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catching up and getting out

catching up and getting out

Ok, I hate Wal-Mart. That store seems to attract every leggings-wearing, deodorant-deprived, screeching, curler-haired woman in the vicinity. And they all have kids with home-haircuts who do nothing but scream from the time they enter the store until they leave. I didn't even know there were trailer parks on Long Island.

Anyhow, we did manage to pick up the economy box of tampons as well as a pack of Transformers playing cards with a hologram on the package, and I think I picked up fleas from one of those screaming kids.

This has been an interesting 48 hours to say the least. I've added about 40 blogs to my blogroll today. I deleted only two, at the request of the owners.

It's been exhausting getting through all the comments and email, and I feel bad that I haven' responded to every single one. I'm going to attempt to get to some of them right here.

michele, there is an old/new you, more than most. there is a huge line, you saw it yourself when you pointed out in a recent post (the pic of the angry arab flipping the finger) that there was a turning point....and your direction is your direction. i feel it's a matter of you seeking comfort and security in the absolute us/them thing. since i am firmly convinced there are no absolutes, yes, sometimes it hurts me to read you. i tend to skip those posts and look for the 'old' michele. the one i can read at rhzine and blogcritics. the one that didn't feel the need to slam democrats and liberals (for the record, i'm registered green party).

Well, this is the thing. You didn't seem to mind when I was slamming Republicans and conservatives. And there is no "old" and "new" Michele. I am the person I have always been. I'm sure if I was still doing the old spork routine and making Cheney jokes, you would still be here, laughing along. But as soon as I start bashing on something you like, you are disappointed in me personally and look away in disgust. Whether you admit it or not, you do believe in absolutes. There is your side and their side. Good and bad. You say as much between the lines.

There has been a progressive split between the hawks and the doves, a painful build-up of pressure that should be released somehow (usually by a nice war or two) but just isn't being....You certainly reflect that, while remaining you.

Thank you, D. At least someone recognizes I'm still me. And Optimus Prime and Filler Bunny say hi.

I always found you a bit high-strung -- fury seemed to be a default setting for you, even before your recent "conversion."

The "conversion" wasn't a conversion at all, but a slow awakening to my core beliefs. Yes, I'm high strung. But please remember, this is the space I use to vent and rant. Everything is turned up a notch here because I use it as my therapy. I certainly don't walk around punching old ladies in the head all day. (Aim for the stomach - they react better).

Perhaps the people who are finding it difficult to read perceived liberal bashing will finally understand what it's like to surf through their blogs and read conservative bashing. Really, I have scars from wincing so hard.

It seems to me that the left make a living out of bashing, but accuse the right of being mean spirited and petty when they bash back. It's all rhetoric and answering questions with questions and talk, talk, talk with no action. God forbid the right talks back - the finger wagging begins.

In a world so full of anger and hate and sorrow, to perpetuate such a cycle isnít something I can watch and support with a link to your site. Take that for whatever value you wish to give it.

I responded to you personally, though I haven't heard back from you. I don't expect to. I don't think I'm perpetuating the cycle as much as expressing my views on how to end the cycle, or at least turn in a different direction. This site is my personal place, my diary, my soul. If this is where I want to dump my anger and hate and sorrow, I reserve that right. I am not asking anyone to throw stones at protesters or deface someone's property or pick up a gun and shoot terrorists. I am just stating one person's very strong opinion.

It troubles me that some people read you now and see hatred, but before they saw just high-spiritedness. You move away from positions similar to theirs and suddenly you're full of hate?!? Bullshit!

Thank you, Dodd. That's exactly my point.

There are a lot of people in my blogroll that I disagree with. It would be a very short list if I only linked to people I agree with because no two people are exactly alike in their opinions. It doesn't show much confidence in your own opinions if you are afraid to hear other people's opinions.

And thank you, Lynn.

While it's true that you aren't the one who aired your grievance first, I found the other person's announcement about the fact that you were going to be removed from the blogroll to be exceptionally polite. Polite would have been to email me, tell me about it and leave it at that rather than making a public announcement about it. I think you might see that he was very respectful of you. Your readers were NOT respectful of him because you made it sound like he just WRENCHED you from his blogroll, and stomped on you a few times. I don't think it was respectful at all to not only tell everyone he was taking me off his list, but link to me in the process. I thought that was rather cruel, considering he stated that I make his skin crawl. I don't read your blog regularly. I didn't know you "before." I'm glad you have found a voice here, but I have to say that this introduction of you has not convinced me that you are worthy of my respect or my readership. Funny, I don't remember asking for either. But thanks for your concern. I'll try to be nicer to people who trash me in the future. Maybe then I can deserve your respect.From all I've heard about you, you are a much better person than what I'm seeing of you right now. Defending myself makes me a bad person? Stating my views makes me a bad person? Wow. I had no idea. Time to rethink this whole "develop your own personality" thing.

I'll serve your ass like John McEnroe,
if your girl steps up, i'm smackin da ho.

Word to your moms I came to drop bombs
I got more rhymes than the bible's got psalms .

i don't get hate mail. well, except for the chick who thought i should just die and burn in hell for writing about my manatee.

You own a manatee?

Yes, Michele, you are evil. But only in the most adorable cuddly way imaginable. Keep up the good work, and feel free to post pictures of whatever part of your anatomy you care to expose to your fans.

I'm not cute and cuddly, damn it! And I'm thinking of posting a picture of my ass with the words "kiss this, fuckers!" written on it.

Sounds like you have a problem with Juvenile De-link-wents.

Who thinks Tom needs to be hung for that joke?

Mary Matalin was single, getting old and desperate. That's why she married Car-vile....Some people will do anything for companionship, including sleep with the enemy.

I wonder what Michael Moore is doing tonight.

That was a JOKE!

Ok, that's just some of the comments I wanted to get to. I'll have to get to the emails later. I've already had a bit more tequila than I wanted to, I have to finish what I'm writing about judicial races and Dan and Stacy just called me from the strip club. Dan asked that I post a picture of my booty. Maybe. Let's see how far I get with this tequila.

**I do think that if the women out there who profess to love me and want me to win the contest, they will write "vote for Michele" across their chests, take a picture of it and send it to me. That's what I call getting out the vote.**

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference catching up and getting out:

» Make boobage, not war from Ain't too proud to blog
If you haven't voted yet...scoot! And here's a little incentive from me in case you're being a slacker. [Read More]

» Get the vote out from Demented and Sad, but Social
I refuse to stand limply by and let my dear friend Michele take these jabs any longer! Go vote [Read More]

» The Rags to Riches Myth from Full Bleed: Confessions of a Zine Girl
Well, although Michele did pretty much apologize for her classist references in her blog, the inevitable happened - a response [Read More]

Comments

What strikes me as odd is that even tho you allow comments, this is still a "personal" journal/log and since I would imagine others wouldn't want to be told their thoughts are wrong/terrible why would they do that to you? Get a life people! You just write from your heart and it is just your opinion, therfore not right or wrong...just yours.

done. i'm going to use one you've seen before, tho. sorry. i'm lazy that way.

i'm expecting a heiny shot, tho.

A. You've got Dick's vote!
B. Dick is campaigning hard for you!
C. Dick wants to see you go up in the pole poll!

Choose your favorite campaign slogan.

Heh heh... well, Dick's post is a uh, hard act to follow, but I just wanted to drop a note and say thanks for the link. I am honored. :0)

Once more...with feeling!

Fuck anyone who doesn't like you. What is this? High school?

"But as soon as I start bashing on something you like, you are disappointed in me personally and look away in disgust."

well, kinda make sense, doesn't it? and i don't look away in disgust. i believe i mentioned great respect in the next breath. of course i react when your stance changed away from the views i related to, to one that slams those views. since my views are integral to who i am, i tend to feel ... hurt's not the word but ... when the implication is i'm an idiot(arian) and whatnot, i guess i take it a little personally?

also if you noted the time of the comment, it would be a safe bet to assume i'd been hitting the beer -- i made much, much less sense than i'd have liked to, and at the moment i'm at least 3/4 sick and don't have it in me yet. but please trust me, i do have a point somewhere in my brain. there's just a block between it and the typing fingers.

i simply adore you and have for a long long time. i can't help but be a little put off by an ideological shift that left me on the other side of your sharpest words, by affiliation.

Manny the manatee is owned by no (wo)man.

You know, I know that your blog has taken a little bit of a different turn. I don't agree with all of it. If I agree, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say so. But to slam someone publicly or slam them in their comments is so wrong. I think you've gotten a little more intense. Is it bad? No. Not so much. I love people that challenge me, and make me think, or look at something in a way that I might not have looked at before.

What those people are failing to understand here, is that there is no right or wrong. Just different. Diversity kicks ass. Christ and if it really bugs you that much and you really can't look past the fact that you just strongly disagree, then just don't read.

Oh and no matter what wal mart you go to, in any state, they're all the same. I think they build a hidden trailer park within' 5 miles of every wal mart.

one more thing: about the 'no absolutes' us and them thing? i was referring to our country vs. -- well, just about everybody else, not conservative vs. liberal. i just don't make myself very clear sometimes. and now i'm running an actual fever.

Okay, I declare a moratorium on TAKING YOURSELVES SO GODDAMNED SERIOUSLY.

I've just spent the last five hours having the lovely breasts and coochies of strange women shaken about in my face (etc.) and I am only in the mood for LOVIN'!!!!

Where my bitches at?

"It seems to me that the left make a living out of bashing, but accuse the right of being mean spirited and petty when they bash back. It's all rhetoric and answering questions with questions and talk, talk, talk with no action. God forbid the right talks back - the finger wagging begins."

Honest thought and criticism... that's what we need. Not politicians who's only goal is being re-elected.

aw heck ... it's all rhetoric, when it comes down to brass tacks, whateverthehell that means. c'mon people now, smile on your brother everybody get together try and love one another right now ...

please holler at me for posting drunk softly, i'll be hungover by morning :)

and Sekimori? sounds like the perfect evening. that sort of thing puts it all in perspective.

can we have a group grope hug? no? ok, i'll go pass out now. soon. i hope. stop me before i blabbble again.

"Manatee, oh mantee...
Your moustache bristles
tickles me
in places no one ever sees..."

Fuckin' hippies. I'm okay, you're okay, blah blah blah. Where's the circle jerk? Can I watch? :)
Michele, I just started reading your blog a couple days ago, and even if I didn't agree with your (new) politics, I'd still love reading your stuff. You're passionate, well spoken, and...well, interesting, for lack of a better term.

Here's my piece of random, meaningless advice for all: Read Tammy Bruce's book "The New Thought Police". This is a book written by a liberal for everybody. It helped me clear my fragile little mind of many misconceptions, social and political. No, this is not a paid advertisement.
Good night and God speed!

I have sort of been hanging here for a bit, wondering if I might have misjudged you because I still see many people I respect who are willing to stand up for you. I think you are right about what I wrote. I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for women who rage and women who are comfortable expressing their anger. I know that I have had my angry moments, and I'm not ashamed of them...

Which brings me to my question: Is unapologetic classism part of the "old" michele, or the "new" michele? Because I thought I read before that you were against that sort of thing, but here I see you poking a very sharp finger at the poor. I guarantee you, the leggings set at Wal-Mart did not bomb New York, so why would you choose to release your vitriol on them?

This is the second post I've read that has made reference to people who live in trailer parks as being somehow inferior, and I haven't really been paying close attention.

I mean, I'm just saying...if you are wondering why some people might be uncomfortable coming here...

Of course, many people are very comfortable taking potshots at the poor. I see this stuff all of the time. So it's really No Big Deal.

So, yeah. Next time you see my kids with their home-haircuts, you better stear clear. There are worse things than fleas, you know.

I guarantee you, the leggings set at Wal-Mart did not bomb New York, so why would you choose to release your vitriol on them?

I didn't know my vitriol was reserved only for terrorists.

It was satirical, honey. After all, I was in Wal-Mart myself. And I'm pretty damn close to poor. If you can't poke fun at yourself without getting in trouble, this is a world with a pretty sad sense of humor.

And my son has always had a home haircut. That doesn't mean he is dirty and screaming at the top of his lungs in the middle of a department store because his mother was too busy on her cell phone to realize that her kid had to pee so bad that he wasn't able to hold it in.

As for the leggings, I make no no apologies for being disgusted with a woman who wears painted-on leggings and a crop top when she obviously shouldn't be.

And please don't get all PC on me and tell me that's a swipe at overweight people because it's not. It's a swipe at sloppy, dirty people who shove their putrid smelling armpits in my face while reaching over me to grab the same bottle of water I was reaching for.

End rant.

dru,

Let me do this gently. The.Poor are not some monolythic group. And poor does NOT equal unwashed, unkempt, impolite, illiterate, undereducated, ill-mannered trogledytes. However, the aforementioned ARE numerous amongst The.Poor. Why? Because those aforementioned qualities do not always endear you to Human Resources when filling the vacancy for head of the financial department or network administration. For many fine people without those qualities, "poor" is a way-stop. It could be Mr & Mrs Immigrant working 3 or 4 lowlevel jobs to get their kids through college because their degrees from their home country don't translate here. It could be young I.am.going.for.my.master's deciding to stay in the low-level clerking job and low rent district. Those and others may be the well scrubbed and polite shopper inline at Walmart's overshadowed by the underachiever.and.whats.it.to.you loudmouth hassling the checker about whether the t-shirt with Brittany Spears on it was really on the sale rack or not.

I don't recall when it was that The.Poor became off limits to any critical observations, even anecdotal.

Trailer parks on Long Island ... Ooooh, don't tempt me!!! ;)

-- Trailer Park Girl, Austin, Texas

See, Darlene, that actually sounds like a rational argument, until you think about it. Then it just sounds like more classist crap.

Just because there are some people in a particular group that fit the stereotype, doesn't make it OK to perpetuate the stereotype. There are all sorts of marginalized groups that I could cite examples for, and say that some of the stereotypes are "true" for some of the people in the group. But I won't do that, because it would be crass. I trust you to use your imagination.

Besides, who are you to say that "the poor" (and I do admit that's a pretty condescending way to refer to a group of people, but I guess it's for want of a better term) who stay poor are "underachievers" and that those who are temporarily poor are somehow superior and worthy of greater respect? And who is anyone to say that "the poor" are somehow inferior to "the rich" - most of whom did NOT have to work hard to achieve their position in life. There's a lot I could say about this, but I just don't have the time right now. Thanks for inspiring a good blog post for tonight, though. I do believe I have recently run across reports that prove that people pretty much remain in the same social classes throughout their lives, and that the old "rags to riches" thing is a myth. I'll have to look that up.

By the way, showers for the poor sounds like a perfect campaign platform! I think you've solved a major social crisis here! That's IT, if only "they" would BATHE, people would be giving "them" jobs right and left. Why haven't our nation's pundits thought of that one!

THAT must be what's wrong with the economy these days, there are too many people who are blithely unconcerned with personal hygiene, and they're dragging the whole freaking nation down with them.

You, Darleen, are obviously some kind of genius. Have you considered running for office?

I am a member of what you would call 'the poor.' My family lives slightly below the poverty line. My mother will be making payments on her house for the next 20 years. My father drives a 1987 Chevy truck and lives in an FHA house built about 35 years ago. I routinely hear the liberals complaining about how 'the rich take away from the poor' and other class demagoguery.

I don't even know any rich people. No rich person has ever, at any time, cheated me out of what's mine (why would he? I have nothing of any great value to be cheated out of).

Let me tell you something about 'the poor' in this country. Me and my family don't drive brand new cars or live in big fancy houses. But we do put food on the tables (and some pretty damned good food when we actually cook), keep roofs over our heads, and have cars, if not brand new ones, that will run. In fact, right now, my parents and grandparents are putting me through college with very little scholarships or other financial aid (didn't do too good my first year, which was two years ago. Still recovering from that debacle).

Let me say it like this: on paper, the libs say I'm poor, but I don't fell poor. We make enough money to get by and thats good enough. I have everything a person needs and then some. America is not unfair to the poor. The amazing thing about America is the standard of living it provides to 'the poor.' Actually, I consider myself quite lucky. Because I could've been some poor bastard born in Africa. Where life expectancy is less than 40 years. Where there are countless, hideous ways to die, from strange diseases to wildlife, to warfare. Where the odds of having any job is virtually zero and any job you do have pays $10 a month in a currency that won't buy anything anyway. 'The poor' in this country are richer than most of the rest of the earth.

In my lifetime I have been (fairly in some cases) accused of a lot of things. When I die and stand to be judged by my maker, He will have cause to condemn me for a lot of things. But I will not be condemned for being an ungrateful little bastard. So for all you flaming libs who spout 'The Poor' line, please kindly take it and shove it up your ass.

I should clarify that I am also straddling that poverty line. It's not like I'm standing up on a mountain of money here, preaching down on the unwashed masses.

I'm glad you feel like you have enough, James. But it'd be kind of ignorant to say that since you have enough, others should stop complaining. I just finished writing an essay about classism and the poverty gap. There's simply no reason that my mind can wrap around that would make it OK for 1% of the United States population to earn as much after taxes as the poorest 100 million. There's no reason for that descrepancy.

Because YOU might eat well, James, but there are many others who do not eat well. There are many who do not eat at all. It is estimated that 31 million people in the United States are currently classified as hungry. I'm sure there are many more who are undernourished.

We definitely can compare ourselves to people in developing nations and perhaps feel "better" about our position, but I don't think that's a valid argument against speaking out in defense of the economically disadvantaged. Particularly when "our way of life" is being bandied about as being superior and above reproach enough to dictate to others what their way of life ought to be.

I should clarify that I am also straddling that poverty line. It's not like I'm standing up on a mountain of money here, preaching down on the unwashed masses.

I'm glad you feel like you have enough, James. But it'd be kind of ignorant to say that since you have enough, others should stop complaining. I just finished writing an essay about classism and the poverty gap. There's simply no reason that my mind can wrap around that would make it OK for 1% of the United States population to earn as much after taxes as the poorest 100 million. There's no reason for that descrepancy.

Because YOU might eat well, James, but there are many others who do not eat well. There are many who do not eat at all. It is estimated that 31 million people in the United States are currently classified as hungry. I'm sure there are many more who are undernourished.

We definitely can compare ourselves to people in developing nations and perhaps feel "better" about our position, but I don't think that's a valid argument against speaking out in defense of the economically disadvantaged. Particularly when "our way of life" is being bandied about as being superior and above reproach enough to dictate to others what their way of life ought to be.

Dru writes:

There's simply no reason that my mind can wrap around that would make it OK for 1% of the United States population to earn as much after taxes as the poorest 100 million. There's no reason for that descrepancy.

Dear, if you're under 25 and in college (I caught the 'writing an essay part), I'll excuse your insufferableness. However, let's just look at your statement above. I'll basically ignore your figures and go to the heart of your argument...that no one person should earn any more than the poorest person.

Would Stephan King write another novel if he knew he'd get paid same as the 17 y/o McDonald's fry cook? How 'bout Shaq? Or Tiger Woods?

And that's just entertainment. How about medicine? What person is going to put the blood sweat and years into being a neurosurgeon when mopping a floor 30 hours a week will get you the same pay?

I'm old enough to remember the Soviet Union and how it worked. You want to bring it back?

My personal feelings about the breadth of the wage gap and the worth of "entertainment jobs" (not to mention the medical industry) aside, you simply are not getting it, Darleen, and no backhand jabs at my perceived age can redeem you.

There's a vast amount of grey area between Russia and our current fucked up economical divide. I can see, though, where convincing people that any amount of change will lead to societal erosion might be a useful tool for those in power. To claim that it's NECESSARY for some people to not even make enough to EAT, while others make enough to feed the nation several times over is, wow, the height of ignorance. But, you know, making it seem like that is "just the way things are supposed to be" is a good way to keep people in line.

Have I said anything about everyone earning the same? Maybe in your old age, your eyesight is failing you, but I do not think that I did. What I'm saying is that there is a VAST gap between our nation's richest and our nation's poorest. I'm saying that gap should be reduced, not necessarily eliminated. And I don't have statistical evidence, but my impression is that there are a lot of people on the rich end of that gap who do far less than mop floors. So don't go getting all high and mighty about the work ethic of the rich, because I'm not freaking buying it. In fact, it's funny that you should even mention it, considering all of the corporate scandal that has gone down (scandal that, ultimately, effected the less wealthy workers downladder far more than it effected the criminals who enacted it.)

And I haven't even TOUCHED corporate subsidies and bail outs. But you might want to consider it.

You're not as informed as you think you are, Darleen. Perhaps you ought to read a bit more about socioeconomics before attempting to rebut.

Dru writes:

Maybe in your old age, your eyesight is failing you

excuse me while this old lady "tsk tsks" you.

Dear, there you go again, attempting to sound educated, but refusing to examine your premise.

ie: I'm saying that gap should be reduced

Dear, by WHOM? Do you, or do you not, believe that people should have the freedom to engage in voluntary contracts with each other? If 40,000 people want to pay $40 a ticket to see Shaq, who are you to tell them they cannot? If one million people want to purchase Emenim's latest CD @ $14.95 a piece, who are you to say they cannot? Who are you to propose laws that restrict people's essential freedom to engage in trade?

And who said it was "necessary" that some people have lousy or no jobs?

Or when did I even imply that corporate welfare was kosher?

There's an old saying about trying to "dazzle with diamonds, or baffle with bullshit" and I'd wish you would quit with the latter. I sense intelligence in you, but you need to train it to engage in reason.

Shalom.