Friday, July 20, 2007

There is a world outside of my dissertation

I've been so wrapped up in pounding out this chapter while concurrently getting the ATHE stuff together, directing my staged reading, and planning for Devildare auditions that I feel like I am cut off from the rest of the world. More specifically, I feel that I am cut off from the political realm that, normally, is at the forefront of my mind. Just to prove that I am not the total diss navel-gazer I feel that I am, I want to sound off about a few recent political issues that have managed to force their way into my consciousness.

  • Planned Parenthood funding-cut amendment fails! Thank goodness for that. With the recent Supreme Court ruling against the open communication and decision-making of a woman and her doctor, I was beginning to feel like we were turning back a century (or more) to a time when old, white men got to make all the decisions for women. Don't get me wrong, they are most definitely doing that now, and it is repugnant to think that somehow this is considered okay (poor, weak, emotional women just don't know what's best for themselves), but at least Planned Parenthood can continue to do the good work it does. In this era of reduced rights and crappy health care, I have turned to PP for my own health care and am thankful that it exists because without it, I would be forced to take stupid chances and forego my reproductive health care because I just don't have the money to go somewhere else. And I consider myself to be, socially if not economically, in a very favorable position. I am educated; intelligent; in a stable, monogomous relationship with an amazingly thoughtful and caring man; not without access to financial assistance (although I am unemployed (sort of), this is only a temporary situation and is indeed a luxury at that, allowing me to finish my diss, graduate, and get a very respected and secure job once I am done); I live in a progressive state that values women and their health; plus I'm white, which alone grants me a lot more freedom in decision-making than many other women. Yet without PP, I would be screwed (no pun intended). I'm glad this crazy Republican didn't get to fuck with my body.
  • Bush, Gonzales, Cheney. Good Lord are these the worst criminals in history? It makes me sick to hear any of them speak, and it turns my stomach to see how they have completely taken away so many of our collective rights, how they have completely bungled the "War on Terror," how they have forced a lot of crazy faith-based programs down our throats (Hello, abstinence-only education? It doesn't work, and it masks its misogyny (again, women can't be trusted to know how their bodies even work, much less can they decide what to do with them) with bullshit morality from a very skewed, particularist reading of the Bible), how they have literally shat all over The Constitution. To quote my play, I dream of attaching electrodes to their respective genitals and torturing them Gitmo-style. I would never do this, of course, because I don't believe in torture, but they do, so in a way I guess they have it coming.
  • Michael Vick and dog fighting. Okay, this one came to me in an email, without which I wouldn't have known about it and in response to which I took about the lamest amount of "action" one can take - I signed an Internet Petition. Woo-hoo! Watch the world change with my measly e-signature. Dog fighting? Really? That's how you get your rocks off? Gross. Barbaric. Unbelievable. Although I suppose it isn't surprising that the ritualized violence of football would bleed into the overt violence of cruelly treating other animals for one's personal pleasure.
  • The primaries. Can we somehow get away from soundbites and hand raising and actually talk about something? Something other than $400 haircuts and cleavage and who's using what name and who's black and eloquent? And please, please, please, something besides who has how much money? For the record, I am, per my usual, currently backing the long shots: Dennis Kucinich and, slightly less improbably, Bill Richardson.
See, I do know that there is a world outside of my diss. That is all.


Anonymous said...

The Vick thing - we don't know that it was Michael Vick running the show (he claims it was a relative and none of us has access to the evidence). So linking NFL violence with dogfighting snuff-sport is a little premature to me.

The NFL is violence-for-show (yes there are injuries and deaths, but the object is to score points; the cripplings are collateral damage), and dogfighting is violence for real (where the goal is a dead dog). Drawing a parallel is a little like saying since Bush is a baseball fan and I am a baseball fan, that I must also be an idiot (or a Yale grad, take your pick). Or something - my logic is unfortunately a little rusty.

misskarenjean said...


Sure, it is a stretch to suggest that the NFL led to the dog fighting, which I didn't mean to say, although I guess I did imply it.

And I agree that society is better to have the ritualized violence of sport (and not just the NFL, all sport (including my favorite, cycling) is about pushing the body through pain to achieve a larger goal) rather than actual violence. Although we still seem to have plenty of actual violence; if sport is sublimating that urge, it is doing a piss-poor job of it, I guess one could argue.

However, whether Vick was directly involved or only indirectly involved through a relative using his name and wealth, I think he should have to bear the punishment of those actions. If he is allowed to skate on this, it sends the message, way too often sent these days, that people in positions of fame, power, and money, get to NOT know what goes on in the world around them, which frankly is just absurd. The buck needs to stop somewhere, and it should be at the highest point of power and not the lowest.