On getting angry and getting droll
I got a couple very nice comments that made me realize that my post below might accidentally be playing into gender policing that says women aren't allowed to get angry. That certainly wasn't my intention, and I wanted to make that clear. I think women should be free to get hopping, head-blowing, screamingly pissed off, if need be. There's a lot in politics that is angry-making. I frequently get straight up pissed. The shaming of all of women's anger is just sexist, and the anti-choicers were concern trolling me with "you're so angry" because they know this, and they're unable to think of a way to push back against a woman that doesn't involve sexism.
But I wasn't actually angry. I try to reserve being pissed the fuck off for emergencies, because being angry all the time causes massive burnout. The reason to make fun of nasty, maddening people instead of just be mad at them all the time is to preserve your own sanity. That it causes them to get so pissed off is just a bonus. It's especially important to piss off the people who are doing the "I'll pray for you" passive aggressive shit, because it just really highlights what giant hypocrites they are.
Anyway, I want to credit the late, great Molly Ivins for having a huge impact on my view that one should point and laugh as often as possible. She wrote a column in the early 90s about it that had a huge impact on my view of these things. A sample:
The thing is this: You got to have fun while you're fightin' for freedom, 'cause you don't always win…..
Our Texas freedom-fighters have been prone to misbehavior ever since. A recent Ku Klux Klan rally in Austin produced an eccentric counter- demonstration. When the fifty Klansmen appeared (they were bused in from Waco) in front of the state capitol, they were greeted by five thousand locals who had turned out for a "Moon the Klan" rally. Citizens dropped trou both singly and in groups, occasionally producing a splendid wave effect. It was a swell do.
It imprinted on me for two reasons: One, it's just common sense. Two, it impressed on me how much it is my duty, as a native Texan, to appreciate the motherfuckers of the world for providing us for many occasions for entertainment. Here's another awesome Ivins' story of the sacred duty of progressive Texans to approach the problems of the world with amusment. Ivins was writing about a battle in South Austin over the Cinema West porn theater, which a group called Citizens Against Pornography was trying to shut down, and which the liberal coalition was trying to keep open, because when you're in Texas you know that first they come for then porn, and then they're taking "Harry Potter" out of schools because it's witchcraft. You really have to hold the line. Anyway:
The Reverend Weaver rose to address the Commission. An eloquent preacher, he took right off into the tale of a woman who lives directly behind the pornography theater on South Congress Avenue. The very day before, she had watched a man come out of that theater after the five-o’clock show, go into the alley behind the theater, right behind her house, and … masturbate.
Three hundred Citizens Against and the members of the Plan Commission all sucked in their breath in horror. Made a very odd sound. “YES,” continued the Reverend Weaver, “that man MASTURBATED right in the alley, right BEHIND that lady’s house. And she has two little who might have SEEN it – if it weren’t for the wooden fence around her yard.” And with that the Reverend Weaver jerked the stopper and cussed sin up a storm. It looked bad for the First Amendment.
When it came their turn, the Libertarians [she was using this in the old sense of the term, as opposed to the new "give us an island full of sex slaves" sense] huddled together and decided to send up their oldest living member. He shuffled to the mike, gray hair thin on top, a face marked with age spots and old skin cancers, one eye long since. He spoke with a courtly Southern accent. “Members of the Plan Commission, Reverend Weaver, Citizens Against, ladies and gentlemen. My name is John Henry Faulk. I am seventy-four years old. I was born and raised in South Austin, not a quarter ofa mile from where the pornography theater stands today. I think y’all know that there was a lot of masturbation in South Austin before there was ever a pornography theater there.” Even the Citizens Against laughed, and the First was saved for another day.
So by all means, get angry when you need to. Don't let the church ladies "concern" you out of your righteous anger. But don't forget how important is to laugh at these fools. If there was a god, I'd have to believe he put them there specifically to make sure Jon Stewart never runs out of jokes.