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Shakesville’s Melissa McEwan is pissed. Really pissed. Rowsed from her starry-eyed stupor of early ’09,  she now has this to say:

And this mealy-mouthed bullshit—”I laid out a very simple principle, which is this is a health care bill, not an abortion bill”—is contemptibly craven. I’m absolutely fucking livid that a man who had the audacity to claim to be a champion of women’s right to choose would abandon women in this way. Not that I’m surprised. Of course I’m not surprised. I always knew this was bullshit. A lack of surprise makes me no less furious about the depth of his callous disregard for women.

And of course, I don’t disagree with her, though I find her claim that she “always knew this was bullshit” specious at best, considering that at least for awhile there Shakesville’s tone shifted from one that was unapologeticly feminist-centred to one that manipulated people into voting for Obama.

But I did find it funny (in a cosmic kind of way) that the timing of this particular little revelation so neatly coincides with the anniversary of the infamous Great Expectations thread of November 08, where regular Shakers were attacked and driven away from the community for harshing on Melissa’s hopium buzz. The timing simply too apropos, I was compelled to comment, eliciting a completely predictable response (squawks of inappropriate commenting, bitter behaviour, rewriting history, etc). Equally predictable was Melissa’s deletion of my follow-up comment – luckily, I grabbed a screencap of it just in case the two-dozen people who’ve clicked through from there are curious:


However, I feel I need to issue a retraction: I admit it, I was wrong. In the ensuing months of ridiculously manipulativeshakedowns” of the Shakesville community, Paul the Spud (a social worker) did not encourage a woman on disability to forward her money onto Melissa (a relatively well-off middle class woman with a house of her own and a husband who makes enough to support her writing on the blog full time).

No, he encouraged a single mother living off child support to do it:

Chryslin · 6 months ago

All I had on my child support card was $5.00, but that should change soon, so just keep the reminders coming and I promise to raise the amount next time. I would hate to lose this forum and I know far too well what it’s like to live on far too little.

PaultheSpud · 6 months ago

Chryslin, I don’t want to speak for Melissa, but I do know that “no amount is too small.” Like she said earlier, if everyone that read the blog donated a buck, that would take care of everything. I know any amount donated is appreciated. 🙂 And I thank you for donating.

Which, on a feminist blog, was one of the more memorable moments of blogging history I’ve ever seen. As a daughter of a single mother who subsisted on child support, I would like to advocate on record that Shakers in this situation please keep their money for themselves; they work far, far harder than Melissa does.

(Meanwhile, the person on disability I was thinking of simply pledged their funds to resounding silence here. No one exactly “encouraged “them, but no one really discouraged them either. )


The only theory I can come up with? Is that the New York Times is trying to single-handedly launch a recreation of the Russian Revolution on American soil.

Homegirl Zuzu, in November:

There’s been a great deal of excitement about Barack Obama’s plans to reverse or do away with a good number of Bush’s executive orders and signing statements.  This is a sign of his progressivism! some say.  This is hope for the future! others say.  Let’s just all move on and not question him anymore! still others say.

The idea, apparently, is that by signaling (not coming out and saying, mind, but signaling through surrogates) that he intends to reverse, say, the Global Gag Rule, Obama is showing his progressive bona fides, and that therefore any cynicism about him based on the way he conducted his campaign (you know, leveraging misogyny and homophobia and using a lot of right-wing anti-choice framing and god-talk) or on the way he’s conducting his transition (16 men and 4 women on his transition team, LARRY FREAKING SUMMERS as a serious choice for Treasury) is unwarranted. […]


Listen, if you think that reversing the Global Gag Rule is a sign of great progressivism, I have news for you:  It’s not.  It’s basically returning the country’s policy to where it was in 1984, 24 freakin’ years ago.  It’s the bare fucking minimum I would expect of any goddamned Democrat worth the name in the Oval Office.  Reversing it was Bill Clinton’s very first official act as President, and I don’t see too many people calling him a progressive.

Barack actually didn’t get around to doing it (yet). Of course, some people are so pathetically desperate for crumbs, some weak-ass, all-over-the-map statement with no actual action is considered “pretty damn good.” Pretty damn good. Are you fucking kidding me with this squeeing fangirl shit?

MeanwhileHarry Reid thinks that Republicans may be right in thinking that women are inherently inferior due to their possession of (*gasp*) vaginas, so they’re going to haul out some of that shiny new “post-partisanship” to mull over Lilly Ledbetter, thereby confirming earlier suspicions that “post-partisanship” was code for “Democrats and Republicans Working Together to Fuck Over Women” because, in 2009, we really, really have to have a “discussion” about basic equality.

Back to Zuzu:

Progressivism requires progress, and what Obama is proposing to do with the GGR and other executive orders and signing statements (though his position on the Gitmo trials and torture may not be as strong as originally reported) isn’t actually progress.  It’s restoration.  And not even full restoration, because he can’t, merely by reversing all of Bush’s executive orders, get us back to where we were in January 2001 because so much damage was done through Congress.

So while it’s great that Obama is reviewing all those orders, I remain skeptical.  And I remain skeptical not because my tiny lady-brain has been warped by eight years under Bush, but because I still have great, truly great, expectations for a progressive administration, and I’m not going to settle for some crumbs.

Of course, I’m still confused how anyone ever considered someone who worships fucking Reagan (i.e. “the dude who enacted the Global Gag Rule in the first place“) the next Great Progressive Hope, but wevs, it’s been just that kind of fucked-up year, innit it?

New laptop is here, but since the most recent computerless phase coincided with the return of some of my favourite shows (Greek, I heart you!), I’ve been spending far more time catching up on the last few weeks in mindless entertainment, rather than paying attention to the increasingly depressing economic and political landscape and wistfully thinking about what could have been.

I have also been busy in updating my current machine, and protecting myself from being disconnected from all my news-updateyness in the case of another crash. I used to use a Firefox-based RSS feed program to keep me in the loop with my news and blogs, but what happens when the machine you’ve loaded the browser on goes belly up? You get totes screwed, that’s what happens. And so, I’ve finally jumped on the GoogleReader bandwagon, and have been busily loading RSS feeds from all over the ‘net. And I’m accepting suggestions for interesting new sites, iff’n you have ’em.

In a small bit of cosmic synchronicity, though, I finally checked back in to Things What Things (written by Linda/Miss Alli, formerly of TWOP, currently of NPR’s Monkey See) for the first time in a couple of months. only to see that she’d recently linked to the original That Guy post, the one that I’d read years and years and years ago and of which I was thinking of when I wrote my last post, but couldn’t find in my Google searches, and thus couldn’t link at the bottom of the post. (The post in question is now judiciously linked in my Delicious account, never to be lost again, natch.)

Sars: A close relative of Surely You Don’t Listen To The Corporate Schlock Masquerading As Pop Music These Days You’re Such A Sheep Of Convention Guy.

Alli: Who has no friends.

Sars: But is a close spiritual brother to Tolerate My Obscure and Painful Jazz Collection Guy.

Alli: Oh, and he hangs out at Whole Foods with the Four Horsemen of the Capitalist Apocalypse: I Can Taste The Tears Of The Downtrodden In Every Cup Of Starbucks Coffee Guy, Can’t Read Anything Purchased At A Non-Unionized Bookstore Guy, Guy With A Strange Preoccupation With Trash-Talking Pottery Barn, and Guy Who Thinks The Biggest Problem Facing Today’s Progressive Is Browser Compatibility.

Sars: He’s fighting the real enemy.

Alli: By cleaving to Netscape 4.7.

Sars: Yeah, That Guy. I Am An Endless Series Of Lectures On Organic Produce And The Pharmaceutical Cartel Guy. Also may manifest as What’s Funny About Hemp Clothing? Guy.

Alli: Exactly. And he has no idea that he is actually just as boring as his arch-nemesis, Just Let Me Take This Emergency Conference Call On My Cell Phone Headset While I’m Buying A Sesame Seed Bagel Guy.

Sars: Who is often confused with, but does not share entirely the same genetic coding as, I Incorporate Lines From Wall Street Into My Everyday Speech With No Irony Whatsoever Guy.

Alli: Who is, in turn, often mistaken for Can’t Order A Drink Without Consulting Esquire To See Whether Martinis Are Still Cool This Week Guy.

Sars: ARGH! I cannot abide that guy. And he’s always friends with No, He Likes You, He Just Doesn’t, Um, Talk Much Guy, who usually turns out to be Bitter, Jaded, Bad Poet Who Thinks “Kissing” Means “Drenching A Woman’s Jaw In Saliva” Guy.

Alli: And it’s not like he offers you a towel.

Sars: Of course not. And now, let’s all wave to Has No Sense Of Humor About Getting Salsa On His Pants Guy.

Alli: How can you have no sense of humor about that? It’s salsa! It’s your pants!

Sars: And yet he’s unamused.

Alli: That seems impossible.

Still hilarious.
Of course, as “Stumbles to Starbucks in Oversized Sunglasses and Yoga Pants Whilst Texting on her Pink Blackberry to Order a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte Every Saturday Morning” Girl, “Prefers Cats to Relationships” Girl, and “Writes Angry Anti-Patriarchy Missives On Her Little-Read Blog” Girl, I’m really in no place to judge, am I? Knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom, people. Who are you?

(Other recommended TWT? reading: What Girls Do, and for fellow caffeine-addicts, Random Notes. That cold-pressing coffee technique got me through iced-coffee season at a reasonable budget, through now I need to find a similar fix for the winter, as I don’t have a quick-milk-steaming solution. Yet. )