For decades, North Carolina’s economy thrived largely due to its relatively moderate government and its relatively well educated population compared to its neighbors. The current Republican administration seems determined to do away with both. They have apparently determined that the best way to stay in power is to keep everyone ignorant and poor by destroying public education and through backward social legislation that scares off they very types of businesses and professions that might actually build the economy.
When I moved back here from California eleven years ago, I was pretty happy to be back in the “sane” part of the South. I didn’t realize I’d gotten here just in time for the birth of a new Mississippi. Ad campaigns notwithstanding, North Carolina is starting to feel a lot less like home.
I’ll stay, mainly because I have a pretty good life and a really good job, and because I want to piss off the assholes who have taken over a state that may not have been perfect but that used to be a hell of a lot better than it is now. Staying will be my own little way of telling Phil Berger and his mob to bite me.
It’s kind of hard to curate posts that are less than a year old, but I tried. This is the final year to be covered in my “twenty years” retrospective. I may talk about the actual anniversary tomorrow and try to draw some broad conclusions. Or I may not. You’ll have to check back by to see which it is.
In 2009, I got my master’s, got my first professional library job, thought a lot about cities, and bought a house in Pittsburgh. It was perhaps a more interesting year than I gave it credit for at the time. Anniversary in six days. Highlights from 2009 below.
I’m almost caught up from my vacation break and so I can return to one year a day soon The anniversary happens on 13 January.
In 2004, the trend toward daily updates with no substantial essays continued, making the site more of a journal than a reflective space. Thus it’s harder to pick “highlights” as such and the ones I chose don’t really show what was on my mind quite so well as in earlier years. Anyway, here are the ones I chose, such as they are.
Twelve days till the big anniversary, and fourteen years to cover because I missed a couple of days.
2002 was all about love and mushiness, until September, when it became all about love and cohabitation. But I occasionally managed to write about other things, too. In retrospect, I’m not wild about some of it, but most of it holds up OK.
So did anyone else see that weird game show on CNN last night where all the crazy people were ganging up on the one loudmouthed jerk with the bizarre haircut?
I didn’t catch much of it. Who won the new Buick?
Thirty years ago, I was working part time as a DJ in a gay bar. I enjoyed it because I was very into music and I was especially happy about getting to play something other than the miserable disco schlock that is mandatory in 99.25% of all American gay bars.
One night, several heterosexual friends came by to hear me. Two of these friends were a couple (of the male-female variety, obviously). At some point during the evening, they kissed. And that finally pushed my boss over the edge. He was already offended by their very presence in the place and when they had the audacity to engage in a very tame public display of affection, he came up to the booth to tell me he thought they should leave.
I was appalled that a fairly sophisticated gay man would not ultimately realize the irony and hypocrisy involved in his actions. Ethically, I felt that I could no longer work for him.
So I quit.
That very night.
You see, that’s what you do when you face such moral outrage that you can no longer justify doing your job.
And that’s what Kim Davis needs to learn. She needs to do the job she swore an oath that she would do. Or she needs to quit. Right now.
For her to continue accepting her salary amounts to theft and misappropriation of public funds. For her to continue refusing to do her job amounts to criminal misconduct. Her beliefs don’t matter one infinitesimal damn. She’s free to believe whatever she likes. She is not, however, free to continue collecting her salary while not doing her job.
A lot has been written today about the hypocrisy of “sanctity of marriage” claims being made by a woman who has been married four times and divorced three, and who seems never to have cared very much whether or not her children were fathered by her husband at the time. It’s a fair criticism, but one that her supporters feel is a moot point since her sins happened before she was “washed in the blood” (or in the Holy Windex). Too many conservative Christians use the “not perfect, just forgiven” excuse as a way of refusing to take responsibility for any of their own actions, which is particularly ironic in that so many of these same conservatives very much stress the concept of personal responsibility in others.
But even being the biggest hypocrite on the face of the earth would not disqualify Kim Davis from keeping her job–although her double (triple? quadruple?) standard does make her a pretty wretched human being.
What disqualifies Kim Davis from keeping her job is the fact that she refuses to do it.
Maybe it’s because it was fairly close (Roanoke is about a hundred miles away), or maybe it’s because I’ve known a fair number of reporters in my time, or maybe it’s because I’ve known a lot of people who work in broadcasting, but this morning’s shootings are getting to me more than these things usually do.
And what really disturbs me here is that I just typed “more than these things usually do” as if random gun violence were a pretty regular and otherwise unremarkable thing. Which, of course, it is here in America, where every crackpot gun nut in the trailer park (or on the golf course) believes himself to be a one-man “well-regulated militia.”
There’s no way in hell you can convince me that we’re going to solve this problem by arming even more people. And the next person who tries to compare this to the shootings in Charleston may get smacked for being an idiot with whom I no longer feel the need to be patient or tolerant.