What’s Up With Fightin’ Mad White Women??

24 03 2009

UPDATE April 5 — see “Pitchforks and Pistols”:

They’re apocalyptic. They feel isolated, angry, betrayed and besieged. And some of their “leaders” seem to be trying to mold them into militias. . .For some, their disaffection has hardened into something more dark and dangerous.

As the comedian Bill Maher pointed out, strong language can poison weak minds [and]. . .has helped fuel the panic buying of firearms. . . 5.5 million requests. . . more than the number of people living in Bachmann’s Minnesota.

***********************
Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann really started something.  Suddenly it’s hyper-patriotic white women fomenting rebellion and inciting  civil war!  Do you see it too, or is it just this white woman who’s shocked?

Betty asked the other day about how we were “taking up weapons” on either side of a divide trying to transform society, and as I thought about it to discuss there, I was assaulted by the latest post-campaign barrage of words as weapons and real weapons too, no surprise in that, but prominently wielded by — white women!

Here’s a 24-year-old with a real gun in her hand as her blog’s intro, belligerently fighting for the only common ground I find anymore — we all fear dangerous ideas from alarming enemies, no surprise, but now it’s our fellow citizens who we see robbing us of our rightful freedoms and ruining this country. And it’s white women ready to shoot first and ask questions, well, never.

We might need a new word, maybe combine traitor with patriotic to get pa-traitor-ic? Patrai-triotic? Add in idiotic and get — patraitor-idiotic?

What is WRONG with us?  We all seem to believe this same thing at the same time, always about the other guy instead of our own side, again no surprise there — but now the bloody banner’s colors aren’t two competing red-white-and-blue symbols like the 1860 civil war. Now it’s red versus blue between whites:

“This is such a [Insert demonized opposition name here, either liberal or conservative] idea. . . either do it willingly or we will make you do it. . .

That sounds an awful lot like indoctrination and conditioning to me. . . .This is also kind of against the 13th Amendment of the Constitution. . .suspiciously like indoctrination camps aimed at producing a new generation of “citizens” who will be much easier for the government to manage without all this foolish dissent and debate. And why not. It’s not like we’re living in a free country or anything.”

So I see a failure of education, that if we the people can’t understand and transform and overcome, if we aren’t smart enough or enlightened enough to conquer Sarah and Michele and Cassy’s stupidity on a socially effective scale, then we are indeed in crisis, and may in fact fracture as a free and functioning union.

Hopefully the elegant and enlightened First Family is well-enough educated to help us all transform and overcome — but what I see right now as a white woman, are stupid blue-collar-pandering, white gun nut girls like Sarah and Michele and now Tammy Bruce calling the White House Michelle “trash” on national TV — as a form of patriotism?? See above for that new word — and they are what American education is somehow failing to protect our nation from.

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94 responses

24 03 2009
COD

If you’ll pardon my french, I believe 99% of these angry white women are full of shit. Sara Palin isn’t angry. She is playing a role. What could she possibly be angry about? She turned a sub par education and a mayorship of a podunk town in Alaska into a spot on the national political stage. If these people were really as worked up as they say they’d be unable to function in day to day life. They are essentially playing out fantasies. Stuff they would normally only share with a confidant or two is now public on their blog or Facebook page.

24 03 2009
JJ

Maybe “nature abhors a vacuum” comes into it? IN the absence of worthwhile issues to think about . . .

24 03 2009
Mat

Apparently you didn’t even bother reading Cassy’s article because what you say is completely idiotic. Apparently, it wasn’t a problem to be “hyper-patriotic” in dissent when Bush was in charge. But suddenly, the Messiah’s in and now everyone must bow to his, how did you put it, ” elegant and enlightened” wisdom. Please…

BTW, classifying Cassy as a gun nut simply shows how ignorant you are of her. Let’s talk about that education you keep talking about. Apparently, you’ve already been indoctrinated…

24 03 2009
Crimson Wife

What about the Michael Moores and Al Frankens of the world? They’re just as big blowhards as the women you mention, only they’ve got different political views. Blame our media culture for turning all of them into celebrities rather than relegating them to venting their hot air in some bar somewhere…

24 03 2009
Sidney Carton

Mr. Moore and Mr. Franken are not advocating violent revolution, or boasting of being willing to shoot and kill to protect their freedoms that are supposedly threatened. These broads are playing a role, and not a new one at that. They are the outraged woman whose accusations egg on the lynch mob. They might boast of their willingness to get their hands dirty and participate in the violence they seek to stir up, but in the end they will be the ones shrinking back while others die in the chaos they have incited. Such unwillingness to dirty their hands after encouraging others to do so will just stain their hands all the more with the blood of the innocent.

24 03 2009
JJ

To CW: the point of today’s post is, males from Moore/Franken to Limbaugh/Hannity don’t surprise me with their readiness to fight over politics . . .that (a spate of) white women are spoiling for a shooting war does. Particularly these supposed conservative Christian family-values women.

24 03 2009
JJ

I agree with “Sidney Carton” (whose response may well be a far better thing than mine, but whose name Dickens spelled with two ys, no i —
y i dunno!)
😉

Of course not all fightin’ mad white women were created equal. Bachmann and Palin for instance — unlike Tammy Bruce much less all us bloggers, presumably including the lovely young Miss Cassy defended so hotly (but insubstantially) above — also are elected officials. That means they have real responsibilities for their rhetoric, and freedoms to defend on our behalf, not just reputations. And a constitution. So when Bachmann calls for citizens to get “armed and dangerous” and calls herself a foreign spy in enemy territory, for example, it IS shocking, and we’re left to either dismiss her (as in get rid of her) as a lunatic or take her as a serious representative who knows what she’s saying and doing, and figure it’s a sign civil war has arrived.

24 03 2009
Sidney Carton

Yeah, I mixed up the spelling when choosing my nom de guerre. I was told by someone that my misspelling was fortuitous as Sydney is now considered the feminine spelling of this name. Oh well.

24 03 2009
JJ

It might be more of a British-American thing or a Victorian-modern day thing, but hey! — the feminine would’ve worked better for THIS post anyway (and so does a nom de GUERRE!) Welcome, glad you commented and I liked the choice. . . .

24 03 2009
Nance Confer

Cassy could put down her gun and go volunteer somewhere. Somewhere that needs actual help rather than chatter. Then she could come back in ten years and tell us what she saw — what worked, what didn’t, what mattered — politics, religion or individuals. Then she might have something worth listening to. So far, not so much.

Nance

24 03 2009
writestuff444

What do we “brand” as treason these days..? I heard Michele Bachman supposedly grilling Geitner this morning in the hearings..trying to protect the Constitution..She kept demanding what constitutional rights were being used to back up the treasury decisions to bail out AIG..Geitner kept trying to say, the constitutional rights given to the Congress to legislate legislation..but she was getting his answer. It was very comical, ….and a wee bit scary. She truly did not get that the Constitution had given Congress the right, as our representative to vote this legislation in..I think she thought the Treasury was just acting on its own. I kept thinking….and they elected you?..right or left, the woman is indeed idiotic!

24 03 2009
JJ

That would be a path to education and enlightenment at the same time, good idea Nance. Btw, I can’t wait for that post you’re going to get around to, on literacy volunteering. . . 🙂

24 03 2009
writestuff444

Just checked out JJ’s links…I always feel I’ve entered bizzarro world when I go to one of those right wing blogs…They feel the same way with me probably…which is the sad, sad truth. I would fight these people…if they tried to take away my rights as an American. Somehow..It is scary, guys, Mad white women and mad young men and people who are mad about everything..But..they all just need to do exactly what Nance suggested. Stop spending/wasting their time on idle crazy threats of violence and fear mongering and go out and get to work doing some good somewhere.

24 03 2009
Nance Confer

OK, fine, I’ll stop just thinking about it and write something down. Really. 🙂

Nance

25 03 2009
JJ

From the Minnesota Independent, Cassy may be just posing and trying on roles as young women do but Rep. Bachmann is over 50, literal in wanting people armed and dangerous, including herself, and literally acting on it:

Is it appropriate to consider Bachmann’s comments in the context of current bills to which she has lent her name?

HR 17: To protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.

HR 197: To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.

And here’s some context for her co-sponsorship of those bills: A fellow conservative says Bachmann told him last fall about the firearm she’d like to tote, with her own conceal-carry permit:

I saw her in Minneapolis a couple weeks ago … and she said, “You know, I am so proud of that. But you know what I really like? I really like an AR15. But you just can’t carry that around.”

An AR15 is the civilian version — a semi-automatic metaphor, you might say — of the M16 and M4 assault rifles.

25 03 2009
JJ

Oh and don’t forget the foaming-at-the-mouth stay-at-homeschool mom raging against the entire justice system on behalf of a cult-enamoured friend in a custody battle. This fightin’ mad white woman says outright, that America was created by and for the laws of God, not the laws of Man.

“She’s asking that the American legal system function, as it was intended to, not upon the laws of men but the laws of God. ”

So the most pious parent gets the kids?

Other bible-blogging SAHMs preaching Obama is the anti-Christ seem ready to take up arms with her to enforce that on us all, and follow Palin into holy war with her own family’s male infants in both hands — and all the daughters trailing dutifully behind to learn (stay-at-home submission??) from her crusading example.

Now — how are white women like Nance, Betty and me in any reality ever gonna unite in life, liberty and happiness with THAT worldview? Theocracy. Sharia Law. (It’s further off the church-state balance than Roman Catholic, understand — they have their own law and a sitting Head of State, but AFAIK even Bill Donohue isn’t demanding the Pope rather than the People will decide all custody matters and contract disputes here in America. . . )

As the fightin’ mad white woman above posted from NC:
“This battle is not over, and there’s still much to be done.”

25 03 2009
JJ

Feisty white woman Robyn at hsinjustice may or may not realize it, but here’s what white male leaders commanding such churches and cults — seriously, literally, no reductio ad absurdum here — mean by defending “religious freedom” in America. These white girls and women are “free” to submit to their agenda, “free” to follow one life only — to be kept home by coercion and force if necessary, even against their desire for a real education, serve and submit to men in every matter and marry young, raise, “home educate” and hold captive into adulthood in turn, a swelling multigenerational supply of soldiers (sons) and human breeders (daughters) all for their religiously-justified dominionist revolution.

That is not religious freedom but religious rule, and so NOT about academic education!

See Victory Through Daughters, cock of the snook to Lynn for the link:

. . .they are taking all the precautions they can to cut off the possibility of such defection in the cradle.
. . .children of the movement should have “little to no association with peers outside of family and relatives” as insulation from a corrupting society. Daughters shouldn’t forgo education but should consider to what ends their education is intended and should place their efforts in “advanced homemaking” skills.

Concretely, Geoffrey Botkin explains, this means evaluating all materials and media that daughters receive from childhood on as it pertains to their future role.

It’s this kind of separatist, radical thinking, advocating both physical and mental withdrawal from the world of public schooling, that informs the mission of E. Ray Moore, a retired Army chaplain and head of the homeschool ministry Exodus Mandate. Michael McVicar, who studies Reconstructionism, the hard right edge of fundamentalism, and has written about its founder, R. J. Rushdoony, sees Moore’s homeschool ministry as one of the most direct embodiments of Rushdoony’s ideas.

Exodus Mandate, as its name hints, expresses an explicitly secessionist ethos that aims for ultimate removal of Christian families from state rule—leaving “Pharaoh’s school system” for the Promised Land—but in the intermediate future, pushes Christians to remove their children from public schools as a ploy to collapse by attrition what they consider a wicked, humanist institution.

It gets worse. (If you are right-wing conservative Christian as many folks reading here are, but not one of these specific patriarchal disciples, then I am not talking about you. If you do want to defend THIS, not yourself and your own church or cult, as good for America, speak up, I’d like to hear it.)

The turning of daughters’ hearts to their fathers is the driving theme
. . . All three men explain what is at stake to the girls and young women in the room: they are daughters of Zion, of Judah, of Jerusalem. They are future mothers of Israel.

As such, they have no time to waste, or spirits to risk, by leaving home for college, work, or missions. They must instead make the revolutionary choice to “redeem the years” they have with their fathers and view their single lives as preparation for marriage: submitting themselves to their fathers and, to some extent, their brothers, as they will one day submit themselves to their husbands.

On a practical level, practicing being a helpmeet for a future husband with one’s father can mean anything from helping fathers set up or run home businesses to bookkeeping and research to running and beautifying the home.

In the Botkins’ Return of the Daughters film, graduated homeschooling daughters forego college in order to remain at home with their fathers, and their parents are quick to argue that the women are receiving Ph.D.-level educations at home, at least in the skills they will need later on as wives and mothers.
. . .it can mean fetching a father’s slippers for him in order to free the father up for weightier dominion tasks in reclaiming the world for Christ.

. . .God has given you fathers the opportunity to look at these girls and say, ‘You are mine. You are mine.’”

25 03 2009
terry, ornament of his grace

I only ask that you not brush all Christians with the same brush of the Botkins. There is a Biblically acceptable balance to be found outside what these people preach. I think questioning the unquestioned trends that have taken hold of our culture is a good thing for any family to do. You yourself have done just that by virtue of the fact that you are a homeschooler. The problem is when the pedulum swings too far in the other direction, and I really take exception to people claiming to be representative of the Bible, when it doesn’t teach much of this stuff.

You mentioned whether or not the most “pious parent” should get the kids. You already know my position on the homeschool divorce case in question. And based on the information I have been able to find and read from this case, it appears that the mother was out of step with the tenets of her professed faith, which may or may not have contributed to the tension in the marriage. Namely, she joined a church her husband did not approve of, meaning she failed to submit to the leadership of her husband.

25 03 2009
terry, ornament of his grace

Oh, one really big problem with the excerpt from the Botkins you have here:

IT’S SUPREMELY UNBIBLICAL!

My husband has a helper suitable for him- ME! My young adult daughters are not called to prepare for wifehood at home by practicing submission to their Dad. They are to obey Dad and MOM because children are supposed to obey their parents. CHILDREN are supposed to obey their parents, ADULTS are called to honor their parents. There is a difference because God knows that as a fallible human being I may want to keep my children closer to me to the detriment of the future He has called them to.

And submission to brothers? Really? There is so much bad theology here that I don’t even want to take it any further. Ugh!

25 03 2009
JJ

Terry, are you familiar with the philosophy of “ethical servility” that a Stanford philosophy professor/author named Rob Reich uses to call for homeschooling regulation by the State, meant to protect each child’s rights and freedoms and to be sure they aren’t illegally prevented from learning how to exercise those rights and freedoms? (not the same Rob Reich who served as Sec of Labor under Clinton)

Some of us who have been around for years, have dealt directly and indirectly with Reich’s ethical servility ideas through NHEN, the media and other forums. We’ve always defended every individual homeschooler’s liberty to be free from his regulations — which mainly means religious hsers — and imo we’ve done it darn well. Very high level of argument.

But imo it is exactly THIS creepy, dark, dominionist excess, that gives him his best philosophical and practical ammunition against “homeschooling.” And I’m not sure I’ve ever come up with an effective and honest rebuttal to Reichian ethical servility via home education, that covers what I read from these conspirators. I don’t think I want one, either.

I think what we need is to throw these horrible people under the bus and free the children they enslave to these barbaric practices in the name of freedom and worship. Preferably without throwing home education freedoms under the bus with it, but you know, even if it cost me and mine, if I had to choose and my principles really WERE moral, it would be hard not to conclude the kids who need my special skills most desperately aren’t my own . . .

The floor is open for ideas–

25 03 2009
25 03 2009
JJ

I was thinking about domination and submission in this context, which reminded me of an aside at Spunky’s last week. Someone had called the polite and outnumbered liberals who nevertheless came to Spunky’s “sadistic” and suggested they should spare themselves the pain and move on.

Which prompted me to respond:

To Lucy, was the insulting label you were looking for perhaps masochistic rather than sadistic? It would make more sense that way, and maybe even be funny! 🙂

Of course Freud saw them as two faces of the same human psyche, not separate much less opposite types. For the sadomasochist, the fascination is the power chasm between dominant and submissive, not in any pain that may result or in only one role.

I don’t see how it applies to homeschool blog commenting except as a joke, but it maybe DOES connect to right-wing Christian thought?

At night I’ve been reading a wonderful analysis of CS Lewis and his Narnia Chronicles (which the author and I both loved as children) that suggests his Christian conversion sprang in part from exactly that sort of psyche, forged in the sadomasochism of English boarding schools. This connected with him being quite the hidebound conservative and bigoted against women, dark skin and foreigners. . .

25 03 2009
NanceConfer

Terry, Terry, Terry —

You started off so well — “I only ask that you not brush all Christians with the same brush. . .”

It sounds so reasonable. We all know Christians. Hell, impossible not to, isn’t it? And most seem like sane enough, regular people, if you avoid the subject of religion.

But then you end with this: “. . . she joined a church her husband did not approve of, meaning she failed to submit to the leadership of her husband.”

This sort of thinking is so out of touch with the modern world and the relationships that most men and women have that you lose all credibility. You seem to be trying to separate yourself from the extreme wacko end of the religious spectrum but not by enough to make a difference. Not to anyone outside your immediate circle. Not to anyone not immersed in the minute details that separate one odd sect from another.

No, you can’t see what I’m talking about. I know. You are in it and can’t see what it looks like from out here. From out here, there’s not much more than a hair’s difference between your beliefs and the Botkins’ or any other old view of the world.

Nance

25 03 2009
JJ

I get it though. Like I said, this is clearly immoral from out here: “the fascination is the power chasm between dominant and submissive” . . .

25 03 2009
terry, ornament of his grace

Nance, Nance, Nance,

You started out so well. Believing in a Biblicl tenet concerning marriage is far from being the same as the Botkins. My girls (all 6) are free to choose to go to college- or not. Free to choose a career- or not. Free to marry- or not.

Wifely submission looks like oppression from those on the outside when divorced from the Biblical call for the husbnad to love his wife as Christ loved the church and all that it entails. Unfortunately, patriocentric teachings fail miserably in that regard. They are all about subordinating women and not about calling men to lovingly serve their wives, putting her needs above their own. This is what the Bible teaches, but we rarely hear it. The Bible paints a picture of marriage where both parties have a responsiblility to conside the needs of the other.

The truth is that a truly biblical marriage looks very egalitarian. I’ve been told on numerous occassions that my own marriage looks thus. And that is because true Biblical submission is determined much more by the wife’s willingness to obey Scripture than it is on the husband’s ability to force his own way. Of course, i am married to a confident man who isn’t intimadated by my giftings and intelligence. Again, so much of this depends on the choices we make as women. I hate that these patriocentrists have hijacked, perverted and twisted such a beautiful part of Biblical teaching.

I don’t expect you to understand, but I thought I’d try. I only said what I said about the wife in the homeschool case because it appears that she violated what she claimed to believe in. Thanks for the dialogue.

25 03 2009
JJ

So we’re all agreed — those guys are hurting kids?

26 03 2009
terry, ornament of his grace

Not only the kids, but the wives, and even the image of the Christian faith.

But yes, the kids are being hurt.

26 03 2009
NanceConfer

Wifely submission looks like oppression from those on the outside when divorced from the Biblical call for the husbnad to love his wife as Christ loved the church and all that it entails. Unfortunately, patriocentric teachings fail miserably in that regard.

********

Wifely submission will look like oppression until it is called something else, until the view is one of mutual love and respect not love benevolently bestowed by one and submission from the other.

But grown women choosing to live that way and describe their marriages that way — choice is a fine thing.

Except when it deforms the children. At least we all seem to agree that shouldn’t be happening.

Nance

26 03 2009
JJ

“. . . grown women choosing to live that way and describe their marriages that way — choice is a fine thing. Except when it deforms the children.”

That’s where it gets legally messy. Grown isn’t just reaching physical and chronological maturity; where’s the capacity to “choose to live that way” in someone who’s been held hostage to an ideology and basically develops Stockholm Syndrome? Again — not talking about Terry or anyone outside that life, but girls raised inside it — that presents the “ethical servility” to a belief system they did NOT choose and have been rendered unable to escape, that Reich is right about imo.

The only defense I saw justified against that, was to make very clear that it wasn’t homeschooling! It’s not education at all. But that doesn’t solve the problem or help the women and children or protect society as Germany apparently is attempting to do (see original post again.) So that’s where I always hit the moral policy wall. What are WE willing to do, we who have defended education choice and freedom of religion so furiously and effectively without solving this problem, to become part of the solution rather than enablers?

26 03 2009
writestuff444

Perhaps just continuing to present an alternative life view by the way we “choose” to live.

I think that once you allow a certain level of freedom or rights in a society, it’s difficult to take them back, to put the horse back in the barn, as granny used to say. 🙂

In other words, while I might be sad for daughters raised in such restrictive homes, or feel compassion and almost pity for women who would so willingly submit to such a small world…as that defined by those patrio-centric homes/or prisons.., the best defense is just being who we are.

We raise daughters who have lived in homes where their rights and the rights of their mothers have been mutually respected. They have seen modeled marriages where that way of being married has been demonstrated successfully. They’ve seen us, as mothers and wives, work outside the home, become accomplished and successful. They’ve seen the benefits and the stresses of that life. It isn’t perfect! But they have also seen our level of happiness and faith and belief in ourselves. They know they can make a positive difference.

I watch Emily choosing her major and talking about her possible work futures. I see the intellect, the wisdom and effort she puts into her school work in this first year of college. i see the wheels turning and know that she will never submit to the kind of marriage these women subscribe to..and there are millions of young capable, committed young girls just like Em.

Their way of life will continue to be the norm, and everything else is fringe..:)

27 03 2009
Jenn

“At night I’ve been reading a wonderful analysis of CS Lewis and his Narnia Chronicles (which the author and I both loved as children) that suggests his Christian conversion sprang in part from exactly that sort of psyche, forged in the sadomasochism of English boarding schools. This connected with him being quite the hidebound conservative and bigoted against women, dark skin and foreigners. . .”

Are these solely based on his Narnia series or does the author know anything about his life. I am a bit perplexed by this statement about CS Lewis. What did his Christian conversion have to do with the boarding schools. They turned him against it more than anything else and was introduced to different spiritual outlooks to atheism there. Only years later did he become a Christian. Also why would you call him bigoted against women? I can not really comment about the dark skinned and foreigners but then he was in a different cultural setting in a different era, which tends to see things much differently from the American way. I think if all of those statements solely come from reading the series the author also needs to look into mythology and history during the middle ages. Lewis had a very strong sense of duty and sticking to his promises, even when it was difficult was extremely important to him. I’d like to say that was because of his Christianity but I think he did that before he was convinced of the legitimacy of Christ. He was a man that dealt with a lot and experienced horror with a unwavering sense of duty. Also being a conservative in England and being a conservative in America is quite a different cup of tea.
In regards to the original post I won’t say a word. It is just absolutely amusing watching American politics. The scale always seems heavily tipped, no matter which side the commentator is on.

27 03 2009
Nance Confer

Unlike everywhere else in the world? 🙂

At any rate, I think Betty said what I would say. I haven’t thought of a better answer anyway. There is such a reverence for religions of all stripes that we dasn’t suggest anyone shouldn’t be cramming bad ideas into their children’s heads. So we are left with modeling and continuing the new normal.

Nance

27 03 2009
JJ

To Jenn — I’ll post more in a few minutes, but quickly, yes, Laura Miller (co-founder of Salon dot com btw) wrote from studying Lewis and his own personal and scholarly life, not just reading the Chronicles. It sounds like you know something of those subjects too, and might like this book even to take issue with it. . .the parts about his views on women are really interesting and worth thinking through.

To Betty and Nance — what about parallels I see between these American dominionists, and mullahs and the Taliban who’ve been able to sequester, suppress and thoroughly RE-subjugate nations of free, well-educated women who had achieved modern norms, just by wielding that one very bad idea as state-enforced “religion?” Middle eastern women’s modeling and confidence were admirable and understandable. And not enough.

27 03 2009
Crimson Wife

I think Christians would get a lot further if we junked the word “submission” with all its negative associations and historical baggage. It really isn’t what the Bible is calling for anyways. A more accurate phrase would be “look to as leader”, the way we as Christians look to Jesus as our leader. Christ wasn’t domineering- he led by example and through service. What woman wouldn’t want to be loved & served by her husband the way Jesus loved & served all of us? Men who rule their families through fear and coercion aren’t being Biblical at all regardless of how much they may quote Scripture. Jesus did not oppress His followers. He respected them, even those among them whom the general society treated with contempt (tax collectors, lepers, prostitutes, and so on).

I just can’t see much of the spirit of Jesus’ teachings in the actions of what certain individuals are doing supposedly in His name 😦

27 03 2009
Crimson Wife

“They should teach their younger sisters in the Titus 2 spirit and should honor and defer to their brothers—older and younger—in recognition that even young boys need to be treated as wise leaders by their older sisters in order to gain the confidence to be leaders of their future families.

Snorting at the idea that I could ever convince my oldest to defer to her younger brother (who follows her around like a puppy).

27 03 2009
JJ

Jenn, it’s all power of story! In Lewis’ case, story scholarship. (school stories)

Religion is about ordering the world. (This world, for humans.) A religion is like a school, based on an elder-standardized set of stories about power. The young are taught to live by this canon. See the Encyclopedia of Religion if you won’t take my word for this: “In summary, it may be said that almost every known culture involves the religious in . . .a push, whether ill-defined or conscious, toward some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life.”

Religion much like schooling is real world, with real world effects. It defines, prescribes, organizes and judges people’s lives and feelings and relationships and their proper socioeconomic roles– who is in control and who must submit under what conditions, how we can use power to get what we want or need and what that will cost, what the rules are, various rewards and punishments.

Lewis from boyhood was all about power of story; so is Religion; so is School. It seems inevitable then, that the scholarly storyteller would find a way to get religion.

In fact [sez Miller’s book] his conversion happened when his scholarly friend Tolkien finally told him a story he eagerly believed, about his own stories as flowing through him by grace of his creator. 🙂

On one of their long walks Tolkien convinced Lewis the reason they loved myths and classic stories so, is that all stories echo the one REAL story, so he really had believed all along without realizing it, he was right to embrace all his beloved myths and stories and fairy tales, his almost druidic connections to the northern wilds, etc. In short, Tolkien used a story to affirm who Lewis already was and connect him to the wisdom of sacred AND secular storytellers throughout the ages. That had the right kind of power for Lewis, who wanted badly to find a way to believe and join the bachelor brotherhood. To redeem the schoolboy who never fit in and had no power, that he had always been at heart.

27 03 2009
JJ

“Religion is about ordering the world. (This world, for humans.) A religion is like a school, based on an elder-standardized set of stories about power. The young are taught to live by this canon.”

Need I add this is what political ideology does too, which is exactly what makes it so dangerous when the sacred and secular join forces and take POWER?

27 03 2009
JJ

CW, I appreciate why you’d want to distance your own conservative religious life from these people, but it makes me think a reiteration from the homeschooler freak-out thread is timely, to keep the discussion on track:

It gets worse. (If you are right-wing conservative Christian as many folks reading here are, but not one of these specific patriarchal disciples, then I am not talking about you. If you do want to defend THIS, not yourself and your own church or cult, as good for America, speak up, I’d like to hear it.)

27 03 2009
Jenn

JJ,

What is the name of the book you are reading. I saw one by her, but I’m thinking it may be a different book you are referring too.
I am curious to know why he is being referred to as a bigot, and what is the deal with the bachelor brotherhood?

27 03 2009
JJ

The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia

It was new in 2008. It’s 303 pg plus notes; I’m on pg 224 right now.

On the book jacket, author of thoughts on faith Anne Lamott (she wrote Grace Eventually and Traveling Mercies) calls it a book of “rich, soulful criticism, at once a distinctive and insightful biography of CS Lewis, and a memoir of the author. . .” and I would agree with that. It really is a beautiful book, a personal, almost poetic book and yet also full of history and well-researched authentic description. Maybe part of the reason it resonates for me is that she’s about my age and first read the Chronicles much as I did in the same social context of the times, very privately and personally as a library rat. 🙂

The less flattering parts about Lewis come mid-book and are illustrated and interwoven with Narnia elements. He was a brother allied in a secret fantasy world apart from their own father, a schoolboy forced to submit in the most demeaning ways to in-group boys with power, a terrified misfit of a soldier who lost untold “brothers” in what seemed less real and understandable than his world of medieval studies and stories; later a clubby bachelor comfortable with only the narrowest homogeneity of companion and cloistered routine. Women were foreign to him, never mind actual foreigners! The only two in his life were both quite odd relationships, and the girl characters he wrote (such as Lucy and Susan, also the White Witch, etc) are representations of all he didn’t know but felt and believed about the feminine. (According to the book, I mean.)

What she discovers is not the familiar, idealized image of the author, but a man who stands in stark contrast to his whimsical creation—scarred by a tragic and troubled childhood, Oxford educated, a staunch Christian, and a social conservative, armed with deep prejudices.

27 03 2009
JJ

I should add, except that Lucy was originally conceived as a boy, the younger and less powerful child, Lewis’ avatar. He wound up making the character a “girl” but left her with all those noble instincts and qualities he naturally wanted his avatar to have as “boy.” — Susan reflects his actual view of “girl” and is thus less interesting, true-ringing or worthy of salvation to us real girls than we consider ourselves. 🙂

27 03 2009
JJ

And the adult Lewis avatar cozy in his own cave, is of course Mister Tumnus the Fawn.

27 03 2009
Jenn

I’ll have to read the book, but I must say of what I have read so far, on a website with her writings I am a bit sceptical. The one thing I do believe from her writing, is that his writings are used as pawns in the blue and red battle. Some of the statements are just a bit to shallow to my liking. The author seems to come in with a lot of her own biases and makes me feel like it’s a comprehension test. Most comprehension tests no matter who the author of the original writing was, would probably be failed by the author(of the comprehension test piece). People put their own experiences into any piece of writing, but claiming it was the authors intent to me is bizarre. Goldthwaite’s statements seem even more bizarre than the authors. He seems to be solely judging it from his world perspective. If there is one test I would scrape it is a comprehension test when it comes to stories, poetry, lit. in general. I hated them as a child and I still think they are ridiculous, because I think they are very presumptuous and someone’s else’s work get jugded by biases that the author of the work never even thought of. Most authors seem to be amazed at what they where apparently saying.

I don’t know what is so odd about caring for a friends mother that he made a promise too. Keeping a promise was important to him. The North American mindset is too quick to dismiss responsibilities because they are difficult or inconvenient. Me, myself and I are the most important people(male or female). I am blown away when I see people getting divorced and the kids that are their responsibly just become pawns or something to make them feel better by. Frankly people don’t have to be getting divorced within marriages the kids get “forced” to take sides. True relationships don’t seem to be important, only relationships where someone can gain something from. What is best for the kids get forgotten, what is more important seems to be how do the kids make me feel.

He did not jump lightly into marriage and I must admit, perhaps not the “best” way about doing things but his different descriptions about love and how to keep them in mind is something I would want my children to learn. Too much hype is given to eros and I think that damages true love and good relationships.

Two faults I could attribute to him would be taking commitment too serious and thinking too much. Not bad faults in my opinion.

The thing about Lucy and Susan I need to think and mull about, but I hardly see her view. They where not the only good female characters in the stories. The white witch was also not the only bad charachter. So Susan did not die with her parents and siblings and forgot about Narnia, or did not believe it really happened to her, did not make her bad. As far as I can remember her fate when she died was never revealed, but the dwarfs that sat in the dark where telling, that could only see bad and thistles. There where bad people, who where bad not matter who they claimed to follow, and their where good people no matter who they thought they followed who ended up following Aslan to the new or “real” Narnia.

Do we interpret Narnia through Lewis’ lenses or our own? Lewis may have had a narrow group of people, but it seems it was more diverse than most people have these days. He may not have been an extrovert but is that a “sin”?

27 03 2009
Jenn

And the adult Lewis avatar cozy in his own cave, is of course Mister Tumnus the Fawn.

Really? Maybe it was his father, who tried to protect himself against pain and ended up causing more for himself?

27 03 2009
JJ

Who is Goldthwaite? What website of Miller’s writings do you mean, that you found shallow?

I got that link so you could see which book it was, after you asked. I haven’t read any criticism of her; I haven’t read any of Lewis that I recall, even. My thoughts (leading to my recent comments) all came from actually reading their books as one does, starting at the front and thinking and experiencing the stories they are telling as I go.

It sounds from Miller’s book though, and from what Jenn says here, as if Christian worldview readers and perhaps others who love his books, are very protective of him!

I’m not particularly protective of Laura Miller, never heard of her until I picked up this book and I like IT, her work, not necessarily her as a whole regular person. So I won’t be defending her to Jenn — like her, don’t like her, don’t read her at all, your decision. Reading is indeed personal! Same way I feel about CS Lewis. I’d read almost everything he ever wrote by the time I was an adult, because I discovered each book on my own and wanted to, not for a test or to critique. Then I decided what I thought about what he was saying — in the decades since, I’d say his stories including his Christian apologia have stayed with me more than much of what I read, and I read a LOT. I often think of different bits from Lewis, and relate them to some current issue or conversation.

But even so, I don’t feel about him the way the NC mom’s friend Robyn sees her, slanting every moment of her life through a defensive filter and bristling at the idea she is human and flawed, both heroic and cowardly, both loving and selfish, etc. (I’ve known moms who see their own children that way and can’t see they are doing it — not good for anybody and not a story I will listen to for long.)

It’s hard to tell a story readers will love and reread and remember and learn from, when the characters are made so unrealistic and the story is told with a heavy-handed moral. In the Magician’s Book “Elsie Dinsmore” was the example Laura Miller used to contrast with Narnia, and I laughed out loud. I too read that as a child and detested it, for exactly the same reason! The child was infuriatingly unreal and her problems were bible commandment esoterica, like thinking a disobedient thought and then weeping as if her heart had broken, for having sinned so grievously. Tell Lewis’ story as a hero too good to be true, and it’s the same thing. Not believable enough to feel real and true to children, much less adults.

27 03 2009
JJ

Jenn, you and I seem to have been told by our different sources, VERY different versions of what “taking care of his friend’s mother” entailed.

27 03 2009
JJ

Oh — and Miller herself agrees with Jenn’s comments about a good story having layers and multiple meanings. On pg. 113 she writes:

If literary writing has any distinguishing characteristic, it’s that the more you look, the more you see, and the more you see the more you want to go on looking. It INVITES a plurality of interpretation.

“A genuine work of art must mean many things,” wrote George MacDonald, the Scottish writer whom Lewis regarded as his master. “The truer the art, the more things it will mean.”

The meaning of Animal Farm is fairly obvious but what’s the meaning of King Lear? The question doesn’t even make sense, really; it’s like asking what *I* mean, what *you* mean. Works of art LIKE HUMAN BEINGS are irreducible.

Laura Miller and I unquestionably regard Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles as works of art — some critics don’t — and I think she agrees with me too, that CS Lewis was a work of art himself.

27 03 2009
Jenn

OK. I messed up, I can’t find the page I read before where Goldthwaite is mentioned but it was something like Laura Miller and type pad. G seems to critise Lewis’ work for not being Christian enough and that he needed to create a magical world because ours was not perfect, etc. What I felt about what I thought she had written was about animals and children and sensuality between the girls and Aslan. Also not understanding where he came from BUT….

…Before I make any comments on her book I should first see if I can get my hands on it and if I have time read it. Don’t think that will happen in the next 2 weeks as I am already reading too many at once.

Do I feel I need to defend him??? Not because he claims to be a Christian. There are many who claim to be Christian who I rather run from. If you where calling Tolkien a bigot, would I feel the need to defend him? Don’t know, but it’s one thing to critise his work, another to make a claim on his personality. In all I’ve seen and read from him he seems a sincere kind man who I would not see as a bigot.

If I said Mr. Obama is bigoted against blacks with a slavery background, foreigners and women in muslim countries, would you not want to know, why I said something like that against him? Would you not defend him if you thought I had the cat by the tail? Or would you fight me thinking I’m a republican?

27 03 2009
Jenn

Sorry my wrong picture cause I mistyped my mail address and my mouse is acting up so trying to fix it is taking way to long. First have to fix the mouse.

27 03 2009
Jenn

As I said I will need to read her book before I say anything else. Piece of fluff caused all the disaster(with the mouse, not commenting before I read her book).

27 03 2009
Jenn

Laura Miller and I unquestionably regard Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles as works of art — some critics don’t — and I think she agrees with me too, that CS Lewis was a work of art himself.

Are we not all, in any sense of the words?

I must run but will check in later again.

27 03 2009
JJ

From the link to Laura Miller I gave above:

The relationship between book and reader is intimate, at best a kind of love affair, and first loves are famously tenacious. A first love teaches you how to be with another human being by choice, rather than out of the imperative of blood ties.

If we are lucky, our first love shows us how to negotiate the paradox of entering into a union with someone who remains fundamentally unknowable.

First love is a momentous step in our emotional education, and in many ways, it shapes us forever.

27 03 2009
writestuff444

Related perhaps, the Nightline debate about whether the Devil is real…very interesting debate..especially in JJ’s thinking about the constructs we create to believe what we choose to believe.. http://abcnews.go.com/NIGHTLINE

27 03 2009
Jenn

Uhmmm, my other comments seemed to have gone missing?

27 03 2009
JJ

Cool, thanks Betty — I want to watch that.

Jenn, I found your two comments in the hold folder for one of us to check, from the mistyped email I guess? Our blog software didn’t recognize it. If there are others any time, just let me know.

28 03 2009
Jenn

Thanks

28 03 2009
JJ

Trying to figure out how to put this idea — I think I was thrilled to discover Miller and I closely share a certain way of experiencing story and meaning, a way that this conversation could illuminate for those who like Jenn, DON’T share it and maybe don’t often get a good-faith look at it, much less a chance to explore and engage it without rancor.

This is what Lewis did for me (in reverse) and why I loved reading his “intellectual Christian” writings and his marvelously layered “fairy tales.” The closest I come to accepting religious belief as any sort of truth is through my reverence for the power of story.

28 03 2009
writestuff444

I think you and Depak Chopra would agree, from his comments on the debate about the devil. But it was interesting, he came across as very pompous…and too intellectual. I could see why his intellectual spirituality is not as popular as the charming pastor, who used laughter and humor to make his points about his faith beliefs in good and evil. I found the black minister the more difficult to understand..and I laughed because he was cherry picking his Bible, …much like I do! 🙂

5 04 2009
JJ

Back to the original post’s topic, see “Pitchforks and Pistols”:

My read: They’re apocalyptic. They feel isolated, angry, betrayed and besieged. And some of their “leaders” seem to be trying to mold them into militias.

At first, it was entertaining — just harmless, hotheaded expostulation. Of course, there were the garbled facts, twisted logic and veiled hate speech.
. . .But, it’s not all just harmless talk. For some, their disaffection has hardened into something more dark and dangerous.

. . .All this talk of revolution is revolting, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

As the comedian Bill Maher pointed out, strong language can poison weak minds, as it did in the case of Timothy McVeigh. (We sometimes forget that not all dangerous men are trained by Al Qaeda.)

At the same time, the unrelenting meme being pushed by the right that Obama will mount an assault on the Second Amendment has helped fuel the panic buying of firearms. . . 5.5 million requests altogether over that period; more than the number of people living in Bachmann’s Minnesota.

5 04 2009
Why Germany and Homeschooling Don’t Mix « Cocking A Snook!

[…] Gun-toting conservative white women for example, who think of themselves as homeschooling and tea party rebels, constitutional freedom fighters in a persecuted minority AND as conservers of one nation under only one tradition, a culture of hierarchy, standards, definitions, rules and obedience to authority, crime and punishment, child-beating — even torture if the official rules can somehow stretch to justify it. […]

8 04 2009
JJ

Revolutionary Goad: Has the Anti-Government Rhetoric Gone Too Far?

. . .Over the space of just the past couple of weeks, Glenn Beck has warned his loyal, terrified viewership of the coming socialist junta; lunatic congresswoman Michele Bachmann has claimed that the U.S. dollar is about to be replaced by foreign currency, American youths will soon be sent to “re-education camps,” and patriotic citizens should be “armed and dangerous” and ready for revolution; disgraced CNBC loudmouth Jim Cramer has called the Democrats “Bolsheviks” and compared the U.S. House of Representatives to the Politburo; and Dick Morris, the no-bullshit smarmiest man alive, spat this little pearl of wisdom into the Fox News echo chamber:

“Those crazies in Montana who say, ‘we’re going to kill ATF agents because the UN’s going to take over’ — well, they’re beginning to have a case.”

In case you missed that, let’s rewind: Dick Morris says that militaristic nutjobs willing to kill government agents now have a fucking case.

Once again, exactly how far is too far?

While free speech has to be respected and the right to it protected, is there no line of rhetoric so incendiary, so dangerous, so shameless in its aim of instigating simply for the sake of ad revenue, that it can’t provoke absolute outrage?

If you know that there are an inordinate number of Richard Poplawskis listening to you and that they already buy thoroughly into half-baked persecution fantasies — and then you purposely try to at best validate their fears or at worst scare the hell out of them even further — don’t you bear at least a small amount of responsibility for the outcome? Shouldn’t there be accountability?

See also Glenn Beck and the Rise of Fox News’ Militia Media:

I’m not sure people should be laughing.

The consequences of Fox News’ doomsday programming now seem entirely predictable. As Jeffrey Jones, a professor of media and politics at Old Dominion University, recently explained to The New York Times in regard to Beck’s rhetoric, “People hear their values are under attack and they get worried. It becomes an opportunity for them to stand up and do something.”

People like Richard Poplawski? FYI, weeks before his deadline shooting spree, Poplawski uploaded a video clip of Beck ominously referencing the FEMA camps on Fox News.

. . .”There are enemies both foreign and domestic in America tonight. Call it fearmongering or call it the truth.”

. . .Beck’s sure “[d]epression and revolution” are what await America under Obama, and fears moving “towards a totalitarian state.” The country today sometimes reminds Beck of “the early days of Adolf Hitler.” Beck thinks that Obama, who has “surrounded himself by Marxists his whole life,” is now “addicting this country to heroin — the heroin that is government slavery.”

And it’s not just Beck.

. . .And it’s not just Fox News.
. . .” all the speculation about Obama being the actual Antichrist will either be confirmed or denied if someone gets off a lucky shot at the SOB.”

“Go Kill Liberals!”

I wonder if Glenn Beck knows who Jim Adkisson is. Adkisson made headlines on July 28, 2008, when he brought his sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, and, after whipping it out of a guitar case, opened fire on parishioners while a group of schoolchildren performed songs up by the altar. Adkisson killed two people and wounded several others.

Adkisson, a 58-year-old unemployed truck driver, brought 70 shotgun shells with him to the church and assumed he’d keep killing until the police arrived on the scene and shot him dead as well. Instead, some members of the congregation were able to wrestle him to the ground and hold him for police.

When investigators went to Adkisson’s home in search of a motive, as well as evidence for the pending trial, they found copies of [Michael] Savage’s Liberalism is a Mental Disorder, Let Freedom Ring by Sean Hannity, and The O’Reilly Factor, by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.

They also came across what was supposed to have been Adkisson’s suicide note: a handwritten, four-page manifesto explaining his murderous actions. The one-word answer for his deed? Hate. The three-word answer? He hated liberals.

The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather. I’d like to encourage other like minded people to do what I’ve done. If life aint worth living anymore don’t just Kill yourself. Do something for your Country before you go. Go Kill Liberals!

What Adkisson especially hated about liberals (“this cancer, this pestilence”) and what he hated about candidate “Osama Hussein Obama” was that they were marching America toward ruin: “Liberals are evil, they embrace the tenets of Karl Marx, they’re Marxist, socialist, communists.” Adkisson seethed over the way liberals were “trying to turn this country into a communist state” and couldn’t comprehend why they would “embrace Marxism.”

Sound familiar, Glenn?

John Bohstedt was one of the Unitarian church members who tackled Adkisson after the first round of gunfire went off inside the sanctuary. Two months ago, Adkisson pleaded guilty to the murder charges and was sentenced to life in prison. At the hearing, Bohstedt told the Associated Press he didn’t think the killer had been insane, but rather had been manipulated by anti-liberal rhetoric.

“There are a lot of people who hate liberals, and if we stir that around in the pot and on the airwaves, eventually there will be people (like Adkisson) … who get infected by the violent rhetoric and put it into violent action,” Bohstedt said.

He remained worried about future violence: “Do you think there are other Jim Adkissons out there listening to hate speech? I do.”

Me too.

14 04 2009
War War War, Fiddle-dee-dee « Cocking A Snook!

[…] this the only power of story conservatives get, war? All they can talk about, the only way they can make a case for their “freedom” […]

23 04 2009
JJ

Sarah Palin To Be Given Huge Engraved Assault Rifle:

The gift is an assault rifle custom-engraved with the image of a moose, the Big Dipper, a map of Alaska, and the words “In Honor of Governor Sarah Palin.”

The governor could really mow down a moose with this thing, or perhaps spray several wolves from a helicopter, or, say, terrify one Levi Johnston.

Btw yet another ethics complaint is being filed against Sarah Palin, this time for involvement with “outside employment” (her own political career) while bound by ethics to be AK governor fulltime. This AK blogger says the new complaint makes an even dozen:

Anchorage resident Sondra Tompkins, child disability advocate and mother of a special needs child, is filing the complaint after observing Governor Palin repeatedly display “a pattern of unethical behavior.” Sondra believes that the tipping point for her was Sarah Palin’s most recent abdication of her role as Governor and apparent conflict-of-interest when she spoke at two outside events in Indiana rather than work with the Alaska Legislature during the most critical time, the end of the session.

24 04 2009
JJ

Liz Cheney, lawyer and former State Department official, daughter of the former VP and fellow torture cheerleader, needs to go on our surprising belligerent white woman list, though she wasn’t on my radar until yesterday.

“The tactics are not torture,” she told O’Donnell. “The memos laid out the extent of exactly how far we could go before it would become torture, because it was important we not cross that line into torture.”

That’s tortured LOGIC — if indeed as lawyer and state dept. official she states it was “important we not cross that line into torture” then why isn’t she calling for us to clarify to the world exactly where that line is, objectively get to the bottom of whether that line WAS crossed, and then do something about it (war crimes prosecution, say) if so? Instead she’s acting as if it’s only important that we dissemble and deny and doublespeak and counterattack.

Plus it occurs to me that if she (representing the party line) is so sure this is: a) not torture and b) effective at getting to the truth that will keep America safe, then the logical course is clear. We simply need to waterboard and sleep-deprive-by-hanging, every decision-maker in the Bush chain of command starting at the top and including the father-daughter tag team, until they tell us the “truth”!

It could take a while so let’s use Gitmo to corral them all (suspending habeus corpus is justifiable too, right?) for a few years, take our time and get it right, be sure not to cross that important line (if we can find it) but otherwise do whatever THEY approved, using THEIR justifications. What do that call that in education psychology, oh yeah, “logical consequences” . . .

And remember candidate Obama telling Pastor Rick Warren on national tv when discussing “pro-life” politics, establishing the moment a baby gets human rights is above his pay grade? Take Spunky as another fightin’ mad white woman e.g. — at the time she wrote, “wouldn’t he seek to err on the side of caution to ensure he doesn’t violate the rights of a human being?” — so how will her cohort of fundamentalists justify this exchange between FOX News talking heads this week? (As fair and balanced no doubt)

Shep Smith: WE ARE AMERICA! I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS IF IT HELPS. WE ARE AMERICA! WE DO NOT F***ING TORTURE! WE DON’T DO IT!

Trace Gallagher: “I’m not saying whether torture is right or wrong. I’m not going there.”

16 07 2009
JJ

Stop me if you’ve heard this one, hyuck-hyuck. . .

The BULLET box instead of the ballot box!

16 07 2009
COD

Yeah, we are real proud of her here in VA. Thankfully not my district though. She also is on record as believing the OK bombing was a government act. She is a real nutcase.

5 08 2009
JJ

Aha, this explains a lot. Sarah Palin isn’t a white woman; she’s the last white MAN!

The LAst Real American White Man is a Woman:

Sarah is a tintype of what we used to be — or who we believed we were: rugged individuals who charged across the continent, pushing everybody else out of the way, ripping up trees and taming the prairies. We relied only on our own brass and brawn, needing no help except for the neighbor who occasionally wandered by for a barn raising. (Plus, as judge Sotomayor pointed out, the slaves who picked our cotton or the Chinese who built our railroads, but they didn’t count.)

The real America, Palin implies, is the one where fewer and fewer of us live, the rural America where the good hearted folks are the only ones who represent our traditional values. The others — in cities and suburbs — many of them several shades darker than the Deerslayer –read books, chat about foreign policy over white wine, probably hook up with people of the same sex and don’t like guns much.

. . . Urbanization was changing the landscape and altering men’s relations to their work.

. . . Henry James muttered in The Bostonians: “The whole generation is womanized. The masculine tone is passing out of the world. It’s a feminine, nervous, hysterical, chattering canting age…”

Intellectual achievement was seen to be unmasculine, prompting Indiana Senator Albert Beveridge to counsel boys to “avoid books, and in fact avoid all artificial learning, for the forefathers put America on the right path by learning completely from natural experience.” The Boy Scouts were founded in 1910 in large degree because of a worry about the “feminization” of young boys who spent their days in the female world of school.

It was against this backdrop that Teddy Roosevelt’s hyper-masculinity strode onto the world stage.

. . .In the early 20th century, it was the flood of immigrants from eastern Europe with their strange, foreign ways that made Americans uneasy. Today, immigrants from Latin America, Asia, and the West Indies are arriving — and often thriving and intermarrying with Caucasians, meaning that the face of America will soon likely resemble Barack Obama or Tiger Woods more that the pale faces of the past. Most people live in cities today; the frontier is long gone.

Into this whirl of anxiety strides Sarah Palin, with her hip waders and her moose-blasting skills, to many eyes, a modern rough rider. . .

Caryl Rivers is professor of Journalism at Boston University, and author of “Selling Anxiety: How the News Media Scare Women.”

5 08 2009
JJ

Scarlett O’Hara was accused of the same “like a man” business lack-of-ethics.

6 08 2009
JJ

Kathleen Parker and I are both smart “southerners weaned on Harper Lee” so we both CAN can hear the dog whistle, heard it last fall in fact and started saying so despite the backlash from the real dogs.

Republicans have been harvesting Southern votes for decades from seeds strategically planted during the Civil Rights era.

. . . Sarah Palin may not have realized what she was doing, but Southerners weaned on Harper Lee heard the dog whistle.

11 08 2009
Another Fightin’ Mad White Woman « Cocking A Snook!

[…] Fightin’ Mad White Woman 11 08 2009 Adding to our unfortunate litany of armed, dangerous and fighin’ mad white women is John Richardson in Esquire: Then there’s Orly Taitz, queen of the “birthers,” […]

12 08 2009
JJ

LMAO! Funny news (old Spunky readers will find it especially funny I imagine) about a Fightin Mad White Woman supposedly representing “our” interests in government:
Michele Bachmann’s Son Joins Dreaded Government “Re-Education Camp”

22 10 2009
War, War, War Revisited « Cocking A Snook!

[…] this the only power of story conservatives get, war? All they can talk about, the only way they can make a case for their “freedom” […]

28 06 2010
Why Educate Our Kids? For Fourth of July Fireworks « Cocking A Snook!

[…] their firefight rights as god-given and above all law, worth treason and death if it comes to that. Fightin’ mad elected officials, not just tooth-and-thought-poor moonshine makers holed up in t…, vow to trash every other part of the constitution if need be, to preserve their personal firepower […]

8 01 2011
JJ

January 8, 2011 – (Jewish) Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Has Been Shot in the head, apparently with a semi-automatic weapon that subsequently shot and killed several others including a federal judge, at a constituent meeting at home in Arizona, a shooting in which several were injured and
“among the six dead was a child” — surely an innocent in this political shooting war.

Sarah Palin claims it’s too bad and she’ll be praying for the victims, oh and generally for “peace” and “justice” because you know, that’s what she works so hard to help create in the world:

My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona.

On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.

8 01 2011
JJ

‎After Rep. Giffords shot in Arizona and literally goes down, Palin’s ‘Take Back the 20’ [graphic in which Giffords was literally targeted under a gun sight ] “goes down” from Internet

8 01 2011
JJ

“. . .today’s shooting, whatever its motivation, comes after an election season that was marked by the language of violence, like Sharron Angle’s call for Second Amendment remedies. And so today’s literal violence in a political context will inevitably raise questions about the effect of violent rhetoric.

Firedog Lake and David Safier each link to an ad they say came from the Pima County Republican website in June. It invites people to a fundraiser for Ms. Giffords’ opponent, Jesse Kelly. The ad urges:

‘Get on Target for Victory in November
Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office
Shoot a fully automatic M15 with Jesse Kelly’ “

8 01 2011
JJ

“. . .including the death of Chief United States District Court Judge John Roll”

5:38 PM ET Attorney General: ‘We Will Hold Accountable Anyone Responsible For These Heinous Acts’

Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement:

“Today’s tragedy in Arizona was a senseless act of violence that has already resulted in devastating loss, including the death of Chief United States District Court Judge John Roll and four other individuals and the wounding of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and a number of others. All of those who were killed or injured and their families are in our thoughts and prayers.

“As the President said, FBI Director Mueller is traveling to Arizona to help coordinate the investigation. The FBI is working jointly with local law enforcement to investigate today’s events, and I have directed Department prosecutors and law enforcement officials to use every resource necessary to investigate this tragedy. I want to assure the people of Arizona and every American that we will hold accountable anyone responsible for these heinous acts.”

8 01 2011
Nance Confer

They are going to hold Palin and Beck responsible?

8 01 2011
JJ

Good question. I’ll say this for the local sheriff Clarence Dupnik though: he might! I just watched the official televised press conference about the shooting and the last thing said was him (at age 75 and not caring) saying: “People tend to pooh-pooh all the vitriol that we hear [on radio and tv] — that may be free speech but it’s not without consequences!””

8 01 2011
JJ

About Sarah Palin, there was a weird moment on FOX about her. Here’s what I live-blogged (live-FaceBooked?) as I watched:

MSNBC doesn’t do weekends so I had CNN on one and FOX on the other. FOX was unbelievable (literally) — all about miracles because she is still alive when odds were against her, and a doctor who’s on their “medical A-team” whatever that is, saying that in his professional opinion, this was “direct intervention from the Almighty.”

He said with absolute certainty btw, although as a new FB friend just cautioned me, none of us can be certain yet what this is all about.

Shep Smith on FOX just said they were cutting to live video of a “vigil” in Arizona’s capital, Phoenix. The screen cuts to a young man with a lit candle (or lighter?) kneeling by a microphone and I quote in its entirety: “we all have to look into our hearts and say to ourselves, why, why? — WHY do I want power, not THAT I want power and so I say to Sarah Palin –”

BOOM!

Instant cut to commercial! He barely got the “n” of Palin out even. Then they didn’t go back to the vigil or mention it again, just came back from commercial and pretended nothing had ever happened in the first place.

Update: saw the FOX medical doctor again later — Dr. Marc Siegel is internist and associate professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine, says a Google blurb — and heard him state he was “absolutely, positively” sure that God had intervened because the surgery had gone so well, also that she was “lucky.” And her doctors were good.

8 01 2011
JJ

Palin’s page with the crosshairs targeting Rep Giffords went down today and now the archival site is “declining to show that page” — couldn’t help but think of the well-meaning folks who decline to print Twain’s use of the n-word, much less read the word “slave” in the House, while insisting that the Constitution (and the Bible, often) are literal truths to be followed word for word.

Gabrielle Giffords btw, participated in that reading the other day. She read part of the First Amendment.

9 01 2011
9 01 2011
JJ

Appearing on a special edition of “Countdown,” Olbermann told his audience that “we need to put the guns down. Just as importantly we need to put the gun metaphors away, and permanently.

. . .This morning in Arizona, this age in which this country would accept ‘targeting’ of political opponents and putting bullseyes over their faces and of the dangerous blurring between political rallies and gun shows, ended.”

9 01 2011
JJ

A sad note on the nine-year-old girl who was gunned down in Arizona on Saturday, Christina Taylor Green, from AZCentral.com:

A neighbor was going to the Giffords event and invited Christina along because she thought she would enjoy it, said her uncle, Greg Segalini.

Tucson CBS affiliate KOLD notes that Green was featured in the book, “Faces Of Hope: Babies Born On 9/11.”

(seen in HuffPost updates)

9 01 2011
JJ

Howard Fineman:

The deaths in Tucson are not about politics, ideology or party. From what we know, Jared Loughman’s acts were those of a madman divorced from reality, let alone from public debate. But that doesn’t make Tucson politically meaningless. The president need not, and should not, speak of ideas or programs or parties. What he can speak about, and what perhaps he will speak about, is civility. . .

9 01 2011
JJ

From the sheriff’s Sunday news conference on CNN just now:

Asked by a reporter to expand on his comments about his state of AZ —
“I think we’re the tombstone of the United States of America.”

“I have never been a proponent of letting everybody in this state carry weapons under any circumstances that they want, and that’s almost where we are. The legislature at this time is proposing that students and teachers be allowed to have weapons in schools, and in college.
You know, colleges ought to be run by college presidents, not by the AZ state legislature, but that’s the ridiculous state where we have become.”

9 01 2011
JJ

From AP reports Sunday:

Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democratic leader in the Senate, on Sunday cited imagery of crosshairs on political opponents and Sarah Palin’s combative rallying cry, “Don’t retreat; reload.”

“These sorts of things, I think, invite the kind of toxic rhetoric that can lead unstable people to believe this is an acceptable response,” Durbin said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The attack might be the work of “a single nut,” Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva, whose Arizona district shares Tucson with Giffords’ district, said Saturday, the day Giffords was shot. But he said the nation must assess the fallout of “an atmosphere where the political discourse is about hate, anger and bitterness.”

9 01 2011
JJ

Shared by a getting-famous Red Sox blogger COD introduced me to, along with her comment that it is “an interesting take” and I suppose I agree that it is, except I can’t figure out exactly WHAT it is. Probably due to my own contributing ear.

All I can make out as his bottom line, is there are plenty of nuts but mad gunmen usually go to schools and kill innocent teachers and children, and we never blamed Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck for THAT.

Whereas to me — a widely experienced school administrator and policy specialist who once headed the DOE research team writing the mandated legislative report on gun violence in the schools, how we could protect them better and deal better with the trauma when it happened anyway (decades ago, back in the 80s) — his argument just underlines and boldfaces the screaming social pathology enabling the madness, that first we reasonable folks all need to stop saying every damn time, oh it was just another disturbed soul, too bad but it could have been worse, weren’t they all brave, I’m so proud . . .

p.s. The piece’s author might not have noticed but mad gunmen do wind up devastating and wounding and murdering children, wherever they shoot and whoever they target, in or out of school. Including this time.

9 01 2011
JJ

Michael Smerconish sees it pretty clearly imo, although he’s more “conservative” than the previous author in general. His new piece today reprints in full what he wrote two years ago, while Palin was inciting violence in her weird-chipper cadence for the first time and we weren’t used to it yet; he harkened back to uncivil rhetoric against John (and Teddy) Kennedy:

Protesters marched on Washington carrying signs that read “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy,” “Impeach the Muslim Marxist,” and “We came unarmed . . . this time.” A member of Congress shouted down the president and raked in more than $1.5 million in campaign contributions in the days that followed. Cable TV’s hottest personality just called the commander-in-chief a “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred for white people.”

Kashner reminds us that some Dallas schoolchildren booed Kennedy’s name in classrooms, and others in a fourth-grade class cheered when told of his assassination. Today, some found it objectionable that the president would speak to children about personal responsibility in a school setting. . .

No matter how it began, or what motivations may exist, we should all be able to agree that the current political climate is unhealthy, counterproductive, and eerily dangerous.

And those critics of any administration, the many reasonable Americans with truly patriotic motivations, can always benefit from a reminder that it takes just one unreasonable actor, incited by some illogical notion that he acts in the name of saving the republic, to truly threaten that state.

And this is the best I’ve seen so far at matching what I’m thinking:

So the train of logic is:
1) anything that can be called an “assassination” is inherently political;
2) very often the “politics” are obscure, personal, or reflecting mental disorders rather than “normal” political disagreements. But now a further step,
3) the political tone of an era can have some bearing on violent events. . . .the anti-JFK hate-rhetoric in Dallas before his visit was so intense that for decades people debated whether the city was somehow “responsible” for the killing. (Even given that Lee Harvey Oswald was an outlier in all ways.)

That’s the further political ramification here. We don’t know why the Tucson killer did what he did. If he is like Sirhan, we’ll never “understand.” But . . it is legitimate to discuss whether there is a connection between that tone and actual outbursts of violence, whatever the motivations of this killer turn out to be. At a minimum, it will be harder for anyone to talk — on rallies, on cable TV, in ads — about “eliminating” opponents, or to bring rifles to political meetings, or to say “don’t retreat, reload.”

9 01 2011
JJ

So he was mentally unstable, maybe even “crazy” and so it doesn’t count that gun nuts and their political cheerleaders enabled everything that led to his ability to do what he did to innocents yesterday. On FOX this afternoon, Brit Hume said it was terrible to try to “make political hay” of a “tragedy” (when did FOX adopt that stance??)

JJ sadly notes that a promising young woman was shot and killed in Tallahassee yesterday, too. As in the Giffords attack, a young white man shot her at close range but he was *not* mentally unstable nor trying to kill her. They were both FSU students like Favorite Daughter.

Can those who foster and even hype unregulated, profligate guns and shooting as all-American lifestyle and status symbol, if not democratic tool when the ballot box fails, share blame for this death of an innocent then — or was it just “an accident” and another one of those sad things that just happens, what can you do but pray and praise the heroes? (had he been driving impaired, we’d not allow the “accident” excuse not attack moms who see the larger social problem and urge fixing it.)

Sarah Palin’s camp now says their targeting Gabby Giffords with the crosshairs of a gun sight was just an accident.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney: “Guns kill. And those who glamorize gunplay or worship gun ownership do no service to humanity.

“Words matter. And those who use inflammatory rhetoric to achieve cheap political gain wound our country and weaken the ties that bind us.”

13 09 2011
“Partisan Polarization” Just Another Pathology of Hypercompetition? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] of all patience followed by widespread progressive grumbling (or was that just me?) about the single-minded, spittle-flecked viciousness of win-at-all-costs in our politics, denying the humanity of one’s opponents let alone enemies, up to and […]

27 11 2011
JJ

Gun porn Christmas gift for your coffee table?

Chicks With Guns:

More than 15 million women in the U.S. are gun owners, and 78 of them are in McCrum’s new book, Chicks With Guns. McCrum tells Rachel Martin, guest host of weekends on All Things Considered, that the idea came to her while reading an article in The Economist.

“I was really struck by the extraordinary size and scope of the gun business,” she says. McCrum began reaching out to women who owed guns across the country and visiting them at their homes to do photo shoots.

Part Of Family Life

Chicks With Guns features women of all ages and backgrounds posing in a variety of settings. On one page, a bride holds a pistol; on another, stuffed animals surround an elderly woman wearing a big grin and holding a revolver.

27 11 2011
bpbproadrunner

Perhaps in part, what you are seeing is displacement.

The world for women is quite different from men. They are physically weaker–even when athletic and healthy. They are not treated equally by law enforcement or medical personnel. So being armed to some degree or another [because it’s not always guns] isn’t always a bad idea. But generally, women who have dealt with violence–often deal with it from people they know and not always or even usually– strangers or foreigners.

So for some of us who have lived in dangerous places –more dangerous than usual for women {see rape states for state of Alaska and Domestic Violence Stats] and think how close to the surface that personal alarm is for females who live in that state literally or in that state of mind.

Remember in their world if a woman is assaulted, it’s her fault. She didn’t fight back hard enough. A gun or other deadly weapon is seen as the ultimate answer to the expected blame of the future-potential-victim.

What’s really weird is when you juxtapose the use of deadly force to protect bodily integrity against that of Reproductive Self Determination.

27 11 2011
bpbproadrunner

What’s really weird is when you juxtapose the use of deadly force to protect bodily integrity against that of Reproductive Self Determination.

…in context with the Christian-pro-life-narrative.

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