Monday, June 30, 2008

From here at stately Goon Manor...

I look out and see redwing blackbirds trying to alight upon tractor-anticipating stalks of hay in the nearby field. Smaller chickadees stay balanced on those tall grasses while the blackbirds dart between rose-covered posts at the end of rows of vines of chardonnay and riesling grapes. Swallows soar defiantly through barely-cracked barn doors, swerve down along the dirt road to the grove of lush greens that have grown accustomed to the marshy ground. Every so often, a big tom turkey and his raffle will wander aimlessly around, unless the vineyard workers are about. Then, the dozen or so would-be Thanksgiving centerpieces just wander further down past the old farms' stone walls -- the proud unofficial symbols of Dartmouth -- past deer and streams and through the huge oaks and cedars to the saltmarsh.
The land I'm talking about is protected, saved for agriculture, conserved for the future. So you can see why I get antsy about jackpumps on ANWR. We're next under the 'dozer, if certain developers have their way.
But does the fact that I live here -- and like it here -- make me "elitist?"
I once said that I didn't believe that anyone should have two houses until everybody has one.
That's, er ... silly, of course.
Many of my neighbors would have no idea why I would say something like that, especially since most of my neighbors have at least a place to crash when they're in Boston as well as a Winter place on some island I won't learn how to pronounce.
I'll accept my elitist cred, earned because I pronounce most of my 't's and 'r's, and use "its" to designate the third person possessive. Rare, indeed. Elitist?
I enjoy being among the elite who meet here occasionally.
I just don't want this "Jed" character to follow me around GoogleEarth. Like he did for John McCain:

Friday, June 27, 2008


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Deathstar Memories

Back in the carefree Twentieth Century, things were different.
We AT&T operatives called our hive The Deathstar. Because of the logo. Every two weeks, I mysteriously got a check for "training" Customer Service Representatives. In essence, I was training people, who are in no way Representative of the buffoons who were their bosses, to do something that had nothing to do with Service. But that was the vile task to which I was assigned. Teaching the underemployable to be redirective upsellers. Some of these people are still friends of mine.
Others, I still duck down the Rug Shampoo Rental aisle whenever I see them coming.
One thing I will always carry in my heart from those days (the days before I left in a huff for a career in historical cetacean entertainment management) was the feeling that if I were ever to suffer a traumatic brain injury which left me without the ability to reason clearly without flash cards, I could still trust The Deathstar to give me a management position. And eventually a seat on their Board of Directors.
I was "teaching" mostly artists, students, and musicians how to navigate NetScape (!) platforms and access your phone bill in order to convince you that "It's not a mistake, ma'am." And then sell you some imaginary "service" thing that would cost you more money every month. (And involve a fee, as well as a tax, which we call a fee but explain as a tax if you ask.) My wards were way smarter than any of the managers team leaders who held them accountable to random quantitative specifications of vague qualitative expectations.
And all I had to do was enjoy team meetings that involved cake, flirting, and fifteen-minute smoke breaks every thirty minutes.
Of course, I had to "take meetings" with regional supervisory types. And in every case, I would rather have sat down with Jacinto from Facilities than with the CEO. Not because I would rather have a beer and talk colloquially, although I did do that every other Friday night.
Because I would rather not suffer the alternative: The meandering misapprehensions and misinterpretations endemic in the office world, personified by someone in grey who smelled like gum and either made uncomfortably long eye contact or couldn't make any at all.
At The Deathstar, I quickly learned to not read any "industry news" where I might hear of innovations in the rest of the industry. The Deathstar never acted as though it were part of any recognizable industry that provided the same service. Every change in the market was met with a completely wanton and purposeless act by someone whose name we knew because it was on the memo. Change always came from above, unsolicited and unexplained, while reactions left everyone unmoved and results unexamined.
Which is why I am confused by the Telecoms Immunity and Protection Act or whatever they're calling the latest offense aginst our Fourth Amendment rights. Although I don't understand how anyone could hold these morons accountable for anything, when most of them couldn't hold their ID card to the sensor that operated the parking lot's gate. You can read more about how my former employers are more important to some members of Congress than you or I here or just about anywhere you type "FISA."
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution goes a little something like this:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

It's one of the easy ones. I had to give a report on it in Fifth Grade, and I caught its intricacies, even when I was trying to learn trumpet. It's easy to interpret the Fourth Amendment. Have a yen to deny someone his or her Fourth Amendment rights? Feel free to unreasonably destabilize the safety of their stuff and indiscriminately search it without warning or reason. Now, don't. See how easy?
The FISA vote isn't something that I take lightly, especially after having worked in the telecommunications industry. In fact, like any conscientious American raised in a Catholic environment, I feel the appropriate sense of guilt. It was bad enough that I tacitly gave permission to some high school kid to go through all the numbers on your phone bill and tell you where each call went. And that the calls to Palau-Palau were made to a number someone had found in the back of BumBiters Monthly.
What anyone in Gubmint would do with that kind of information escaped me then and escapes me now; and they should have no access to it. Period. And if Makebelievia terrorists are using AT&T to call Blowupistan and make "plans," it really would behoove them to look into other options. I mean, do you need to waste $7.35 for the first minute? When you can use a card for 35 cents? Really?

And so The Electronic Frontier Foundation says: "Hundreds of millions of private, domestic communications—have been…copied in their entirety by AT&T and knowingly diverted wholesale by means of multiple “splitters” into a secret room controlled exclusively by the NSA." But Republicans in the Senate -- and an unfortunate number of Democrats who get huge chunks of cash from the Telecoms -- want to make sure that the people who have collected that information unconstitutionally can get away with it.
In the name of security. Of safety. Of national whozawazzis. Of something you're just supposed to be afraid of and shut up and don't hold anyone accountable to or responsible for. You won't understand, they'll say. Because they think you're stupid. And they're wrong.

If they want to protect anything in America, they should work at protecting the Constitution.

If you're in the mood, call a senator or congressor and tell him or her that it's their job.

Friday, June 20, 2008


  • SailBoston is the Boston TallShip™ event. But it doesn't happen on a regular basis as a full-scale spectacle. So they cobble together SailMassachusetts, which is ostensibly an annual "event."
  • SailBoston only happens when enough corporate sponsors can be cajoled into thinking that they can still ride the Pirates of the Caribbean frockcoat tails to banner-and-brochure success.
  • I think the public is a bit more taken with comic book movies this cycle. And Iron Man doesn't sail a TallShip™. Although that would be just like Stark.
  • So SailBoston is next year and this weekend Boston gets the steel Uruguayan Navy training ship, Capitan Miranda and the French barque Belem. Except for the most important real Navy ship evah, U.S.S. Constitution, that's what you get.
  • The hope is still that the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum will be operating in full swing on the waterfront by then.
  • And that means that I'll have to wait until next year to replace my much beloved SailBoston'92 pint glass.Simple? well, yes...(shown here in simpler times) Of course, it won't be the solid heavy glass one with the cool Constitution logo on it. Thin promotional and novelty pint glasses is what they'll remember the first decade of the 21st Century for. You watch.
  • On the other hand, there's this:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Farewell happy fields where joy forever dwells: hail, horrors! (Milton)

If power sources start to run out, you should:

  1. Look for more sources of the same finite filthy resource,
  2. Look for new sources of power that won't run out or ruin things, or
  3. Wish it were fifty years ago, when you should have done (2.)
To fully appreciate the concept of disaster economics, I think of the current excitement over Alaskan oil. There's a chunk of protected wilderness that most people blithely believe is land that we've saved for oil drilling. Now, the laissez-faire wacky capitalist Milton Freedman-Ayn Rand hybrids who run the world right now say: "Hooray! There's a crisis that we can exploit!"
"If gas were more expensive, we could screw the National Park Service, the Department of the Interior, Congress, treehuggers, polar bears, cariboos, and everybody else. They'll beg us to open up federally-protected lands in order to drill for more oily stuff.
"And we'll make sure we erase all that 'closed to development' crap, so we can start selling off the land and use that valuable Alaska resource to get some taxes back, and make some real money. That's what 'refuge' means, isn't it? We set it aside for a time when we can use it. So ANWR is just our rainy day real estate fund, really.
"And it's starting to drizzle pretty hard."
To special people who think they were chosen by god to rule the nation and so can do no wrong, or the ones who think that there is no tomorrow so exploitexploitexploit, or the ones who want to use only one resource until it's exhausted and then go on to exhaust the next, or the ones who just plain don't care about the souls of their grandchildren because they can turn "wilderness" into "capital gains" if you open it up to development, thereby ensuring happy greedy progeny.
Plus, with an ice-free Arctic, just think of all the opportunities for yachties.
If only we could tweak the meaning of "end our dependence on foreign oil." To something like, "end our dependence on oil." I mean, one little word...
If I go to a federal reserve and start shooting wildlife or riding around on an ATV (I know, I mean at one of the federal reserves where you're not supposed to), I would be committing a crime. Because Congress said that the land is protected. So, that's kind of like saying that drilling and development in ANWR is unconstitutional. And you know how I feel about that kind of talk.
When I hear people talking about drilling in Alaska -- further drilling, I mean -- it's like hearing some kids planning an act of vandalism on school property. Except no custodian can come over with his bucket and clean up.
But I'm sure that we can hire more custodians in Shelltown or Exxonville once the golf courses and Piggly-Wigglys and McMansions and highways are there. Highways full of , oh, you know the rest...

Oh and there'll be no more worry about cariboos and stories like the polar bears who accidentally find Iceland. Here's the last one of these damned things:

Of course, Iceland has a commercial whale fishery, so who knows? Maybe we'll go back to whale oil and the tropical port of New Bedford can get back on the chart.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tula Elise Finklea

I shared one thing with the father of my first "real girlfriend" -- that is to say, the first one over whom I made a complete ass of myself.

All right, we shared two things: an irrational protective, possessive affection for his daughter, and an appreciation for Cyd Charisse.

I don't know how the subject came up at an awkward dinner, but I said Silk Stockings, and the banker -- who, at the time, couldn't have been much older than I am now -- blushed, smiled, and shook my hand. The amazing dancer appears in the above clip.

I don't know where the banker is now. Or his daughter. But I do know that at the time I was way too immature to have known either of them. The simple lesson I've learned is: You're never "ready." You can only prepare to do your best and do it well when required. That's Life's standing order.

And I guess that's what the banker and I saw in Cyd Charisse.

Obligatory KickFallRiverWhenIt'sDown post

Some "newspaper," with offices in what surely will soon be a walk-in-medical-center, had this story about the Commonwealth auditing Fall River "finances."
Seems that the former mayor had updated the "accounting" system to "random digits smeared on scraps of paper using greasy bones." Other administrations had used "knots tied in varying lengths of rope." But this is how things are done in Fall River. The strange ways of outsiders just don't work. Due to the Quequechan Indian curse that makes settlers mistake "dopey arrogance" for "leadership ability."
The newly-ascended mayor drove another nail in the last one's hob-nailed coffin by suggesting an audit. The last mayor tap-danced around his "office" at the Dartmouth University of Massachusetts (D.U.Mass) and responded that he had "audited the City all the time, like just last week or something, so why have some outsiders look at the books? And besides, some big-shot Boston auditors wouldn't understand our special Fall Riffic system of numberiness."
Here's where I link to a wicked funny pdf: The state auditor finally did get a look at the "books" and laughed and laughed and laughed until saying some stern made-up words, most beginning with "un-" or "in-" like "un-auditable."
If anyone accidentally happens upon this journal -- anyone with a genuine interest in Fall River -- it might seem that I don't care for the former Troy.
Pandemic mediocrity in individual personal habits, professional management, community leadership, educational endeavors, and civic responsibility? All forgiven and excused and maintained through widespread mistakenly-reasoned rationalizations and a false sense of "pride"?
What's not to love ?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Chuck!

Brew supplier and ship's gunner, Chuck, celebrates his birthday today. I wouldn't want to ruin the result by measuring it, so let's just say he's not as old as your Third Mate.
But has nearly as hot a girlfriend.
While at his kettle-pond retreat this weekend, enjoying the pickerel-hooking pine-choked ambiance so loved by the freshwater types, I was asked if I had seen the T-shirt that one of the wee bairns was wearing. As a lifelong Curious George fan, I said that I had seen the image of the famed inquisitive simian on the toddler's habiliments.
"Looks like somebody's got an Obama shirt on," was a zany observation.
I commented that the ears on the drawing seemed too small.
Which seemed to endear me to the McCain people.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I didn't do this yesterday because (a) I was tending to my Beloved and her sprained ankle, (b) I wanted to see if I could use Friday 13 as an excuse, and (c) I've been developing an aggressive ennui.
"Lefty" over at A View From Battleship Cove made a list of "rules for blogging" (which includes "4. Write assuming that no one will click on the links." So I won't link to him. Just kidding.). I read his blog when it appears (#7) on the GoogleReader because I no longer have any need to read or add to comments (#5). Except to say that I, too, wonder what happens to newbie local bloggers who fashion ambitious SouthCoast-centric sites and promptly disappear.
The comments sections on the online versions of local newspapers are rank and full of utter ignorant shit that should never even be spoken, let alone published. But these self-important pigs are given free voice and free rein, so my enjoyment and edification at the information sites that they have turned into their personal slop trough is finished. I get a few local headlines and really don't care if the local rags go under, as is rumored. They brought it on themselves by allowing the quality of their product to sink to such abysmally repulsive depths. Shame on them.

  • See this very positive story about Ernestina getting a grant from the Commonwealth. If you scroll down, there are a couple of trolls who have nothing good to say, and don't even seem to have read the article, but drop their turd anyhow because the Standard-Times graciously allowed the bandwidth and page space to comment. Out of fear, mostly. That the whiners will be whiny on the radio or somewhere else where their ilk convene.
  • Comments on newspaper sites (or their horrid siblings, online forums) just increase page hits, which the Sales Department can use to lure advertisers. I am not employed by the Standard-Times or Herald News, so why should I aid them in that endeavor?
  • The SouthCoastResponse is designed to lead you to an ad, then make you look (click) for the forum, then they give you a recent posting so you must click again to read the preceding postings or click to get to the beginning and then click to the end and click to reply and click to sign in and click to sign your name and then they send you a Confirmation e-mail which you must click to get back to their sign-in page and then you must go through all the steps again just to leave a comment like: "Don't you jerks have anything better to do?"
  • In SCR's case, there are so few actual posters, I would pull the damn thing no matter how many realtors and used car dealers think they're getting a great deal. My only advice is look at a typical intro page:

  • (click to enbiggen)

  • If someone were to ask me to advertise their site on my site, I would very carefully consider the site they wanted to promote. If that site were full of inaccurate personal attacks by paranoid conspiracy-theorist self-styled-Libertarian creeps who spent a great deal of time berating me, my city, and people that I support, I would not allow them access.
  • And it's not about allowing someone freedom of speech. It's about refusing to promote agendas that offend me. Objectivism, fear, neoconservatism, hate, regressive social agendas, are all things I do not support.
  • And if they started their whining about violation of First Amendment rights, they might get a demonstration of my support for the Second Amendment.
  • Over on The Gam, I've thrown up some sites that I admire for various reasons. I apologize to the owners of those sites for leaving or not leaving comments. And I apologize to the rest of you for not writing enough. And I apologize to my future publisher for same. Whoever that is.
  • I realize that since I never got fully into the txtng and online social network lifestyle and its necessary gadgetry, I may not be up on things, but c'mon, look at my profile photo. I realize that people looking for local politics will be bored with my boating stories, and people looking for boating stories will be confused by my dissing of local media, and that those looking for Alyson Hannigan, and the "pope fish friday" people ... well, I'm not sure what any of them make of this.
  • Because they don't leave comments.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ready, Set...

When you spend some time on the sea moving from vacation spot to vacation spot, you tend to lose a sense of "season." Say, if your bag is stuffed under a bunk of a Tall Ship™ and you leave sixty-five degree weather and sail South to a port with sixty-five degree weather. And then back North when it gets too hot.
Here on The Beach, though, lately (over the past two or three years) I've noticed that -- without even weighing anchor or setting topsails -- we go from sixty-five degrees to eighty-five degrees and everyone develops strange mannerisms. aches, and clothing choices. (Yes, it really is like being at sea. )
I remind them that it's called "Summer" and it's supposed to be, well, warmer than Spring. Some are busy running from their air-conditioned homes to their air-conditioned cars, stopping at the air-conditioned shop before getting to air-conditioned work, complaining about the heat.
Others are busy in those air-conditioned environments enjoying the thrilling reading provided by Dennis Kucinich's entertaining 85-page recollection of some of the kookier moments of the last eight years, comically-titled Articles of Impeachment. Yep, I poured myself a good tall tumbler of Recall, rolled about in the lush natural carpet of lavender and thyme, and then settled into the divan in the exterior conversation pit to thrill to the zany hijinks recapitulated therein. Like Article XX: Imprisoning Children and Article XXII: Creating Secret Laws.
As we were reminded earlier by our refreshingly frank representative Frank, you can't get Congress to impeach somebody for doing things that Congress did, or allowed. The hilarious Twin Articles XXIV and XXV, Spying on American Citizens Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Fourth Amendment and Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens are a good example of that. So, The End.
In the meantime, here's how the next late former ex-President feels about you:

And he'll do it too. He's a mean, spiteful little scamp.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Go Dennis Go Dennis... or whatever

Last night, against the advice of Barney Frank (which was shared here) and over the rustling, grunting, and wheezing sounds of all the rude Congressional pantloads waddling and shuffling around the floor of the House, Dennis Kucinich "went for it" ...
Unfortunately, nobody cared because he didn't say anything about sex in the Oval Office.
Which, as everyone knows, is the only reason we can ever impeach a sitting President.
(I love the listlessness of Madam Speaker. She's all class, but tends to telegraph a bit too much.)

Monday, June 9, 2008

There's a stoic wisdom some exhibit on the sea that borders on melodrama. During a squall, someone will nonchalantly grab something that's rolling across the deck; their only thought would be, "Why wasn't this made off?"

A ship's deck is a very small place, for all the supposed "romance" it holds for lubbers. A sloop's cockpit is an even smaller place. And although a skipper can cram a massive ego behind the helm and bark drink orders to the mate below, there's always that bone attached to the inside of the back of the skull from which originates the Shiver of the Hero. The thing that resonates to the fear and to the necessity of action. Some traditionalists will insist that the "hero" is the one who dies. Besides being a very xtian sentiment, remembering someone for dying is tragically unfair.
It's forgetting an awful lot of living.

Roger Stone, 53, died while helping rescue his crewmates on Cynthia Woods, during the Galveston to Veracruz "Regata de Amigos." (AP story and photo) They'd struck something and had lost their keel and capsized. Thoughts go out to his family and mates, and special kudos to the hero Steve Conway, the safety officer who kept the crew together.

Friday, June 6, 2008


  • Many years ago, sometime last century, I worked at a radio station with a very upright and conscientious jock. He made a point of pointing out to anyone who would listen, on-air or off, that he was "tired of hearing people misapply the term 'self-titled.'"
  • "The term you mean to use is 'eponymous,'" he would drone. "I know what you're trying to say, that the band titled its album after itself. But the only one who doesn't title a record itself is one who lets someone else, like the record company, title it. Then, you would say 'record-company-titled,' now, wouldn't you?"
  • I mention this because, a quarter-century later, I still hear people call albums that have the same name as the artist "self-titled." Which is why I've stopped correcting people who work in radio.
  • Except that kid at the college radio station who keeps calling Hasil Adkins "HAY-zil." ("Hasil" sounds like "Hassle" in the late Mr. Adkins' case.)
  • They've got billboards that measure you so they can sell you junk on The Beach. I say: Don't just record my gender and how tall I am. How about manufacturing something I might actually go and buy?
  • DreamNight is held at local zoos every June 6. It started in The Netherlands and is celebrated everywhere, because it's a very cool thing to open your local zoo to kids who might not be able to enjoy a day at the zoo because of physical limitations.
  • Usually there's a theme, like "storybook characters" and local volunteers help the zoo staff take on the challenge of entertaining and educating the kids who are invited to participate. Very special event.
  • I''ll be at the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford tonight, along with members of the ensemble at Your Theatre Inc. And to show that I'm a good sport, I'm dressing up like a pirate, despite my disdain for such practices. Because kids love pirates.
  • And no, I won't be Captain Hook, or peg-legged, or even eye-patched . That would be insensitive, now wouldn't it?I'm not encouraging, elevating, or promoting lawlessness or perpetuating unsavory stereotypes. It's for a good cause, right?
  • And I won't be singing any Jimmy Buffett, so that makes it okay, doesn't it? ...And I'm not giving this expression back to Jeff Bridges Now, if I can only remember whether it's "Arrr!" or "Aaargh!"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Town Meeting Day in Dartmouth !

OMG!!1! NO WAY!!1!Forget your national primary elections! It's the first week in June, which may or may not be the designated time when the Summer People get to hop into their Zodiac and go to Town Meeting. Yup, today we sent our "representatives" to the high middle old school cafetorium audeteria room where they indulge in the only kind of politics that mean anything: The LOCAL kind.

A celebration of an ancient form of governance which makes people -- especially those whose cars were built before those uppity catalytic converters -- really feel like they're participating in how much the Commonwealth of Massachusetts really doesn't give a crap.
Our old pal Curt Brown (who is still employed by the Standard-Times, unlike just about everybody else), was pulling the string on the office "laptop" extra hard and "liveblogging" the Dartmouth Town Meeting. Here's a sample, his last transmission:
With only three objections, all the nearly $3 million in capital improvements projects were just approved.
Those include the resurfacing of the parking lot at the Police Department, a new roof at the Southworth Library,new windows at Quinn, the reconstruction of Highland Avenue, and a new energy efficient mechanical system at Town Hall.
Yes, We The People voted to do just that. Back in the "special election" in April. But that's the beauty of Town Meeting Day. We get to see: not only how we voted, but how the people whom we humor into representing us voted. Or at least how they voted today. If you were watching on Cable Access. Plus, we don't know how they voted in April. Unless you were that lady who kept walking around behind everybody when we went into the voting "booth."
Resurfacing the parking lot at the Police Station would have been great twenty years ago when I first drove into town, found the police station by accident and some cop nearly backed into me in the gravel parking lot. Yeah, I would've voted for lines, too, but I guess we'll let the Select Board or some committee or other work that out. After all, we're going to get new dilithium crystals for the Town Hall's impulse engines.
Town Meeting also -- in a shock to many -- voted to give elementary school kids new reading textbooks. Shock because the town defeated the referendum question that asked if the town should spend money on books. But, do you see the Magic of Town Meeting? K-5 gets textbooks that no longer will have the pronoun thee in them, and Grades 5-12 get to write their own damned textbooks.
I also believe in the importance of schools and well-maintained public libraries because citizenry must be well-informed (and have as many DVDs of Big Trouble in Little China as they deem necessary) to participate in our democracy. So that was good, and I drove by and hit the horn for the sweating busybodies who voted YEA.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Is there an election coming up? Or something?

Um, help me walk through this...
There's a position circulating, goes something like this: If you believe in Democratic "party unity," you shouldn't vote for Barack Obama in November because he shouldn't be President because he was poor and young and only a Senator and now is elitist but Hillary Clinton should be President because she was a Senator, a First Lady, and a woman, so vote for McCain, all you Democrats.
As soon as the environment, atheists, minorities, gays, immigrants, veterans, the economy, women, the disabled, the poor, (and those we both forget) are assured a fair shake from that side of the aisle, sure, of course.
The Massachusetts Democratic Committee bounced the political activist (or, if you want to be technical, "delegate") who's always delivered the SouthCoast checkmarks to the Democratic column. Because Margaret D. Xifaras wanted to presidentially-nominate Barack Obama, and not the MassDemStateComm to the DemNatComm favorite son, Hillary Clinton.
So when I and my beloved and the other 511,678 of us cast our "GObama!" in the Massachusetts primary, we knew that our voices would be drowned out by shrill political hacks yelling "Four More Years!" (But MarDee will be there, with our "GObama!" because she's a superdelegate who will stand defiantly at the convention because she has to: her superdelegate term ends after the upcoming Debacle in Denver.) So, she won't be representing us by sitting on her deck in Marion, sobbing and shaking her head, like the rest of us.
And somehow they blame "feminism" for this.
The aim of feminism, as I understood it, is to put each of us -- boys and girls-- on the level playing field of equal individual rights, regardless of gender. It's not to especially punish males or especially reward females. It's not the "grrl power" branding that sells fashions or porn for chicks. It's not the Robert Bly "Iron John" reaction silliness. It's not baby clothes or nursery paints in gender-neutral colors. Feminism is not about blame or fault or divisiveness or hate or selfishness.
At least not the way it was taught to me
(I know I'm going to hear it from the "You just say you're a feminist to get chicks" crowd, but here goes:)
I say we are all equal in deserving respect and love, and we all work and play with the same rights and opportunities, moving toward our common goal of a better home, state, country, world.
So what is this about ?

I hate The Beach.