08 September 2008

What one citizen of Wasilla, Alaska, says about Palin

This originally was an e-mail circulated by Anne Kilkenny. It has since been reproduced numerous places on the Internet, but I sought a source that had published it with her permission.

23 July 2008

What Is It This Time?

Every time I hear the words South Carolina in a national venue, I cringe. It's not that I don't love my home state, and right now I am basking in the humidity, awaiting afternoon showers that could come more often, eager to see whether my largest tomato plant will actually manage to peak the roof line.

But we're the prodigal child of the nation, not quite welcomed back into the fold nearly a hundred and fifty years after seceding from the Union, and it's as if the rest of the country relishes every opportunity to witness us behaving like in-bred, parochial bumpkins. Only a few months ago I saw the Bishopville sheriff humoring a reporter's question about whether the Lizard Man caused damage to the front of a local couple's van. I gotta hand it to the guy; he almost managed not to crack a smile. Back when I lived in Arizona, I just knew they were talking about my home town in a lead for a story about the sheriff whose video surveillance captured not illegal dumping but an entirely different kind of illicit behavior instead.

And now we have state senators who've decided that their blogs should look like the Daily Show or Colbert Report. Last week South Carolina Senator Kevin Bryant posted a tasteless picture that poked juvenile fun at the similarity between the names Obama and Osama. He has since removed the photo, though his response to the outcry still includes a link to it. He attempts to cover his tracks by claiming he only wanted to bring scrutiny to Obama's foreign policy positions.

As you might imagine, that is not what happened.

Most distressing was Mr. Bryant's (or his office's) apparent moderation of comments on the initial post. Although there were some negative responses, it seemed evident that all the comments weren't being posted or that some were afterwards deleted. USA Today reported 22 comments on the site Monday night, yet by the time I reached the blog, only 9 showed as being posted before Tuesday. Some responses alluded to previous comments not being published. Mine disappeared into a black hole after awaiting moderation for most of a day.

Evidently someone in the Bryant camp pointed out the hypocrisy of waving the banner of free speech in his defense while suppressing it on his own blog, because by Wednesday morning, moderators were approving what appeared to be all of the comments on his response entry, including mine, though not necessarily in the order they were posted.

Mr. Bryant has his apologists, and I respect their right to that opinion. Some have defended him on the grounds that the photo was funny. For me that's just not enough. Is it so hard to understand that we hold politicians to a different standard than comedy shows and political cartoonists? There's a reason we react when Jesse Jackson talks like a thug, and that the proper response is an apology, not some song and dance about what he was really trying to do. Political figures who are trying to influence opinion and policy are not the same as celebrities merely trying to attract the public's attention.

I don't care what Sharon Stone says about China. But especially when it affects how the rest of the world sees and interacts with South Carolinians, I do care what my legislators say.


You can see Senator Bryant's blog, with 125 comments currently on his July 22 post, including mine, here.

You can see my first article about this subject here.

19 March 2008

Well, I did call it the house of pleasure

Or, yeah, now I know what brought you here

Inspired by the A Squared blog, of which I am a patron (though not often enough), I installed a nifty little doohickey here (I'm sure there's a real word for it, just as sure as I'm sure I'm using too many parentheses) that tells me where my traffic is linking from.

Now I'm not so sure I wanted to know. (And if you have innocent eyes, you won't click on the Google link down the right sidebar to find out. In fact, you'd best not read any further.)

You see, I sort of named the blog on a lark, really on sort of a dare from someone who probably never thought I'd take him seriously. But since I couldn't come up with anything better, well, it kind of stuck. For any but the geekiest among you, or those who become inexplicably drawn to the charm of my ramblings, there's probably little pleasure to be had here.

But back to my story. (You see, I'm all about the sidetrack, the unplanned detour. That's why I need so many parentheses. I pray they're never rationed.)

It all happened because I have this pet peeve about the word pussy. Not its use in general necessarily, though it's usually gratuitous, but in particular the usage that connotes weakness. Every one of us was born, and I think that most of our mothers would tell us it was no mean feat. Well, my sister can't tell her children that, having set a land speed record for giving birth even with an epidural, but that's another story.

All other evidence of power aside, this is enough to prove to me there's nothing weak about pussy. And I made a great fuss about it in a post about what some radio personalities said, and blah, blah, you can just read the post yourself.

I guess the pertinent detail is that, having a lack of talent for titles that should be obvious to anyone who's read this far, I simply called the post "Pussy." Following my blog title, that evidently results in just the right combination of key words that has undoubtedly frustrated more than a couple of Googlers. (If any of you have read this far, please accept my apologies. Feel free to stick around a while, if you're so inclined.)

Having installed a visit counter a while back, I'd been a little surprised to see some modest increases, enough to total more than the number of my acquaintances, knowing there's not much to draw the random visitor. I thought perhaps my scintillating prose on TIBU had amassed such attention, though I guess I would have a post titled "Hands Off My Clitoris" largely to thank for that. Ah, if only I'd known.

While I may have to let go of the delusion that I lure unwitting souls with my seductive prose, if nothing else, perhaps I have proven the power of pussy once and for all.

16 February 2008

Sprucing up around here

I've been playing around with the organization here, and I'm working to add new links, particularly links with tools for writers. I am looking to do the same with my blog specifically for writing, but a girl has to have a job.

I'm interested to hear what you think (if only to know who's actually out there, if anyone), and I especially welcome recommendations for links.

I am also contemplating a list of links to online journals, but I doubt I could ever be exhaustive. I may save that list for the writing blog. I know how to clutter a place up, as those of you who've seen my house know, and I don't want to do that here.

01 February 2008

Lorelei's Redneck Smoking Porch

Or, I now realize what I really should have titled my blog

Evidently the South took hold of them quicker than they’d expected. The backyard bonfires while the weather still held, they were the first sign. They were easy to shrug off, though: The previous tenants had left the yard in a terrible state, and something had to be done with all that dead wood.

Firm in their resolve not to smoke indoors, Lorelei and Woody dreamed of a fire pit for Christmas. But when the weather finally turned, even that would prove insufficient against the biting southeasterly winds.

A visit to Fred’s, the local discount emporium, yielded an electric space heater that warmed them nicely on their excursions outside, until it threw the breaker.

As the pair continued to scavenge through relatives’ houses for furnishings, retrieving abandoned childhood furniture or adopting their parents’ cast-offs, a particularly lucrative haul included a kerosene heater Woody had left at his mother’s.

At 23,000 BTUs, it was nothing to sneeze at. The two huddled in its radius of warmth, though they did feel a bit guilty about heating all of outdoors. When still fiercer cold descended in the form of a front from the Midwest, bearing icy rain and snow flurries, they looked to the resources at hand.

Rummaging through the linen closet, they scrounged up a bedspread and two sets of curtains made from sheets that would tuck nicely into the vinyl siding trim around the screened-in porch. A cardboard box, some thumbtacks, and a half a dozen clothespins later, Lorelei and Woody were ensconced in their very own heated sheet fort.

The stronghold had the additional benefit of hiding their presence outdoors from marauding neighborhood derelicts, who visited with the distinct drawbacks of never bringing their own beer and, still worse, always telling the same stories—over and over and over again. (This is not to say that Lorelei and Woody are not derelicts. They're just not the marauding kind.)

Though the cold front has passed and the nights have grown warmer, sometime of a Friday or Saturday evening you still might find Lorelei and Woody perched at their two-top with the heater on. If the writer’s strike continues and Duke’s not playing basketball, you might even catch them playing checkers with a set made from Miller High Life and Pabst Blue Ribbon bottle caps. As long as you have a new story to tell, the beer and Chardonnay will flow freely. Stop on by.