Archive for the ‘What is wrong with people?’ Category

Going to the Dogs

October 14th, 2013 by Suzanne | 4 Comments | Filed in Asshole idiots, other rants, What is wrong with people?

I feel the same way about dogs as I do Stephen King novels*: I like them, but they scare me. My dog phobia probably stems from the time I was about four or five** and I was petting my great uncle’s dog, Lucky. Lucky was one of those curly haired dogs with a mustache that I currently like (from a distance). Everyone talked about what a good dog Lucky was, and that was true until he jumped up and ripped open my face in the space between my lip and nose.

There was some speculation that Lucky was not meaning to bite me, but that in his eagerness to lick my face off, his tooth snagged my skin. Regardless of the reason (and Lucky did not fill us in), I was rushed to the emergency room, and Lucky was ushered into a corner, yelled at, and I think hit repeatedly with a newspaper. Fortunately for both of us, there was no permanent damage except psychological scarring that makes me like dogs from a distance.

Anyway, I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately because of the number of douche bag humans who let their dogs run free in Central Park. Two Saturdays ago, I watched a look of complete terror overtake a jogger’s face as an off-leash large dog charged her and the dog’s owner giggled. About 40 minutes later, another leashless, medium-size dog darted right in front of me then stopped suddenly as I was running. I almost slammed into the animal and flipped over. At least the owner sheepishly apologized. This was the third time in two weeks that I almost fell over an out-of-control dog. I’ll also never forget the fuckface who was playing catch with her golden retriever during the New York City Half Marathon: of course the ball got into a crowd, and there was a small amount of mayhem.

The other runner and I were lucky. A few months ago, a woman riding her bike flipped over a dog as it darted in front of her while chasing a squirrel. In the ensuing news article, several dog owners justified letting their animals run wild because their dogs never get out of hand, except, as one owner said, when her “dog sees a squirrel.” As we all know, Central Park has no squirrels except for the hundreds of squirrels. (Or other dogs that might excite them.) Just ask the biker, who sustained a brain injury.

Gah! I hate people. Please, if you have a dog, and you love your dog, respect the fact that no matter how “good” the beast usually is, at the end of the day, it is still a dog. It has animal instincts and no intrinsic sense of morality. To keep everyone (including the dog) safe, leashes truly are a man’s best friend.

*from the 1970s and 1980s.
**I’m sure my mom will clarify the age in the comments – thanks Mom! (seriously)

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The Three Rs

August 28th, 2013 by Suzanne | 2 Comments | Filed in Asshole idiots, I am a bad person sometimes, other rants, running, What is wrong with people?, writing

I’ve been dwelling lately on the three Rs. You know, running, roaches, and ‘riting. Two of these are not new obsessions, and I wish the third one was not.

Casa de Suzanne y Husband has been, for the last two weeks, down to one roach sighting. This may or may not be attributable to the exterminator who came and squirted chemicals directly onto the wood floor, which I am not going to lie, I am assuming is a chemical and not jizz. The streaks and splotches were a milky white. I was afraid to do anything about them for a while, thinking that maybe the chemicals needed to hang around to make the roaches go away, but then I realized that I would walk on them in my bare feet when it was dark. The idea of exterminating chemicals (or jizz) seeping into my system through the soles of my feet bothered me, so I finally used some paper towels and water, to remove the whatever-it-is.

That said, last Sunday we came home from a delightful weekend in Massachusetts, and there was a dead roach. Nothing says welcome home like a dead roach does. Then this Monday morning, Husband informed me that he terminated the life of a roach by the bathroom sink. Nothing says it is going to be a great week like a live roach in the bathroom!

Maybe all of the brain power I am dedicating to my loathing of roaches and paranoid fears that they will crawl into bed with me at night is the reason that the other Rs have been somewhat lacking. I decided in late July that I needed a vacation from my novel, so no writing has been done. However, I recently had some very helpful chats with friends whose reading tastes I admire. These conversations went something like, “So, let’s say hypothetically you were reading a book set in Warsaw in the 1930s. If the main character’s girlfriend went to Palestine, do you need me to tell you that he’s sad, or can I just show it by having him nearly cut off his fingers at work (he’s a butcher) and going to bars every night to get wasted?” (Answer: Must also tell a little bit.)

The running, which in the past has often led me to great ideas for the book, also has not been so good. First, it is kind of hot. I am a finicky runner. I don’t like running if the sun is out and it is warmer than 60 degrees; if it is humid; and/or the park is full of fucking assholes riding bikes going the wrong direction in the lane clearly set aside for pedestrians. All three conditions have unfortunately been present. Perhaps this is why the writing ideas are not flowing – I’m too busy thinking about grabbing a stick and jamming it into the spokes of said fucking asshole bikers. I worry a bit about my sociopathic response. Hence, the runs are not relaxing, either. On the other hand, I had two great treadmill runs this week, so I can’t really complain.

Cheers!

Current Obsessions

July 14th, 2013 by Suzanne | 2 Comments | Filed in Asshole idiots, fun trips, Jewishness, mortification, random, those were the days, What is wrong with people?, writing, yummy eats

A list:

  • Running
  • Kale, especially in smoothies
  • Warsaw, then and now
  • Yiddishkeit
  • House Hunters International
  • Love It or List It
  • Push ups, rower sit ups, and planks
  • My immediate, short-term, and long-term future
  • Air conditioning
  • The ongoing insistence of Americans to spit in the face of our Constitution and all the wonderful documents for democracy we have that we proudly, continually fail to live up to
  • Finishing my novel before the end of the year (preferably, but unlikely, by the end of October
  • Berries
  • Foreigner, Journey, and REO Speedwagon
  • “I love rock ‘n’ roll/Put another dime in the juke box, baby”
  • Costco
  • London, England

And I wonder why I have a hard time sleeping…

The Aborted Moderate Republican

May 24th, 2013 by Suzanne | 2 Comments | Filed in Asshole idiots, Damn, mortification, What is wrong with people?

On my way to a training in East Harlem yesterday morning, I passed a store called “Home and Baby Jam Thrift.” My mind immediately went to a dark place, and I thought, “Jam made from babies? That’s disgusting. Everyone knows that the bones of babies are too hard to grind into jam. Fetus jam is SO much better.” I laughed in my head.

Not long after that, I saw an article in Mother Jones about a woman arrested after delivering a stillborn infant. It seems that she was a drug addict who used drugs, and therefore was charged with manslaughter. Chills ran down my spine. If a woman who delivers a stillborn or has a miscarriage can be charged with manslaughter because someone decided that her behavior “killed” the fetus, what is next? If someone ate unpasteurized cheese or had a sip of wine while pregnant, could she be arrested for reckless endangerment? And is not the logical conclusion of such insanity that anyone who miscarries is arrested because clearly her body took another life?

A few years ago, I remember reading an article about some law officials who found a clump of miscarried matter in a sewer and launched a hunt for the woman who miscarried. They wanted to know why. (I can’t find this article, but I am pretty sure that I blogged about it here or on BlogHer.) I don’t think criminal penalties for miscarriages are so far-fetched in a world of “fetal personhood.”

Anyway, I posted a link to the Mother Jones story on Facebook. One of my friends, who I have known for years and always enjoyed even though we did not see eye to eye on everything, posted a comment comparing the criminalization of miscarriages to NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg passing legislation banning the sale of extra large (like 64 oz) sugary drinks in settings regulated by the Department of Health (i.e. – restaurants that could just refill a smaller cup however many times a patron wants until he/she drank 64 oz). I was shocked by how he trivialized this manner. It also reminded me that he had made a few other squirrelly comments on my FB in the last few months, so I decided to email him and see what was up.

Long story long, his response shocked me. The government, he explained to me, was trying to control every aspect of our lives. Abortion is just one of them. Next we will have kids taken away from us if they are overweight. If adults don’t eat what we are told is good for us, and exercise 60 minutes a day, we will be sent to “internment fatty camps for re-education.” He reminded me, after this tirade (which also included excoriating the press for giving Obama a free pass on his misdeeds because he’s black), that he and I still share a lot of basic values.

It’s kind of true. We both are pro-choice. I don’t like this crazy obsession with obesity. I think it is overkill, and if there is a problem, throwing it on individuals is not going to solve what is a systemic failure of producing affordable healthy food. But from there we live on different planets. And this is not the first time this has happened to friends of mine. I think they are interesting, reasonable people who I share a common ground with, and then in the last few years, they began watching FoxNews and have become raving lunatics. Maybe people can say that the Bush admin made me into a raving lunatic, but I never went this far, believing that government agents would force families to raise their children in one way or take them away. And sadly I have learned from my AP Poli Sci journals that my basic opinions have not changed at all since I was 18 years old. So it isn’t me.

The political scene in the US has shifted. Maybe there are no moderate Republicans any more because we’ve moved so dramatically to the right that the moderate Republicans are actually Democrats. Not even conservative Democrats, either. Just Democrats. I can imagine that I would become crazy too if I had my identity as a Democrat stolen from me by a dramatic shift to the left. If there are no moderate Republicans left these days, it’s because their party aborted them. Sad.

Why Tell the Truth When You Can “Mischaracterize”?

August 16th, 2012 by Suzanne | 2 Comments | Filed in Asshole idiots, evil, other rants, What is wrong with people?

My aunt, who was a dedicated teacher serving very low-income children in the Chicago area before she retired this year and is now an amazing activist to preserve quality public school education in the face of the insane attacks of the right-wing (and even super left-wing) nutters, sent me a link to a post by NYC Educator. NYC Educator had the privilege of interviewing Micah Lasher, the voice of Students First NY on Twitter. (Students First NY is a group that somehow believes that eliminating teachers’ unions will magically solve all the problems in public education.) Here’s what my pal had to say:

“It’s our policy to mischaracterize union positions, but to do so in a straightforward fashion… Furthermore,” Lasher continued, “the attack on Campbell Brown is overtly sexist. Brown is a woman, and it’s clear that anyone who criticizes her must hate women. Furthermore, Brown is a parent, so anyone who questions her motives hates parents too.”

So, it seems that it is the policy of Students First NY to lie so that people will endorse their position. That sort of says something about how not compelling their arguments are to most people. Pretty much when I want to convince people to agree with me, I just lay out the facts. I don’t need to alter the information. It speaks for itself, and if it doesn’t, well, then maybe whatever I am arguing should not be done. Right? How is lying to get your outcome ever acceptable?

The next statement is so over-the-top hilariously fucked up I’m not even sure I should bother saying anything. however, it reminds me of a disturbing conversation I had recently with a friend who is a “socially liberal” Republican. After I fretted about three horrendous laws that are severely restricting women’s access to abortion and birth control services (and if you ever want to meet a group of people who outright lie to get people to vote their side, just check out the anti-choice movement, but that is another story…), he told me that there is no Republican War on Women because some of the Republicans who passed the evil laws were women.

Really? If I have learned anything in my 36 years on this earth, it is that women often do things that hurt other women, but benefit themselves. Period. The idea that women cannot perpetrate harmful acts against women is ludicrous. Same goes for parents.

I suppose if all this were true, there would be no need to “mischaracterize” other people’s statements and actions “in a straightforward fashion,” would there be? Actually, just reading that they think they can misconstrue what was said or done and call it straightforward would be hilarious if this was not the predominant mode of nutjob political discourse these days.

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COYOTE C (Cast Off Your Old Tired Exercise Clothes)

May 6th, 2012 by Suzanne | 1 Comment | Filed in fashion Suzanne-style, other rants, random, What is wrong with people?

Two posts ago, I wrote about my idea for a fundraiser that I think would be great for early childhood programs in New York. Then, while folding my laundry this afternoon, I had another idea: I should forget working in the nonprofit world and start my own women’s fitness clothing line.

Certainly there are many options out there for women’s exercise clothes. Yet somehow none seem to be made to meet my needs. A long time ago, I wrote a rant about how fitness pants and shorts for women rarely have pockets. I continue my quest to find bottoms that have pockets that can fit my keys, emergency cash, ID, Kleenex, and gels. Men’s bottoms, unless they are tiny jogging shorts, always come with deep pockets. I still do not understand why women’s do not. Forget my long list of things I need when I run – doesn’t everyone at minimum need a place for keys and ID? Sometimes women’s shorts have key pockets or I’ve found a rare pair of pants with a pocket that could fit key, my ID, and cash. Yet most women’s bottoms have no pockets at all.

Also, the length of women’s shorts tend to vary between super short and pretty short. I need some serious fabric between my thighs or they chafe. Why are shorts always so damn short? Men not only get pockets, but they have a number of lengths to choose from when selecting shorts. (I did notice a few pair of what I consider normal length shorts at Title IX, but of course only one pair had pockets. Also every pair was over $50, which reminds me that men’s shorts also tend to be around $30 or less. And include pockets.) Since I am short, sometimes I can get away with extra large boys shorts. Incidentally, those are fairly cheap and come with pockets, since obviously boys have important things to carry when exercising but women do not.

Which brings me to tops. Men’s tops can be form fitting or boxy. Almost all women’s tops, especially the kind that are supposed to wick away sweat, are form fitting. I seriously do not need my pooch revealed through these tops. I don’t want to feel super self-conscious when I run because my gut is bouncing around for the world to see. I want to hide the damn thing is a loose shirt. Supposedly, the tops are tight to help wick the sweat away, but Husband buys moisture wicking shirts all the time that are not meant to cling to his body and they seem to work just fine. Uh huh.

So, while folding my laundry, I thought I should start my own line of women’s fitness clothing. All damn bottoms will come with pockets. The pockets will be deep or have zippers. They will come in a variety of lengths and sizes. Nothing will be form fitting, just loose and comfy. The company will be called COYOTE C.* I just need a shitload of capital and a manufacturer and someone who knows how to design clothes (with pockets)…

*(Cast Off Your Old Tired Exercise Clothes, which I admit is a total rip off of the amazing sex workers’ rights organization, COYOTE – Cast Off Your Old Tired Ethics, but I like it. It sounds inspiring. Coyotes are fast and not to be trifled with. They will bite your face off if your fuck with them. And I understand that they are fond of pockets.)

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“One Prozac to Go, Please”

January 12th, 2012 by Suzanne | 1 Comment | Filed in random, What is wrong with people?

This project of retyping entries I made in a journal I kept for my AP Political Science class when I was 18 is definitely interesting in terms of seeing how things have not changed so much in almost two decades, including me. Oy vey!

March 29, 1994

OK, I’ve been bad – I admit it! I just haven’t been keeping up too much on current events outside the high school social circuit. But, if you want to hear any of the latest gossip, I could easily fill you in on many juicy tales!*

At any rate, a couple of weeks ago (I think – maybe it was earlier?), Newsweek had another cover story about Prozac. What scared me about it was the frequency in which it is prescribed, especially by general practitioners. I don’t want to imply that family doctors don’t know what they’re doing, but why are they writing prescriptions that psychiatrists should? What’s the point of having a psychiatrist when you can go to you GP and get a drug to “solve” your problems?

The problem with Prozacmania is manifold. First of all, if one is clinically depressed, he should see someone in addition to taking a drug. That’s why family doctors shouldn’t be giving them out like candy, and those types of doctors can’t help in that way. Second, Prozac will NOT work unless you are depressed because of chemical deficiencies. What happens in depressed people is the tips of the nerves in their brains often become less stunted and less sensitive; they are therefore less able to receive neurological transmissions. Psychiatrists aren’t sure if this imbalance causes depression, or depression causes this imbalance. (The result is the same, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.) What Prozac does is fix the tips of the nerves so that they can receive impulses and transmissions again. Hence, a Prozac patient is now at a neutral level; he is not happy nor depressed as a result of medication.

People, however, somehow have the idea that Prozac will make them happy all the time. It won’t. All it does is even out the chemicals in the brain. If a person is depressed, not as a result of a chemical imbalance, but just depressed because everyone gets depressed sometimes, Prozac doesn’t help. Besides, Prozac takes about 4 weeks before it can “work.” It also stays in your system for several weeks after you stop taking it.

I can’t understand why so many people love Prozac so much. I used to take Prozac and it did NOTHING for me. As far as I know, I did not have any chemical imbalance but I was depressed because my life sucked. Now, how was a pill supposed to change that? If I wanted a drug to make me happy, I would have used cocaine or marijuana (why aren’t those prescribed?) or something, not Prozac. I’ll tell you what Prozac did do – it helped erase a large part of my short-term memory. While I was on it, I could barely have a coherent conversation with anyone; my mind was completely unfocused, and I tended to ramble from one subject to the next. Even now, almost 2 years later, I can’t remember things that the short term memory is supposed to keep track of.

I just don’t understand why so many people WANT to get on Prozac. I was forced into taking it and eventually just refused to keep taking it when it didn’t help. People are only asking for trouble when they take such strong drugs for no good reason. I urge greater restraint – and more restrictions – in using such a powerful drug.

*My teacher’s comment: “Oh brother!”

Since You’ve Been Gone

January 7th, 2012 by Suzanne | No Comments | Filed in Asshole idiots, bad puns, What is wrong with people?

I kind of liked Kelly Clarkson. Her songs are snappy. She didn’t have anything handed to her on a silver platter. She’s cute. She weighs a little more than your average lady pop star and when critics snipe at her weight, she ignores them. I find that very admirable. And then…

She said she loves Ron Paul.*

Why, Kelly Clarkson, why? She later defended her statement, noting that she doesn’t agree with everything Paul stands for. She said, “I do not support racism. I support gay rights, straight rights, women’s rights, men’s rights, white/black/purple/orange rights”. That is all very nice except that Paul kind of is adamantly opposed to all of those things (minus the men’s rights). Clarkson may like that he stands for less government interference, except that he stands for the highest levels government interference in the most private of realms. So I just don’t get it. It makes me think that Clarkson just doesn’t want to pay her fair share of taxes to support a fair and just society. If that’s the case, I’m super disappointed.

Once Ron Paul and his dangerous, fundamental-minded ilk are gone, I will breathe for the first time in a long time. Until then, Clarkson is gone from my list of neat celebrities.

*Although for a little while I was confused and thought she endorsed Rick Santorum, which would be even worse since we opposes all forms of birth control, but still…

“Never Again”

December 14th, 2011 by Suzanne | 3 Comments | Filed in Asshole idiots, evil, other rants, those were the days, What is wrong with people?

From the AP Poli Sci journal:

Feb. 6, 1994

At the end of World War II, someone promised that “never again” would there be a holocaust like the one that just ended. At the end of World War II, someone invented the word “genocide” to describe what had happened. Yesterday, 68 Bosnians were killed and 200 more injured when a market was bombed. “Ethnic cleansing” the Serbs and Croats call it. Not very much is being done to stop it.

Steven Spielberg has come out with his masterpiece “Schindler’s List.” He said in an interview that he hoped that people would be moved to action by it. He said that what is happening in Bosnia now, this “ethnic cleansing,” is genocide. “Never again” doesn’t mean that we will never allow another JEWISH holocaust, it means that we should never allow genocide again. Period.

Someone – a priest I think it was – wrote a poem. He said, “When they came to take away the Jews, I said nothing.” It continues about how they kept coming back to take more and more groups, and still he said nothing. It ends with, “Then they came to take away me, and nobody said anything.” The Talmud says, “He who saves one life saves the world entire.” Spielberg said that he hopes that “Schindler’s List” would wake the world, or just one person eve. Because one person makes a difference sometimes.

When I think about what happens in Bosnia, I cry. I see my family’s experience. I see people in trouble and the world turning their backs on them. When I think about Bosnia, I get angry. There people want democracy. The world claims to fight for democracy. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, a NONDEMOCRATIC country, we wasted no time getting our asses over there to “defend democracy.” Huh?!? Nice try. We just needed to defend our oil interests. We then stood by as the Iraqis slaughtered the Kurds, even though we provoked it. Ah, but silly me! I forgot that oil means more than human life. (Where are all the “pro-life” forces now?)

Silly me! I forgot that some people count more than others. I forgot that “never again” meant, “Well, only if we stand to profit from it.” What a beautiful world we live in!

I AM PRO-LIFE

December 13th, 2011 by Suzanne | 2 Comments | Filed in Asshole idiots, Damn, evil, other rants, those were the days, What is wrong with people?

From the journal I kept for AP Poli Sci, and I am glad that my thinking is a little more sophisticated now…

Feb. 3, 1994

19 kids found living in horrible conditions, fighting for food with the dog, crawling with cockroaches, etc.* The DCFS did nothing. My [relative] is a teacher in [a low-income suburb]. She told me that she knows of other children who live in similar situations. She told me that it recently took DCFS over SIX MONTHS to get one of her students removed from the CRACK HOUSE he lived in with his crack-addicted parents. What is going on here?!?

I’m so angry. I am also very bitter. So many issues are relevant, even contributing to, this disgusting abuse and neglect of kids. My relative pointed out two things. First, she said, DCFS is stuffed with too many burned out workers and people “who just don’t give a shit.” Second, she thinks that many families are not adequately taken care of because they are black. She feels the DCFS lets more bad things happen because they don’t care what happens to black children. I think that a lot of the mistakes DCFS makes is due to the screwy philosophiy that some members hold. I read a quote from a DCFS caseworker in some magazine (for the life of me I can’t remember which one) a while ago. He said that they feel it is more traumatizing for a child to be taken out of an abusive situation than to leave him with the ones he loves and is familiar with. Hmmm… when people who are in charge of protecting children from harm think such perverse, backwards theories, it’s amazing that anything gets done!

What makes me angriest, however, is the so-called “pro-lifers.” If they are so concerned about protecting life, where are they when children are forced to live under the poverty line, in misery, surrounded by drugs, gangs, prostitutes, and god knows what else?!? Are they down there working to clean up the neighborhoods? Are they clamoring for more health care benefits for these kids, better schools, better standards of living? Are they fighting for day care so that the women forced to bear children they don’t want can go to work to earn a living? Do they want to provide welfare so that mothers can stay home and care for their unwanted children? Are they adopting every single child who is born unwanted? If so, why are there more than 500,000 kids available for adoption that no one is taking? If 1.5 more children, unwanted by anyone, hated by society, are born EACH YEAR, where are they going to go?

Yes, all of this ties in to the 19 children who were found in their own hell. Because until our society is ready to care for every child who is born, we have no right to demand that women bear them.

PS – let’s not forget that poor women should not be able to have abortion because they can’t afford it. After all, they are the least able to raise children – with no resources, no education, small housing, etc. Women who can afford abortions are unaffected by the Hyde Amendment are allowed to plan their families. They can stop having children whenever they choose. (They also have better access to birth control.) Oh, never mind! I’m so frustrated!!!

*http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/1994/04/24/why-leave-children-with-bad-parents.html