Archive for the ‘rape’ Category

I came across this software that takes phrases and makes several anagrams. One of the samples is the title of this piece. It also took the line “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” and changed it to “Neatly weighs up mawkish philosophy about unforseen reality”, which I thought was rather funny.

Saturday, we had plans to go to a museum a distance away, only to discover that it was unexpectedly (and illogically) closed. Plan B involved the usual housecleaning and shopping. But there came a point were my wife was going to take a nap and the daughter had fallen asleep on the sofa. Could I go to the grocery store to get some things?

I was surprised a bit by my disappointment. The idea of being in my own house, well not alone, but with it to myself was SO tantalizing. Going out to the store seemed counterintuitive, but go I did.

On the way back I run into five boys, maybe aged 14, on bicycles; no helmets, BTW. I too was on my bike. one asked me where Central Avenue was. Central Avenue is only THE main street in Albany. The answer wasn’t that simple; if they wanted a low number, it would have made sense to head east on Western Avenue, but the higher numbers would suggest going straight (north) on West Lawrence, ignoring the fact that the road seems to end, something you can do on a bike, though not a car.

I travel on, and see them AGAIN on North Allen, in front of the elementary school. The same kid said he couldn’t find Central. I said, “You have to keep going.” Another kid asked, “Is it beyond Washington Avenue?”

“Yes”.

Second boy: “See, I TOLD you so!”

Then boy #1 told me about some “furry” candy he wanted to buy, but his friends were going to go buy pot. Was this true, or an attempt to get a reaction from me? As it turns out the address they gave me was in Colonie, well past the Colonie Center mall, and I warned them it as a long ride.

I restated my directions: ride until you run into a funeral home. At which point, one of the other boys burst into a crying jag. I was told that his grandmother had just died. But this was “crying” that sounded mighty insincere, and I feel they’re trying to yank my chain, though I passingly apologize.

They went on their way, I mine, left wondering: who ARE these kids, where did they come from, what did they REALLY want in Colonie, and how the heck do they not know where Central Avenue is?
***
I’ve been having a lot of vivid dreams recently. One involved a relative of mine on my father’s side who accused me of mocking her when she had a child out of wedlock. this is untrue, as far as i know, but the specificity of that and other dreams is fascinating to me. These are the dreams you wish you could film, or are really glad you cannot. Another dream was particularly grotesque, again with references to my father’s people. These things are supposedly manifestations of something, but I’m at a loss to ascertain what.
***
Why has my mother’s phone number in North Carolina changed? New area code AND the seven digits. I’ve known the old number impressed in my mind for years. Arrgh.
***
Arthur at AmeriNZ on bigotry, in this case, a homophobic columnist.
***
Thom Wade links to the Jon Stewart/Daily Show assessment of an Al Franken amendment to a Congressional bill against rape by governmental contractors. 30 Republicans, who I thoughtfully listed in the comments to that post, opposed the bill.

ROG

I suppose it oughtn’t to be necessary to say, but I’m against torture. Dick Cheney’s been rebuked. Not so incidentally, I recognize his right to speak; I was just hoping that he wouldn’t exercise it right away. Most Vice-Presidents (Nixon in 1960, Gore in 2000) GO AWAY for a while.

Jaquandor, in touting someone else’s disgust with some conservative talk show host’s ramblings about waterboarding, was rather eviscerating of (yawn) Hannity who was likewise braying that he’d undergo waterboarding and “he’d do it for the troops”, I thought, “OK, you blowhard. But let’s do it right. Let’s have someone grab you off the street, throw you into a van, blindfold you, and drive you to someplace you have no idea. Then let’s have them strip off your clothes, deprive you of food for days, not say a word to you except to tell you to stand up or lie down; let’s have them randomly beat you. And then let’s have them waterboard you. No cameras to record your bravado. No knowledge that after ten seconds it’ll all be over. Let’s have them waterboard you, over and over and over again, until you scream for no more. Sounds about right to me.

Meanwhile Greg talks about Charles Krauthammer, moral relativism and torture, which you should just go read.

But there was a concept in Greg’s piece that reminded me of a somewhat different situation. In October 1972, I had to go in front of my draft board in Binghamton to maintain my position that I was a conscious objector, which I had declared when I had registered for the draft about a year and a half earlier, and which I had to deal with because my draft number was so low – 2. One of the questions was what I would do if someone attacked my mother. I said I would defend her and protect her. Then, I was asked, would not going to fight a Hitler be a protecting my mother against attack? My response was that it is one think to respond to an immediate threat of an attack against my mother; it was far different to intentionally put myself in a position to to fight and kill people. Perhaps this is moral relativism too, but regardless, I was granted a c.o.; then because the draft law was winding down, I wasn’t drafted anyway, even for alternative service.

Here’s another blogpost that had an impact on me this week, by Thom Wade: I hate that rape is an acceptable metaphor for minor things. Among the examples, “Stop Raping My Childhood, George Lucas.” Thom links to other banal rants as well. It is SO obviously wrongheaded that Thom should not have had to comment.

Finally, a personal, somewhat painful recollection by SamuraiFrog about family and friends and rage and therapy. “Everyone tells you to just get over it and move on, stop living in the past. But living in the past isn’t the problem.” I related to it more than I can say; OK, more than I am willing to say.

ROG

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