Sunday, February 7, 2010

Social Justice Begins at Home

Velvet is home for the weekend.

Yesterday afternoon, he and his dad had lunch and shot some pool after Max the Genius cut his hair, so he was out for a few hours. Other than that, he's been here the whole time - but that doesn't mean we've had any substantive conversations. His friends have been here the whole time, too.
I'm happy he has friends, and I'm happy they all like to come over here. I've ordered pizzas, made mac and cheese and done the dishes. I even bought them a 12 pack of PBRs. There are several empties around the living room at the moment, and I'd be rinsing them for recycling except it's my duty to leave them for Velvet. If kids don't ever have to clean up their own messes, they will become fucked up as adults.

He might grow up to think he doesn't have to do any work because messes magically disappear. Since he didn't seem to notice the mess when he made it, and it was gone in the morning - he could get the idea that he's the kind of person who never makes a mess. Or that messes don't apply to him. Or that there is no mess and never was a mess at all. Worse, he could easily grow up to believe it's somebody else's job to clean up after him like the fellow who follows the horses and elephants in a parade with a wheel barrow and a broom.

I hadn't really thought much about why it's important to require children and teenagers to clean up after themselves until this very minute, but now that I'm looking at parenting and teaching in terms of Ass-Whole Prevention - I'm thinking a lot of those damn Teabaggers and Republicans must have had a personal clean up crew.

There are lots and lots of Dumb Ass Democrats, too - it's just that the Teabaggers are in the news right now on account of the convention in Tennessee. I clicked on some news story this morning and was hit in the face by a photo of Sarah Palin looking for all the world like a torch singer in a piano bar.

Photo by Ed Reinke (I am compelled to credit the photographer because my little bro is currently in Vancouver. It's about the 12th time he went to the Olympics which he considers a clusterfuck. So shout out to the lowly photogs,

I had intended to put that image out of my head for all time because when you think about a bunch of teabaggers paying beaucoup bucks to hear her in concert, it's enough to send you back to bed. You might never come out from under the covers when you consider that she could very well be the Rupert Murdoch/Fox News candidate for president in 2012 with unlimited funding thanks to the Supreme Court.

According to MSN, Sarah was calling for a revolution because government is supposed to be serving the people. The teabaggers naturally cheered - and in point of fact, most progressives would cheer that statement as a general concept if it hadn't been delivered by someone who also said, "How's that hope-y change-y stuff working for ya?" I'd like to see Michelle Obama stuff Sarah Palin's fluffly head into the toilet and give her a swirly.

But back to the kids.

When kids are allowed to follow their individual inclinations and pursuits without cleaning up after themselves, it leads to the kind of world view that shouts Drill, Baby, Drill. It also leads to believing others are there to serve you - personal assistants, maids and builders who want state contracts. When combined with other misguided notions, it leads to Banksters, Legislators and Lobbyists and other Spectacular Ass-Wholes.

I'm not so worried about Spectacular Ass-Wholes right now. Monarchs with the Divine Right of Kings, The Vatican, Pharaohs, Conquistadors - those people have been oppressing the peasants and tradesmen for centuries. And it's not just Europeans since the chiefs of some tribes in Africa cheerfully sold their own captives to the Slavers, there were war lords in China and Japan, and Hindu society was built on the caste system. The belief that some have dominion over others is pervasive in global history. You could say they are The Imperialists - and patriarchy is implicit in imperialism - but I digress.

I'm not so sure there's really anything anyone can do about the imperialistic world order since it's been with us since time began. We can, however, institute an Ass-Whole prevention program at home by requiring children, and certain grown-ups, to be accountable and responsible.

All we can do is focus on our own character and values. When we ourselves walk the talk, those values spread outward as Each One Teaches One. Martin Luther King, Jr had that dream and so did countless people before him - and like them, we will surely all be graveyard dead before the dream becomes reality. Nevertheless, I'll have peaceful coexistence in my own dang living room.


Blogger Gail said...


what you wrote about kids, teens, (an adults) cleaning up after themselves is SO true I Love the image of the elephant with the pooper scooper. It is in the cleaning up after on';es self that one learns to make better choices, hopefully. I really see a 'teaching tool/book' in your "Ass-Wholes" concept. Brilliant. No shocker there though.

Happy Sunday
Love you Texas

February 7, 2010 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

That would be the Menopausal Stoners Guide to Parenting, and I'm working on the outline.

Happy Sunday to you, too.

February 7, 2010 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Jaliya said...

The image of sticking Sarah Palin's fluffy head into a toilet for a swirly has me doubled over!

Cleaning up our own messes ... Our species sure hasn't done much of that, have we?

A possibility for all those empties: Grab 'em all and set them on Velvet's bed. That'll get him to dispose of them. I've found that a man can't stand to have anything between him and a lie-down when he wants it. ;-)

February 7, 2010 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

No worries about the empties. He woke up around 11:00 and cleaned up first thing.
I put all the trash on his bed at Christmas ;)

February 7, 2010 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Does Velvet know how to fold his own underwear?

I wouldn't have thought it was important, either (though I learned and got in the habit as a GI in the '60s), but it turns out (some) women regard it as a gauge of a man's suitability as a bed-mate...


February 7, 2010 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Jaliya said...

Woody, my man folds his underwear exquisitely. He folds mine too. I tend to toss my gauchies into the drawer hither and yon ... I guess my man's the better bedmate, hee hee ;-)

February 7, 2010 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

I would think "hither and yon" is a good quality in a woman. As it happens, Velvet is good at laundry but I never noticed if he folds his drawers. He folds his t-shirts very neatly, though. Much better than I do.

February 7, 2010 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger GDAEman said...

"Sarah Palin looking for all the world like a torch singer in a piano bar." Gawd, that image is now seared in my mind. Nice one-liner.

February 7, 2010 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

I'd only amend it thusly: "A mediocre singer in a cheap piano bar."

February 7, 2010 at 10:37 PM  
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February 8, 2010 at 6:25 AM  
Blogger Bibliophilia In Black said...

Her gams are not that shapely. I wish she'd wear a longer dress and be more modest as befits a republican stupid white woman ;~)

February 9, 2010 at 4:25 PM  
Anonymous JD said...

I'm kinda hoping Congress can legislate its way around that Supreme Court ruling that will no doubt enable massive corporate bankrolling of Sarah Swirly. My dream is that someday she'll somehow be roped into appearing as a celebrity contestant on "Survivor," and all her teammates are doughy old Elephants like Tom DeLay and Newt Gingrich. Justice will be served!

February 9, 2010 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Commander Zaius said...

I clicked on some news story this morning and was hit in the face by a photo of Sarah Palin looking for all the world like a torch singer in a piano bar.

The chapter of Marching Morons that surround me at work drool when they see her on television.

From what I heard, since watching the Tea Bagger convention would be torture to me, the trailer trash from the Last Frontier strongly hinted she will run for president in 2012. I would find it the highest cosmic joke ever thrown if she should win. The problem is that I have come to believe Americans are actually stupid enough to elect her. The universe/God/Karma hates stupid people and usually gives them what they deserve.

February 10, 2010 at 3:37 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

GDAEman, Thanks for the compliment and thanks for the link in your blog.
Woody - that's because you're Wordy ;)
BinB - welcome. I wish she'd STFU
Beach Bum - have you seen Idiocracy? It addresses the march of morons and how we get the elected officials we deserve.
Thanks Nivetha.
JD - now THAT'S funny

February 10, 2010 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Jaliya said...

How 'bout "a cheap lounge singer in a bar where they pour their drinks down your gown and into the piano"?


February 11, 2010 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Jaliya - that sounds like my kind of bar ;)

February 14, 2010 at 10:07 AM  

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