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Posts Tagged ‘White people’

Dear Anti-maskers:

Congratulations! You and our inept president have helped the United States reach a milestone.

(Ironic how your battle cry is the co-opted “My body, my choice.”)

I understand your desire for personal freedom. But with personal freedom comes personal responsibility. But often, though, people do not do the right thing for themselves or others.

Let’s look at some past freedom vs. personal/public safety issues:

Those four legislative efforts save roughly 723,000 lives every year.* The first three save nearly 30,000. That’s a large enough number to warrant legislation, apparently.

You see where I’m going with this?

246,083 Americans have died of the Coronavirus.

246,083 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents.

It’s more deadly and prevalent than the flu.

Americans make up just 4.25 percent of the world population, but have contracted 20 percent of total Coronavirus cases. Americans deaths make up 18.6 percent of the 1.32 million deaths worldwide.

Clearly, we are not managing the spread effectively.

Clearly, lives are at stake.

Clearly, we need to do something.

I’m not a huge fan of personally intrusive legislation like a national mask mandate, but if y’all keep up your shenanigans, that is EXACTLY what we are going to need.

So wear a damn mask, and stay away from people not in your household.

Kthxbye,
Beth

*I’m happy to give you my sources for those stats, but I know you don’t trust scientific or news sources. (In case you do, and I’m being unfair, visit the links in the post plus this one and this one and this one.)

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Dear People Talking About Election Fraud:

Look. Listen. I get it. I’m still not over the 2016 election.

I couldn’t believe that people would vote for Trump the first time. But they did, and he won. And we all got on with it.

We’ve had four years of (fill in your preferred adjective).

Why is it so hard to believe that the same sentiment that drove the “silent majority” to the polls against Clinton in 2016 could be the same thing driving folks against Trump in 2020?

His presser last night was … unhinged. It was made up of lies. It was embarrassing.

The election was not rigged. There hasn’t been widespread voter fraud.

Let’s look at the ways Americans had to vote:

  1. Early voting. This does not seem to be in dispute.
  2. In-person voting Nov. 3. This does not seem to be in dispute.
  3. Absentee voting. This is apparently what’s in dispute. By Trump.

With absentee voting, people could mail them in or drop them in a ballot box. State laws vary, but the mailed-in ballots usually are counted as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3. The deadline to drop in the ballot box in Georgia was 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. Again, states vary.

OK, stay with me here: Early voting and in-person voting are tabulated easily. Absentee voting takes longer because poll workers have to open and carefully check the ballots in a guard against — wait for it — fraud. Some states can open and count early. Some can’t.

I am a Georgia voter. I did not want to wait in line and be around people in a PANDEMIC. I requested, filled out and returned an absentee ballot via drop box by the Nov. 3 deadline.

Georgia had better DAMN WELL count my vote. (And I did NOT vote for Trump.)

As there were historic numbers of absentee voting, the processing will take longer. DUH.

Absentee voting has a long, strong history in America. It’s the way those in the military vote, for crying out loud.

Also, Trump himself has used absentee voting (as recently as August) and encouraged people to vote by mail. In Arizona. Where he thought he had plenty of support.

But you know what? Spitting on Arizona favorite John McCain’s grave has a cost.

You know what else has a cost? Calling war dead “suckers and losers.” Georgia has 13 military bases. Georgia also has Stacey Abrams, who has worked tirelessly to increase voter registration and voter turnout.

There are many reasons why people would want Trump to be a one-term president, just as there were many reasons why people didn’t vote for Clinton

Just as the Democrats have not engineered a worldwide Coronavirus hoax, they have not perpetrated voter fraud. Please note that Georgia and Arizona (two states you are wound up about) both have Republican governors. And Georgia’s Secretary of State is a Republican too. One Trump supported.

Nevada’s is too. Are you alleging that they are in on this plot? Please.

And if Democrats were going to rig an election, wouldn’t they flip the Senate too? Come ON.

So stand down, outraged Trump fans. This is our democracy — the one you profess to love.

This is our process and it works, whether you like it or not.

Your fellow American,

Beth

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Dear Mr. Trump,

Americans have been making their choices in droves via early voting and absentee ballots.

Tuesday is Election Day (even though we may not have an answer that day).

I won’t be voting that day. Eddie and I chose the absentee route for two reasons:

  1. I believe scientists that the Coronavirus is real and not a hoax perpetrated by the Democratic Party. (I mean, REALLY? A U.S. party is going to get the whole world in on a hoax? To what end?)
  2. Hence, I want to limit potential exposure by not putting myself in close contact with people I don’t know.

I’ve had in-depth conversations with two long-time friends who support you. One was a rational, calm conversation where we agreed more than we disagreed. One was … not like that at all.

I understand your allure even less than I did in 2016.

And I am regularly amused/outraged/appalled at the emails I get from your campaign. (I’m on your list thanks to an event I attended.)

This is the article that examines presidential laziness.

Here’s my response to some slogans you and your supporters use.

“Make America Great Again”
I thought America was pretty great pre-2016.

“Keep America Great”
Sorry, but America is not great at the moment. I am NOT better off than I was four years ago. I’m middle class and paying WAY more taxes. The industry in which I work has been negatively affected by your xenophobic policies. And as someone who travels, I can tell you that America is an international embarrassment.

“Life begins at conception”
Fantastic! So that means you’ll protect women endangered by a pregnancy, the children after they are born, old people who might get COVID-19, poor people, immigrants and people on death row. Right? Pro-life means that you support all lives.

“My body, my choice”
This one makes my head explode as it has been co-opted for the anti-mask movement. If you want personal autonomy, great. I’m all for that. But you can’t pick and choose. (See above.)

“Drain the Swamp”
Eeesh. Washington, D.C., is now the swampiest swamp ever.

It should come as no surprise that I will not be voting for you. This is not to say I haven’t voted Republican in the past, and wouldn’t do so again if he/she were the right person.

But you are not the right person.

And the Republican Party is not the Republican Party of old. You know, the one that wanted a smaller government, fiscal responsibility, personal autonomy, etc.

I care about LBGTQIA rights, universal healthcare, eradicating systemic racism, reducing the deficit, upholding personal choice, maintaining separation of church and state — all those things that you are against.

So I’m not wishing you luck on Tuesday.

And I hope you’ll take McConnell and Graham with you.

Frigid regards,
Beth

 

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Dear Helios,

Thanks for giving us one good day at the beach. We needed it after our annual trip turned into a nomadic search for reliable Wi-Fi in the age of ‘Rona ‘Rona.

(Thank you to Patrick/Petra, Tammy and Sharon for letting us park in your homes when the beach Wi-Fi would only allow us to connect my iPad and the Roku.)

Saturday became our hassle-free day. I only had to worry about keeping my foot elevated.

Dominic and Gideon only concerned themselves with how deep they wanted to dig a hole.

Eddie only bothered with taking photos of said hole.

Back story: For whatever reason, the boys love to dig a hole in the sand every time we go to the beach. I don’t know why.

But people act like they’ve never seen a hole. Not a single person passed without commenting.

Granted, it was quite an impressive dig.

Meanwhile, I was desperately trying to blend the tan stripes on my stomach that I got from tubing. (You know: When I got stuck outside of the tube and wiped off all the sunscreen trying to wriggle back into it.)

I was taking a nap when the family started badgering me to get under the umbrella. They started calling me names (“Whitey”) and reminding me of that one time.

It was hurtful.

Me to Eddie: Why can’t I be a bronzed goddess?

Eddie: You can be a vanilla goddess.

So I did retreat to shade, but not before checking the hole.

During the GREAT DIG, Eddie and I savored some adult beverages.

Me to Eddie: What are we doing about dinner?

Eddie: I don’t know. What do you want to do?

Me: I want to go to Crab Shack.

Eddie: But we’ll have to drive.

Me: We can take Lyft.

Eddie: No, wait: WE HAVE A DESIGNATED DRIVER!

(We both look at Dominic in the hole.)

There was much rejoicing.

Anyway, thanks for giving us a sunny, mild day.

Hope you’ll be around the next time we plan a family trip.

With appreciation,

Beth

*I got into the Disney vault for that.

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Dear Outraged Women on Facebook,

Last night’s entertainment for me was getting into it with you over “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” vs. “WAP.”

🙄

Our mutual FB friend A– is a pot stirrer. She loves to post things that get people going. I don’t often take the bait. But I couldn’t pass up the chance with this post.

I’m sure “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was fine in 1944. And yes, the lyric “What’s in this drink?” is a joke from the time.

However, in the light of modern day, the song seems creepy. (I prefer the Legend/Clarkson reimagining.)

Enter “WAP.”

I like the song. (Maybe not blasted at our Airbnb, though.)

Men have been singing about sex and what they want for ages. Why can’t women?

To me, it’s a strong female song: She knows what she wants and wants to get it. Also — and this is key — it’s consensual sex. No assault/date rape overtones like the other song.

Well.

You would have thought I suggested that I play it on a speaker at Disney World and twerk on Mickey himself. Let me remind you of the exchange:

And R—–, your kids may have “clesn and lure” thoughts, but I guarantee you that they will not always have “clean and pure” ones, if that’s what you are seeking.

As it has been people on the political right who are wound up about stations not playing “Baby … ” and also upset about “WAP,” I’m going to make an assumption of my own:

You voted for Trump, didn’t you? Mr. Grab Them by the P—-.

So certain vulgar things don’t seem to bother you at all.

Got it.

Also, speaking of Disney, if your wholesome sensibilities are offended by that, you should not watch the Disney parody video.

Anyway, thanks for the evening’s recreation.

Good luck with your mental gymnastics — and keeping your kids safe from anything “perverted.”

Regards,
Beth

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Dear Certain Women,

I just don’t understand you.

In the words of that great sage Taylor Swift, “Why you gotta be so mean?

It’s hard enough for women to make their way in a patriarchal society — and yes, ours is one — without other women trying to take us down too.

Support isn’t like pie: If you give it to me, you don’t have less.

Here’s how I get into trouble: I assume good intentions. That may not seem like a bad thing, but considering that I have been burned by a surprising number of you over the past few years, I actually do think it’s bad for me.

(Pause for that “fool me once … ” saying.)

One good thing is that I’m smarter now.

And now I have to quote another great sage: Christina Aguilera.

 

To gain or maintain power, you don’t need to step on other people. Here’s Taylor again:

Being a good colleague and a good supervisor can be done. You can support other women.

One of the best supervisors I ever had was a strong, smart, supportive woman. She was adept at identifying people’s strengths, getting them into positions that matched those strengths so that they could thrive, giving oodles of positive feedback, gently providing constructive criticism when necessary, and offering opportunities for professional development and advancement.

And, by the way, she was at the top of the leadership ladder. She never kicked anyone down to lift up herself.

All my close female friends are dynamic, funny badasses who also have my back.

I wish I could say the same about all the women with whom I come in contact.

Come on: You can be better than this. Use your powers for good.

Let’s band together to improve the situation for all of us.

Sincerely and respectfully,
Beth

*Thanks, Xtina.

 

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There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.
Edward Tufte

Dear Jeff Orlowski,

Thanks for directing “The Social Dilemma” for Netflix. A number of friends told me to watch, so I did.

It’s a fascinating and thought-provoking look at how tech companies manipulate people for profit. Also, we are conditioned by society (i.e., watching others) to want to be part of these platforms (hey, Social Learning Theory!).

DUH.

We live in a capitalist society. We are all potential consumers. Social media algorithms are no different (to me) than companies choosing which radio, television and newspaper ads to place based on user data gleaned from Nielsen/Arbitron ratings and subscriber information.

One of the underpinning theories for my journalism and mass communications dissertation was Herman and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model (1988). Media manipulation is a peaceful way for those in power to maintain the status quo.

Their recommendation for scooting out from under control? Get your information from many sources.

DUH. AGAIN.

It’s personal responsibility. Critical thinking.

You don’t want to be addicted or manipulated? Then employ your critical-thinking skills. Put your phone away one in a while. And beware the filter bubble.

Maybe I’m just super cynical. Critical. Suspicious. Typical Gen X.

I’m also someone who has been trained to look at all sides of an issue, thanks to my reporter background.

In the documentary, Sandy Parakilas, senior product marketing manager at (formerly with Uber and Facebook), said:

“(There are) biases toward false information … the truth is boring.“

One more time: DUH.

In news, we have a phrase for that: “If it bleeds, it leads.”

That’s because — by its very nature — news is an anomaly. You don’t cover the planes that land.

And the more unbelievable, horrible and salacious something is, the more interesting it is. It’s human nature to swivel your head when you pass a car crash.

 

So, to me, there’s nothing new here.

Plus, your documentary is as manipulative as the social media it criticizes.

The irony is not lost on me that it was created for a streaming service that tracks user engagement and supplies content based on history.

The doom-and-gloom soundtrack helps instill that sense of dread.

And I love how the tech folks interviewed have all made their money and now suddenly have developed a conscience.

One of the main interviewees, Tristan Harris, might be worth up to $5 million.

Huh.

Interesting.

That doesn’t make your documentary any less compelling. It just means I had a chance to practice what I preach.

Keep up the good work!
Beth

 

 

 

 

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Dear Eddie,

Today we have been married longer than many of my students have been alive.

Yikes.

One of your friends wrote on Facebook about her parents being married 58 years. She said, “It has never been perfect, but it has always been interesting.”

Yeah. What she said.

The last couple of years have been TOUGH for us. Hormonal teenagers, a big move, new jobs, a PANDEMIC — many factors have made it difficult.

I try to remember why we’ve lasted this long.

It can be summed up in two photos:

This is actually when my obsession with bad taxidermy began: Eddie and I were replicating specimens while waiting for a kids field trip to begin.

Clearly the same sense of humor.

In fact, this time five years ago, we were in Italy. One of the highlights of the trip was taking photos with a man sleeping next to us at a restaurant.

We ended up seeing our new friend the next day. He was looking a bit worse for wear.

Interestingly, later in the trip we became somewhat of a zoo exhibit ourselves.

Yes, those are the fish that eat dead skin.

In addition to the funny factor, you also are willing to go along with my crazy plans.

Halloween 2012: I handled the costumes and makeup. I’m crafty once a year.

We also find the same things horrifying. Like a house full of dolls and tchotchkes. Shudder.

Your face says it all.

Thank you for two great kids and many years of good memories. Hope we can keep on laughing!

Happy anniversary!

Love,
Beth

*Thanks, Paul Simon.

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Dear Gideon:

It’s true that Dominic is more like me when it comes to wit and personality, but you and I are more alike in terms of things we like to do.

For example, we share a love of the outdoors and a certain level of redneckery.

Thank you for going with me on one last state park trip before “school” (such as it is during COVID times) begins Monday.

The trip had everything we needed:

  • An adorable cabin
  • An adorable cabin that had a kitchen (Mama doesn’t play with cook stoves.)
  • An adorable cabin that had a kitchen and a proper bed (Mama is too old to be in a sleeping bag with tree roots digging into her spine.)
  • Fred’s “Famous” Boiled Peanuts just down the road apiece
  • River tubing
  • Hiking trails
  • A waterfall
  • A lake on which we could kayak
  • A town that tries its best to be the Bavaria of the South
  • Moon pies in a medley of flavors
  • Outdoor dining where we could load up on loaded tater tots (and feel our arteries leaden)

The trip also had things we didn’t need:

  • People without masks
  • Pickled pigs’ feet
  • A ridiculously tight valve on the kayak that made it nearly impossible to deflate (Luckily, Mama can charm passing fellow rednecks.)
  • The loaded tots (Seriously.)

It’s funny to me your brother was bent out of shape and jealous when we got back. I invited him. He didn’t want to go. As usual.

Dominic: I thought you were just going for a day. I didn’t know it was an overnight trip.
Me: You didn’t listen. I tried to tell you about the cool cabin, but you weren’t having it.

Anyway, I enjoyed spitting cherry pits off the balcony with you while we listened to Alan Jackson (in true redneck fashion).

I hope you’ll do things like this with your kids if you ever have them. Or at least remember these times when I’m old(er) and (more) decrepit and unable to haul a deflated kayak up and down a hill.

Love,
Mama

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Dear Jeff Foxworthy:

Congrats on your new show. It sounds like a lowbrow “Antiques Roadshow.”

Dare I say it’s the redneck version.

That tracks. You made your money by calling out the kind.

I have a terminal degree in my field, work in higher education and wear suits/dresses to work (even in the age of COVID-19).

You’d trust me to teach and mentor your college-aged children, right?

But under the collar of my professional lady clothes, my neck is red.

Proof:

  • I’m barefoot even as I write this. When we lived on a lake in Savannah, I could go days without wearing shoes. I never let myself get Jiffy Feet, though. That’s gross.
  • I sincerely miss the annual Dublin Redneck Games.
  • I like taxidermy. Specifically bad taxidermy. Preferably things I stuff myself.
  • I used to drive a crappy Ford pickup truck. Stick shift. So old the shine was gone from the paint. I recarpeted it myself. Sometimes when Eddie drove it, I’d roll down the window and stick those bare feet out of it.
  • Give me a beer over a cocktail any day.
  • I don’t have anything against boxed wine.
  • My favorite summer outfit features a concert T-shirt and cutoff jeans. (Not Daisy Dukes, though. I have kids.)
  • My idea of fun is tubing down a river.
  • I carry hot sauce in my bag.
  • There’s local moonshine on the liquor shelf.
  • I own overalls.
  • I used to have chickens, all named like pets. (Trish still appears as the header on this blog.)

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