Monday, October 29, 2007

Saints are coming back! Woot.

They tromped all over the 49ers yesterday, to the point where I kind of felt a little sorry for San Francisco, losing so badly at home. Not bad enough to wish they'd won, obviously.

So, we're 3-4, woohoo. We looked great, and the 49ers fell apart. We do best when Brees mixes it up, passes the ball to a different person every time, like to people who I never knew existed. It's a good strategy, and one I've never seen the Saints use before the Peyton/Brees era.

I'm noticing that a lot of my favorite Saints have moved on: Sammy Knight, Joe Horn, Michael Lewis (who's with the 49ers now; I had wondered where he'd gone), Ricky Williams (in spite of, or perhaps because of, his complete eccentricity), and Morten Anderson.

I'm growing rather fond of Scott Fujita & Mike McKenzie. They've got style and panache with their bone-crunching tackling skills. They kinda look like they're having a good time, ya know? Well, and there's Reggie and Deuce. Ya gotta love them, but it's too obvious. I hate that Deuce McAllister is out for the season. The man is reliable like a tank and seems like a nice guy to boot.

For some reason I'm never all het up about the quarterback; I guess it seems too obvious. Kinda like in fourth grade, when I refused to admit a fondness for Shaun Cassidy. I preferred the brunette Hardy Boy, Parker Stephenson, because it was the contrary thing to do. Likewise: sure, Drew Brees is doing a great job out there and seems like an all-round good guy, but he's got all the fans he needs. So do Reggie and Deuce. Give me a scrappy eccentric with less visibility any day of the week. I'm leaning towards Fujita as my main man this year.

In slightly related news, I'm still looking for the perfect fleur-de-lys tattoo. I can't get a Saints tattoo for fear that Tom Benson moves the team. I sure don't want to be marked as a "Peoria Saints" fan down the road, right? So I need a good NOLA fleur-de-lys that translates to the ink-on-flesh medium. It'll invoke the Saints without being an actual Saints logo.

More Mississippi Idioms

Not only does one "cut off", say, the air conditioning, one can also "cut it on".

Furthermore, and I may have mentioned this before but I'm too lazy to check: hereabouts, one uses a "buggy" to shop for groceries, not a grocery cart.

And if you're going anywhere, in any direction, you are going "down to" wherever. Someone from Mississippi could very well tell you he'd gone "down to Alaska" last week.
[I'm kind of afraid to parse this one.]

Friday, October 19, 2007

where I live

Alas, I cannot find anywhere the Robert Smigel "Blue Christmas" TV Funhouse that calls the giant red state I inhabit "Dumbfuckistan." The giant red state that is all the red states squished together, the ones between the enclaves of un-affordable blue states.

Mississippi isn't nearly as bad as everybody thinks it is. Whenever you see Mississippi in TV shows and movies, it's usually a version of 1965 Mississippi. People do not get lynched here anymore. Old white men do not stand around gas stations chewing on straws and squinting at yankees who are about to uncover the civil rights murder no southerner was smart enough to solve. People do have running water and electricity, and hardly anyone wears overalls. We do all own shoes. We have movie theatres and sushi and health food stores and spas and museums.

But it does suck. A lot of people are poor here. Really poor. Public education? It sucks. So poor people aren't very well-educated. They smoke when they're pregnant. They leave their kids in front of Cartoon Network 24/7. They give babies sweet tea in their bottles. Not from meanness or stupidity, but sheer ignorance. Just don't know no better. Most educated people give lip service to equal rights, but the level of ignorant racial bigotry just beneath the surface is sometimes mind-boggling. The misogyny is even less hidden. Homophobia? It's what's for breakfast.

On top of poverty and ignorance, slather on a layer of evangelical christianity of varying stripes: southern baptist, pentecostal, church of christ, megachurch, you name it. Whatever it is, it don't like no homos, no jews, no evolution, and it sure as shit don't like no democrats. Not the yankee kind anyway. Because Mississippi Democrats are nearly indistinguishable from Mississippi Republicans.

To wit: we have a gubernatorial election coming up. Our incumbent, Haley Barbour, is a former lobbyist for big tobacco and big oil. He is anti-gay rights, anti-abortion, pro-development, pro-business, and a Republican. His opponent, John Arthur Eaves, carries a bible around in his ads. He is anti-gay rights, anti-abortion, pro-prayer in schools, pro "family values," a personal injury lawyer and a... Democrat?? Huhwhat? As far as I can tell the DNC is having nothing to do with Eaves. I have no idea why he's even registered as a Dem, except that it allowed him to get on the ballot, because Barbour would've knocked him out in a Republican primary. So basically, we have one godbaggy republican, or the other.

I live here, and there are things about it that don't suck. The landscape is nice. The food's pretty good. People are generally courteous to one another, and the cost of living is low. There's a lot of music and literature to be had.

On the whole, I tend to blame evangelical christianity and its bedfellow, red-state republican brainwashing, for most of what is still wrong with Mississippi. If anybody in charge gave a shit about anybody but rich, white, heterosexual christians, the public school system would work. Welfare and Medicaid/Medicare would be fully funded. Everyone would have access to reproductive health services, day care, and post-secondary education. But that's not the case. The poor keep on getting poorer and more ignorant; and the rich? They get richer and build bigger walls around their gated communities.

And those gated communities don't look a damned thing like Mississippi. They look like Phoenix, and Houston, and Atlanta, and every other boring cookie-cutter McMansion gated community in America. It's their loss, but it's also our loss. If I were anything but white and hetero, I would've never moved here. There is an as-yet undocumented brain drain (I'm willing to bet) of talented and brilliant African-American and homosexual Mississippians who just had to get the hell out. It's not about violence, or structured bigotry, though. There just aren't many opportunities for people who don't meet the honky heteronormative model.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

so get this

Local state senatorial candidate rolls up behind my place of employment last week, and asks a co-worker who's standing out back:

"Whose white car is that with the JOHN KERRY sticker!?"

Asks it, I might add, in a state of RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION that someone in this godforsaken shithole of a godbaggy small town should DARE, DARE to sport a Democratic bumpersticker.

Now, I know that election is long gone, and I am a lazy-ass mofo who should've taken the sticker off long ago, but you know what? NOW it's staying on until I decide which presidential candidate I'll be supporting.

Ass-hat, godbaggy asshole. I dare him to come have a chat with me about my freedom of speech. I don't give a rat's ass if he works with my boss's wife or has a stupid rush-limbaugh-wanna-be radio show: I will fucking well rip off his head and shit down his neck if he steps on my freedom of speech. Ass.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Why you should read Jane Austen novels

I heart Jane Austen with an irrational passion. You will find yourself wondering, "Why do I even give a crap about these bourgeois assholes and whether they marry well or not?" But you WILL give a crap. You will find yourself cheering women who find ways to survive in a culture that, even more so than ours, limits women's lives in brutal fashion. Marry, or die. Or: marry, get pregnant, die young. Or: marry a complete arse just to have a roof over your head. You get the drift. Her world is circumscribed but within it, there is great depth.

Austen's wit is often subtle. It is pointed. She is a great inventor of Characters. Nobody is immune, from either criticism or praise. Rich, poor, smart, stupid, beautiful, plain, male, female: it doesn't matter, the character may be reprehensible or entirely laudable.

I re-read the whole Austen oeuvre every few years, and always find something new. She grows on you; you identify with different characters at different times in your life. You might find a novel sad on one reading, hilarious on the next.

Go forth and read.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

why I need to leave Mississippi

Editorials with statements like this:

"Here's what I believe: Someone else's beliefs - even the backward, despicable ones - don't really hurt anyone."


there's so much wrong with that statement I hardly know where to begin.

I've GOT TO get out of this place.


Here's the thing: isn't this sort of like the tobacco industry making anti-smoking ads?