Monday, August 25, 2014

"Code Words"....

...are giving me heartburn!

I get it.  There are some people who will use a euphemism or "code word" to condescend.  But sometimes to paraphrase Freud....."a word is just a word".

Last night, someone I follow on Twitter and think well of wrote that he found Rand Paul's "sexist" attack on Hillary Clinton "grating".  I was confused because I saw the same interview on "Meet The Press" or "Face the Nation" ( I watched them both) and I didn't hear "sexist".  The interviewer had just finished beating Paul up for doing cataract surgeries in Guatemala to garner votes in 2016.  It was embarrassing.  When the interviewer couldn't get around the fact that he had been doing such charity work for many years, she harped on the fact that he had his own camera crew there.  Yeah, shocking, a media savvy politician listened to his media people and brought a crew to film it - news at 11!

Now let us be clear, I think Rand Paul is a clown.  I don't want him to run.  I don't agree with most of his views.  We particularly part ways on foreign policy.

So, as I am when I am forced to defend donkeys like Obama and Rand Paul.....I am pained.

So back to Paul's alleged "sexist" attack on Clinton.  Paul described Clinton as a "war hawk" and "gung ho".  The tweeter explains that "gung ho" was "code" for "outspoken woman".  Well I had to laugh.  I pointed out that Paul was born in '63 and I was born in '61 and of an older generation than the tweeter.  When I hear "gung ho" I hear USMC slang and picture Robert Mitchum.

The tweeter asserted that Paul needed to be called out for saying "factually incorrect" things.  I replied that Paul could hardly be factually incorrect about his own opinion.  I further stated that Rand Paul was an isolationist and most assuredly saw Clinton as a "war hawk" and "gung ho" from a foreign policy standpoint.  I mean isn't it even more likely I have the correct interpretation considering he was discussing her support for going into Syria and used those two terms together?

I tweeted that I was tired of the "code" thing anyway.  It's very frustrating for people like me who just simply say what they mean and let the chips fall where they may.  I mean, to me that's what social media is about.  It's not supposed to be an echo chamber.  I don't go on Twitter for validation.  Good God!  I couldn't have more self esteem......where would I put it??  I go for the give and take.  To hear the different views.

But anyway, the young tweeter told me "I disagree with everything you said, I'm disappointed you've decided to 'correct' me when I'm not wrong, and resent this convo".  So I did apologize saying that I wasn't correcting just giving my opinion, but if he was upset, I considered the conversation over.  Because I don't go out on Twitter to make people unhappy (unless they are deserving of unhappiness).  But he was too upset (no I don't get it) and "unfollowed me".

And I get being condescended to.....I may be a white Irish Catholic from Boston.  And I know there is nowhere it's easier to be a white Irish Catholic than in Boston.  But I have had to listen innumerable times to cracks about bank robbers because I was from Charlestown.  Even though everyone in my extended family worked hard, bought houses and held down respectable jobs.  I have had people make judgements about my trustworthiness because of a few bad apples in Charlestown, when I was raised by a woman who wouldn't take a sugar packet out of a restaurant.  I have had people assume I was raised in a ghetto even though my dad was an executive for a Route 128 company and Charlestown was much more than "The Projects".  I have had people of color express surprise at how nice and fair I seem for a girl raised in a rabidly racist place (which no, it wasn't).  I have had people express surprise at my knowledge of other religions because they assumed Catholic schooling made me insular and ignorant of other faiths.

I have even been called "white trash" because people assumed I was in a Catholic school to hide from the busing in '75 and '76.  And I would reply that my Dad must have been psychic because he enrolled me in St. Francis de Sales Elementary in 1966!

What is my point?

No matter who you are, you have run into someone who judged you out of ignorance.  Is it like being subjected to brutal racism that people of color face every day?  No.  Of course not!

But on the other hand, if you are always looking for offense, you will find it.

And if I say "gung ho", I'm thinking of Robert Mitchum and Randolph Scott.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Let's Make Sure This Doesn't Happen Again

Last Sunday, My Marine had to use the Pike.
And boy!  Was he steamed!  I can tell you, "steamed Marine" is not as much fun as "hot Marine".

So let us not have a repeat tomorrow.
First - If you are not the fastest car in the passing lane - GET OUT OF THE LEFT LANE!  I can only say this is truly one of my pet peeves as well.  If there was one thing I drilled into all my boys as they got their licenses, it was; Don't be that ahhsshole!  The left lane is for passing and going fast.  I do not care what the speed limit is, you do NOT get to decide how fast other drivers go.  If you are tooling along in a 55 doing 65 and a trail of cars are building up behind you, move right.  And the fact that you are already exceeding the speed limit is no excuse. You go as fast as you want to go and the other driver will go as fast as he/she wants to go.  I have heard people say "Sheesh!  It's a 60 and I'm doing 70.  What do they want?"  They want you to move your stupid, inconsiderate ahhss over.  It doesn't take a psychic to read someone's mind in this situation.  If the other driver wants to go faster, it's not your call.  If he wants to exceed the speed limit, it's none of your business.  If he's breaking the law, you are not the State Police.  Unless you are the State Police and then the person nudging you to speed up or move is a clown.  Pull him over and club him.

Next - I don't know what you choose to call it; turn signal, directional, whatever.  Here on the Mass Pike we call it a "blinkah".  The purpose of the blinkah is to let other drivers know what you are about to do.  It is not part of the game "Red Light" as in......1, 2, 3, I'm in your lane just as I turn on my blinkah.  It is supposed to go on ahead of your move so other drivers can adjust their moves.  Now don't whine "But when I put on my blinkah sometimes the other driver speeds up and blocks me!"  Yeah, we've all driven next to that ahhsshole.  That's life.  It's not an excuse to be an ahhsshole yourself.  One or two car lengths isn't gonna kill you.  And if you needed to be in that lane immediately, you planned poorly.  So it's half your fault.

Do I really have to say "Don't text while you drive"?
 Do I have to say "Don't use your phone if it's not hands-free"?  Do I really have to point out that NO ONE can drive well and text?  Sure you can get lucky.  The road could be straight and flat.  You could have the thumbs of a thirteen year old girl.  The road could be kind of empty.  But the truth is when you are in actual traffic, your phone should not be in use.  When I see someone with the phone tucked at their shoulder I know they are A) distracted and B) creating a blind spot because they can't move their head.  And Heavens forfend you drop it!  Now you are really distracted.

Most people when asked, rate themselves as "better than average" drivers.  You know that's impossible.  So some of you suck.  And when you drive slowly in the passing lane, ride up people's bumpers, give them "brake jobs" or "life lessons", flash your brights, fail to use your blinkah properly or not at all or talk/ suck even more.

So don't do those things on The Pike.  I have a hot date coming up with My Marine and I need him there in one piece.

Because remember - in the end, it's all about me.