Category Archives: Ranting

The privilege of nostalgia

Of all the outside events in my childhood—things that weren’t just about me and the insular people in my little preteen world—nothing has failed to fade into obscurity except for the 2000 Elections.

I couldn’t pin down exactly why that is, or sum it up in one coherent sentence. But it was the first time that my little world tilted off its axle, the first time that I figured that there was a world outside of my own personal hell (thanks middle school, for all the angst!), and that it wasn’t any better than anything that came before.

Even at 12, I was precocious and had to have an opinion about everything. I had a good social studies teacher for seventh grade that year. Most of the time, whichever teacher got stuck teaching the poorly taught mish-mash of geographic, civics, and history just read from the text, while scrubbing the world of any of its bullshit and unsavory characteristics. But I remember that teacher. Not her name, of course, but I remember that she had short hair, was quite fat, and inordinately found of Pepsi. She had posters of the Pepsi logo on her wall and drank an entire Big Glup of the sugary crap at least twice a day.

But what I remember most about her is that she was the first teacher that encouraged us to pay attention to politics. Not in the way that we used to, the way that only required rote memorization and only accomplished filled out worksheets, but in the way where we were supposed to think for ourselves.

So I thought for myself for what was probably one of the first times on something bigger than me and bigger than my family. I contemplated Bush, I contemplated Gore. And at 12, totally untutored in the ways of politics and how to fact-check talking heads on the television, I had the overwhelming impression that one of the candidates was incredibly full of shit. Oh, and it wasn’t Gore.

That sort of clarity about politics never really faded as I grew older. What did fade was the black and white mentality. Now, I can’t separate candidates or positions into right and wrong. It typically comes down to something like wrong, horribly wrong, and so absolutely fucking wrong that I can’t believe anyone buys this bullshit. I wish I could say that the world was painted in shades of gray. But it’s not. As time marches on, and the pressures of adulthood creep into my daily routines, the world is just shades of black, speckled with some drab grays—never lightening to anything approaching white.

Today, I was struck by this overwhelming nostalgia for the ’90s. Until November of 2000, I was blissfully unaware of the bullshit of the outside world. The Oklahoma City bombings and O.J.’s farce of a trial (I was 7 when those happened) were blips on the radar. The world was rosy, the future was promising, and one day soon a girl (maybe me?) could be president. My parents got a messy divorce circa ’96, but I figured that was just an indication of my family’s private malfunctions, and nothing to do with the state of the outside world.

2000 changed that. For the first time, I got the sense that the world was full of very corrupt, very stupid people. I watched an election stolen, and I thought, “what the fuck?” They taught me that we lived in a Democracy, that America was the best country in the world. And some douche that knew nothing about shit, who just lost the popular vote, was fraudulently declared the leader of my country over some dude who was pretty awkward, and kind of dorky, but at least knew what’s what, or so I assumed.

I was privileged. Even as my parents fought and my mother bought our clothes at Goodwill, I was insulated from the fuck-ups of the world. There were no bloody Civil Wars, nobody in our family starved or went without birthdays and winter extravaganzas of presents.

The 2000 Elections ushered in a new era of thinking big. For the first time, I saw something that happened that was wrong, and attributed it to large forces that people refused to control. The bullies that tormented me suddenly weren’t so bad after all. I found myself hating their parents, hating the administrators that sat by and watched the brutal abuse visited upon the bookish “weird” girl and did nothing. For the first time, I looked at power and saw cruelty when they alone had the power to make kindness stick.

Now, I know that it was the beginning of a decade of realization: that the strong are offered such opportunity to be callously indifferent, ignorant, and weak while the weak are expected and obligated to be strong, brave, and good when given no incentive or opportunity to do so. This is now what I refer to when I talk about privilege. With power comes the sheltering embrace of ignorance, the ability to push responsibility down the pile until it rains like a foul deluge on those without anyone below them to abuse.

I sit here now, in a crap heap of shattered privileges. The willowy thinness of youth has left, replaced with hormonal imbalances, back problems, and horrid allergies. My refuge of feigned heterosexuality is destroyed beneath the weight of a denial I could not face—without any indication that I ought to do so, that there was any other way that this endless farce of normalcy. My religious heritage has become less of an interesting set of rituals and more of a set of squishy places for the heavy bludgeon of enforced public Christianity to really bruise. My wages don’t meet inflation, don’t meet the cost of living. I face an endless road of insurmountable debt, with the hopeless idea that I could beat the odds and pay it off. What bullshit is that? Pay it off? People who went to college in the ’80s—when it was expensive but not absurdly so—had to pay into their 40s. And this is with a good economy for most of the way, steady jobs, and wages that kept up with the cost of living until recently. What hope have I, with higher debt, lower wages, and an economy in shambles?

Nostalgia is for the privileged, for those who can look back with fondness to their youth. My youth, frankly, was miserable. There are years—somewhere between 8 (the year my parents split) and 14—that I was so unhappy that I only recall bits and pieces. But those fragile memories contain the promise that as long as I could live through the relentless hell of school, there would be a shiny adult life full of hope, if I worked for it, waiting for me.

At 22, I look back with nostalgia because I had hope. Now, I guess I still do. It’s its a flimsy facsimile of hope, because the consequences of facing the hopeless future before me is too psychologically great. There’s bitter refuge in ignorance. My number will eventually come up. Those in worst straights know it better than me—that the future isn’t all that awesome. Maybe they recall with fondness the ’90s, when parents let their children out to play all day and the world was full of the promise of high-tech jobs and high-tech lives. When the counterculture was about raging against the machine and a well-earned anger at authority and less about the crushing demands of relentless consumerism, creating debt to ease the pain of meaningless lives, meaningless values. When people mourned in the streets for their lost heroes—for their Princess Dianas and Kurt Colbanes—instead of overlooking the deadly attempted assassinations of political officials and bombings of medical clinics.

What happened since then? My favorite bands and artists could go up in flames tomorrow and I would not shed a tear. My house could be foreclosed upon, and I would not even blink in surprise. They could ban abortion and I’d shrug my shoulders, knowing it was inevitable.

If this is growing up, fuck it all. Adult responsibilities now only mean adult debts, adult lies you tell yourself to get out of bed in the morning. I’m not depressed. I’m angry. I’m filled with contempt at all the people in authority that had the power to stop this downward spiral, and instead said, “fuck it, I’d rather buy a Hummer.”

Nostalgia is for those with a past to look back on fondly. I could have it worse, but I could have had it a lot better. No matter how many people are worse off mean that those entrusted with the task of being strong for me—a child—should be forgiven for failing in so many different ways.

But what scares the ever-loving crap out me is the concept that in the future, as I see it going, we’re going to have extra awesome new ways of failing those we’re tasked with protecting. The meek shall inherit an Earth devoid of fertile soil, lush forests, equality of opportunity, and Democracy. They will instead inherit insurmountable debt, countries on the brink of dissolution or war, oceans depleted of fish and skies filled with the smog of yesterday.

One day I’ll look back at my nostalgia today with nostalgia, because the way we’re going, it’s going to only get worse. If The Smith’s “How Soon is Now?”—which exclaims, “I’ve already waited too long, and all my hope is gone”—defines our generation, what of the generations of the future? How much worse must it get before we wake up and say to power, fuck you and your tax cuts, your business incentives and your bonus packages. I want a future for me and mine, so sell your fucking yacht, because no greedy ignorant sack of shit like you has the right to plunder the world of its riches, its happiness, its hope, and its future.

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Wah, how do I make women like me?

I haven’t been posting for a while because it’s the middle of finals and I have two papers due in a little over 24 hours. One of which I haven’t started. Oops.

Anyways, a friend and I were eating lunch outside the other day. It was overcast and not to cold, so we were enjoying the breeze in one of the few days we get to wear sweaters or jackets in Arizona without fooling ourselves. Outside the little cafe, quite a lot of people had congregated. Before long, our little sanctuary was ruined by the arrival of a large group of men, five or six of them, that took the table adjacent to ours. This is not usually something that I care about, it being a large and crowed campus, but this particular group of men was especially loud and obnoxious. We debated moving, but decided not to since the only open table was covered in the droppings of our diseased urban wildlife. Plus, we were lazy.

Before long, their conversation turned to “girls”. Now, I usually don’t make a habit to eavesdrop on others. Mostly, it’s because I don’t think other people are that terribly interesting when I have someone in front of me that I actually care about, like my friend. Also, I’m not really the sort of person that thinks everyone else’s business is my business. My business is plenty interesting, or at least pressing, by itself. I couldn’t help overhearing them though, because as is the habit of a large gathering of fraternity-type men-folk, they seemed to not care that there were people in the vicinity that really didn’t give a damn about how big the dump they took last night was.

Their present topic was women. About half of the group preened and loudly proclaimed their conquests upon the fairer sex. They were very obviously quite proud of the endeavors of their shloongs. My friend and I exchanged eye-rolls. The stench of cliche was overwhelming.

The other half of the gathering, however, smiled and looked with awe upon the gods of sex that had decided to take a break from their divine life of (fabricated) fornication to bring testosterone-laden tales of their exploits to the masses. One, in the infrequent pauses (these men really liked to loudly talk over one another), made the statement, “the women here seem to be a bit more frigid than usual. How do I make the women in my major like me?”

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Giving thanks for abuse, igorance and Stockholm Syndrome

I love my family just as much as anyone. They’re typically there if I really need them, and it’s not like I was beaten as a child or left in the rain. Yet we have our skeletons in the closet.

Abuse—physical, emotional, or verbal—is just as American as white bread or apple pie. I was reminded so this year when Thanksgiving was an unmitigated disaster.

I’ve found that as I get older and grow into my own opinions and personality that I move closer and closer to the place on the family tree labeled “black sheep”. I shudder to think what would happen if they knew I was bisexual. Which is why I don’t tell them.

While driving to my grandmother’s house tonight, my mother cautioned me to “keep my negativity to myself”. Which means the following topics are off limits:

  • My ambition to be a prosecuting attorney. I cannot talk about going to law school in anything but vague promises and ideas. When someone asks me why I want to go, I cannot tell them it’s because I want to give battered, raped, or abused women the opportunity to have someone defend them that actually gives a shit about the reality of their lives. The topic is never broached though, because everyone assumes I’m going to law school because I’m materialistic and like money. I don’t bother to correct them.
  • Politics. My anger at how the fat cats responsible for the downturn cannot be expressed. My thoughts on the war are not wanted. My opinion of Obama, Clinton, or Bush are unnecessary. Anything even remotely carrying the stench of civil rights is offensive.
  • My father. The times that I spend with my father on vacation or at his house are off-limits. I am not to talk about the “chicken raiser” or Texas in positive terms. Even if my time there was mostly positive.
  • My school work. The really interesting legal philosophy I read is boring. Statistics about the composition of jailed populations are “wrong” or “incorrect beliefs”. My university is “brainwashing me with liberalism”.
  • Dating and Family. My want of children with or without a male spouse is disgusting. I infer, probably correctly, that my real sexuality would be abhorrent. My exasperation with unwanted chivalry and Nice GuysTM is offensive.
  • Myself. “Don’t talk about yourself” was asked of me explicitly. Nobody wants to know about you. Your opinions are offensive. After the above list, this point is inferred, and stating it is all but unnecessary.

Basically, my role at Thanksgiving is that of the mute female. I must help, as the other female family members do (my grandmother, my mother, and my aunt) with the cooking, cleaning, setting the table, and clearing it. I am, however, not allowed to express my opinions or anything about myself because it is distasteful. I cannot tell my brother, my uncle, my grandfather, or my two younger male cousins to get up and get their own damn cranberry sauce.

The rules outlined above are only for me, however. My mother, aunt, uncle, and grandfather may express any and all of their opinions about those “goddamn unions”, “stupid Mexican kids in schools getting free lunches”, and “fucking poor people buying shit at Christmas they don’t deserve because of their inferiority they do not have a lot of money”. They have lovely conversations about how marvelous Israel is too, and no mention is made of the Palestinians. If they are mentioned, they are “terrorists” or “security concerns”. Racist jokes may also be exchanged.

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It’s Just Fucking Food

I’m neglecting writing an important essay that is due yesterday soon to piss and moan about more things in society that make me want to throw things at heads. Sharp pointy things. Or large bludgeon-like things. Take your pick.

Anyways, today I was really really tired. I hate pumping caffeine into my body, because I’m already chemically dependent on other things (Dexedrine: legal amphetamine to help me with ADHD) and it does bizarre things in combination with what I already do take. But I bit the bullet and decided that staying awake at work and in class was more important than keeping my sleep schedule or not destroying my digestive system (really, coffee makes me ill even though I love it). One of the great things about my work is free coffee at the organic cafe next door. Not shitty coffee, either, good coffee. They never burn it. So I indulged in a very large cup of it.

As I mosey over on to the milk bar to add my dash of non-coffee things to make it taste better, I come across a girl I know in passing from one of my classes out for her morning muffin before going to campus. We exchange pleasantries, and I pick up the soy milk and pour some into my coffee. With the other hand, I decide to go straight for the non-sugar vanilla “creamer” (no milk in it). In for a penny, in for a dollar. If I’m pumping caffeine into my system, what’s a little chemical-that-tastes-like-sugar going to do? It’s not like I do this every day, or even every week.

But she noticed. Oh no. Most of the women I know do this competitive eating shit. Except it’s not the fun kind where you get to eat a lot of pie or hotdogs. It’s the kind of competition where whoever loses starves wins. Chalk another one up to the bullshit body-punishment culture.

“Oh, you’re on a diet! I could never stomach both soy and sugar-free creamer. Tastes horrible.”

I laughed and replied, “no, I drink soy because I think milk is disgusting and being lactose sensitive makes drinking it no fun. I think the sugar-free stuff tastes better. The stuff they have here with sugar is too sweet, it makes me nauseous… plus it has milk. Also, I’m not on a diet”.

She just smiled at me, self-indulgently, like I was some silly player in the same game of charades where we all hate ourselves and punish our bodies accordingly, pretend such self-destruction is positive, and then deny our adherence to the goals of this ritual to be humble.

Before I could think of some awe-inspiring way to convince her that my momentary lapses into socially inspired self-hatred are far too short to necessitate any sort of action or overcome my love of most things food-like, she left.

Well, fuck.

Really, as much as you all must think I’m awesome, I’m much less eloquent in person. I do this thing where twenty brilliant things are running through my head at the same time, and by the time I stop indulging in mental self-praise of my intelligence, whomever I’ve been talking to has inferred that I don’t have anything smart to say because I either paused too long or keep peppering my non-sequitors with “uh”.

It all makes sense in my head, I swear.

Back on topic: it’s just fucking food. If it tastes good I eat it. If I want some ice cream, I have a pint of it. Sometimes, a whole pint until my intestines try to force their way out of my body in protest of all the milk. My digestive system hates me.

If salad tastes like shit with vinegar or no dressing, I put some nice Greek or full-fat (the fat-free tastes like dog poo) Italian on it. I usually load it with all sorts of exotic vegetables too, because they are so much tastier with dressing. So while some dieters might be able to force down a serving of spinach with no dressing a couple of times of week, my favorite food is this amazing Cilantro Lime salad I get at the very same organic cafe mentioned above loaded with all these finely chopped vegetables I can’t pronounce and really dark leafy greens. I love me my vitamins.

I really don’t think all that much about food. If I want it, I have it. If I don’t want it (and I don’t quite often), I don’t have it. I’m probably in that weird limbo between hot and chubby on society’s fucked-up meter, but as long as I can bike on the highest (read: most resistance and fastest) gear on my bike for six miles and get all the vitamins I need, I usually like to give society’s expectations of my diet the finger.

I’m healthy. I’m way healthier at size 12 than I was at 2. For one, I finally figured out that milk is bad for me, and that Mountain Dew isn’t good either. Eating is also fun compared to competitive fasting.

So as much as I find myself slipping some times, I remind myself: it’s just fucking food. You need it, all of it–fats and calories included–to survive. And really, your body knows that better than your head, which is brainwashed as hell.

So shut the fuck up brain, I’m having what tastes good tonight.

Radicalism

I haven’t posted in a while. Real life is complex and sometimes frightening. Thinking about issues as troubling and pervasive as feminism in a linear fashion, linear enough to put here anyway, is difficult. I am not really a linear thinker, and while I have studied quite a bit of logic, I find that I am most comfortable departing from it for the sake of lyricism and fanciful hypotheticals. That kind of expression doesn’t post well, I’m afraid. If you let me, I’d compose an entire novel of incomprehensible metaphors.

Nevertheless, I like to think about radicalism, primarily because how aware I am of my dissociation with humanity. I was always quite the radical kind of person. I had a forceful, yet subtle, personality even as a toddler. Being different is something that I seem to cultivate for the sake of it, and something that just comes naturally.

My tendency to be hyper-aware of social norms and find the most pleasure in defying them translated neatly to radicalism. I cannot think of a point in my life that I was not “radical” in some fashion or another. My brand of radicalism was never really a deliberate bucking of trends for the sake of irritating others. I’ve always wanted harmony more than anything, but not at the expense of my own convictions. I’ve always had a complex inner moral code. People tell me that I’m dramatic, but I feel that things I take seriously cannot ever be set aside for the stated goal of joviality or immediate harmony. This translates, of course, into alienating myself from social situations that particularly bother me in their defiance of my principles.

I am an intensely moral person. My acts of defiance and rebellion were always because I perceived the status-quo to be unjust. Even as a Kindergartener, I recall times in which I thought that my teacher was being monumentally hypocritical. This is taken as a sort of egoism, but it’s not really. I’m probably one of the most perfectionist sorts of people one could meet. As harsh as I am in my perception of others (a fact that is not known usually, because I’m more likely to walk away than participate, let alone start, a fight unless I’m cornered or intensely angry), I’m much harsher on myself.

Radical feminism sort of feels like home to me. It translates neatly into the disgust I have with the hollow and materialistic social obsession with abusive sexuality. It jives with my disassociation with normalcy, a fact unalterable by the mere reality of my personality. I think that I was born to be a crusader or a martyr. Not in the self-serving way either. There’s little doubt in my mind that even a fraction of the change I want in the world will be accomplished during my lifetime.

It’s corny, and stupid, but I believe strongly in a concept of God and fate. My “God”, and I use the term extremely loosely, means so much less and more than the typical monotheistic Western cloud-father. I could be delusional, but I do truly think that it is my lot in life to feel alienated most of the time. This dissatisfaction with the status-quo, I think, is such an intrinsic part of me because it is supposed to motivate me to make the change I wish to see in the world, or at least get the ball rolling. I’d die for my cause. I mean that. I’d gladly abandon all sorts of social norms for the sake of my principles, and have already done so, sometimes without even knowing it.

This, I feel, is radicalism. This is what I was born to feel, to do, to want. I feel disassociated with the current state of humanity, and deeply troubled. I am unable to depart from my moral code for any momentary and shallow source of pleasure. If I do, I punish myself, privately, for it. I would rather die now doing what I think I was meant to do than die rich in the lap of luxury at ninety. This is unshakable.

Truly, it’s scary, the force of my own conviction. The more I learn about the mechanisms of the world the more I hurt inside from just a glimpse of the unrelenting and unheard agony of others. I just can’t ignore Pandora’s Box once I opened it. To do so would be killing myself more than any bullet or bomb could.

This is my radicalism. This is my feminism. I’d let it kill me before I’d abandon it. I’d make a victim of myself before I’d close it off in a neat box and put it on the shelf for the sake of cooperating with chauvinists or those that are completely wrong.

I do so not because I hate the world. I love world, I love “God”, I love humanity. I see life where most might see death. I never lost that childish tendency to personify the flowers and the trees and animals. How could I ever deny the humanity of anyone, even my foe? The gap between what I feel the world ought to be, what humanity deserves to be, and what is it so vast that the thought of all that needs to be accomplished is as incomprehensible as the size of the sun to an ant.

But this is my radicalism, my oasis, my masochism, my purpose.

Even if the road is millions of miles long, I’d give my life to take a dozen steps forward.

Safe places

It’s recently come to my attention that people that know me outside the internet have found my safe haven. I’m not quite sure what to think of that. There’s a lot that I post here that I haven’t told them, things here that I would be afriad to say, and things here that I really don’t want to say to them. A lot of my friends are extremely understanding, and I wouldn’t have a problem with them reading what I write and think and feel. But there are others, who I sometimes feel like I have to hide from, who may judge, condescend and question. I’m not sure that I’m ready for that.

I can’t really do anything about at this juncture. I don’t want to move this blog or restrict access. I’ve found plenty of awesome feminist and feminist allies here on the internet, and I love that they can come here and I can go to their space too. I suppose then my solution, for now, is just to let the chips fall where they may. If it becomes a problem, I’ll be sure to notify anyone that wishes to follow me to somewhere new. If it does not become an issue, then look forward to more posts. I promised myself when I started this blog that I would not censor myself. It’s days like these that those promises are tested.

The manipulator, manipulated

This isn’t the only forum I frequent. I find myself (futilely?) trying to engage the mainstream political dabblers in debate about my pet issues. The problem is, and I admit it, that my past statements about myself and my positions often are radically different than what I say now. Hell, I’ve only had this blog for three months, and I can pinpoint a few posts in which my positions have shifted a bit.

I admit: the feminist identity is new. Many many people on the blogosphere have been feminists much longer than I have. I was addicted to porn, for shit’s sake, less than a year ago. I surmise that if I had kept a record of everything I posted five years ago to today, I’d have to delete comments about what a hypocrite I am.

Yeah, more so than usual.

But that’s the thing, really. I’m young, barely into my twenties. Jeez, can’t a girl have a change of heart once in a while? Six years ago, I would have voted for McCain. The funny thing is, everyone seems to recall those past me’s and ignore today’s me’s. Maybe some people never change their political opinions after the age of sixteen. I’m not that kind of person. What is so fucking silly about this whole changing-my-mind thing is that that the same people patting me on the head whilst exclaiming “you’re young, you’ll know better eventually” are the same to cry from pulpits about my hypocrisy when I try to know better.

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A eulogy for my brother

His memory is bittersweet. I recall the first time I behold his large forehead and open blue eyes as he looked up into my four-year old face from his perch in my lap by the bedside of my postpartum mother. I remember the days when I would throw a tantrum because I hated school and my little brother was always there to play with me, no matter how awkward I was. I was his sun, his older sister, and he fell into my orbit with his wide grin and habit of throwing peas into old ladies’ hair at the local cafeteria.

I loved my brother with all my heart and then some. I missed him dearly when we were separated, me eleven and he seven. I wondered if he missed me, in the city with my mom, while I lived under the thumb of my draconian father and aloof stepmother. The weekends were cacophonous and ironically peaceful. The monotony of my schoolwork was broken only by the weekend interludes of the time with my brother. For two days we were together again, and the pull of our sibling love for the other was palpable in its normalcy. I look back at the times my jealousy overcame my young heart with such nostalgia. My rage for his luck of my mother’s leniency, and his yearning for my natural book smarts. We were complements, he and I. I was the approval seeker, disappointed when my brother, who could not read, received more attention than I, She Who Devoured Books. My best friend, my partner in crime. He would pick up sticks in the alley behind my father’s house at my dare, and stick them between the slats of our neighbor’s fence to tease their anxious dog. When the animal bit and snapped and rattled the fence, we would laugh at our cleverness at overcoming such a foul beast and narrowly escape down the alleyway with our lives intact.

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False Consciousness or the Funeral of I

This post was inspired by Twisty’s eloquent explanation of the rape culture, which I posted in her comment thread and preserved here in all of its agony.

For the thousand ways I resist the patriarchy every day, there are another ten thousand ways in which I give in, lie back, and let the flow of oppression take me away. I have never consented. Not once. Every single sexual encounter I have ever had with a man exists on the same spectrum of rape from the most obvious to the most insidious. Every time I do so much as shave my legs, simply because I have been conditioned to hate their natural state, my body is not my own. It is always a tool of the patriarchy, valued for its ability to titillate. I stand in front of the mirror plucking my eyebrows weekly, pleased with their socially acceptable shape, but horrified by the realization that I have no idea what I would like my eyebrows to look like if I was a truly free of this horrid cycle of self-hatred and mental illness. I love myself for looking pretty, I hate myself for looking pretty. I love myself for resisting looking pretty, I hate myself for resisting looking pretty. This horror is specifically constructed to take away our consent in almost every detail of our lives.

Every single one of us is sick. The society which has given us our life has taken away our identity and agency. Who am I outside of the short brunette with purposely tousled sexy hair? I have no idea. Simply the mental energy required to resist the smallest details of the patriarchy is beyond my grasp. I can float on top of this vast ocean of madness, but I am still a part of it and my toes will never be dry.

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It’s EVOLUTION because we’re ALL ABOUT THE BABIES

So I was walking down the street today. I came across a dog. The dog was ugly, and it smelled a bit. I decided that I wanted to kick that motherfucking dog. I was going to kick the shit out of it. It hadn’t done anything to me, but I still wanted to see it cry.

So I drew back my foot and kicked that damn dog. It yelped, and then made to run away. Someone else had already had my bright idea, because the dog’s leg was broken, and by the festering look of it, had been for some time. So I shifted by weight and prepared for another kick, pleased that my prey could not escape.

Before my Converse could connect with the matted side of the mongrel, a police officer came out of nowhere. He whipped out his pad of ticket paper and prepared to levy me a heavy fine for animal abuse. As he asked my name and other vital statistics such as the middle name of the brother of the person I lost my virginity to, I could see the hate in his eyes. He shook his head every so often, as if my mere existence necessitated a random negation when his questioning would pause.

“Wait, officer!” I exclaimed.

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