Two Things I'm Angry About
Emily and I take off for lovely, ice-encased Columbia, Missouri today-- having successfully defended her dissertation, it is now time for Emily to be "hooded" at commencement. Finally, after more than a decade of higher education, Emily is done with reading!
So the mood around our house has been pretty celebratory in recent days, and we'll continue to spray each other with champagne and dance our asses off to Buster Poindexter's "Hot! Hot! Hot!" 'Cause that's how we roll at Casa BrIsaacson. But even while we're celebrating Emily's accomplishments, it's been a kind of frustrating week to be an American.
First, there's the Clinton campaign's fixation with Barack Obama's past drug use. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the idea of a flawed person learning from the mistakes of his youth a key part of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign? Remember when everyone was after him to find out if he smoked pot, or enjoyed the company of women other than his wife, and he responded by admitting that he hadn't always been perfect? Doesn't it seem just a little hypocritical now for Hillary to be associated with a zero-tolerance position on past drug use, given the fact that she campaigned for her husband knowing that he had a history of drug use too?
What's even worse is the half-assed way the Clinton campaign is going about its attack. It would be one thing if they genuinely seemed to be arguing a principle, but instead they're framing it as an "electability issue." "The Republicans are not going to give up without a fight," Clinton's New Hampshire co-chair Billy Shaheen told the Washington Post, "and one of the things they're certainly going to jump on is his drug use." Oh, fuck you. If Republcians brings up the fact that Obama has admitted to having snorted coke in the past, then the logical response is, "So what? Bush did it too. He was just less honest about it." The Republicans simple can't claim the high ground on this issue.
More frustration? Your soaking in it. Consider people like these, men who hate women so so so much, they assume that any woman who reports being the victim of a crime must be lying. Seriously, if a man claimed to have been mugged, or had his pocket picked, or his car egged, would these people be skeptical? Of course not. In general, we don't presume that people file false reports-- except when it comes to women, and especially when it comes to rape. Then, we get comments like "I question the timing" or "I'll go out on a limb here....she's lying. She's probably also insane" or "It seems likely she could have gotten shit faced, fucked consensually, then fell out of bed and knocked her falsies loose. Just sayin'..." And typically, when a story like this is reported online, I can usually read the story, get up to get a beverage, then come back to the computer just in time read the first commenter to bring up Mike Nifong and/or the Duke Rape case. 'Cause since one high profile rape case in the past twenty years turned out to be a false allegation, that means they all are.
I know I shouldn't let people like this get to me, and that I should probably feel sorry for them rather than angry. If they had what I have-- a job I enjoy, close relationships with the women in my family, financial security, and (most importantly) a wife I love and respect more than anyone else in the world-- they wouldn't be so bitter and hateful. Instead, these are miserable little men whose only satisfaction in life comes from making other people miserable too (than, and masturbating to online Hentai porn while listening to their Larry the Cable Guy CDs, I'm sure). But it's still frustrating. It's 2007, after all-- I like to imagine we've evolved beyond the point where these smelly, cretinous basement dwellers feel empowered to attack a woman who claims to have been gang-raped. Could she be lying? I suppose. But that's not really the point. In general, we don't go through life just assuming that people are lying to us-- particularly when they're telling us about something horrible that's happened to them.
"My wife left me for a younger man."
"My dad has cancer."
"You fucking liar!"
"I was assaulted."
"Prove it. Show me all of your bruises and scars."
Can you imagine living in such a world? Can you imagine being so insensitive that you would say such things?
Of course not. You read this blog.