Strange Girls


...okay, i'm sure i'm late to this moral crisis, but i've spent the last few days on the couch watching TLC  shows on netflix and i think it's made me dumber than when i started...apparently, the learning channel has become the opposite of actual learning...instead, it's the modern-day equivilant of the turn-of-the-century freak show...it's a televised stroll down the midway of the travelling circus...bearded fat ladies, conjoined twins, elephant men, tattooed women...all those taboos the farmhands came out of the woodwork to observe, we can watch from the safety of our own homes...no one there to see us go in and out of the seedy tents...

...anyone who knows me is aware of my obsession with little people...i'm not sure when it started, but each time a see a vertically challenged individual i want to pick him/her up and put them in my purse...i've never been one to play with dolls, but the allure of small people for me is like that of catnip to cats...not that i would ever rub myself against one, or lick one, or roll around on one...okay, that catnip metaphor was bad...

...i'm not willing to spend my time in hell in the hottest corner by remaining neutral on this topic...i'd rather party with the rest of the interesting sinners...so today i admit to watching children parade on stage in full glitz...my obsession with "strange girls" who sleep around, weigh 750 pounds, or love other girls...to thinking, when i see a man born with no legs but full genitalia, not "how can he live like that, pushing himself around on a skateboard?" but "how does he have sex?"

***

...adam read this post a few hours after it went live and his response was, "that's it?"

"of course," i said "were you expecting some great moral debate simply because i quoted dante?"

he shrugged and went back to his playstation

***

...so here's the great moral debate...dante and i have been friends for nearly a quarter of a century and while i understand that his words, specifically those in the inferno, were used as an attempt to call attention to the hypocrisy and closeted hedonism of the catholic church authority, i see many people in 21st century america using them to justify their own bigotry, ignorance, and hatred (see above paragraphs)...but it especially burns me when i learn of scholars doing this...or, at least people who've used daddy's dime to buy that english minor or phd in literature...they think because they've taken a dante class they're equipped to "teach" dante to their students by pulling out quotes like those above and attempting to apply them to the religion du juor...they define morality by the vague views thrust upon them in sunday school and perpetuated by a close-knit group of friends who've never challenged them to see otherwise...dante was many things, but a soothsayer time-traveler he was not...i'm sure he didn't mean to have his words support southern baptist evangelicals, some of whom spew hatred toward gays, condemn planned parenthood, and actually think jesus wants their daughters to win high-glitz beauty pageant titles...

...and here's another great moral debate...i'm finally, truly, fed up with living in a plutonomy...screw religion being the opiate of the masses...today every item made in china creates a richie rich high for the middle-class...if we can walk into a store and think to ourselves, "i can buy nearly everything in here and still afford dinner," of course we'll let the rich brainwash us into believing what matters and what doesn't...we'll continue to let them wield the power we give them, never thinking for a second that if we'd actually use the power a democracy assures us we have, we might actually begin to live in a society that values people rather than money, hard work over lineage, and--most importantly to me--truth, no matter how hard it is for us to take...

...and of course i think of this now, at the holidays, when so many people around me would have me simply answer the question, "what do you want for christmas?" rather than, "what does this holiday really mean to you?"...no discussion of perpetual hope, the realities of the pagan rituals, who saint nicholas might have been...no parsing of carols or answers to why we put up a tree and continue to wear tacky footwear...just: "tell me what you want so i don't have to think about you again until next year"

really? even turn-of-the-century carnies
didn't know how to use punctuation correctly?
...and along those lines, i get to what's really bothering me: i'm tired of being labelled a "strange girl"...of being placated with junk just to maintain neutrality...if i don't keep my mouth shut about the injustices around me--those going on within my own family, at my husband's work--i won't get that digital meat thermometer...

...so perhaps this post is a call to myself, a challenge to shrug off the niceties and come out swinging...why?...because i was born...

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