This morning I read about the controversy surrounding GoDaddy pulling its Super Bowl ad because of a kerfuffle about puppy mills and animal cruelty. Which of course, is something we should all be concerned about, yes, yes. I hear you. But what bothers me about this, whether it’s actually true or just a GoDaddy-staged publicity stunt is that while you can get this kind of action for the rights and dignity of animals, you can’t really say the same thing about the rights and dignity of women. Seriously, just try complaining about the objectification of women in ads like the ones for
Carl’s Jr. or any of the other myriad Super Bowl ads, or almost any ad (one of my favorites is the one where the guy is watching the game on his phone under the table because obviously it’s more interesting than anything his woman has to say from across it…but I digress…) for that matter, and you won’t hear anything about the ad being pulled for a reason like that. If anything, what you will hear is the sound of crickets chirping.
I could go on, but that ‘s not really the story I wanted to tell you. No, this is a story about parenting. A story about how I would like for my boys to grow up understanding that women are human beings, not slaves or sex objects, and that the way women are portrayed in the media has an immediate effect on how men view them in the real world. And I made my point, in the car on the way to school this morning, by relating it to Congress’s recent refusal to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and the fact that women in the United States of America on average earn seventy-eight cents for every dollar that a man earns, even if they are doing the same jobs with the same amount of experience. It’s 2015. The 21st century. The new year came and everyone was bitching about how we weren’t getting the hoverboards that Back to the Future II had promised us. I’d just be happy if they gave us the 22 cents. I mean, can you imagine what would happen if people whined more about pay inequity than they do about the injustice of not getting hoverboards??
But again, I digress…I’m a stay-at-home mom. Basically, as I’ve said before, that means I am a cook, a laundress, a chauffeur, a judge, jury and jailor, janitor, a pet sitter, a nurse, a cop, a safety monitor, a teacher, a gardener, a comptroller, head of purchasing, a cruise-director, appointment secretary, and all-around shit-doer. So when I mentioned to my sons this problem of the pay gap, I was a bit incensed when the one in the back seat said, “Yeah, but you don’t work.”
That’s right. He said it. After asking me this morning where he might find his freshly laundered gym uniform, and then packing the lunch I had prepared for him into his backpack, this son of mine had the stones (though admittedly not the brains) to say to me, “But you don’t work.”
But the funny part was that he had said this as we were pulling into the parking lot of his school, and not a minute later, he realized that he had actually left his gym uniform back at home. “Can you bring it to me before 8:30?” he asked. (This was at 7:50, and I still had his brother to drop off at another school.)
“But, Clooney,” I said, “I don’t work.”
What a night. What an amazing time to be an American. For the first time in a long time, I am proud – truly proud – of my fellow Americans. Manfrengensen stayed up until 3 waiting for North Carolina to be called. I hit the hay around 1, and I am completely wiped today. My favorite moment was when they were introduced as the next First Family, and instead of coming out as just the next POTUS, he came out with his wife and kids. The GOP likes to talk about how they are the real party of family values, and how the Dems are all a bunch of godless hedonists, but you look at the Obamas, and you think — there are the family values America holds so valuable. It’s obvious that there is a great love, a great friendship and much mutual respect between them. And I think that’s something we haven’t seen in a First Family for a long time.
This one is my favorite:
This morning I woke the boys for school, and I told them the news. Someday, fifty, seventy-five years from now, someone will ask my son if he remembers the election of 2008, and he will tell them about the lively conversations around our dinner table, and the morning when his mother woke him with tears in her eyes and told him this great man had been elected.
I also think that if McCain had been as honest during the campaign as he was in his concession speech, some of those swing states might have gone the other way.
This is a really interesting behind-the-scenes piece by Newsweek.
Incidentally, yesterday one of those Secretaries of State, Lawrence Eagelberger said of Palin, “of course” she’s not ready to be president, adding “I devoutly hope that [she] would never be tested.”
Meanwhile, McCain claims that Palin has been a “uniting force” for the Republican party. Where’s that dream world, and why can’t I ever visit that kind of utopia? I once saw this documentary on Ronald Reagan. It said that he was the child of alcoholics, and went on to point out that those kind of people tend to invent their own realities as a coping mechanism. Thus they believe their own lies. I’ve thought of that line often these past few months. I just wonder if that kind of upbringing is what’s behind the selling of these lies.
Speaking of “senior moments,” yesterday McCain called Joe the Plumber a “true American hero.” WHAT??? Is he a firefighter? A soldier? A police officer? No. He snakes the drains of Ohio. He happened to ask Obama a question that has given McCain a rallying cry, even if it is a whopper of a lie. And now, Joe the Plumber is in talks to become Joe the Country Singer…no wait, wait, he’s Joe the Book Author…no wait, wait, he’s Joe Might-Run-For-Congress…no, make that Joe Just-Hired-Eddie-Money’s-Publicist. Actually, he’s plain old Joe Who’s-Milking-These-Fifteen-Minutes-For-All-They’re-Worth. And that truly is the American Dream of the 21st-Century.
If Joe the Plumber is an American hero, then this country really is going down the toilet in a swirling stew of turd.
On last night’s Countdown, Keith Oldbermann referred to McCain’s campaign staff as a “clown college.” YES! Who are these bozos? Who’s telling McCain to keep pushing Joe the Plumber? Why aren’t they encouraging crowds at their rallies to vote early like Obama is? Where is the loyalty? That staff has more leaks than a cheap diaper. Who releases an “internal poll” six days before the election? It’s mind-boggling. Ideals aside — the ultra-poor running of McCain’s entire campaign is reason enough not to deserve the presidency. They are as clueless as the current president.
And another thing that really bothers me: McCain never talks about the economy, or the middle class, or education. His message is exclusively about the other guy. But I want to know, Senator McCain, what are you really going to do for the country? Which direction do you want to take us, and how exactly are we going to get there?
On a completely unrelated note: This is the 100th post on this blog.
Joe stood up McCain (not stood up for, just plain stood up) at a rally today. McCain’s reaction: Priceless.
And can anyone tell me what is with the big, red, inflatable phalluses that people are waving at McCain rallies? What’s that supposed to convey? Is that bologna?
I’m so sick of the air quotes, but the way.
I love this guy. Seriously — he gets the whole picture.
I’m Joe the Plumber.
I’m Joe the Plumber.
I’m Joe the Plumber.
I went to school today to help out with the Book Fair. My kids have been educated in a Montessori program, and between the two of them, this is the sixth year that we’ve been working with their teacher. (The program runs three years, and they stay in the classroom mixed with 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s. It’s awesome.)
So anyway, I have a pretty good rapport with the teacher. I forget how we started talking politics. It’s been years. Maybe it started with the war, or with the 2004 election, but in terms of political ideals, she and I are fairly simpatico.
There’s also an assistant teacher in the classroom, and I have a good rapport with her as well. I’ve always thought she and I are very much alike. We have the same kind of fashion sense, for better or worse. We both are the type who seeks the solace of comfortable shoes. Today she was even wearing a fleece jacket from Lands End that is the same color and style as one that I have. We’ve laughed together, confided in each other, etc.
So, as we walked with the class, back from the Book Fair, I said something about Obama, and she made a counterpoint about McCain. I thought for a second about what she had said, and what it might mean. She fell back among her students to tend to one of their needs, and Clooney whispered in my ear, “She likes John McCain.”
And I respect that…in theory. But in my heart, I felt a wedge, like suddenly there was this huge difference, this area that had to be avoided or guarded.
This is coming also on the heels of an experience I had on a moms message board. Political discussions have been heated on the boards, nothing derogatory, though some of the McCain supporters have complained. I think they mostly have felt ganged-up on, as the bulk of the comments were made by Obama supporters. Though, to be fair, the Obama supporters were just pointing out inaccuracies in the McCain supporters’ posts about things like Obama’s ties to Islam and terrorists, the definition of socialism, etc.
A few weeks ago, the moderator got into it and told us all to basically “play nice.” Again though, I want to stress that if anything derogatory was said, I never read it. So then, I guess, one of the McCain supporters posted a thread that asked for responses only from McCain supporters, and the Obama supporters felt slighted. The moderator got involved again and separated us all into our respective corners. Any kind of dissenting opinion is seen as antagonistic, I guess. I think it’s just a shame that this is the state of our political discourse.
Edison and I carved this pumpkin together. We don’t claim to be professionals with the carving knives, but we did have a lot of fun doing it: