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My mother always said “You gotta get them on the rug before you can pull it out from under them”. And never have truer words been spoken. Until that is, you are the one on the rug and The Powers That Be decide said rug should operate like a roller-coaster.

The Powers That Be, forthwith to be referenced as “TPTB” are starting to piss me off.

Let me clarify: TPTB are the are college elders who decide your provisional fate in the doctoral program. In the best case scenario, they guide, they advise, they extol academic wisdom and virtue; in the worst case scenario, and that’s exactly what I am talking about here, they fuck with your very existence.

In the last 4 months, the TPTB has decided:

  • That the “roadmap” or document stating “things you can expect from u while you are here” (a basic agreement issued to any student in higher education) is null and void
  • I now have an extra class to take
  • I also have an internal realignment where I will now take up to 4 methodology courses
  • Where in the past, if you fail candidacy, you can do a maters thesis and based on its success/failure, you can/cannot continue on to a doctorate, now, if you fail candidacy, you risk being tossed out wholesale
  • The document I signed that guaranteed 4 years of funding is null and void
  • That candidacy, which is supposed to occur in the fall, is now, after securing internships and other travel/moving arrangements, occurs in the summer

TPTB, in short, have decided to become a bunch of bastards. TPTB, additionally, have made it pretty clear that I cannot trust them in any way, shape, or form. Which sucks rocks when you’ve hitched your wagon to them for 4 years.

Not that all the changes are bad, these are tough times, I understand the funding crisis, and another class won’t kill… But when we signed, what essentially is binding agreement, and TPTB has reneged on half of it within a 4 month period, I have to wonder what the bloody hell I have gotten myself into.

Seriously, this is beyond the Pale.

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Bell Tower that is. Probably not in the style of Charles Whitman, or that German soldier, ass-hat from Inglorious Basterds, but one where I rain down a storm of insults and expletives because I’m just so damned pissed off of late.

Where do I start? With the GOP’s attempt to redefine rape? With the South Dakota’s attempt to legalize murder? I can also throw in the Federal govt’s attempt to pull funding away from Planned Parenthood – again. Or do I go with the publicizing of Lara Logan’s sexual assault as a pre-emptive measure because some other a-hole of some other news agency thought it made for a great story? Or how about this despicable misogynist, Nir Rosen, who thought Logan’s experience was a humorous affair?

We’re just past Valentine’s Day and I’m not feeling the love from the men. I feel like it is open season on women and women’s’ rights, and that we’re half a step away from legalizing honor killings in this country.

Seriously dudes?? WHAT THE FUCK? I woke up today feeling like it’s not 2011 but 1918.

So here’s my 2-cents and then I’m done.

  • I am sick of the idiot men who comment about the “tragedy” of Logan’s experience and how all Muslims are evil when in this country, the United damn States of America, 1 in 6 women can expect to be raped and only 6% percent of rapist will ever serve prison time.  However, Logan wasn’t raped but sexually assaulted, not that many people, men or women, learn the difference. But here’s the fact of the matter: Logan’s assault wasn’t about religion, it was about the same damn thing assaulting a woman is always about: a man feeling free to dominate a woman simply because he fucking could.
  • We are a country of majority rule.  The majority of Americans support a woman’s right to choose. And while we’re at it, Pro-Choice does not mean Pro-Abortion. And Planned Parenthood is exactly that: an organization dedicated to the education of women and men on family planning while providing access to contraceptives. No one in this country does more to prevent unwanted pregnancies than Planned Parenthood. No other entity in this country provides low-cost, basic medical services to women than Planned Parenthood. So anyone who wants to yank their funding while damning abortion is a complete moron.
  • Abortion being “murder” is a matter of opinion, whereas killing someone who performs what is a legal activity in this country is, in fact, murder.
  • Nir Rosen, while removing the offender tweet, quitting his job, and apologizing profusely, still doesn’t get what is most disturbing about what he did. His response: “i apologize and take it back. joking with friends got out of line when i didnt want to back down. forgot twitter is not exactly private“. Whether or not it was a private conversation, whether or not you were “just making a joke”, rape and sexual assault are not hilarious frivolities, they are extreme acts of violence. And what is most horrifying about you, Nir Rosen, was that you heard a woman was raped and your very first instinct was to make a joke. I hope this event kills your career.

I’m trying to remain positive despite all this news right now. I’m trying to be thankful that I live in this country when it sucks to be a woman in about 75%  of the other places I could be living. But that being said, it isn’t always a party here either.

Men, you are all officially on my fecal roster until such time that matters improve. In the meantime, get a clue.

I awoke at the magical and lovely hour of 5:45am today because the neighbor above me has a toddler more akin to a Tasmanian Devil than a human child. Said child ran frequent laps around their apartment and was dragging furniture along with it which presents itself like thunder down below in my apartment.

This wouldn’t be so bad if I had gone to sleep at a reasonable hour, which I did not because said child was doing the same activity until well after 10pm, making it impossible for me to get my work done before 1am.

I’ve spoken to my neighbor three times now, hell, I’ve even taken to banging on the ceiling with my shoe. Mostly, I find myself staying out of my apartment until late at night which is a shit-policy because it really only rewards bad behavior.

I finally bit the bullet and went to the building manager. Manager had words with the tenant above and came back with the two most dreaded words in the English language: Single-Mother.

“She doesn’t know what to do The child will not quiet down and she is a single mother.”

Groan!

I’m not a cold-hearted bitch, at least, not all the time, so I automatically generate some sympathy for this woman. The manager said she moved to campus late, couldn’t have known the floors were paper thin, is looking off-campus for housing, and will try to keep the noise down.

My options in this situation? Complain. Call them. Don’t go to her door. If enough complaints are racked up, they’ll break her lease and she can move.

Great. I know what it was like to find housing here. It’s a competitive sport where you best bring your mouth guard. I really don’t want to be the impetus for this woman and child getting tossed out, but dammit, I need sleep and I need some peace and quiet to get work done.

So now I am pitted up against Single Mom and Child. It sucks. I hear her leave at 7am and return after 7pm. I’m sure this kid is in daycare all day so I totally understand the  desire to run like crazy once home. I also understand the desire for Single Mom to want to spend time with her progeny before she goes to bed.

What I don’t understand is the apartment management pitting us up against each like this. I blame them for placing her in a building that is all couples and no children. I really blame them for putting her on the second floor. Single Mom may not have known the floors are paper thin but building management damn well did.

But Single Mom also needs to realize that part of the reason her child is so effen crazy is because it is sleep deprived. Yes, I know, I don’t have children, but I have siblings and friends with children and know enough that toddlers require more sleep than 6 hours a night. Hell, I know I certainly do.

And since there is plenty of blame to go around, I know I could try and be more understanding. However, I was here first (I was), I pay rent too, and the big marketing scheme for this little building is that it caters to “adults and professionals looking for quiet and peaceful living”. So I don’t feel like I should have to stay away from my apartment, coming home ridiculously late on the off-chance that it might be quiet enough to work.

I passed Single Mom in the hallway getting mail. She gave me the stink-eye like no one’s business. I went back to my apartment and Child above began playing with its (I have no idea the gender) favorite toy – the couch, which it drags around the apartment floor.

Well, the passive-aggressive battle lines apparently have been drawn. It will be interesting to see where this all leads.

I was just reading CNN online when I noticed an article about a court ordering two men to have their noses and ears cuts off. Obviously, a story like that makes you do a double take.

So I click on the story and as I am reading about these “poor” Pakistani men, I then get to the part of the article where the men were sentenced this very specific punishment because they committed this same act on woman.

Apparently, a young woman and her family refused an offer of marriage from a young man (maybe because they knew bad medicine when they saw it?) and in retaliation, the young man and a friend attacked the woman, strangled her, and performed this truly heinous act upon her.

It’s incredible how an opinion can turn a 180 on a situation, because while I at first exclaimed “WTF? We’re allies with these people?” as soon as I read the rest of the story, I more or less was saying “Well done! Bravo!”

Of course, if you at all follow the news, this is also coming from a country where last year three young women were beaten and buried alive for daring to choose their on husbands and three women who came to their defense were murdered as well. And four years prior to that, a woman was savagely gang raped when coming to the verbal defense of her brother falsely accused of a crime…And these are just the stories that somehow make the world media. Imagine how many are left untold?

I know, I know, turn the other cheek, and an eye for an eye makes us all blind, but here’s the thing: It pretty much sucks to be a woman on about 75% of this planet. So if a country wants to make an extreme example out of a pair misogynistic bastards who commit a horrific violent act against a woman, I am perfectly content to let them do so.

Merry effen Giftmasukah.

I was really pretty shocked to have read that Henry Louis Gates Jr., professor extraordinaire of long standing at the venerable institution Hahr-Vahrd, was arrested two days ago.

But I wasn’t shocked to have read the context and circumstances of his arrest. Sure, there’s the easy explanation of racism in America (you really will never convince me a white professor would have been treated the same way), but then there’s the even easier explanation that no one seems to be talking about and it is this: the arresting “officer” in the affair is yet another example of a douchebag cop with a Napoleon Complex.

Sure, I have no doubt the cop behaved in a racist manner, but that is an action coupled with a personality trait and that trait being that the he is yet another douchebag cop with a Napoleon Complex.

A professor here at school is a retired cop and relayed to me the different types of people who become police officers:

1. The Fitness Nut: the guy or gal who somehow relives their high school athletic glory days by being a cop. They are all about how they look in the uniform. Being a good or bad cop is strictly a matter of happenstance.

2. The Gun Nut: I think this speaks for itself. The Gun Nut, who is almost always male, is also closely related to the Penis Insecurity Nut.

3. The Righteous Nut: this person has an overwhelming sense of self-importance and truly thinks that the worse they behave towards the general public, the better cop they are.

4. The Drunk Cop: who is actually a pretty okay person who took the job as a way of redemption but at the same time, does not know how to handle the stress better.

Now according to Professor Cop, a police officer can actually be a combination of these varying traits but one is always more dominant than the other. Like the thing about Elvis and the Beatles: you can like both, but you always like one more than the other.

With regards to incident involving Professor Gates, my money is on Cop #3. Then again, I’m not at all familiar with the inner workings of cop-hood and the public perception I have garnered of them over the years is really just boils down to the simplicity of the douchebag cop with the Napoleon Complex scenario.

If you haven’t heard, a Philadelphia man was shot in a movie theater on Christmas Day for refusing to keep quiet during the film.

2628423331_d7680e9aa4While I don’t approve of the violence, I certainly understand the impulse that drove the shooter to his actions. Seriously, I get this. Total no brainer. People, in general, have become such complete barbarians in public, I’m more surprised that incidents like these doesn’t happen everyday.

For instance, I can not remember the last the time I saw a movie that wasn’t interupted with cell phones, people talking, or people getting up out of their seats every few minutes.

Libraries apparently have become the place to hang out with your teenage pals have a raucous good time.

Grocery shopping with your four sullen teenagers who skulk about, hogging lanes, not watching where they’re going, and have zero sense of their spatial relations, or, shopping with your screaming child in an SUV-styled grocery cart that crash into eneryone’s shins, apparently is now the accepted norm.

Noisy, crying, ill-behaved children in nice restaurants alongside the people who have no voice control or no sense of discretion sitting at the next table? Go ahead, complain, I dare you. Be forewarned that you will be viewed as the problem in that scenario,

Having to listen to other people’s loud and inconsequential phone conversations every damn place you go is now required.

Society’s utter lack of shame, or the absence of the implementation of shame as a social control, has removed any refuge from such boorish behavior. There is is simply no one place a person can go anymore and expect that rules of common courtesy be adhered to and I can easily see how the noise and constant harangue of these intrusions can cause someone to snap as it did in that movie theater.

How do you enforce the concept of common courtesy or appropriate behavioral norms? I can just see the ridiculous backlash heading this way in the form of movie theaters installing security to protect against violence as opposed to simply asking rude customers to shut the hell up. However, maybe starting with a few armed guards in movie theaters to ensure the domestic peace and quiet might not be such a bad idea.

An oldie but exceptional goodie from the brilliant mind at Indexed

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So I voted this morning. The lines were non existent, the parking was ample, plenty of people were on hand, but yet it still managed to take more time than it should have.

The problems begin with the location. I voted at Trinity Lutheran Church on 38th Street, which just felt wrong. Plain wrong. But aside from issues regarding the separation of Church and State, there were no signs – anywhere – telling you that this was the place, this is where you enter, or this is the room to where you go to vote.

There was ample room for the bake sale the church decided to have, but you could not turn around in the room where the actual voting takes place. The ladies running the show (and don’t get me wrong here, I have the highest respect for poll workers) where at best unorganized and discombobulated.

No matter. I voted. Made my voice heard. And then got the hell out of there.

With regards to the after work voters though, I can see this process getting long and ugly.

Looking back at the last entry, I noticed it’s been nearly month since I’ve written. Bad Blogger! Bad Blogger! And while I suppose I could use the excuse that school and life have overwhelmed me, Lazy Slug!, truth be told, I simply haven’t felt like writing. Slacker!

Until yesterday.

I went to a movie, and experienced something that sufficiently got my Irish up. Trash talk. Verbal Smack. I’m talking some good old-fashioned Propaganda of the World War II variety,

Should you go to see a film at the West Plaza Cinema, you will be treated to a short music video featuring self-anointed “The King of Trailer Trash”, Kid Rock, and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., pimping themselves out to the National Gard.

Kid Rock, whom I saw get booed off the stage at the State Theater in Detroit in the way back before time of the early 1990’s, has grown into what I think is a decent musical act. “Bawitaba” and “Cowboy” are sentimental favorites of mine, but his music since then has been a poor reiteration of the same. So of course now, in efforts to stave-off total irrelevancy, Kid Rocks whores himself out to this nonsense. I don’t care if he does have the top song in the country, he is dead to me.

And Dale Earnhardt Jr,? Well, let’s just say that watching cars drive in circles all day was never my idea of stimulating entertainment. He’s turning left, ladies and gentlemen! And, wait, OMG, he’s turning left AGAIN! That’s his 30th consecutive left turn! This is truly a thrilling day for cars!

Anyhoo, they team up for this “video” which is about the most heinous piece of garbage I’ve seen in some time. If you can stomach it, you can check out on YouTube. I entertained the thought of embedding it here, but I wish not to contribute in anyway shape or form to the increased numbers of downloads such an act might cause.

So here’s the premise, Kid Rock sings his song “Warrior” while Jr. runs around in camouflage on a set that is staged to look like a town in the Middle East. The “warriors” are dressed to the hilt in combat gear, looking tough and authoritative, while people of obvious Middle Eastern persuasion appropriately run in fear from them, and small children cower until on they, Jr., patronizingly deigns to acknowledge their basic humanity and kicks a soccer ball towards them.

Nice.

Oh, and later, they help evacuate unknown people from an unknown suburban location that is on fire. And all throughout, there are these inconsistent and bizarre cut shots of car racing footage mixed in.

But the point is this: if you want to be a bad-ass, mother-effer who makes Arabic people run and hide, then the National Guard is the place for you.

The heaps of shame that should loaded onto anyone involved with this can not be measured by modern science. Of course, the sort who buy into this crap typically don’t acknowledge science outside of a vacuum and believe that humans kept dinosaurs as pets.

Which almost makes sense since we clearly haven’t evolved.

I don’t claim to understand my brothers, but being that we share a great deal of genetic material, I at least expect to find some shred of commonality in thought.

That expectation was blown to hell, yet again, when we were discussing the situation of Caleb Campbell, West Point graduate, and recent 7th round draft pick of the Detroit Lions who has been called to active duty.

In a nutshell: Campbell graduated West Point and, he claims, was promised by the Army that if he was picked up, he could play and serve his time as a recruiter. Now, the Army has apparently changed their minds on this deal and Campbell has to serve two years before he’ll be allowed to try for the NFL again.

My brothers, and apparently over 60% of people in a FOX Sports poll, think the Army is being “unfair”.

Excuse me? Unfair? Campbell has received an very expensive education (it is valued to be in the realm of $500,000) on behalf of the tax payers of this country and he signed a contract stating that in return for this education, he would serve 5 years in the Army. The US Military Academies are a priceless education for more reasons than just monetary. For there to be even a hint of Campbell whining or shirking his duty is pretty freakin’ reprehensible particularly since many of his West Point brethren can expect to be heading to either Afghanistan or Iraq in the near future.

And even if the Army changed their mind, so what? It’s their prerogative to do so. I don’t seem to recall Roger-effen-Staubach complaining about honoring his commitment to his country after attending the Naval Academy. He did his time (in Vietnam, I might add) and then went on to one of the most successful NFL careers in history. So pardon me if I feel ZERO sympathy for Campbell getting a half-million dollar education and now bitching about not getting a million dollar football career.

…And with my brothers and all those other persons who thinks the Army is being “unfair” AND supports this business in Iraq, seriously people, WTF?

Oh, and by the way, Campbell apparently isn’t even going overseas. He staying right here in the US where he will be serving his time as a football coach at either West Point or its prep school. Considering he could be on his way to some pretty nasty war zones, he should be counting his blessings.