26 February 2014


The Olympics are over. Thank God. Well, okay, the Paralympics are still to come, but for reasons I can't understand, no one seems to give a shit about those. I wish that were true of the regular Olympics. I'm so tired of the glorification of sports. I'm so sick of how we worship at the altar of sports. It's even brought right into church sometimes. My church sang "The Good Ol' Hockey Game" as the last song on Sunday. I left in disgust. We glorify sports entirely too much. When we're spending billions on a competition to see who can slide the fastest and there are people dying of starvation, something is massively fucked up.

And speaking of fucked up, Arizona, you assholes. America already decided that you don't get to pick and choose who sits at the lunch counter. I'm stunned at all the hate coming out of the woodwork, all the people saying that it's worse to make a law requiring a business owner to serve everyone than it is for a person to be discriminated against. They spew out stupid free market lies, like, "People won't go to those establishments". Riiiiiight. Like no one ate at Woolworth's lunch counter. I even saw a gay man arguing for it this week. A libertarian. Such idiots. The useful idiots, like that gay guy, are especially frustrating. They honestly believe that a law requiring equal treatment by all to all is worse than a gay couple being told to piss up a tree when they want a wedding cake. Look, it's simple. If you're a hateful fucktard*, don't serve the public. And if you must serve the public, you can still be a hateful fucktard, calling yourself a Christian. Hang up crosses and signs that say God Hates Fags. And if those "fucking faggots" insist on shopping in your store, despite your obvious disgust, suck it the fuck up and make them a cake. Because the free market ain't gonna sort out homophobia, racism, sexism or any other hatred that is systemic.

The free market is bullshit. Because they cheat. Capitalism reinforces only greed. And greed doesn't play within the rules. Free market theory says that the market regulates itself (HA!) and that wages regulate themselves. That is, if an employer sets the wage too low, no one will work for it and wages will have to rise. Sure. In theory. In a vacuum. In practice, what happens is that the media inundates us with the message that if you don't work for any pittance you are offered, you're a lazy piece of shit. In practice, people will work for any amount if it means they are able to pay rent, even if they have to go to a food bank for food and to the government for assistance. And here's the stupid thing about that. If the government has to top up someone's income, the government is subsidizing the employer, allowing them to artificially keep wages low. If they stopped doing it, people would starve to death, and I sure as hell don't want to live in that society. Would employers raise wages? No. And how do I know that? Because in my province, employers ship in labour from China, paying them way way way less than they can get Canadians to work for, all the while saying no one here wants those jobs. Well, pay them enough that it's worth doing! Like the free market theory says they will. Bringing in outside labour is cheating.

And then there's unions. Unions can be corrupt and full of bullshit. You know, like every other institution on earth. But they actually help the economy by raising wages. If labour unites to require employers to treat them well and pay them well, the government pays out less in social services. If business is allowed to regulate itself, it doesn't, and shifts the burden to the government. And that is not fair. Not to employees, not to taxpayers. The idiots say 'Get a better job', but ffs, who do they expect will pump their gas, pick up their garbage, and serve their fast food? Sure, unions cut into the bottom line of the capitalists. That's a good thing. It means that more of the capital is being spent in the economy. When the rich hoard money, it doesn't do any good, anywhere.

I honestly don't know why people don't see this. It all seems like common sense to me.

*fucktard = fucking bastard. Not the r-word. Never. Not ever.

20 February 2014

A spectrum of racism

A Twitter conversation about racism got me thinking about how many white people do racist things and say racist things and then get really offended when they're called racist. I think there is a spectrum of racism. Each flavour is icky, but it varies from "icky like olives" (ICK! If you like them, think of something you can just barely choke down. And also, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!) to icky like a shit and staples sandwich with elephant mucus pie on the side. Okay. So it's NOT okay to be on the olives end of it. It's nasty, and it fosters an environment where it's okay to be served the shit and staples sandwich. Clear? No? Okay, then allow me to define the classes, as I see them:

Olives: These are people who are genuinely working on their racism. Any stupid racist thing they say is out of genuine ignorance, and if called on it, they will apologise, not do it again, and try to make it right. They might ask questions to figure out why what they said was racist. This is me. I'm working on it!

Pickled beets fished out of the garbage can: These are people who make stupid racist "jokes". They may have friends in the group they're joking about. They may genuinely like these people. They have no idea that their racism is harmful. They have been told, but refuse to believe it. They cannot figure out why it is not okay to retell the racist joke that their black friend told them, but they're not going to refuse to hire someone based on their colour. I used to be this person. I had friends who were Indians (as aboriginal people were called at the time). They told me Indian jokes. I retold them. Icky. Fortunately, I finally listened to reason. If you call these people racist, they will be offended and call you stupid.

Mouldy cheese: These people do not like most $race people, but they're willing to make exceptions. They blame them for their own problems. They blame them for society's problems. High jobless rate? Their fault. High crime rate? Their fault. They look at statistics in a vacuum. There are more aboriginal people in jail because there is a higher per capita rate of criminals. Houses are run down on reserves because aboriginal people can't be bothered to keep up their homes. 80% of the children in foster care are aboriginal because they don't look after their children. Etc., ad nauseum. Only rarely can these people be educated. If you point out systemic racism, the history of residential schools, poverty, etc., you'll be told that "those people need to get over it and stop blaming white people for their problems!" And "I know Kara Stonechild* and she was raised in a terrible family, and she's got a great job and doesn't blame white people. She got an education and a job! If she can do it, anyone can!"
I've never been this person. I know a lot of these people. Many of them related to me. :( If you call these people racist, they will say something racist like, "I'm not racist. I don't hate them because they're $race. I hate them because they're criminals. I hate white criminals too! Look at the stats!"

Recalled Hot Pockets: They are afraid of people of $race. They're dangerous under pressure. They are snide. They make racist jokes in the company of friends, and often in the earshot of strangers. And not the more Pickled Beets kinds of jokes that play on stereotypes, but the really mean ones. They are also resentful of the benefits that $race people get. No exceptions are made. If someone has made something of themselves in the white world, they probably did it by freeloading and special treatment, according to these people. If you call these people racist, they'll probably laugh and say, "Yeah. So?"

Shit and Staples Sandwich with Elephant Mucus Pie: This is the KKK and the like. White supremacist garbage. These people are not only dangerous under pressure, they're plain dangerous. These people want to round up the $race people and murder them all. If you call these people racist, they'll call you a race traitor and pontificate about the evils of $race, explaining why you should be a racist too. Or worse, they'll hate you too for being a $race-lover.

So again. It's not okay to be racist at any flavour of the spectrum of ick. Ignoring the grottiness of something olive-like only fosters the environment where shit and staples sandwiches are on the menu. So call it out when you see it, and fucking listen if someone tells you you're being a racist asshole. And if the person calling you out is a member of $race shut your olive-hole and take them at their word. If you don't understand why what you've said is wrong, that's okay. Don't do it again, and find a way to ask someone with a clue. I recommend, "OK. I said X. Person Y called me out. Obviously, I screwed up, but I'm not sure exactly how. I'd like to avoid being an asshole, and learn from this. Would you mind telling me what I've done?"

Okay? Thanks.

*Fictional name

11 February 2014

Budget Day Anger

Holy CRAP do I ever have a hard time being a Christian on budget day. Love my enemy? I loathe conservatives. The heartless, cold disdain for anyone but themselves is infuriating. You know how I say anger comes from fear, right? Well, that's certainly true of my anger with the Cons. I'm afraid of what they'll do to this country. I'm afraid of what they're doing to people right now. I'm afraid for the youth, the poor, the environment.

I'm angry on behalf of the trans community for what happened to Avery Edison. A trans woman locked up in a men's prison?! Are you even kidding me? Fortunately, the NDP cares, and between Randall Garrison and Peggy Nash, they got her the hell out of there. I'm angry because I'm scared of what happened to her, and that it could happen again. That's not okay. Ever.

Anger doesn't work for me. I can't use it to motivate myself. Not often anyway. I'm much better with a quiet determination that comes from looking at something, deciding I don't like it, and working to change it. Anger usually leads to me throwing things, kicking things, drinking too much, and swearing at people. Often the ones who deserve it, but also plenty who don't.

I'm filled with hatred and disgust today. It's not working for me, but I'm still doing it. I'm utterly livid with the people who think that government employees are leeches. That they milk the system. Take tons of extra sick days. Etc. It's bullshit, of course. In part I'm mad because I know how hard my husband works, and how important his project is. In part I'm mad because I know that they're trying to sell public sector cuts by turning people against hard working people like Tony. In part, I'm mad because I hate that our country is filled with people who are so scared that someone might be getting something "for free" that they rejoice when their jobs are cut.

This is Canada now? The US with better heath care and without the guns?

I don't like it. Not one fucking bit. And right now, I'm MAD. Because I'm scared that I'm stuck with living in a place I'm growing to hate. And before anyone chirps at me to leave if I don't like it, I would. But I have disabled kids. No one will take me. Because of policies just like the ones you vote for.

Harper was right about one thing. I won't recognize Canada when he's done with it.

07 February 2014

What to say to parents of special needs kids

Continuing yesterday's train of thought, what should you say to a parent with a special needs kid? Fucked if I know. Someone is always going to get offended. I'm good with, "Cute kid. Has some issues, eh?" Then if I feel like unloading on a stranger, I can. And if I don't, I can say, "Yup, sure does". Conversation over.

Some people will be offended if you completely ignore that their kid is different. Someone else will be massively offended that you had the nerve to say something about their kid being different. Thing is, we're raw. We've been through the wringer. We've had doctors blame us, talk down to us, yell at us, threaten us with child protective services. We've had family question our every decision. Blame us for every setback. We blame ourselves. We've lost friends. We've cleaned up more than our fair share of messes. We're overtired. We're overstressed. We go to more appointments, see more specialists, manage funding budgets and schedules. We're paying for treatments we can't afford on the thin hope that it might help make our beautiful baby* feel a little better. Some of us have other jobs on top of this. Some of us gave up careers to do this. Some are bitter about that. Some aren't. Expecting all of us to feel the same way about something is stupid (you fucking monster - see previous post). We're not a monolithic group. And the don't do this or you'll offend us posts miss that. OF COURSE there are some things we're sick of hearing, or as a general rule are likely to be taken in a way not intended by the speaker. 

This was all brought to you by this list on the Huffington Post yesterday. So in the interest of being helpful to other parents who need snappy comebacks to ignorant bullshit, and people who might not want to be ignorant bullshit spewers, I give you this:

1) But he looks so normal! or You'd never know to look at her!
What the parent might think you're saying: Stop whining. Your kid is fine.
snappy comeback: She hides it well in public. You could learn a thing or two from her.
Instead try: I never would have known. I bet you've done a lot of work to see that happen!

2) Is it genetic?
What the parent might think you're saying: Is it contagious?
snappy comeback: Nope. Contagious. He got it from a public toilet.
Instead try: biting your tongue. It's not your business.

3) "He's going to grow out of it, right?"
What the parent might think you're saying: OMG! HOW FUCKING AWFUL. I can't stand the idea that he'll live with this forever! That would be a tragedy. 
snappy comeback: Oh yes, but it'll come back every full moon.
Instead try: Is it a lifelong thing? - asking is always better than any question that ends in "right?"

4) "Did you cause her to be in a wheelchair?"
What the parent might think you're saying: This could never happen to me, so how is this your fault?
Not my issue, but I'll take a stab at it:
snappy comeback: No. It was her choice. She's really lazy.
Instead try: No clue. I'm thinking this is another case of just don't, it's not your business.

5)"My uncle's brother's nephew's cousin has autism, so I know what it's like" or "My nephew's cousin has autism, too. He's really good at math. What's your son gifted in?"
What the parent might think you're saying: Oooh, does he do tricks?!
snappy comeback: Diarrhea. He's excellent at that.
instead try: "Were you lucky enough to get a savant?" Please learn that most autistic people are intelligent but not savants. Actually, I wouldn't say that at all. Well, I would, but my special autistic talent is offending people.

6) "Why didn't you stop having kids after the first one?"
What the parent might think you're saying: Why did you risk this awful tragedy happening again?!
snappy comeback: Why didn't your parents stop before the first one?
instead try: minding your own business.

7) "God only gives you what you can handle." 
What the parent might think you're saying: God is punishing you. But you're not so overwhelmed that you need my help. Or my tax money.
snappy comeback: Oh sure, because no one ever commits suicide.
snappy comeback: Then God's an asshole.
snappy comeback: Oh, thank you for your unsolicited platitude. I feel so much better now.
snappy comeback: You're right. He gave me you for babysitting. Enjoy them. I'm going shopping. Alone.
instead try: Do you need some help? How can I help? If you're a stranger, try, "I hope you have a good support network! No? Tell you what, here's my email address, I will see what kind of resources are available in the community, and if you're interested, email me and I'll send you some links."

8) "Have you tried juicing?" or "Why don't you watch this movie about the keto diet?"
What the parent might think you're saying: Do some research! There's lots of options out there. Are you stupid?
snappy comeback: Oh, thank you, doctor!
instead try: This one is tricky. Some people really don't appreciate these suggestions. I'm fine with them. I'm find with the original, actually. Maybe, "Hey, my friend got a lot of symptom relief with X. If you're interested, I could give you her email address" (Symptom relief is the key word here. No one will think you're doing the cure thing if you use this term)

9) Comments on work, such as: "It must be nice coming late" after running around all morning at appointments or "It must be nice getting to relax all day since you don't have a job."
What the parent might think you're saying: You're a lazy shit.
snappy comeback: Oh yeah, it's all daytime tv and bonbons. You know, between the OT, SLP, BCBC, PT, cleaning up the pee and vomit, comforting him after seizures, cooking a separate meal for each kid because of allergies. Wanna trade?
instead try: Busy morning, eh?

10)  "He's one of God's special angels."
What the parent might think you're saying: He's one of God's special angels.
snappy comeback: Special ED angels, maybe.
snappy comeback: An angel who can swear like a sailor.
instead try: shutting your cake hole.

11) "How in the world did you break both your legs?"
What the parent might think you're saying: I'm profoundly ignorant. Please school me.
Again, not my issue, but I'll try.
snappy comeback: Kicking morons who ask stupid questions.
snappy comeback: I just stood up one day and they snapped. I think it's contagious.
instead try: Nice hardware! (Beware. This will be checked closely for sarcasm.)

12) "I don't know how you do it. You are a great mom" or "Do you really start his IVs, oh dear, I just couldn't possibly do that!"
What the parent might think you're saying: Please don't let this happen to me. Please don't let this happen to me. Dear God PLEASE don't let this happen to me.
snappy comeback: Thank you.
Seriously? WTF, other parents? This is a nice think to say. The first part, anyway. The "I couldn't possibly do that" part needs its own snappy comeback.
snappy comeback: Good thing she's not your kid then!
instead try (because apparently some people have issues): You're fabulous. Can I buy you some chocolate?

13) "I can't believe you give her (insert medicine or medical procedure here), I would never give that to my child."
What the parent might think you're saying: You're a shitty parent.
snappy comeback: Thank you, doctor. What's your specialty in, again?
instead try: Whooo. That must have been a hell of a decision.

14) "I nearly had a stroke" or "I think I'm going to have an epileptic fit" or "Are you retarded?"
What the parent might think you're saying: I'm very rude. Please embarrass me in front of all my friends.
snappy comeback: You mean, like my kid? Or in that HA HA way?
instead try: I think my heart about jumped out of my chest. I'm pretty sure that's never happened to anyone. You should be safe.

15) What the hell happened to my numbering system?

*I'm not infantilizing the kid with autism. EVERY kid is our baby. When they're 40 and we're 65, they're our babies. Chill.

06 February 2014

Every What Not To Do post ever

You know those "What not to say in X situation" posts that pop up here and there?

Every What Not To Do post
Everything you're saying is wrong. You're trying, we get that. But you've been offending people mightily, and they won't tell you. So I will, because I can speak for all people in Situation X.
1) Don't say totally inappropriate bullshit. "Is your kid a retard?" is probably going to be taken as an insult.
2) Don't say totally innocuous things either. "Oh, your child has autism. So does my brother. Mom tried a gluten-free diet with him and it seemed to help". You. Fucking. Monster. How the fuck dare you try to tell me what's worked for someone you love?!
3) Don't say something no one who is not under the influence of some serious drugs (or should be) has ever said. "Doctors? Pfft. What do they know? Take him to an exorcist. It's demons, I tells ya. Demons"
4) Don't say the two or three things everyone always says because they have no idea what else to say. "Oh, autism. I'm sorry to hear it." Really?! You're sorry my kid will have a lot more challenges than the average kid? You. Fucking. Monster. I love cleaning his shit off the walls. How dare you insinuate there's anything to be sorry about?!
5) Do NOT invoke God. Saying something that you've been taught from birth is comforting makes you a fucking monster.
In summary, thanks for trying, we appreciate the effort, you fucking monster. It's cute that you think you're a good person. Please do not ignore us, but never say anything on this list.

Every What Not To Do Comment section

So what do I say?!
- helpful ally

     If you can't speak without offending someone, you should remove yourself from the human race.
     - TrollMom

     Shut up, TrollMom. I'm in Situation X, and even I don't know what to say sometimes

Waaaa waaaa waaaa. All this bitching. It's not so bad. Shut up, put the internet away, and go play with your kid. (You fucking monster)

Well, if you don't want anyone to ask about Situation X, stay home.

     But I need groceries! How am I supposed to get groceries?!
     -Captain Obvious

          Order online
          -Mr. Helpful

          Seriously?! You just want us invisible so we don't offend your precious sensibilities. Stop being a douchebag. And also, I live in a place where there's no grocery delivery. So what now, Mr. Helpful?!

I still don't know what to say.
-helpful ally

     Try "Hi"

           If you're going to be like that, it's no wonder people are rude to you and your retarded kid. I tried!

                 I don't have kids.

                        Why are you even here?

What do you mean, don't invoke God? Jesus is the Healer of All. I will pray for you, that you come to see the glory of our LORD Jesus Christ. I'm so offended that you would dare to oppress me like this.

      Fuck you, FundieMom. You're too stupid to live. Go play with your invisible friend in the sky and leave the rest of us alone. You fucking monster.

             Enjoy Hell, you fucking monster.

            Come on, Atheist, you're being an asshole. Please be respectful of others beliefs.

                  HeadBangingOnDesk: Your name is offensive to autistic people who stim by banging their heads. You fucking monster.

      FundieMom, you're giving the rest of us a bad name. Please be considerate.

            Why should I?! I've got the right to be publicly religious! I've got the right to talk about Jesus whenever and wherever I like. How dare the OP tell me I shouldn't?!

                     Because you're calling yourself Christian, and compassion is a big part of Christianity?

                          Not at my church. It says in the Bible that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus, and if you don't have Jesus, you're going to burn in hell, and your kid is probably retarded because of gay people. If you pray hard enough, Jesus will heal your retarded son.

                                 He's not retarded. You're missing the point. And that's an offensive word.

                                       I didn't mean it offensively. It's a clinical term, and I was using it that way.

                                      You were using it clinically when you were explaining that it's caused by sin? Okay...

                                            Exactly. I'll await your apology.

And then I drink a bottle of wine.