Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Night Fury aka Toothless the Dragon
Momma! It's just me! I'm not a REAL dragon!
Beauty and the Beast
Happy Halloween from the Diatribist and the Kiddo!

How to Throw a Blogger Under the Internet Bus: Editor's Edition

The more I think about Maura Kelly and her tactless, tasteless post, the more angry I become, but not at Ms. Kelly.  Rather the person who are the subject of my ire is the editor who suggested that Ms. Kelly, a self-proclaimed recovering anorexic, write a piece on weight.  Ms. Kelly presents her slanted viewpoint, which said editor approves and publishes for millions of people to read.  On top of that, when all hell breaks loose from every corner of the globe, the EIC Joanna Coles goes on record to state "Maura Kelly is a very provocative blogger.”  “She was an anorexic herself and this is a subject she feels very strongly about.”
(Note to Joanna Coles: When you think that dating advice and looking for first time love is provocative, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.) 

So, let me see if I got this right.  The editor suggested (and the EIC approved) an assignment on overweight people showing affection to an admitted anorexic, one who states in her blog profile that "though she's in her thirties, she's never been in love before - and has started to wonder if she ever will be."  Asking a weight-phobic, inexperienced 'lover' to write about 'fatties' is about as intelligent as asking a member of AA to cover the local wine fest.  Would you tell the one-legged kid to hop through a mine field as a sweeper?  No, because it's stupid, unfair, and sets up the perfect recipe for disaster. 

The way I see it, there are three ways of looking at this editorial job, and none are flattering in any light.  Either Maura Kelly's editor (and Joanna Coles) are:
  • unintelligent/not the sharpest knives in the drawer,
  • ignorant, like-minded bigots or
  • opportunist media whores    
 Let's break this down using some old-fashioned logic, shall we?

First off, I think to say that the editors are unintelligent would be a fallacy.  Joanna Coles is the editor in chief at Marie Clare and she didn't get there overnight.  My guess is that it took years of back-breaking labor, many late nights at the office, and at times, a stunted social life.  As for the editor directly over Maura Kelly, I can assume that she has operated under the same format as Ms. Coles in order to gain the position she is in now.  So clearly, neither editor is lacking in grey matter. 

Second, to say that the editors are like-minded 'fattie' haters would be difficult to pinpoint.  As neither editor has been cited for making inflammatory remarks and we are unaware of their private thoughts, it is not fair to brand either editor as a bigot.  However, if we were to go on the premise that actions speak louder than words, by approving Maura Kelly's piece for publication, they were de facto mirroring her sentiments.  This blogger, willing to err on the side of caution and not throw stones out of spite, will not brand the editors as hate-mongers.

Third, where I draw my conclusion, is that Joanna Coles and the un-named editor are opportunistic media whores.  Since Maura's post hit the web, there has been over several thousand hits to the website.   An admitted anorexic freelance writer is given a suggested topic.  She in turn brings her fears, predispositions, and insecurities into the picture.  Her article is then approved by not only her immediate editor, but by proxy the EIC, and her name is now mud on the bathroom wall of the Internet. That's okay, because bad publicity is better than no publicity at all, right?  Ad revenue must be up by 150%. 

While both editors have well established careers and will not suffer much from this fallout, it appears that Maura Kelly's budding career may come to a crashing halt.  I pity her for the daily struggles she must make with each bite of food she puts in her mouth, but do I excuse her terrible remarks?  No, not in the least.  She is responsible for her own prejudices.  But the editors who allowed that piece to be published, I hold them entirely responsible.  Just as a parent is there to lookout for the good of their child and correct that child's ill behaviors, the editor is there to look over the author's work to make sure there are no spelling errors, sentence structure and content are sound, and thoughts flow evenly.  (Note to editor, don't rely on spell check.  It's heroin, not heroine.  I know I make my mistakes when I blog, but I don't have a paid editor to catch my misspells.)

When these women editors passed on a piece of work that was rife with hate and condescending advice, they not only did a great injustice to all the people targeted by that work, they possibly put the nail in the coffin of a writer's career.  

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

If You've Ever Felt Fat. . . With Absolutely No Apologies to Maura Kelly or Marie Claire's EIC Joanna Coles

Dear tactless Maura Kelly and her questionable editor Joanna Coles

Ladies, have either of you ever woken up in the morning and felt like it was going to be one of your fat days?  You know instinctively that none of your clothes will look right on you, you assume everyone at work will see the cellulite on your legs, and your raging PMS hormone-addled body is screaming for chocolate, salt, or a combination of the two.  (French fries dunked in a chocolate shake?  Why, yes I will!)  So when I came across this drivel, I'm sorry, this blog post which masquerades as a piece of freelance writing worthy of monetary compensation Should Fatties Get a Room? (Even on TV?), I am happy to say that I could care less about your ignorant, C minus creative arts class assessment on fat/big boned/obese people.  (And really, if you took out the word "Fatties" out of the title and inserted a different age/social/religious/ethnic group, for example, Welfare Recipients, Blacks, Mormons, Hasidic Jews, there would be one hell of a lawsuit and boycott on your hands.)

It's taken me almost 30 years to realize and understand what the ever witty Jen Lancaster says in her book Such a Pretty Fat, "I'm tired of books where a self-loathing heroine is teased to the point where she starves herself skinny in hopes of a fabulous new life.  And I hate the message that women can't possibly be happy until we all fit into our skinny jeans.  I don't find these stories uplifting: they make me want to hug these women and take them out for fizzy champagne drinks and cheesecakes and explain to them that until they figure out their insides, their outsides don't matter.(Emphasis mine)

See, my body type tends to be more like this:
She is so gorgeous!
What's not to like?

                         Instead of THIS:

I've seen healthier legs on a stork!
I want to scream, "Eat a damn sandwich!"
And I'm not going to apologize for my curves, I'm gonna embrace them!  Do you know how much women pay for a set of D-D-D in hopes of raising their self-esteem and garnering more looks from the male population?  I got these babies for free!  Should I apologize to you because my thighs touch when I stand up or that "Baby Got Back" by Sir-Mix-A-Lot celebrates women like me and not you?  Are you that unhappy in your love/emotional/physical life that you find it revolting to see an overweight person in love and enjoying life?  Do you somehow feel better knowing that the thousands of people who don't have this gift of understanding and security that I have so lately received are going to cry into their pints of ice cream while they mentally scourge themselves for being viewed as disgusting?

And while you think that your half-assed attempt of an apology (I'm sorry your feelings got hurt for what I said, even though what I said is right, and I'm actually a victim too) is going to cut it, don't count on it.  We live in a day and age where cell phones post videos directly to YouTube, blog posts can go viral in a matter of hours, and talking heads love to comment on 'controversial' topics (Joanna's words, not mine).  This isn't going to be swept under the rug that easily.  My mother said that when you say a word in anger, once it's out there, you can't take it back.  The damage has already been done.  So Ms. Kelly let this be a lesson to you, never trust an editor who goads you into writing on a topic that you have no real clue about, and understand when you piss off one friend, you've lost one friend.  When you piss off a large (pun intended) contingent on the internet, you're screwed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dinning on Dimes

The economy is in the crapper, unemployment is still high (Fl alone is 12% last time I checked), and gas is 2.75 at best, but an unemployed writer can still swing $4 meals at Steak 'n Shake.
Their Black and Blue Steakburger was AWESOME!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Puddle of Mud

I am stuck right now in the doldrums.  Writer's block keeps pounding at my mental door and I am quite cranky about this.  I have several posts that are partially written, but yet I can't find the cohesive link I need to complete any of these trains of thoughts.  Instead of mind-blowing insights and fresh repartee, my brain is tossing about random musings on the most inane things.  For example, if you were to plum the depths of my cerebral cortex you would find these various trains of thought violently derailing themselves:
---If aliens are advanced creatures of higher intelligence why would they travel light years just to probe our buttocks?  Couldn't they stay on their planet and make a plastic model?
---If comedian Dane Cook were no longer allowed to make jokes about genitals, would he still be considered funny?
---Did the advertising executives who created the ad campaign for Head-On finish last in their class? 
Do they really think by shouting "HEAD-ON!  APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD!" seven times in 20 seconds will encourage me to run to the nearest grocery store?
---How much wood could a woodchuck chuck?

See, not the ideas of a great Nobel thinker right now.  But tomorrow that may change for I will be at the Festival of Reading.  Maybe I'll get some new perspective on the things I have been trying to flesh out.  Or maybe I'll come up with a series of new things to ponder.  Either way, I need a nap.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Silent Seven (three had to leave early)

The team calls it a day. Good witness guys!

My Future as a Graphic Designer

That's my shirt. Designed it myself, (although there's not too much creative effort behind it). I stole the idea from a failed t-shirt campaign by Planned Parenthood.

Small Blessings

Was just approached by a woman who said that 65 years ago she WAS NOT aborted by her biological mother and was adopted. She thanked us for our witness.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Time to Consult the Oxford-English Dictonary

Just so we're on the same page when you read/discuss/praise/criticize/love/hate this post, I've linked the following words from the Oxford-English On-Line Dictionary.  That way if you the reader and I the blogger decided to debate/discuss the following diatribe we won't have to quibble on word definition such as Bill Clinton once did:  
PRO: from Latin pro, favoring, supporting. 

CHOICE: Middle English: from Old French chois, from choisir 'choose', of Germanic origin and related to choose; an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities

LIBERAL: Middle English: via Old French from Latin liberalis, from liber 'free (man)'; open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values

ABORT/ABORTION mid 16th century: from Latin aboriri 'miscarry', from ab- 'away, from' + oriri 'be born'; bring to a premature end because of a problem or fault; the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy

LIFE: Old English līf, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lijf, German Leib 'body', also to live; the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death

Okay, everyone clear on the definitions?  Then let's proceed.

I was recently Facebook'd by my younger sister to attend the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity 2010 which she had participated in the year prior.  (Originally when I had heard that she was going to be silent for an entire day, I found that intriguing and impossible, for of all my siblings she is the MOST chatty.  She's the typical teenager in the LOL, OMG, J/K slang speakeasy way but with a bit more focused moral compass).

So when I looked at the invite I smiled and acknowledged her dedication but mentally I was thinking of a way out of actually committing.  While we would be standing out on the busy street corner of our one horse town for just under two hours, I didn't want to deal with the hassle of finding care for the Kiddo because as good as he can be, there is no way in Heaven that he would sit/stand still for 2 hrs much less 10 minutes.  Plus I didn't want to run the chance of being seen by my former colleagues--"Look at her.  No job and standing on the corner like a homeless person.  Is that red tape?  What a whack-job.  Maybe we should give her $10."  Truthfully, the thing is I didn't want to spend two hours with red tape on my mouth handing out pamphlets.  The way I saw it was that I had done my duty all ready;  I put in my time and effort into the pro-life movement as a child and younger adult.

As a teenager, I went to the FL House and Senate encouraging the veto of the partial birth abortion bill.  In college I assisted in running the prayer group that prayed outside a Planned Parenthood Abortion Mill in DC, did some sidewalk counseling, worked for a pro-life organization after graduation, and attended several freezing cold pro-life marches along the DC streets.  And I made the biggest pro-life altering choice when I unexpectedly discovered that I was seven weeks pregnant.  I could have never informed the father, never told anyone except my roommate and two then-friends, and taken care of the problem like I was encouraged to do by the two then-friends.  But I didn't (obviously).  

As I clicked the link to politely decline attending I was directed to the official Facebook page, where I spent several minutes scanning the contents of the comments section.  Rather than just respond yea or nay to the invite, some people decided to express their dissenting viewpoints and I came across these lovely gems: [Note: I have not revealed the names from these FB postings, I have merely cut and pasted individuals words] 
  •  Said one young man whom I would like to nominate for outstanding citizen of the year, "For every abortion you prevent, I will cause ten more."  "I don't have to force people. I will just kick pregnant teenagers in the belly. :)"  Sounds like he would be a wonderful case study in abnormal psychology and the prefect character for an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
  • Vapid girl number 1 says:  "i believe this was on my birthday last year. i'm pro choice. and rather ticked off that my friend wouldnt talk to me on my birthday."[Sic]  Glad to find someone who's slightly more shallow than Paris Hilton on a good day.
  • Girl number 2 chimes in with her idiotic brand of reasoning: "I happen to be in favor of abortion, I wish more people would have them, there'd be less crime. Don't balk, it's a proven correlation."  Ummm....This is not Newton's Third Law of Motion to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Your logic is so flawed I don't know where to begin. 
  • But my favorite line was the tired refrain: "Don't like abortion?  That's fine, don't get one."  Let's try this line of reasoning for everything!  Don't like rape?  Don't get raped!  Don't like being sick?  Don't get sick!  Don't like peanut butter and jelly?  Just eat ham and cheese!
YEA FOR ALL OF YOU!  Instead of engaging in what could be a dialogue between two parties of opposing viewpoints, your vitriol statements confirms my assumption that those who call themselves pro-choice/liberal (see definitions above) are not accommodating for the choice of others, but wish for everyone to be in lock step with their ideas.  

Here's the thing, this event is for a group (hopefully many thousands) of people to silently witness to the world their beliefs.  Did you get that?  SILENTLYThat's it.  There won't be any marching.  No chanting, yelling, singing, or verbal prayer.  All the people are choosing to be quiet.  They will be quiet for one day, to show to the world that they are being silent for the sake of the silent child growing in the womb which may not have the choice to live. 

If a pro-choice/liberal is all for the freedom to make differing choices, why do they get so upset when someone chooses different from their choice?

I'll see you on the sidewalk Tuesday, little sis.  Thanks for the reminder that my choice to be pro-life needs to be witnessed to this one horse town and I need to shut up for a few hours to remind myself of the child that I chose five years ago.

This post is dedicated to KMG and JTP, two of my many favorite peoples.  Life would be very empty without either of you!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Adventures in BabySitting--Extreme Home Makeover Edition

The Garage Door Formerly Known as White
My suggestion to the children to play outside was greeted with so much enthusiasm that I should have been a little suspicious.  Do you think Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will removed broom-smashed berries?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A (Wo)Man for All Seasons

Things you don't see in FL-the changing of the leaves during fall. While I envy my friends for the fall symphony of colors, I'll be their envy when the cold fingers of winter are wrapped around their throats.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cinderella Strikes Again

See the chandelier? In my friend's brand new house? All clean and shiney? Did I mention that I burned down my dorm room in college? So when I flipped the switch to see the new bulbs illuminate said chandelier. . . and the damn thing started SMOKING. . . I had to appreciate the irony.