Sunday, September 1, 2013

Beauty Queen Bombers and Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus.

Yeah, no way I wasn't going to make my way there.  Eventually.

A lot of feelings about that, mixed.  That my son, who is fifteen, said it was "sad Miley has grown up to be a skank?"

Not good.  We had a long talk about women, sexuality, and how society views sexuality in women. We talked about the societal weight and double standard behind terms like "skank," "slut," and "skeeze."  And then we talked about the difference between childish posturing/caricature and real adult sexuality.

A talk someone should have had with Miley at some point.  About the same time they told her that rubbing off on giant foam fingers while your tongue works the makeup off half your face isn't particularly attractive.

From a compilation, no attribution provided

I'm embarrassed for the poor kid.  And yes, she is still a kid--probably more so than non-stage kids, because she really hasn't had a moment growing up when she wasn't being handled, coached, and manipulated.  I feel awful for her, and my one hope is this:  that if/when she manages to get away from all this, manages to find a normal, healthy, adult sexuality, she looks back on this mess and is KIND to herself.  Like I said, she's a kid, and fame is not gentle with kids--their every mistake, every exploration, is magnified for the viewing audience.  Every flaw, every misstep is blown up and out of proportion.  Plus, they're given the tools with which to aid in their own self-destructing without the limitations or sensibility to keep themselves safe and whole.

And those tools?  Most often delivered by people claiming to be friends.

So, I don't know about you, but I'm not going to go nuts on poor Miley.  I hope that, when it all blows over, she'll have taken something constructive and helpful from it all, and will grow toward that healthy person I hope she comes to be.

Hang in there, Smiley.

From Tumblr, no attribution provided

Reading the news back in Utah has been amusing lately.  Two stories I've been following have really been good for -- well, not a LAUGH, really, but maybe a surprised, eyebrow-raised, involuntary chuckle.

The first story?  Involves a woman who tried to murder her kids.  Twice.  Really, tried and convicted (of a lesser felony charge, of course), is incarcerated this very moment.  She's arguing that (hold onto your hats) ATTEMPTING TO MURDER HER CHILDREN TWICE SHOULDN'T INTERFERE WITH HER PARENTAL RIGHTS.  

Seriously.  The backbone of her case?  That, when medicated, she doesn't try to kill her kids.  


Sorry, no, not good enough.  Because you've shown in the past that you DON'T take your medication, and that you're good at FAKING taking your medication until . . . well, until you're trying to kill your kids.  Again.  So, no.  Better for your kids to be without a mom than be with a mom who drugs them and tries to kill them.

The second story?  Oh, this one's a GEM!  Beauty queen from Riverton, Utah.  Just crowned, prepping for the Miss Utah pageant.  Decides, with three friends, to build a bunch of DRANO BOMBS and toss them around the neighborhood.

Because, really, what else is there to do in Riverton on a Saturday Night?  I mean, who WOULDN'T drive around tossing INCENDIARY DEVICES full of CAUSTIC DRAIN CLEANER throughout the neighborhood?

Oh, but it gets better!  Yon beauty queen bomber's attorney?  Is arguing that SHE'S BEING SINGLED OUT AND HARSHLY TREATED BECAUSE SHE'S PRETTY.

Oh, yeah, because that's how it ALWAYS works.  The pretty ones get hired last, get paid less, get fired first, and are discriminated against even in academic circles.

No, wait.  That's the "not-pretty" ones.  The fat ones.  The pretty ones?  Are less likely to be prosecuted, less likely to be fired, more likely to advance in their careers, and are all-around in a better place.  A more advantageous position.  

 Her attorney goes on to protest the use of the word "bombs," calling the reference "unfortunate."

Is there a better word for things built to blow up when you launch them?  I  mean, I get that "rainbows" or "dolphin-kisses" might be NICER terms, might have less of an impact on a jury, but it seems to me BOMB is the one that fits this situation.  Unless Mr. Attorney would rather the prosecution go with the term "IED." Which is exactly what our hapless beauty queen was playing with. 

I actually feel sorry for this stupid girl and her stupid friends.  One night's epically bad choices have turned her future upside down.  Title?  Gone.  Scholarship?  Gone.  Shot at bigger and better beauty queen things?  Gone.  Sure, I would never recommend beauty queen-ing as a career path, but it was clearly HERS, and she blew it.  

Being stupid.

So I do pity her, but I had to laugh at the preposterous idea that she's being persecuted for her appearance or that the word "bomb" is somehow being unfairly used.  The girl may be facing 15 years, but I'll eat my hat if her pretty self sees a day in the State Pen.

Left is mugshot, right is the pageant pic that's all over the place online

I was going to dedicate a whole blog entry to Syria, but you know what?  Nasty Middle Eastern leader gassing nasty Middle Eastern rebels while civilians get caught in the middle, and we're looking to step in to help the nasty rebels who kill teenagers in front of their families for blasphemy?  I'm pretty sure we've done all this before--backed rebels who turned out to be as awful as those they were rebelling against?  Yeah, it seems creepily familiar, so let's talk about Afghanistan, instead.  Or Iran.  Or Iraq.  Or pick a country--meet the new boss, you know?

Oh, in case you weren't sure, here's where Syria is:

That's just shy of six THOUSAND miles away from Washington DC.  Which is like a threat, only not.  

Hey, I'm not saying that gassing people is good.  Instead, I'm saying this--it didn't bother us when governments we LIKED did it, we didn't scream and shout when OUR BOYS leveled villages with noxious gas, so I'm at a loss as to why we'd scramble up onto that high horse now.

Okay, I'm not really at a loss.  I'm just making a point.  And the point is this--nothing we do will improve things in the long run (or even the short-term).  Anything we do, any "intervention" we come up with will just make things worse.  It will kill even more people, it will reinforce the awful image we've created for ourselves as biased, self-appointed world cops, and, in the end, we'll wind up with something at least as bad in power over there.  Something that will, in a short while, turn on us and bite.  Something we'll despise and wind up taking out down the road.  In favor of some other rebel group that will also be just as bad.

Second verse?  Exactly the same as the first.  Maybe we should send the Beauty Queen Bomber to Damascus to sort things out?  Makes about as much sense as the rest of this.


Going to make an appointment for the arm, I'll call Tuesday.  Not sure WHO to call--not really wanting to throw money and time at the GP's office just so she can tell me to go see someone else.  So trying to figure out--do I go to an Orthopedist?  Or do I cut out the middle man, go straight for the fear, and make an appointment with an oncologist?

I think I'll go with orthopedist.  Nice, middle-of-the-road thing.  Keep it easy, peasy.

I am scared.


  1. I'm not sure Obama's plan to take the decision to congress is brave or a cop out. If they make the decision, he can say "you can't blame me..." Something has to be done. But I hope it isn't a military intervention, because that is like hitting a child because he hits. But then saying No-no won't do it either. The world ignored the Holocaust for a long time. 911 was a real event. We cannot hide from these events. How to deal? I don't know. If we do, they will be repeated and perhaps it will be in your neighborhood.

    1. I'm afraid there is no right answer, and I'm not sure that refusing to intercede is the same as "ignoring." I can't roll with the holocaust comparison, because the Middle East (including our allies, at times) has a habit of gassing its neighbors (and its pesky, uncooperative rebels), and it never extends beyond that small geographic area. Saudi Arabia is calling for international action. I think maybe Saudi Arabia with its big, bad military should intervene on its own instead of asking the west to do its dirty work. It shouldn't be our job to preserve Saudi's reputation with its neighbors. Were Syria doing like Israel does and rounding folks up based upon race or religion (something we've supported for decades), I'd agree that something must be done by us. If Syria were invading neighboring countries, overthrowing governments, and committing genocide, again, I'd agree that something should be done by us. But those things don't hold here, and our sad, ugly history in the Middle East shows that we NEVER improve things by stomping in and imposing our will. We imposed our will in Iran and wound up with the Shah, and we all know how that turned out. We imposed our will on Afghanistan all those years ago and helped create the Taliban/Al Qaida. We backed Saddam Hussein and--well, that wound up a bit messy, too. And what filled that vacuum in his wake after we invaded and killed him? Pretty ugly. I can't think of a time we've bumbled into that region to "fix" things that we haven't wound up breaking them even worse--it seems our greatest skill is creating our next big enemy. Not saying you're wrong or right, just saying I don't think this situation compares to the horrors of World War II, I don't see that it, in any way, has anything to do with 9/11, and I don't see how supporting a rebel movement characterized by Islamic radicalism and scary cruelty is going to improve matters for anyone in Syria. I don't have an answer, but I think our past shows that our usual "march in and impose our will" approach doesn't work. I am glad to see it left up to Congress, though, since NO choice our President makes will be safe from attack by the right. About time those bastards had to walk the walk, though, last I heard, they were refusing to return to work to address the issue. Typical.