Free Speech and a Duck Call

The internet is in a right kerfluffle with news of a character from a popular A&E show getting the boot from…well, his own show.

Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” decided to let the world know that homosexuals are all sinners and are going directly to H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. That’s me paraphrasing, by the way–but it is, in essence, the crux of his statement.

I, for one, am floored that an overtly religious (Baptist Christian), deep southern, white male could have any sort of sentiments that could be interpreted as anti-gay.

Just kidding, you guys. OBVI.

There are many people (of course) coming to his defense, pointing out that the man has a right to freedom of speech because this is AMMURRICA, dammit!

And I agree–it is true that Phil has a right to “Freedom of Speech”–which only extends so far as not being prosecuted by the government.

As far as I can tell, he isn’t holed up in a federal or state prison (watching his show on the cable TV provided by my tax dollars when even I can’t afford cable) for his comments–he’s probably straight chillin’ at the family homestead surrounded by boxes of duck calls and his numerous animals.

A&E, on the other hand, has every right to put him on “hiatus”. This is a cable channel that openly supports LGBT causes–it’s one that’s attempted to make this down home, back woods family palatable to the entire country. It’s a cash cow, more or less, and the minute you do something to offend what could be a large population of viewers, that’s when they crack down.

Take, for instance, the ever multiplying Duggar brood–19 kids and an affinity for conservative politics and Baptist Christian teachings. It’s inferred by the gentle viewer that these people are very much anti-gay.

But do you see TLC broadcasting that fact?

NO! Because pushing that sort of agenda on a widely viewed television audience narrows the numbers and the ratings plummet. In recent years, they’ve become outspoken about their anti-abortion stance and it has certainly chinked away at the armor of what once was TLC’s most popular show.

So when A&E asks the Robertsons to keep those opinions out of the public limelight, when they ask them to finish their nightly prayer with “God” as opposed to “Jesus”–it’s because they’re trying to make the audience of the show bigger.

That’s A&E’s job, you guys. The network is nothing without an audience.

This man has a right to his opinion, but he doesn’t have the right to jeopardize the network’s ratings.

So I would posit that the next step for the Robertson clan is to decide whether evangelizing takes precedence over the money they’re dragging in in barrels from their SCRIPTED television show (yes, ladies and gents, if you couldn’t tell from the bad acting, the situations in that show are all fake).

Something tells me that the show will go on because piles of money are obviously very important to this bunch (why else would one have an intrusive television show follow around your family if you’re already “self-made billionaires”?).

image

Let’s Talk About Paula Deen, Y’all

HOO-WEE!

Talk about your classic “take foot –> insert into mouth” scenario.

The Queen of Butter has officially given her brand a nose dive thanks to a lawsuit that asserts her recent usage of racial slurs and sexual harassment (c/o her brother) in the workplace. People are shocked and shaken that Walmart, Target, Smithfield Ham, etc have booted her from their endorsement deals.

Maybe I can help shed some light on this particular racially charged kerfluffle:

Paula has admitted to, and apologized (however insincerely some people may consider it) for her use of such language past and present.

Allegedly, while talking to a former restaurant manager, Paul described her perfect idea of a plantation themed wedding party for her brother–one equipped with “n*ggers” (Paula’s word choice) dressed in pre-Civil War era costumes as waiters.

Basically, slaves.

Slaves as waiters at a wedding.

This isn’t like Colonial Williamsburg where having paid actors perform as slaves helps educate the masses. This is a hypothetical event that wants to bring back the south’s “Glory Days” where blacks were oppressed into serving meals on silver platters to people that truly believed that they owned them. She’s romanticizing slavery.

Newsflash: RACISM IN AMERICA IS ALIVE AND WELL. 

She said it, admitted to it, and people are coming to her defense.

COMING TO HER DEFENSE:

“I get it, believe me,” Ms. Green [a patron of Deen’s GA restaurant] said. “But what’s hard for people to understand is that she didn’t mean it as racist. It sounds bad, but that’s not what’s in her heart. She’s just from another time.”

Y’all, she is an old Southern White Woman. What do you expect? <– is basically what that defender is saying. 

And I agree. I believe that for the older generation, and some of the younger, racism is ingrained.

But that doesn’t mean that all of the companies that hired her brand have to associate with that. I’d drop her like a hot tamale.

“Oh, but rappers say it all the time and black people say it to each other, too.”

1) I am insulted by your generalization–not all black people choose to use that pejorative term, and

2) Many people held Paula in a much higher regard than your 10 top rappers combined. Does that mean she should stoop to using racial slurs? No, because it changes people’s image of her and, in essence, changes our image of her brand, and

3) It’s all about context. Rappers claim to use that word in order to dull it’s meaning–to claim it as their own to lessen the sting when it’s used by racists. Youngin’s these days don’t remember a time when that word was hurled from whites to blacks more powerfully than a 90 mph curve ball to the gut. Paula meant it in it’s original form, and the fact of the matter is: it is NEVER ok for anyone to call someone a racial slur. So Paula does not get a “pass”.

I really do like this lady’s cooking shows and I don’t doubt that Paula Deen is a nice woman. However, being from the south, let me just clarify that it’s completely possible to be a nice person and a racist. Just like it’s possible to be a homophobe and a nice person.

Considering the Supreme Court’s recent decisions re: the gay community, what do you think the backlash would have been if Paul substituted the “N” word for “fa*got”? I am one to think it would have had the same results–as it should.

I happen to agree with the message all of her endorsement partners are sending: bigotry doesn’t sell.

Photo Credit | The Cagle Post

Photo Credit | The Cagle Post

Boston: The New American Reality

I’m having a really hard time processing yesterday’s events in Boston, on what is known there as “Patriot’s Day”.

I just ran my first half-marathon last month in San Diego and I’ve been meaning to write about the experience here, but haven’t gotten around to it.

Now is definitely not the time.

It’s pretty surreal when I think that what happened yesterday was so random, that it definitely could have happened when I attempted to cross the finish line. The feeling of elation I felt at having accomplished something so massively hard is now dwarfed by the reality that people in the same situation in Boston may have lost their limbs or their lives doing the exact same thing.

However, I wasn’t at all shocked or surprised by the bombings.

The place was unexpected, as was the time, but I’m starting to live in constant mental preparedness for the bottom to drop out.

Worse has happened in this country within the last few months (Newtown?), and worse will inevitably happen in the future because bad people will always exist. It’s the sad reality that we’re all living in now. Random violence is plaguing this nation and it’s something that, in my mind, only a superhero could stop.

When I saw Facebook light up with live news coverage and people wrote about shedding tears, I felt like an absolute lump of worthlessness–because I didn’t feel anything but numbness.

As the day progressed, all of the feelings started to surface.

Shame:

Then, I heard that the cause of the explosion may have been an IED, or a roadside bomb.

When I heard about that sweet little 8 year old that lost his life in Boston, my mind unwilling flashed to the hundreds of children in the middle east (and elsewhere) who are killed by these same devices.

Some of those devices planted by the armed services of my own country.

How unpatriotic is that?

Uncle Sam would be most displeased with me. But I can’t help it.

If we are to consider the death of this one child by IED explosion a tragedy, then we must consider the loss of all those little souls a tragedy, as well.

I’m honestly not a bleeding heart liberal, and I’m not a staunch conservative, either. I’m a person who can’t help but see the value in all innocent human life.

Terror:

This New American Reality, one in which I can’t sit in a movie theatre without planning a possible escape route or wonder if living in a major metropolitan city could cost me my life, is scary as hell.

The West Coast hasn’t felt the sting of terrorism as much as the East has. Is our turn next?

Yesterday, as I walked into the public library, I wondered if I was walking into what could be another random attack. Then, when driving home, I imagined every siren I heard was going to what my imagination decided was a terrorist attack.

I had the urge to barricade myself in my apartment and never leave.

Hope:

“…in the light of Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

~Professor Dumbledore, Harry Potter

The words “Lord Voldemort” could easily be replaced with the word “terrorist”. I hope who ever planted those horrible devices is found, and soon. Although we don’t know the answer to “who”, we already know the reason why someone did it: they are evil.

But for every evildoer on this planet, there are millions of people ready and willing to do the right and honorable thing. For every life lost to war or terror attack, there are a million waiting to honor the memory of the dead.

I don’t have much confidence that this world will ever see peace, but I’d love for humanity to prove me wrong.

photo-6

 

To stay up-do-date on all of Short and Feisty’s posts, click the Follow this blog button at the top right of this page. 

As I Lay Dying…In My Shower.

If you came here for Faulkner–my bad. This post has no literary merit.

I am up writing this at the insane hour of 10pm.

You read that correctly: 10pm. Way past my bedtime.

I am fairly certain that I’m a geriatric old crone in the body of a 20 something who appears to be in her early to mid-teens. It’s surprising that I don’t have more identity issues.

I’m mostly awake, partially asleep at the moment because my throat has newly adopted a sandpaper-like coating and my stomach feels like it’s full of [insert something that makes you nauseous here because just thinking about the possibilities is making it worse].

I’ll be the first to admit that when I get sick, I turn into a big baby. Actually, I’m worse (sorry, babies, didn’t mean to insult you). I think the reason behind my sickly downward spiral is that I have a wonderful immune system that very rarely succumbs to any ailments. At most, I get sick twice a year. I’m not used to the misery.

Since relocating to LA, my allergies have been non-existent (huzzah!) which is one less opportunity for my body to form a mutiny. But I already feel those tiny little germs banding together to cripple the mighty sailing prowess of the S.S. Short and Feisty.

UGH.

To relieve some of my nausea, I decided to take an extended (read: 30 minute) shower just a moment ago–a remedy I came up with in college after imbibing one or four drinks too many.

This time around, being completely sober, was eye opening. Here are just some of the thoughts that rattled through my mind while coaching myself to keep my dinner from floating down the shower drain:

  1. Life is too short–if I make it out of this bathtub, I’m going to start living life more fully. But I should wait to do that until I put some clothes on because I do not live in a nudist colony. 
    • Where is the nearest nudist colony, anyway? What if I want to tour one–do I have to strip down to do it? Do they ever get tired of being naked? I get tired of wearing clothes–is the opposite possible?
  2. I’m going to look back on this horrible moment, years from now when I am filthy stinkin’ rich, and think “Man. I really did start from the bottom. Rock bottom.”
  3. My hair has been really shiny lately and it’s getting far too long. I’ve only let one person cut my hair, ever, and she lives on the East Coast. Who is going to cut my hair now?
    • I wonder what it feels like if I wear my hair like a mustache (the answer to that is: kinda slimy since it’s wet, but surprisingly satisfying.)
      • That’s what she said.
        • When did I start setting myself up for jokes?
    • Would a beard feel the same way?
      • Answer: Yes.
  4.  I wish I had an agent. Woe is freakin’ me.
  5. I am such a lightweight now that I don’t drink every weekend like I did in my Glory Days. One beer and I’m sick as a dog. Well, I don’t honestly think it was the beer that sent me to Death’s Doorstep. Rather, it was probably all of those drippy little noses I’ve been wiping these past couple of weeks.
  6. When is the next new episode of Parks and Rec coming on and will I live to see it?
  7. Is this real life?! :

To stay up-do-date on all of Short and Feisty’s posts, click the Follow this blog button at the top right of this page. 

April Fools is the Worst

The title of this post says it all–today is the worst! No, foolin’.

I’ve never been a fan of April Fools Day.

As a child, I was disgusted by friends who took the mock-holiday and ran with it: telling horrible lies all day long, pointing their index finger so close to your face that you can smell the applesauce they spilled all over their grubby little hands at snack time, before yelling “APRIL FOOLS!” at the top of their lungs.

UGH.

I wouldn’t say that I’m gullible, but on April Fool’s Day, I feel as gullible as…

as…

…I can’t think of an appropriate simile besides an Asperger’s child that can’t read social cues, but that just seems offensive.

Today, I’m finding myself irrationally offended at some of the posts that I’ve read on social media sites.

Y’all, I’ve got so many ultrasounds on my newsfeed announcing unexpected pregnancies that I feel like I’m an OB/GYN that just forgot about all that med school I suffered through.

And for an LA spin on the day, I have numerous friends announcing that they’ve given up on acting and are hitting the trails to brighter futures elsewhere. My initial response: GREAT–that leaves more auditions for me, Me, ME! Then, I remember the date and feel guilty for thinking such evil thoughts.

The most awkward? Seeing engagement announcements from friends that have been in committed relationships for a while only to find out they’re joking. Why, oh, WHY would you joke about that? Isn’t it depressing that you’ve been together for so long and he hasn’t actually put a ring on it?

I feel tricked! I feel lied to! I feel like I need to get off of the internet for the rest of the day.

h62F08F3B