Posted in Howling Sea Lane, Uncategorized

If You Aren’t Pretty, We Don’t Care


I can’t believe I am about to write this, but I’ve got my ranting pants on, so here it goes:

Why hasn’t there been more coverage of the shooting at the New Orleans Mother’s Day parade?  I work in a place where CNN is on all day long, so I’ve been inundated with sexy murderesses, foreign looking bombers, and evil dungeon masters for the past several weeks.  Right now, the story being played ad nauseum is the psychotic abortionist.  But nothing about the shooting in New Orleans.

Well, not nothing.  Halfway down the page, the day after the shooting, there was a small link accompanied by a photo that was–see for yourself, and think about what the photos from Boston looked like in comparison.

cnn

The journalistic point behind having photos go along with stories is to add depth and draw empathy, the marketing point is to drive clicks.  Photos are carefully chosen because, to paraphrase the old addage, they tell the story cheaper, faster, and more effectively than screeds.  That picture?  That picture says, “We’re going to make fun of WalMart shoppers!”

So, the sexy murderess is a white girl who killed a white man.  The foreign looking bombers killed a white child, a white woman, and an Asian student, and wounded a whole lot of athletic white people.  The evil dungeon master abducted and tormented three, pretty white girls.  The psychotic abortionist killed live babies (we don’t know if they were white, but they were babies, and we aren’t racists until after children have hit puberty.)  Judging from the photo, the people affected by the NO shooting were a) Not White, b) Not Athletic, c) Not Attractive, d) Adults. I can only assume that these are the reasons we haven’t heard about it.

Look, when even MY mother says, “You know if they’d shot up white people, we’d have heard about it,” there is a big issue.

Is that it?  Is that why it isn’t getting the same level of coverage?  It was a Mother’s Day parade and 19 people were injured!  By a shooter!  With all the media attention focused on gun control right now, and a SHOOTING at a MOTHER’S DAY PARADE is getting the amount of attention usually reserved for a 2-alarm fire?  You know how I found out about it–with CNN blaring in my ears all day–one passing mention of it in my Facebook feed.  I wouldn’t have known it had happened at all otherwise.

We’ve covered that national attention rarely highlights missing minority children.

And that the media largely ignores missing black women.

What can we do?

How do we change the narrative so that color and socio-economic status aren’t what drives media coverage?

As a bonus rant:  WTF is wrong with these women who are throwing themselves at the remaining Boston bomber?  Are they mental?!

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Posted in Howling Sea Lane

It Gets Better? Pffft.


Can we please stop talking about other people’s bodies?  Please?  This is my plea, and I am sending out into the universe.  It is my message in a bloggle.  Sing it:  Message in a bloggle…I hope that someone gets my, I hope that someone gets my…

If you want to talk about your own body, if you want to make changes to your own body, if you find flaws with and want to share about the ups and downs of your own body, make haste!  But if you find yourself wanting to write/talk/laugh about someone else’s, make mute.  This story was my [latest] tipping point.  Seriously?

Listen, I have a recurring nightmare that I am a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader in my current body.  I have to go out into the stadium wearing THAT uniform on THIS body.  And I have to dance.  I don’t know which is the worst part of the nightmare: My muffin top, or my complete inability to move my arms and legs to choreography.  Or the camel toe.  Camel toe figures largely into the horror of it all.

My upset in the dream isn’t because I look like I look–I know what I look like.  I look like this all day, every day, and I’ve seen me in underwear.  It isn’t that bad.  My upset is that people are going to laugh at me.  People are going to laugh at me because I don’t look how we know a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader should look, I can’t dance, and it appears that my shorts are being inhaled by my crotch.  I know that people are going to feel free to tear me apart because my image does not conform, that they will judge my character based on my belly fat, and they will think I am a bad person.  The nightmare isn’t my body:  The nightmare is society.

Can you imagine being Kelsey Williams’ mother or father?  Aside from the fact that the girl is perfectly lovely and absolutely conforms to an ideal image, and the outrage anyone should feel at being told THAT woman isn’t gloriously proportioned, can you imagine being her parent and reading the ridiculousness that was written?  Suggesting that your daughter should be ashamed of her looks and offering a POLL to discuss her figure?  I would want to set that person on fire.  That person should be required to post a picture of herself in the same uniform, in the same pose, hovering above the same poll.

Why, why, why do we think our children are going to listen to us banging on about not bullying each other when we are filling our endless internet with this trash?

I was on CNN.com the other day and I took a screen shot of a list of links below a story on the Boston bombing.  I wrote an angry rant about it, then decided against posting it because it seemed shallow in light of lost lives, lost limbs, and domestic terror.  But we blow up people’s worlds with our words all the time, so now I’m resurrecting the rant.

This is bunk..
This is bunk.

So, this is what was under an article about two men who murdered an 8 year old.  You’ve got stories parents have told on themselves–fine.  A story about dogs–fine.  And four stories that claw at self-confidence, and strike at vulnerabilities.  Not only do they affect the object of the stories, but the people who read them.  How are you supposed to feel good about yourself with the internet screaming you aren’t good enough?  What if you already have low self esteem?

Have any of you ever had acne?  Imagine your face plastered across the internet for entertainment.  It’s horrifying!  Why do we do this?  Links are chosen for popularity’s sake.  Editors post links that will get clicks.  Clicks make money.  Out of six stories editors chose for their money-making value, four of them were negative.  One was clearly slut-shaming.  One was trying to take the world’s sexiest woman down a notch.  One is a last vestige of style snark, which I hope is going away because style is so relative.  The “10 Actors Who Would Be Beautiful If Not for Their Horrible Skin,” title is just gross and enraging.

Let’s be examples for our children.  Let’s offer them an internet where the links editors think will make money are positive stories.  Let’s don’t click on [name redacted]’s pregnancy weight, or [name redacted]’s boob job, or [name redacted]’s pockmarked skin (something that even the most masculine actor in the history of Hollywood found hurtful), or [name redacted]’s trashy dress.

Let’s treat everyone else the way we want our own children to be treated.

 

 

Posted in Howling Sea Lane, parenting

Where are the Parents?


[In which she is judgmental and foaming at the mouth.  Be warned.]

I keep reading these stories about teens raping and recording, and I find myself asking the same question over, and over again. 

Where are the parents?

Where are the parents when boys are carrying a dead weight, limp girl across town, to party after party?

Where are the parents when fifteen year old girls are drinking themselves into oblivion at a slumber party?

Where are the parents when boys are at a fifteen year old girl’s slumber party?

Where are the parents when text messages containing photographic evidence of criminal activity are being sent through phones paid for by those parents?

Where are the parents when those photos and videos are being uploaded onto personal computers within their homes?

Where were those parents when those children were developing social awareness and social consciousness?

Where were the parents when the truth came out, and why didn’t we see them on the news apologizing*?

These parents are people who should be about my age.  Maybe a little older.  Maybe a year or two younger.  But these parents are from my generation.  We are the jackasses who are responsible for what is coming up now, and I cannot fathom why we have allowed it.  Then again, I didn’t have cool parents, and I certainly am not one.

Why, for one second, would you provide your teenager–whose brain is still developing–access to alcohol or drugs?  Why would you provide an evironment that encouraged other children–CHILDREN–to come and indulge**.  16 year olds aren’t known for their excellent decision making skills, or their ability to self-regulate as it is.  Why would you want to further impair their already under-developed sensibilities?!  Why?!  What do you expect will happen?***

Kids are stupid.  That’s a fact.  They can’t help it.  This is why we don’t let them run for President.  The worst thing about teenagers (and I say this having been one, and having known several personally) is that they think they know everything, and believe in their own immortality.  They aren’t able to put two and two together to understand that rape, plus bragging about rape at 16 can mean being 46 before you’re out of jail.  Teenagers under the influence of alcohol…  Even worse.  That’s what they have parents for.

We are supposed to be there to keep them inside the lines until their little frontal cortexes are developed enough that they can tell the difference between a good idea and something that sounded good at the time.  We are supposed to provide them with structure and examples of good ideas so that they have a solid basis for comparison.  We are supposed to punish them when they miss the mark so that they understand consequences, and so that they are less likely to make mistakes that would cost them dearly.

We aren’t their friends.  We aren’t their buddies.  We can’t be afraid that they won’t like us.  We have to be the grown-ups so that they can make it through to adulthood.  And when they screw up, we have to enforce the rules. 

We have to love them, nurture them, treat them with dignity and respect, set expectations for them, encourage them, drive them, require that they meet standards of decency, be there to catch them when they fall and help them back up, and hopefully get them out of high school and into college with self esteem, self respect, respect for others, and a desire to be something more than they already are–no matter how awesome that “already are” is. ****

We have to own up and apologize to them when we are wrong, and set that standard of taking responsibility for them.  We have to model the behavior we expect, which sometimes means having less fun than we’d like to.  This makes me think of a poster that hung in the nurse’s office of my high school.  It read, over a pregnant belly, “Having a baby is like being grounded for 18 years.”  That is no lie. 

We have to accept responsibility for our own actions, and accept responsibility for our own parenting choices, and not try to blame the video games (we bought them), the movies (we took them to see), the music (we gave the allowance that purchased), the television (we used to babysit them), or the government (we voted into office.)  If our kids are sociopaths from birth, it is our responsibility to deal with them so that others aren’t dealt with by them.  If we’re the ones who screwed them up?  Listen:  We brought them into this world.  They didn’t ask to be here.  We OWE them good parenting.  We OWE them.  It is our job to bring them up through this world.  We did this to them, not the other way around.

*I know the answer to this one:  They were following the advice of their defense attorneys.  My kid would have already pleaded so guilty to get away from my wrath, that his attorney would have been begging me to go on the air and tell the world what hell I had wrought on him, so as to soften the jury’s hearts.  

**Don’t ever try to lure or offer these things to my child.  I will scalp you and wear your forehead for a hat.  Try me.  I look amazing in hats.

***No.  Don’t go there.  Don’t try to tell me that kids who are denied the ability to party at home, go nuts with the frat boys when they start school.  I didn’t.  None of my sheltered girlfriends did.  My close guy friends didn’t.  I think it depends on the kid, depends on the level of expectation the kid was raised with, and depends on how successfully the kid navigates stress and peer pressure–which has a lot to do with parenting.  Which brings me back to this:  WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?

****This is effing exhausting, by the way.  And it never ends.  Oh my god, it never ends, not even when you are trying to go to the bathroom.

Posted in Howling Sea Lane, Politics, Religion, Uncategorized

Uncle Daddy


I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about legitimate rape by now, but chicken is so three weeks ago.  Omniscient Uteri are the new black!  Omniscient Uteri is also the name of my new band.  The first album will be called, “Shutting it Down.”

I hesitated to write anything on the topic, but since I’m awake and thinking about it…

Here’s the thing:  You can’t fix a moron.  If there are people out there who genuinely believe that there is a difference between rape and rape-rape, you can’t fix them.  Ignorance you can enlighten, but stupid is forever.  We just have to quit voting for Stupid.

I am delighted when morons reveal themselves.  Especially when morons in positions of political or religious power reveal themselves.  It’s social Darwinism.  Hopefully, when those morons do the great reveal, we are intelligent enough to say, “Hey, you really shouldn’t be driving this car any longer,” and take away their keys.

Now, people who know there is no such thing as the difference between rape and rape-rape, who only say words to that effect in order to court your vote?  Those people are evil.  You can’t change them either.

The only thing you can do, what I am doing right now, is point out the idiocy when you see it.  When the Emperor rides through town naked, you point and shout, “The Emperor has no clothes!”  That’s the only way to deal with these mugs.  And maybe throw some science up against the proverbial wall and hope that sticks.

As if Representative Rape-Rape isn’t bad enough, now we’ve got this trick who has never heard of a girl getting pregnant by rape or incest.  This doofus, who is a lifelong member of St. Martin’s Church in Odebolt, Iowa, has apparently never made it through even the first book of the beloved Bible he’s banging around on because *cough* Genesis 19:46 *cough*.

“So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.”

That’s two girls right there!  TWO!  With one little Bible verse, I have doubled his knowledge of incest-based pregnancy!

Or I would have.  But he probably won’t read this. 

(P.S., I have always wondered just how drunk a father would have to get in order not to recognize his daughters.  And if he was that drunk, how would he be able to perform in the first place?  I think there’s a bit of revisionist history going on there in Genesis.)

(P.P.S., Technically, we are all the product of ancestral incest, if we are to believe that Adam and Eve were the first and only humans on the planet.  It’s not like their offspring would have had a wealth of choice outside the Smart sister, or the Pretty sister, you know?)

Posted in Howling Sea Lane, Style, Women

Underneath it All


I have a friend close to my age, whose guyfriend complained that her underwear aren’t sexy enough.  *sigh*  Really, Guyfriend?  Really?  Life is neither a porno, nor a Victoria’s Secret catalog.  I didn’t like sexy underwear when I was arguably sexy.  I certainly don’t like them now.  Now, I like underwear that give my butt a little life, my tummy a little support, and hit me at the waist so I don’t have to deal with my belly fat escaping from under the top of the bikini style panties that I trade off and on with my ladypants.  Ladypants.  Not Granny Panties.  Ladypants.

But, yes, sometimes I wear Granny Panties.  You don’t like that?  Suck it.  Sometimes, I wear great, big, cotton drawers that are cool, comfortable, and breathe in the crotch-sweltering heat of Texas summertime.  In fact, I am wearing such drawers right now.  No heat rash for me!

Listen, I always want to look my best–even when I am scruffing around the house, I am (at the very least) aware of how I look (though I might not do anything about it–I do think about it.)  But I quit buying in to the media fantasty that underwear are about anything other than keeping my bits away from the inner lining of my clothing and furniture, and smoothing out lines under fashion many years ago.  Well before I got married, in case you worry that once he put a ring on it I went out and bought the tallest pair of underwear I could find. 

I have owned a g-string or two in my time.  I even owned them back when it was visually appropriate for me to wear them.  I did not like them.  I did not like that I had a permanent wedgie–ditto and worse with thongs.  I wore them because I thought it was the expectation, and because the supermodels I idolized were always talking about how a g-string was a girl’s best friend.

I also owned tanga bikinis, Brazilian cut panties, scoops, string bikinis, side-ties, and any other filmy under-confection you can imagine.  Hated them all.

My cousin, M, will tell you about the underwear envy we had when we were little.  I always had white nylon and lace panties from Her Majesty.  She had colorful cotton panties with days of the week printed on them.  It was hilarious as adults to realize how jealous we had been of each other’s underwear.  I’d have given her the lot of my lacy undies for just her Saturday and Sunday. 

Nylon is hot.  Cotton is comfy.

When it comes to adult times, certainly my wardrobe changes.  You don’t wear your Fruit of the Looms to seduce.  I’m not worried about comfort then, but I’m still aiming for flattering.  And where a thong might have been flattering 15 years, 40lbs, and one large baby ago, now it is a sight gag in a Ben Stiller movie.  I refuse to set myself up as a punchline just because Big Media has convinced us that the Very Visual Creatures we call men cannot have happy endings unless we are wearing 3″ of elastic and polyester that cost $25 a pop, and another half pound of padding under cheap satin that costs upwards of $50 per.  Maybe if I could talk my husband into wearing one of the old flamingo g-strings for men that Frederick’s of Hollywood (whose sexy underwear is among the most comfortable, and longest lasting–I highly recommend them for your flirtier frills.) used to sell?  Then we could be sight gags together.

Flattering for sexy times.  Comfortable and supportive for the 16 hours a day that I am up and running.  I do have a motto:  You are only as well dressed as your worst pair of panties.  Keep ’em clean.  Keep ’em in shape.  Keep ’em flattering.

You have to wear what works for you.  So, to my friend whose guyfriend made her feel small because her panties were big:  Buy a pair of his and hers fishnet thongs.  If he’s willing to wear it, then go for it!  If he isn’t?  You know what you’re dealing with and where to drop him off.