Sunday, June 12, 2005

Wow, A Deluge Of Comments: My Random Notes and Responses

  • Exhaustion.

  • So let me start with a thank you for reading and caring. Sorry Omni, no baby pictures today other than the one.

    Prayers and Energy Needed
    My friend, Faith (her blog is A Lumbering Soul - I love that title) is a having a health crisis with her beloved cat, Sprite. From reading her blog and getting email from her she is really upset about this. The vet tried emergency surgery last night and found nothing. So, please, spare a moment to today to pray and send positive energy to her furry friend.

    One of my fears about having a child is that I would suddenly put the pets on a lower level of importance, that I would neglect them and lose that special deep connection I have with them. That is what happened with some of my friends who have children and I watched it happen. Happily that has not been the case. My pets definitely get less time; but so does everything. But we have included them in the routine; they are not isolated from the baby and they seem to really enjoy the baby. It's hard to tell with Anwen at this stage, but she seems to like them.

    Regarding the photo

    One day last September, Laura and I walked out of the garage to go to work and we saw that full moon hovering over the treeline. I thought it was so cool I dropped my bag with the laptop (good thing it's an iBook and pretty tough) and went to get the camera. The funny thing is, I was convinced my little Canon A-70 would not be able to take a good photo. It does not have much of a zoom on it, and although I have been hugely pleased with it in most ways, when it comes to small distant objects I have not been so pleased.

    So, convinced it would not come out, I snapped four quick shots and headed to work. Oddly enough, as contrasted with photos where I have spent minutes zooming and posing and trying different camera modes, this photo came out. It is one of my favorites, I think it looks lonely, cold, spooky. So I am glad you guys enjoyed it. You can purchase rights to this photo from me by either a) letting me watch (this applies only to Ender-sorry Amber) or b) sending me a CD of your favorite music.

    My Therapist
    Marjorie, my therapist, is actually a great therapist. I have seen her for four years now and generally I find her advice and guidance to be practical and worthwhile. Truly, I think she helped keep me sober in a pinch more than once during those early months where everything from a red light to a mosquito bite seemed like a reason to drink. She has been great in teaching me ways to constructively feel and express anger and teaching me how to deal with difficult relationships.

    But she is a technophobe and the internet is not her friend. Her concern about my blogging is less about journaling (which she wholeheartedly supports) than about opening myself up to people who would willfully do me harm. For example, a while back a coworker of mine found my blog. She was looking at it at work and she got a phone call from our IS department that she was browsing inappropriate sites and would receive a written warning in her file. Seriously. I then knew that our IS department knew I had a blog and suddenly realized that those some of the hits I was getting from a service provider in Mesquite, TX was not some random individual; it was my employer monitoring what I wrote.

    So, I said Hello. My immediate supervisor, Kevin, came and told me to never, ever, blog from work again, ever. He told me to scrub everything with my employers name (and I did find it mentioned twice and scrubbed those). I have not blogged on this until now, but they still read it almost every day. So I know this will be read. It is actually freaky, but hey, it is real. I did walk around in March with a knot in my stomach the size of a softball for a week. If you read this regularly you know I have a love/hate relationship with work. I do love my little department, we have some neat people and my admiration for my boss, Kevin, is pretty much boundless. He is a wonderfully human person and I think very highly of him.

    But the company itself can be quite dysfunctional. I'm sure none of you have ever encountered that in your lives. There is a part of me that is like: Oh yeah, fuck you, why don't you just fire me. And honestly, considering how Christian they are and how closed minded, I am surprised I have not been fired. On the other hand, they know I am a recovering alcoholic and they may have looked at the Americans With Disabilities Act and said, hell we can't fire him for being Wiccan-that's part of his recovery and a religion issue.

    The upshot is, Marjorie has some valid reasons for warning me to be cautious. Also, that Child Protective Services thing was not a joke, that lady was really ready to have them take the baby based on what I expressed in this post here (please note, I am not proud of that post and have not felt that way since).

    Of course, Ender was partially right in her comments. Marjorie owns a Windows machine, and as a result regards computers with great suspicion and resentment. It is hard for her, in her Apple free world, to imagine a computer as a source for good. She has been emotionally scarred by exposure to inferior computing and that accounts for some of her issues. A good therapist or a nice PowerMac G5 would help her deal with those issues.

    The Filthy Porn I Wound Up Surfing Yesterday
    That stuff actually wound up really upsetting me. I know I am going to sound like an old fuddy-duddy but whatever happened to good clean smut? You know, the stuff with naked women who aren't being humiliated or put into what I hope and pray are mock rape scenarios? When did it become cool to slap women in the middle of intercourse? Or choke women who are performing fellatio?

    I gather that the porn industry has figured out that if you go to Russia or Eastern Europe you can find many pretty women who are absolutely dirt poor and will do just about anything for pennies on the dollar. Who ever would have guessed that outsourcing would be an issue in the world of pornography? There is no way you can tell me that these women can go through these experiences without some kind of psychic scars. Violence and humiliation are apparently the themes of the day and if it disturbs me to see this I can't really imagine what it would feel like to experience it.

    This emphasis on violence and contempt for women has seeped into mainstream porn and from there into music. Or maybe it was there all along and now misogynists see this as an okay to not hide what they really feel. It's kind of a sanction of hatred towards women; it really is.

    So what do I think should be done about it? Censorship? Laws? Punishment? Absolutely not; those are ineffective and in some cases they amplify the problem. We have centuries of experience with that.

    The problem is this: there is no easy solution and the non easy solutions will take generations to really take hold. Our world, all of humanity, will need to participate in a conversation on this. We, as the human race, as a species, will have to figure out how to change our attitudes about each other, about sex, about power. It's not hopeless, but it is a monumental task.

    Starting with a prayer would not hurt.