Archive for the Um, Seriously Snarky? No. Snarkily Serious. Category

Confirmation Bias

Posted in Um, Seriously Snarky? No. Snarkily Serious. on July 26, 2016 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

Posted the below on Jim Wright’s page. It ran a tad long. Some people seemed to like it. I thought I’d put it here as well.

If social media were the real world, Bernie Sanders would have won the primary election by so much that they would have simply called off the general and carried him into Washington by passing him from back to back, shoulder to shoulder. He would have literally crowd surfed into the capitol. And then his brown robed sparrows would have scourged Congress. After which they would make Hillary walk naked and barefoot through the country, while pelting her with dung.

If social media were the real world the two major parties would be the Greens and the Libertarians. But they would still only poll at about 4% each because 92% of the country are strong Independents with a capital I.

Then again if social media were the real world Donald Trump would simply co-opt the military, and with it at his back he would cross the Delaware to make his Triumphal March. The true believers would rise up from their chains in every crevice and holler and they would TAKE BACK their country! Take it back to when, I’m not sure. It looks like 1952, but 1852 might be more likely. The PureBlooded Americans would drive out the mud bloods to the furthest corners of the globe, and then build a wall! The best Wall! A wall forged of the elements, and as high as the truest believer’s heart flag will fly. The bad people would quail before our might and scuttle back where they belong. And if they still won’t behave? We’ll bomb them into the stone age. A stone age which is definitely no more than 6,000 years ago.

If social media were the real world, then Welcome to Nightvale would be a documentary.

If social media were the real world, the loudest people would not merely represent a tenth of a percent. They would each and every one of them represent an army. A multitude. Every campaign event would mirror the general population, and not be a self selecting skewed sample, making the participants believe that they are more popular than they actually are. Opinions traded back and forth in tiny closed bubbles would actually be fact. Reading it on the internet would actually make it true.

On social media, the loudest people comment on every post. And then comment on every comment. They say the same things over and over, and then comment on how popular their opinion is. They either only talk to people who agree with them, or those diametrically opposed. They think it is a debate when they state their opinions as fact until someone questions them. Then they either keep yelling the same things, or disengage and walk away, only to pop up elsewhere to repeat the performance. If social media were the real world, we would all live in walled communities of common opinion. Like a Neil Stephenson novel, only with more ideology and less pizza delivery.

But here is the thing. In the world of social media, those who are silent do not exist. And those that are loud exist in outsized measure. In the real world, most people don’t bother to argue. Most people have problems that concern them far more than social media political purity. They don’t go to rallies. They don’t answer the phone when the polls call. If they follow Jim, they mostly keep quiet as a mouse and watch it all go by. The loudest voices often do not represent them at all.

In the real world they all have exactly one vote.

Gifted

Posted in Mostly Snarky, Um, Seriously Snarky? No. Snarkily Serious. on July 26, 2016 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

Thank you San Francisco, for giving me the gift of an experience today.

And thank you Mr. Junkie Man for unapologetically shooting up into his own leg, after casually pulling his pant leg up past his knee, all the while carrying on a conversation with someone who I can only assume was a friend or colleague. Thank you for doing it right on the sidewalk of Hyde, right between Turk and Eddy. Thank you for showing my kids a little unvarnished reality in the midst of their mostly privileged lives. I know that THEY didn’t find it a particularly pleasant experience, akin to watching a predator disembowel and eat prey. Only with more pathos. More like a one legged pigeon struggling with half of a buffalo wing. But I digress.

I myself am grateful to be able to check off another box on my life experience list.

Witness junkie shooting up: Check!

Spot trans hookers: Check!

Be mistaken for a hooker: Check! (Life Tip. Don’t stand on the corner of Capp and 18th for more than 10 minutes, even if you are waiting for a cab. Even at 2pm. Unless you want the bucket list item, in which case, different Life Tip.)

Buy drugs on the street in New York City. Just like the movies!: Check!

Having the police escort your 12 year old son home at 2:30 am: Check !  Which leads to…

Baby’s first police report: Check!  (His phone was stolen on the bus coming home from a movie. He did the right thing and went to the police.*)

Also it is nice to see that my city has not completely succumbed to gentrification, faux “dive bars”, and pre-distressed clothing. Definitely a Keeping it 100 moment. I wonder what gifts my city will bring me next?

 

* Not a viable option for black children.

Stand by me

Posted in Um, Seriously Snarky? No. Snarkily Serious. on July 25, 2016 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

On somebody’s page the topic of reading Stephen King at a young age came up, and it reminded me of how I got started on Stephen King. If this had happened today, I imagine multiple firings and scandal would have been the result.

You see, back before the invention of fire, when all we had for illumination was the reflected light off of disco balls and Osmond teeth, our public school classrooms actually had a main teacher and an aide. The aide was somewhere between a real teacher and a parent volunteer. They were paid, but weren’t credentialed. Anyhow, the aide in our 6th grade class was a very odd lady. I can’t recall her name just now. Perhaps Mrs. Cooper? It any event she was generally considered a battle axe, but occasionally she would be excited about something, and the year I was in her room that something was Stephen King’s The Stand.

I can’t imagine she actually read us the whole thing, but I distinctly remember her reading large passages, with some catching up explanations in between. Presumably this was so she could edit out the really graphic parts, but I can’t actually remember much editing. Also I think it must have been during the last couple of months of the school year when no one actually gave more than half a fuck, because she never got to the end of the book. Most of us who were actual readers had our own copies long before then, so it didn’t really matter much to us, but I can imagine some of the poorer or less literate kids never knowing what happened to Stu or Nick or Tom. Or at least until the mini-series came out, and then it wasn’t quite the same.

But I honestly can’t imagine any 6th grade teacher or teacher-like entity reading The Stand out loud to a class for weeks on end without being sacked. And those responsible for them being sacked. And a llama once bit my seester. There are times when I’m really grateful to belong to a generation of kids that nobody really cared much about. Because that aide was never LESS scary than when she was reading us stuff that scared the crap out of us. Some of the stuff we got to do because no one was really paying attention was awesome!

Mourning My Imaginary Gay Son

Posted in Snarky Pride?, Um, Seriously Snarky? No. Snarkily Serious. on July 7, 2014 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

* Edited for 2016, please see end

Recently I got a lot of Facebook love for a quip I made about wanting to turn my son gay. It was in reference to someone else’s snark about how the god botherers are worried everything will turn their kids gay. It was meant to be satirical, so like all good satire it was almost entirely true.

“Lemme tell you, I’ve tried and tried to make my son gay. I raised him in San Francisco. I never put him in sports. I encouraged music and drama. I made him watch Cabaret… nothing. The damn boy insists on being straight. I put him through 9 years of episcopalian boys’ school, for fuck’s sake. Even though we are atheists! I’ve tried to explain that if he insists on being a musician, he could use a husband to support him. I’ve exposed him ad nauseum to the gay agenda. Nada. Now I’ve got a long haired, neon skinny jeans wearing, guitar playing straight teenaged boy on my hands, with nothing to look forward to but years of *girlfriends*. GIRLFRIENDS. The very thing I wanted to avoid.

I am here to tell everyone, I am living proof that you can’t make a child gay.”

Every detail there is actually true, except that I never would try to make my son be anything. (Also, he did do one year of soccer in 1st grade, but that was his father’s fault. And he hated it.) It has always seemed to me an absolutely unforgivable parental abuse to deny one’s own child for being gay. Or straight. I would really struggle if one of my kids came out as Republican, but I can’t see disowning them. Thankfully the capacity to use logic and reason seems to be somewhat genetic, so neither has shown any dangerous conservative tendencies. But I would still love them.

I hope.

Before I became a mother I was confused as to why even some liberal parents would hope their kids didn’t turn out gay. I was told that it was because they wouldn’t wish them to be discriminated against, which makes some sense, but never really washed for me. However, your perspectives on parenting issues often do change significantly after actually becoming a parent, so once my baby boy was born I wracked my brain trying to decide if it would bother me, even the slightest little bit if he turned out to be gay. I examined numerous scenarios, and I just couldn’t see a downside. I wouldn’t just accept a gay son, I think I’d be happy about it. The statistics on the percentage of the population that is gay are questionable, but it is pretty safe to say that the odds of getting lucky are against you. Only a small percentage of mothers are fortunate enough to get a gay son.

Periodically as he grew I would revisit the question in my mind. Would it bother me? At all? And all I could think is “What is not to love?” I wouldn’t have to deal with teenaged girlfriends, that is one big plus. I was a teenaged girl, and I knew plenty of them, and in general? Not a fan. Ditto that I would not have to worry about PREGNANT teenaged girlfriends. Big plus. He is very good with children, so it is likely he will want to be a dad, but that is hardly even an issue anymore. Gay guys have strong networks of friends, and a wonderful culture. And they love their moms. I could SO live with that.

I fantasized about my gay son. He would be gorgeous, of course. He would always know he was accepted by his family, so he would be unconflicted about his sexuality. He would have a series of fun boyfriends, like Lorenzo, who would do my hair. We would go out to tea, my gay son and I. And sometimes brunch, so long as they serve late. We are NOT morning people. Eventually he would meet a nice, quiet boy with a good paying, yet meaningful career. Perhaps a pediatrician. And even though my son would sometimes forget to call me, Josh would be the type to keep in touch and send me endless pictures of the grandchildren.

Sigh.

Of course we love the children we have, not the ones we imagine. Yet for years I tried to ignore the little signs that he might be straight. I told myself that there was plenty of time for him to discover the truth about his orientation, yet I think I always knew. My dream died about a year or so ago when we were backing up his laptop and found some porn in his browser history. Straight porn. I was a little bit crushed. I thought he might just be experimenting, but I knew the odds were not in my favor. I live in San Francisco. I grew up in a gay resort community. My gaydar is above average for a basically straight woman. I had to face the fact that my sweet little boy was straight. His tastes in clothing are certainly… different. He is definitely not a macho guy. He still hates sports and wants to be a musician. He wears his hair long these days and has a wry, artistic sensibility. He doesn’t care what people think of how he dresses, or behaves. He is unconcerned with being popular. He plays guitar. And sings. On stage. In front of people. He is an unabashed nerd.

He is really, really cool.

Holy beer-battered Christ on a stick, I have inadvertently created teenaged girl catnip.

Fuck.

So I utterly love the boy I have. Yet there is a part of me that mourns the gay son I don’t have. It hardly seems fair that there are women out there who are lucky enough to hear the words, “Mom, I’m gay.” and instead  of being properly grateful, they turn him out of their home. Those mothers don’t deserve to have a gay son.

But maybe, somewhere out there, there is an unloved gay boy who needs a mom.

We could do brunch.

* EDIT: UPDATE 11/15/2016

I take back everything I have said about girlfriends. His girlfriend is lovely. Couldn’t be better if I’d picked her out myself. Which I totally DIDN’T DO, okay? That would be creepy. His sister picked her out. And while I will admit that is a little bit like me picking her out in that his 13 year old sister acts enough like me that there isn’t much difference. But it is totally different.

Is.

Anyway. Girlfriends are cool. While a final answer may change given limited sample size, and a lack of a control, I’d even be prepared to say that girlfriends are cool in all instances. With the way the country is going at the moment it’d be a relief to have a gay daughter. The discrimination can be mostly mitigated by living in our ultramarine blue area, and with the upside being that the risk of unintended pregnancy drops to near zero? I would advocate that all girls in this country just consider lesbianism. It doesn’t have to be forever. Just until we all regain our senses, or until the inevitable descent into the world of Mad Max.