congratulations.   You used your time here on earth today to be an asshole to some skirt who had the audacity to need to leave her house to buy something, and have boobs. 

Now these were grown ass men.  Forties?  50's?  Old enough to know that, "I like those titties" (replete with laughter) is lame, rude and as I mentioned earlier, asshole-y.  I've always found it vexing how guys, especially ones old enough to, ya know, know better (otherwise known as: older than 5) and those with daughters (/mothers/sisters/grandmothers/wife/et al*) somehow delude themselves into thinking speaking/treating someone else's daughter in a "I like those titties" way is acceptable and appropriate. 

In fact, if I were a bettin' chick I'd wager tens of dollars that if any one of those guys heard some other guy(s), "I like those titties"-ing their wife/daughter/sister/etc., as she participated in mundane tasks-- like, getting out of her car,  it'd be ass kickin' time.   

Today it wasn't. 

But only because I displayed a judicial use of good judgment.  Not because it wouldn't have been an appropriate reaction.  As I told one of my besties, AnonD, "it wasn't a, I had to fight 3 men situation."  In the moment nobody on the face of this earth wanted to fight 3 men more than me. 

Which for those keeping score cards is when and where the line is crossed between a dumbass comment that one may find offensive, and one that no fuckin' bones about it is offensive.  

Pro Tip: 
If a woman's reaction to your 'flattering' comment is
contemplating committing a violent act on you? 
Consider your approach a fail. 


Yep.  Always...  WTF, guys?


Obviously, "I like those tittles" isn't the biggest problem in the world.  Hell, it's not even the biggest problem of my day...  The point is that considering the possibility of fisticuffs with several dudes, due to that kind of 'everyday' type of comment as the result of pointing out that what they've just done/said is fucked up, shouldn't be a normal part of a (any) skirt's day.  ...And look.  I'm a big chick.  I'm average man height.  I'm not one who tends towards being intimidated, or feeling vulnerable to a guy simply because he's a guy.  But imagine that if a grown ass girl who's cold cocked a Chicago Po-Po flat on his ass into some bushes feels intimidated and vulnerable, what your 13 year old daughter (who hasn't had a lifetime of similar experience to draw from), or 5'2" sister (who isn't in any position to, even if need be, tussle with a 6' 2" dude) must feel in similar situations?  And what her situational 'coping' tactics must be limited to when she knows that speaking up and calling straight up bullshit, bullshit, is never going to be seen as an opportunity to reassess how much of an asshole he/they're bein', and is always going to be taken as an invitation to escalate to a situation. 

I wish I were one of those quick with a comeback folks.  I'm not.  Which is why my options are narrowed to ignore/cause bodily damage (and go to jail).  I know violence isn't the answer.  Or so I am told.  But ignoring isn't the answer either.   Not for women, and honestly?  Not for men.  I loathe the term catcall--  it does a disservice to what's really at play here...  There's nothing kitty cute about a man/group of men making a chick feel like she's in potential peril (from either doing nothing, or doing something) because he/they happen to cotton to the looks of her lady parts.  "I like those tits" and all of the iterations most XX-ers reading this are all too familiar with, isn't a 'boys will be boys' thing. 

Boys Will Be Boys Things:
- Leaving toilet seat up
- Cultivating toe nails as weapons
- Nut tapping
- Fart amusement
- Differentiating Phillips and ...honestly I don't even fuckin' know, I just call 'em "Twosies" and "Foursies" screwdrivers
- Bets resulting in embarrassing tattoo pay-ups

It's a far less nebulous thing than boys bein' boys.  And it sure as shit isn't a display of how any man worth his salt comports himself.  It's verbal sexual intimidation. What it's not is flirting.  Or being complimentary.  It's being a USDA grade-A douchebag.  Regardless of how many Axe commercials ya've seen, douchebaggery is not a quality chicks are searchin' out.  For women, the it's bad for you/us is pretty obvious.  For men, sexual verbal intimidation of chicks is bad for all guys isn't as readily recognizable, generally, but in case ya hadn't noticed societies who treat their women poorly are shitholes.  Get a globe.  Fuck.  I'm so old.  ...At least I didn't suggest an encyclopedia (for you youngin's an encyclopedia is the paper version of what we used to look shit up before Ask Jeeves was born.)    ...  Do a lil' Googling on regions where women are treated (mostly-ish) with a sense of equality (aka: r-e-s-p-e-c-t) and you'll see places you'd (if you had to move to another country for 5 years) be ok with livin'.  Places where women aren't tend to rhyme with; La-molly-a  and Math-gan-a-stan.  Societies that don't treat their women well are places that aren't even good for men.  (I'm not saying women are better than men.  I'm saying men are better when/where women are shown the respect of decent treatment.  ...Ya know, like being able to run an errand without 3 leer-y guys verbally accostin' you over the existence of your hooters... )  ...Which I know, is big picture-ing, but on a macro level?  Do you really want the cute girl you're about to chat up to be fresh off a "I like those titties" incident as her last point of reference when a male stranger making contact was involved?  Is that good for your business?  No.  No, it's not.


Verbal Sexual Intimidation,
here's what you can do about it:
(Guys)
If you are guilty of "I like those titties"-ing someone --  Stop that shit.  Immediately.  Seriously.

If you know/have seen/are witnessing guys who "I like those titties" girls/women --  Tell them it's bush league bullshit.  Remind them how little they'd appreciate some dude yelling that at their mother. (aka: See sumthin' shitty, say sumthin' shitty.)

(Girls)
If you are looking for alternate ways to address obnoxious assholes insistant on alerting you to their enjoyment of your rack, check out these options:

This...   #YouOkSis 

...These passoutables;   (BBG Legal Notification:  I, BBG being of sound-ish mind do hereby call dibs on the invention of the word passoutables.  Copyright pending.)




...And (what I wish I'd have been quick enough to have retorted myself, and am definitely gonna remember for the inevitable next time)  "You sound like you have a small dick." 


And now, some P.S.'s...

P.S.  The * she's somebody's sister, mother, wife, 3rd cousin 2x removed reasoning for why a guy shouldn't "I like those tittes" girls is actual bullshit.  A woman ought to be free from such things because she is a human fuckin' being.  Period.  End of story.    

P.P.S.  For the Official Record, I love when guys make their presence known and that they dig what I'm workin' with.  I'm a big fan of a man complimenting and/or flirting with me.  Big fan.  I've had entire days made by a non-asshole-y compliment.  Hell, a few weeks back I encountered some random guy who completely busted a move to hold a door open for me and commented on how pretty I looked in my dress.  (BBG:  "Thank you--  you just became my day-maker!")  Now did I catch him takin' a gander at my hooters?  Yes.  They rarely go unnoticed.  The point is at no nanosecond during this unsolicited interaction did I have the urge to hit him.  And honestly?  "I like those titties"?  If a guy who has actually seen 'em says that to me?  I'm gonna get very, 'yeeeaaah, baby' real quick.  To write this post off as the musings of an overly sensitive prude-y/opposed-to-any-overture chick is erroneous. 

P.P.P.S. (...Now I'm just tryin' to set a P.S. world record)  What was I wearin'?  What the fuck difference does it make?  I will say this;  I'm not so naïve as to think that clothes don't have the power to predicate how people treat you, they do.  Which is exactly why I didn't show up at Lowes sportin' a nippleless bra top and daisy dukes.  Even I'm sorry for that visual.  Ok, good sense and decorum kept that from happening, but honestly unless I've accessorized with an actual pole, slammin' soundtrack, some ping pong balls, a minimum drink requirement and a bouncer?  ...I wasn't dressed in a manner that one would reasonably expect to have to be dealin' with some assholes "I like those titties"-ing ya.  So what I was wearing doesn't really matter, now does it?  Fine.  Now that I've mentioned nippleless bras I feel like I should specify to avoid rumors gettin' started confusion;   A dress.  A lil' run of the mill summertime dress appropriate enough to pop into damn Lowes, and it literally revealed zero cleavage.


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

~ Vaccination: The Choice Is Yours

The choice to vaccinate, or not, is your choice.

But the choice matters more than you may think.  As the subject comes up health is often cited as the catalyst for not vaccinating.  Obviously, every parent's main job is to, as they are able, secure and maintain the health of their child.

While I'm certainly no expert on vaccinations, children or immunology, I am becoming an expert on the ramifications of the lack of vaccinations.  (Spoiler Alert)  The way things are going, at some point, with someone you love, you likely will be too. 

In my medium sized circle of friends I know;
2 people who have had organ transplants,
6 people who have cancer and are undergoing treatment,
1 who has undergone a bone marrow transplant in the past year. 
And one mother who has Lupus who due to meds being used to treat that (at the time, and unbeknownst to us) was immunosuppressed to the level of a bone marrow transplant patient.  A fact we discovered only after an infection that would have been an innocuous event in an otherwise healthy person, like me, that literally put her life on the line and has stolen a year + from her life.  To be clear, what happened to my Mom had nothing to do with anything avoidable by commonly used vaccinations.  ...Which probably begs the question, why they fuck am I yammerin' on about vaccinations? 

This time last year Mom was in the ICU for two weeks.  Everything humanly possible was done to keep a 'simple' infection from claiming her life by highly trained medical professionals with access to the most current protocols.  The fact that in 14 days it was not easily achieved tells ya something about what a dire situation it was.  Since then we've done everything possible to avoid bringing in some bug or virus in for a visit.  The severity of the nature of being immunosuppressed means that when her husband has a cold he takes up residency upstairs, linens require copious amounts of bleaching and surfaces are wiped down with bleach or medical grade disinfectants.  It means that those around her can not take any live virus vaccinations and safely be around her.  Encountering someone who has recently had one could prove to be deadly.  I, who has always taken a,  what doesn't kill me makes me stronger approach to germs, virus and bacteria have even started using the cleansing wipes on grocery store carts.  An act that would have been unheard of out of me a year ago.

If it sounds like we're practically on Bubble Boy precautions?  (The history of Bubble Boy:  the real Bubble Boy and the John Travoltalicious Bubble Boy made for tv movie)  It's because we are.  This is the first time I've shared much of a glimpse of a private health issue that, until now I've never felt was mine to share.  But I'm doing so now to give those who consider refusing vaccinations a decision that solely impacts themselves/minors under their control an idea of the scope of the impact of that decision.  You see our community has recently experienced outbreaks of both measles and mumps.


A new tourism slogan I'm working on...
Yeah.  Outbreaks, plural.  The last update on measles I heard was 348 cases, and last night they reported 
mumps is up to 439.  So now in 20fucking14 we have to be fearful that some unvaccinated person we randomly encounter is playing host monkey for ol' school diseases that if not for the breech of herd immunology that we're seeing played out as a result of the swelling numbers of those choosing not to vaccinate would be things people were last concerned about when women wearin'  lil' white gloves was still a thing.  

This, of course is problematic for us.  Which makes it a, that sucks for you (us), problem.  It does.  (Suck)  If it doesn't yet suck for you?  Congratulations.  I'm ecstatic for you (and yours).  Sincerely.  I am.  It's my honest hope for you that cancer, leukemia, need for an organ or bone marrow transplant never land on your doorstep or of someone in your life.  But the fact is, that if you've been lucky enough to not be touched (directly, or as in my case, indirectly) by any of these health issues it's an amazingly fortunate anomaly that is almost guaranteed to have changed five years from now. 

Most people I know would never dream of havin' a cold and visiting a cancer patient.  Because they realize direct consequences of exposure to someone who is hosting an illness to the health compromised person.  We don't think of vaccinating as having that exact kind of direct effect to people, but we should.  The decision to vaccinate, or not isn't a decision that ends at the end of your fingertips.  It's impact quite literally extends to everyone in your community.   Today, that puts my Mom at particular peril with more than 780+ carrying mumps and measles around our community.  But make no mistake, tomorrow?  You'll know someone who 'communicable disease' wouldn't just mean a temp and a few days of feelin' shitty.   It's certainly your choice to wait until any of the plethora of communicable diseases which had been at near eradicated levels in our nation, continue to surge to realize how and why herd immunization is such a critical public health issue.  Or you can learn from our experience how easily you and yours can find yourselves in these shoes and choose more wisely. 

 
When the CDC (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention) starts tracking Mumps in 1968 there were 152,209 cases.  By the end of the 70's as inoculation rates increased actual cases dropped to under 10,000 per year.  By the mid-90's cases per year in America average sub 1,000.  Here we are at the half way point of the year (6/14), and in central Ohio alone we currently have nearly half that number of cases with 439.    ...Which again, sucks for us.

Until you realize that the apex of the mumps outbreak in my area was ground zero'd at The Ohio State University (+ a few other area colleges/universities before it spread in to the community at large).  The Ohio State University is a campus comprised of nearly 57,000 students. (OSU has 56,371 more students than the average for all colleges and universities.)  ...Many of whom have just left campus to return home to family and friends, all across the nation (world, really).  Returning to their favorite people to spread mumps even wider.  So, now the lack of vaccination kinda sucks for a much larger swath of Americans.  (Of course I mean for the health compromised folks I noted earlier, but also for babies too young to have started vaccinations who represent some of the most medically vulnerable among us.)  Particularly, I would imagine, for those who live in the states seeing the highest number of non-vaccination levels:

 
It's your choice.  And your choice has a direct correlation on the health of every household, not just your own.  That is where it stops being solely a personal decision with personal ramifications and becomes a public health matter with real world consequences for real world people.   
 
illustration: if only some get vaccinated, the virus spreads. if most get vaccinated, spreading is contained.
 
 
(Quick video) Info I'm recommending:
 
 
 

And this very interesting article:


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Saturday, June 21, 2014

~ Pride

Is it wrong that I had pride today?  Having been raised and matriculated at Our Lady of Badass Catholic Kidz I know being prideful is frowned upon.  (Along with a few other things I occasionally dabble in [7 Deadly Sins - #1 and #3 are particular personal faves]).

But today's pride was Pride pride.  For today, dear friend, I created a new term.  A term that I expect will sweep the nation. 

In fairness, there's a strong possibility I'm simply co-opting an existing term.  There's also a strong probability that my alternate usage will, in meeting with the same fate of my attempted revival of the term 'snatch', not, in fact, sweep the nation.  I just like to keep it real.

Today's random adventures put me in proximity of a former local radio celebrity.  As the only other person in the room I didn't consider myself eavesdropping as there literally was no way I couldn't have heard the conversation.  The former uber popular, I'm talkin' back in the day she was the queen of the (radio) market, made mention that she after being married for x years she came out and started livin' her authentic life.  They also were discussing the Pride ta-doin's this weekend in BBGmetropolis.

Because I've never met a stranger, or put much stock into resisting one of the life mantras I hold so dear;  I do what I want, I quickly found myself sideling up to display my nails.  My manicure was, and yes I am embarrassed to admit this, a joke manicure created solely for my own personal amusement.  I know.  That's ridiculous.  Know what else?  Suck it.  A few weeks ago an ol' friend, (codename) Oscar, posted a series of photos chronicling ROYGBIV.    A few weeks ago I also read that applying white polish as an undercoat vs. traditional base coat (which I never use) was the way to go because it provides a true-er foundation for whateverthehell shade you chose to top it with.  Which totally made sense, so I gave it a whirl.  ...Then things became problematic.  In the I can't decide which color to use in this wee nail-y color science experiment, kinda problem.  So.  As anyone who does what they want as much as possible I'm not a complete asshole I took inspiration from Oscar's ROYGBIV-ing and spelled it out with polish.  My pragmatic side told me it was a comprehensive way to evaluate the tip with a wide spectrum of colors.  My, I'm 13 side told me it was hifuckinglarious.

Made even more so by the fact that I purposefully made it read correctly when I look at it, not when displayed to others.  Now, in fairness?  That I did do because I'm an ass.  Because I suffer from tooliteralism (click to diagnose yourself) I consider ROYGBIV a name, rather than the mnemonic it is, therefore I spaced mine out to read Roy space G space Biv.  If you're asking yourself if I realize I'm a hot mess?  The answer is also, yes.  Behold:

Don't judge me.  It's a 2wk old mani.

I crash the conversation show my nails, to what seems like the delight and slight amusement of the four random chatters.  I may have been overly anxious to share my new found knowledge.  Yep.  Here it is 2014 and I've just discovered that Roy G. Biv is the rainbow flag.  I knew the rainbow flag was a thing.  I knew Roy G. Biv was a thing.  I did not know they were the same thing.    I'm not proud of this fact.  I'm simply sayin' it's so.  Once I found out Pride (Grand Marshal'd by George Takei) was this weekend I decided to overlook the almost two week wear 'n tear and hold onto it as an ally for a few more days.  The problem is I loathe the word ally.  'I'm a gay ally.'  ...I am.  But the word.  Ugh.  First of all when I spell it, it becomes this big ally vs. alley? debate, that listen, I've got other shit goin' on--  I just don't need.  Therefore it's a term, although accurate, I don't engage in.  If I'm being honest?  I almost took it (nail polish) off because the thought of, 'if someone notices and asks you about it you might in some context have to say ally.'  A concept that was almost too much.  But I reconsidered and decided a demonstrative, albeit, a lil' batshit crazy display of solidarity was the proper message to put out into the world.  Even if I was in danger of being faced with the a-word.  I'm selfless like that.

Once the swell of Ooooooh's and Aaaaaaaaah's subsided the former DJ asked if I was "family"?  In what, admittedly makes me a freak, since 10 minutes ago had no idea of the Roy G. Biv/rainbow connection (Kermit shout out!), I immediately knew that "family" means gay (/on the LBGTQ spectrum).  'Cause I'm cool like that.  My answer, and the birth of the new term I'm gifting to the world;   "No.  But I'm family friendly."

Family friendly.  Finally.  A supportive term I can live with.  What used to stand to denote that a movie/tv show would be boob and George Carlin 7words free kid appropriate shall henceforth be recognized as the go-to phrase to mean, "I want EVERY American to have the same privileges being a grown ass straight American provides. Period.  End.  Of.  Fucking.  Story." 




It wasn't until the moment had passed that I felt what I can only describe as Pride-y pride at the invention (fine.  Straight up co-opting.) of the term.  An off the cuff and somewhat smartassy retort turned out to be a better contribution to solidarity albeit far less hi-larious than my fabulous unintentional turned intentional mani. 

To mark 'family friendly' being an official thing I have started #FamilyFriendly. (I'm at the super creative handle @TheBigBrownGirl)  Feel free to share (or here in the comments) how/when/why you've shown your support for equality for all.   The best way we, as family friends can make things right for our LBGTQ peeps is to flex our muscle to show that we also demand equality on their behalf.     

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." 
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  


 Related Post:    My Big Fat Gay Manifesto


 


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