My Dad: Also my first heckler

I don’t really include a lot of jokes about my dad in my act. He died on December 12, 2012. Yes, that’s correct 12/12/12 in case I ever wanted to try to forget the worst day of my life. Regardless of the date I assure you that every second of it would be firmly burned into my mind like a brand from a hot iron. When I started doing stand up at the end of 2015, almost three years to the day later, I initially shied away from writing material about him, not because I don’t have positive things to say about him but more because I felt disrespectful poking fun at him. However, I’ve learned that in comedy nothing is sacred and limiting yourself in terms of material is a mistake, so I started slowly but surely adding jokes about my dad into my act. After all comedy is in part telling my story and the man isn’t just 50% of my DNA he’s also a massive character in my story.

Before he became my father, he was first a son who tried to smuggle a puppy into his parents’ house. His friend at school had a bulldog and she had puppies and her parents wouldn’t let her keep them all, so he took a young male who has brown in color and named him Rusty. The game was up when my grandfather heard Rusty crying in the basement, but he couldn’t bring himself to make my dad give the dog back. In exchange for this, the dog was solely my dad’s responsibility and one that he shouldered well. My dad was a sucker for animals and I clearly inherited this trait from him. Fast forward a few decades and long car trips involved many stops for our husky Trina but my sister and I had to hold it, “We’re not getting a damn cat,” turned into “Who’s Daddy’s kitty?,” and there are more pictures of Bob the Pug in the house than there are of his children or stepchildren. Just saying.

IMG_0882After successfully smuggling a dog into his parents’ house, he went on to high school then enlisted in the United States Army. He was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne. That means he jumped out of a fully operational aircraft consensually. He didn’t fall. Nobody pushed him. All the respect in the world to our service people, but HOLY CRAP ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! God bless y’all because there’s no way in hell I’d do that. He also crawled under barbed wire while being shot at by machine guns with every third round being a tracer round. Nothing says keep your butt down like watching a tracer round go whizzing by less than an inch above it. I think about that every time I do push-ups. The first joke I wrote about him had to do with this very topic because if I jumped out of a plane you’d have to shove me out and do it far from the ears of the enemy because my screaming would surely give away our position.

After his Honorable Discharge, he went to college and became a teacher. As it turns out, my dad liked kids as much as he liked animals and he helped lots of them and ended up having two of his own.

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I’m going to apologize to my sister now and politely ask her not to punch me in the face for including this photo.

My father was a stubborn man and at some point in his life, my grandfather told him that he hoped he had a kid who was just like him. He thought he dodged that bullet with my sister. Four years later, ta-daaaaaaaaaa! My paternal grandfather died before my sister and I were born, but on July 6, 1982 somewhere in Heaven he was laughing his ass off and he laughed even harder when I became a teenager. There were many times in my childhood when I’m sure my grandfather’s words came back to haunt him. I remember more than once seeing him look at me and just knowing that he wanted so badly to be mad but he couldn’t be because he saw so much of himself in me. That may very well be the only reason I survived to adulthood. I’m actually terrified of having children because my father said the very same thing to me and I’m like the Highlander. In the end there can be only one.

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Yes, those are honor cords and yes he pushed me so that I would earn them.

On his honeymoon with my mom, Dad had a few too many Mai Tais at a Don Ho concert and proceeded to heckle him. Were my father still around to watch me perform, I absolutely believe that he would heckle the crap out of me, no Mai Tais required. Why do I say this? Because every B I brought home should’ve been an A and would’ve been if I had just put my mind to it and studied harder. If I got a C I failed the class. It may have taught me to be hard on myself and hold myself to a high standard and reach for perfection that I know damn right well is not attainable in everything I do, but it also gave me more drive, ambition, and a strong work ethic.

As a high school softball pitcher I heard “Throw strikes!!!,” being shouted from the stands. The second joke I wrote about him had to do with his efforts to teach me how to play golf. I maintain that there are certain things that no father should ever attempt to teach his daughter and golf is most definitely on that list. If it’s not item #1, it’s definitely in the top 5. His sage advice included gems like “Hit the ball straight.” Thank God he pointed that out to me BECAUSE I HAD NO IDEA!!!! It truly is a small miracle that neither of us came home with golf club-shaped bruises.

Dad + Me age 5My first words to him when he was in the hospital were “I’m sorry, Dad. I should’ve been a better kid.” Yes, the Girl Scout, the honor student, the choir girl, the quintessential high school nerd that every teacher loved stood there and wished she’d been a better kid. My sister also pointed out how ridiculous that sounds. Sure, we drove each other crazy. Every kid drives their parents a bit crazy. Every parent drives their kids a bit crazy. My dad pushed my buttons so well because he installed half of them. He also made me driven, stubborn, hard-working, and funny.

 

Wonder Woman: I Wonder what happened to the promotional campaign?

Okay I can’t be the only one who’s noticed that there weren’t very many ads for the Wonder Woman movie until about six weeks before the premiere date. That’s odd right?

Could it be because the idea for a Wonder Woman movie met with resistance from the folks at DC because they felt that they could not make a profitable movie from the Wonder Woman comic franchise? I know, I think it sounds crazy, too. Marvel made Guardians of the Galaxy. The original grossed $773.3 million and Vol. 2 grossed $145 million during its opening weekend. So just to review over $900 million has been made on a movie featuring an anthropomorphic, genetically engineered, cybernetic raccoon and a talking, infantilized tree (Baby Groot is life!). But oh no, DC please continue to tell me how a Wonder Woman movie couldn’t possibly be profitable.

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We are Groot!

Is it sexism? Joss Whedon was once asked to work on the Wonder Woman comic for a particular story arc, but he turned it down because folks at DC wanted to portray Wonder Woman as a bumbling damsel in distress. I guess they weren’t aware that Joss Whedon is also the guy who made Buffy. Someone didn’t do their research. Then again, this is the same publisher who edited out Batwoman’s same sex wedding due to what I can only assume to be lack of intestinal fortitude. However sexism claim is shaky at best.

 

Is it poor logic? Some people seem to follow antiquated logic when it comes to female comic book characters. They seem to think that a movie about a female character couldn’t possibly be successful but nothing could be further from the truth. I can think of three female characters off the top of my head that have made comic publishers millions in book sales: Red Sonya, Black Widow, and Harley Quinn. Let’s think about this: if people are willing to pay to read the comics then maybe, just maybe, THEY’LL PAY TO SEE THE FREAKIN’ MOVIE! So maybe just maybe you should ADVERTISE THE FREAKIN’ THING!

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Is it too much to ask for this to be an actual scene in the movie?

After all, how can people pay to see a movie when they don’t know it exists or when it premieres? Oh I know what you’re thinking: the true fans will know. Yes, but what about the casual fans? What about people who might be new to the franchise? Why would you those two markets untapped? It just doesn’t make business sense especially in a Hollywood that judges the profitability of a movie or movie franchise based solely on opening weekend domestic ticket sales. And yes, I am completely aware of exactly how stupid that sounds but sadly, it is the truth. Movies live and die by opening weekend domestic sales even though it’s been proven time and again that a movie that flopped in its opening weekend domestically generated millions of dollars in foreign markets and that’s not even factoring in Blu-ray sales or On-Demand and RedBox rentals. It kind of makes you think that maybe, someone doesn’t want the Wonder Woman movie to be successful.

Speculation and conjecture aside, what little I’ve seen of the trailers gives me hope that the movie will actually do the character Justice (pun absolutely intended). My niece is six and really likes Wonder Woman as do thousands of other little girls. It would really be a shame to subject them and the rest of us to a movie where she’s nothing more than arm candy to a male character. In the meantime I’ll continue looking forward to the various Marvel properties coming out, a Harley Quinn spin-off, and of course Justice League.

Rejected NJ Puppy Mill Law: Proof that Chris Christie Would in Fact Kick Your Puppy

 

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Do NOT let this man near your pets!

Chris Christie rejected a law that would have banned the sale of animals from puppy or kitten mills in the state of New Jersey and proposed stricter penalties for breeders cited for USDA violations. He stated that the proposed law “goes too far.” I have a little message for Mr. Christie:

 

Mr. Governor, since you tend to use blunt language that matches your wit I’m going to put this in a way you’ll be sure to understand. Are you fucking kidding me? How can you say that a law to protect defenseless animals from over-breeding, inadequate care, and abuse goes too far?

 

 

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Does this photo go too far?

You claimed that the “three strikes” provision which would have revoked a pet shop or breeder’s license upon being cited for three USDA violations would punish responsible breeders. Mr. Governor, any responsible breeder will tell you that a breeder who has been cited three times for USDA violations is anything but responsible.

 

 

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What about this one?

Puppy mills are illegal in New Jersey, but there are more than 8,000 out of state puppy mills that do business with consumers in the state of New Jersey. You see, Mr. Governor it’s 2017. We have this thing called the Internet and irresponsible breeders use it to conduct their business with consumers in New Jersey.

 

 

 

 

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Look at this dog and tell me you were justified, sir!

How you can support rejecting this bill in a country where overpopulation is the number one killer of animals is beyond me. Every 11 seconds, a healthy animal is put down in an American animal shelter. In the three minutes it took you to read this far, 16 animals have died. By the time you finish reading this entry in its entirety, assuming you even bother to read it since Lord knows your Party doesn’t have the best track record of actually reading the laws it makes decisions on, an additional 22 animals will be dead. Let that sink in for a moment and that will bring the number of animals killed to 39.

 

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Tell me this cat deserved to suffer so consumers can have access to pets.

Your claim that this bill would have “the unintended consequence of restricting consumer access to pets,” is completely unfounded and downright asinine. Consumers can go to their local animal shelter or rescue organization and adopt a pet for an adoption fee that would be much lower than the cost of purchasing from a breeder or pet store. They can then spend the remainder of what they would’ve spent to purchase an animal on appropriate licensing, food, beds, treats, toys, a session with a certified trainer, and a vet visit.

 

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This is not necessary for New Jersey’s economic growth

This spending will stimulate the state’s economy and help eliminate the need for puppy and kitten mills. The state gets revenue and no animals have to be over-bred, abused, or die. It’s a win-win. Adoption would also have the added benefits of freeing up space in overwhelmed shelters and rescues and removing stray animals from the streets of New Jersey making them safer for animals and humans alike.

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Nor is this

I suspect that you might not understand what it is to love and care for animals since you have no pets. I knew there was a reason I didn’t trust you other than your attacks on education funding and your support of Donald Trump. Honestly, sir you are a married man and you have daughters and you still supported Mr. Grab ‘em by the pussy? I guess party politics are more important to you than respect for women. Close any more bridges lately? What? Too soon?

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Or this!

I understand you’re pro-business. You might as well walk around with corporate sponsor badges on your suit like a Nascar driver. I don’t harbor any delusions about the Democratic Party either. Frankly I think you should all wear your special interest sponsor badges. At least then we would know exactly what you stand for. However, when being pro-business also means being pro-animal cruelty that, to use your own words, goes too far. I’d hire the actress from Game of Thrones to follow you around ringing a bell and shouting “Shame!,” but I’d rather save that money to donate to my local animal shelters, rescues, and your political opponents. The day you leave office will be a good day for New Jersey.

Sincerely,

Lynne Emonds

Animal lover, rescue volunteer, stand-up comedian who makes fun of you, and your dissatisfied constituent

New Season of Doctor Who & Class

The wait is finally over! We have a new season of Doctor Who to watch! There’s plenty for Whovians to be excited about with the new season and the stateside debut of the new spinoff Class.

It’s a season of firsts! It is hard to top the first televised inter-species, same sex kiss. Nevertheless, like Elizabeth Warren, the show’s writers persisted. Pearl Mackie is the first non-white woman cast in the role of the Doctor’s companion. I know it’s about damn time and yes, I’m a pasty white woman saying that. Bill Potts is also the first openly gay companion. Take that, Trump voters!

But in all seriousness, score one for diversity. Maybe we can use this to pave the way for the first female Doctor. Dammit if The Master can regenerate into Missy, it can happen. For the record my picks for the first female Doctor would be Tatiana Maslany, Catherine Zeta Jones, Lucy Lawless, or Emma Watson. However if the Doctor MUST remain male, my top picks are Eddie Redmayne and Tom Felton. Get on it, BBC.

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A new Doctor Who spinoff has also premiered stateside. Class is a new series that follows the students and staff of Coal Hill Academy which has been featured on the show since 1963’s An Unearthly Child. It’s a bit darker and grittier than Doctor Who and raises the veil between the everyday world and the things that come through the cracks in the walls of space and time. It’s darker just by virtue of the body count. Seriously I’ve seen two episodes and I can’t be the only one who’s noticed that a crapton of people died.

I have high hopes for this one and I’m not just saying that because we’re about to experience the final season of Orphan Black and I’m desperate to fill the void that’s likely to create in my life. The young cast is pretty talented and the writing is superb so far. My only disappointment is a severe lack of a second Doctor Who spinoff featuring Vastra, Strax, and Jenny. Seriously BBC, get on it!

Zoos and Conservation

There are some within the animal welfare advocacy community (*cough* PeTA *cough*) that feel that all zoos should be shut down and the animals released to the wild. As an advocate for both animal welfare and conservation I respectfully disagree.

Some would have you believe that zoos are terrible places where the animals are mistreated and live out their days in cages while pining for their native lands. Advances in containment, specifically glass technology have allowed zoos to replace the cages with windows. This allows for better viewing and photo opportunities for the public while still being strong enough to contain the animal and allow the animal to feel secure.

Zoo animals are better cared for than most people. The enclosures (notice I did not say cages) are designed by experts to mimic the natural habitats of the animals that occupy them. Keepers provide them with enrichment activities that promote their natural instincts. They’re provided with the best medical care whenever they need it and their nutritional needs are met so well that their diets are probably better than those of most humans.

Zoo animals are captive bred and this is done responsibly. They have no idea what their native lands even look like and have no concept of how to survive in the wild. If we followed PeTA’s logic and released these animals into the wild, they would die. Zoo animals live much longer and have a better quality of life than a fair number of their wild counterparts. It would actually be crueler to release them than it would to continue keeping them in zoos.  At least at the zoo there’s less chance of them dying of disease, no chance of them being killed by a predator or shot by poachers, and no chance of them having their young ripped from them for sale in the illegal black market pet trade. It’s true that there are bad zoos out there that are barely more than illegally kept wild animals inappropriately contained and improperly treated in someone’s back yard. Those places absolutely should be shut down. However there are some zoos commonly referred to as popcorn parks or popcorn zoos that rescue animals that were being kept illegally and improperly by private citizens.

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Bubba also disagrees with PeTA’s position on zoos.

Zoos play an important role in conservation. Ask any wildlife veterinarian or conservation scientist why they do what they do and they’ll probably say that their parents took them to the zoo when they were children and it inspired them to help care for and protect animals and our planet’s ecosystems. Zoos maintain a collection of animals, some of which are critically endangered as a way to educate the public about these animals and inspire the next generation of conservation scientists, wildlife veterinarians, and activists. Show me a child that has gotten close to a lion in a zoo and I’ll show you a child who will be less likely to illegally kill a wild lion in a trophy hunt. Zoos foster respect for all life and when you foster that type of respect, you foster a generation of people who find the idea of asking an animal to die so that you can have a trophy completely abhorrent. Many zoos have partnered with wildlife conservation organizations and have even helped to re-introduce several species that were formerly extinct back into the wild. The Philadelphia Zoo partners with The Snow Leopard Trust, Giant Otters in Brazil, Polar Bears International, and the International Rhino Foundation.

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Exhibit A

PeTA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. If you can still agree with PeTA and their demands to shut down all zoos after being presented with this information, then I seriously question your ethics. I would also point out that the “e” on all of PeTA’s branding, the letter that stands for “ethical” is lower case. Kind of says something about how important ethics are to them doesn’t it?

 

 

If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know about PeTA’s “ethics,” then I urge you to research their stance on the Vicktory dogs that were rescued from Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring (and yes, dammit it was his dog fighting no matter what he or his lawyers try to tell you). To this day PeTA insists that all of those dogs should have been euthanized outright instead of being rescued by Best Friends Animal Society. In fact they insist that all dogs seized in dog fighting cases should be put down no questions asked.

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PeTA would’ve euthanized this dog. Instead he’s bringing comfort to sick children and their families.

Still not convinced? Check their stance on Breed Specific Legislation, an ineffectual set of laws that lead to the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of innocent dogs every year. Yep! PeTA supports that crap. They feel that pit bulls are a breed in crisis and BSL will stop them from being bred. They want to stop them from being bred because thousands of them are dying in shelters every year due to lack of homes. BSL has made no impact on the breeding of these animals and they’re dying in shelters because BSL is LEAVING THEM WITH NO HOMES TO GO TO!!!!! How can someone adopt a dog when it is illegal for them to have that designation (Pit bull is a designation, not a breed) of dog where they live? (If you’re interested in reading my full rant regarding BSL click here) I find an organization that claims to represent the best interests of all animals, but advocates for the euthanasia of innocent dogs and discriminatory legislation pretty damn unethical.

Hypocrisy, thy name is PeTA. By advocating for the closure of all zoos, PeTA’s trying to kill the very cause they claim to support. If they were truly for the ethical treatment of animals, they wouldn’t advocate for euthanasia unless quality of life was nil and they’d oppose BSL. Maybe someone should’ve taken them to the zoo when they were kids.

The Things We Fear Because of Science Fiction

The world of science fiction can be a magical place full of wonderful things we’ve never dreamed possible. It can also be a deeply terrifying place where seemingly innocuous objects are turned into instruments of untold horror and destruction.

The Harry Potter universe has a few examples.

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If this started speaking with my mom’s voice, I’d be scarred for life.

Howlers. Imagine being away at boarding school and receiving a letter from mom and dad. Nice huh? Well imagine if that letter opens itself and starts shouting at you in your mom or dad’s voice right then and there in front of all your friends. Not so nice now, is it? I thank God every day that my mom can’t send howlers. I’d get a ton of them from my stand-up act alone.

 

 

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Horcruxes. On the surface they’re just ordinary objects but inside there’s a piece of someone’s soul. Even worse is the way they’re made. To make a horcrux, you have to split your soul into pieces. How do you split your soul? Oh just by killing an innocent person in cold blood. Talk about off-putting.

 

 

 

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Yet another reason I dislike winter

Then there’s Doctor Who, or the Whoniverse if you will. There are several seemingly ordinary things I’m now terrified of because of Doctor Who. Statues, snowmen, people repeating everything someone says, and small black boxes to name a few.

 

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This however is not a scary visual

The terror doesn’t end at ordinary objects. There are also the things that happen all the time that we never noticed before but now find deeply terrifying because of Sci-fi show X. Take Supernatural for example. Because of Supernatural, every time a light flickers in my apartment I go running to the kitchen to grab the salt. The same is true every time I hear the pipes make noises or really any time there’s a noise and I’m home by myself. For the record, hell no I don’t go investigating a noise. If some evil spirit wants me the bastard can come and get me. I sometimes wonder how the people at the beginning of the episodes can be so stupid. You never investigate a noise! That’s a rookie mistake!

Still you have to wonder if it scares us, why do we continue watching? And for that matter, why does it scare us so much? I ran a tabletop roleplaying game made by White Wolf as part of their World of Darkness universe called Vampire the Requiem. Something I read in the player’s guide has always stuck with me.

 

The main crux of the World of Darkness is the way it peels back the veil on the everyday world and shows us the darkness that lives underneath. It’s a universe where your next door neighbor could be a werewolf or your high school principle could be a demon. Even though the idea of your neighbor morphing into a huge, hair-covered beast is terrifying, it can also be fascinating to explore the darker reaches of our imaginations and our obsession with the things that go bump in the night.

The reason that we continue watching is then exactly the same as the reason we’re so afraid. There are things in this world that happen that we can’t explain. There are phenomena that we can’t even begin to understand. That’s what people fear the most: the unknown and science fiction has a way of tapping into that most basic fear that all human beings have. We fear what don’t know or can’t explain. At the same time, it’s human nature to be curious. We continue watching even though it scares us for the same reason that people climb into rockets to explore the farthest reaches of space. Even though it’s unknown and therefore terrifying to us, we still want to know what’s out there. We still seek to understand that which we cannot explain.

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As if I needed another reason to stay out of cemeteries at night

It’s a paradox worthy of an episode of Doctor Who. Even though science fiction plays into humanity’s most basic fear: fear of the unknown, we’re still curious about the unknown and strive to explore it. We keep pressing play because it’s just human nature. Now may we please have more episodes of Doctor Who? I need more ordinary stuff to be scared of.

The War on Nerds Continues: Game of Thrones Season 7 Release Date & Logan

Every war is made up of battles. The thing about battles is that you win some and you lose some. This rule applies to the War on Nerds. In the past few weeks, we’ve won a battle and we’ve lost a battle.

George RR Martin missed his deadline to publish The Winds of Winter early this year. HBO is rubbing salt into that wound by setting the premiere date for Season 7 of Game of Thrones for July 16th instead of the usual April premiere. The season will also be shorter, featuring only seven episodes instead of the eight we’ve grown accustomed to. Just to be clear, we’re waiting three months longer for a season with fewer episodes.

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George RR Martin: sick and brilliant man

I’m all for making sure that we get quality television, but COME ON! If I put George RR Martin in charge of writing my grocery list I’d freakin’ starve to death! I honestly think making us wait is part of his sick genius. It goes hand in hand with killing off our favorite characters. That brilliant, dastardly man!

Okay now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the battle we won and that friends, is Logan. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading now and come on back after you do.

When I first heard it would partly be based off of the Old Man Logan series I was skeptical. Then I saw the trailer which included X-23 (now known in the comics as All New Wolverine) one of my all-time favorite X-Men. That raised the stakes for me. If they didn’t get this film right, I was going to go into full Berserker rage the likes of which have not been seen or felt since X3: The Last Stand. I’m pleased to say that I was not disappointed.

It was damned entertaining. The production design and the settings had a very Western feel to them and it had a level of grit that we haven’t seen in any previous X-Men movies. It had F bombs and they even finally got Berserker rage right!

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If you’re a comic book villain, this may just be the last thing you ever see

They made me nervous with X-23. I didn’t see her foot claws come out until halfway through the movie and let me tell you I breathed a sigh of relief. Her foot claws are a part of what makes her so uniquely badass, so leaving them out would’ve taken me right out of the film on principle alone. Dammit, the character has foot claws in the comics, so she should have them in the movie! It’s not rocket science! It also makes her as effective if not more effective than Wolverine in my opinion. Wolverine’s fighting style is very straight-forward: offensive strikes (and/or slashes) with little to no emphasis on defense. X-23 on the other hand can use more refined attacks and her defensive game is stronger than his by virtue of her foot claws.

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X-23, aka Laura, aka All New Wolverine, aka my homegirl

Now, about her origin story. They got it mostly right. She was created by Weapon X in a lab, but they didn’t talk about why she was a female clone or whose DNA they used with Wolverine’s to create her. For the record, it was because the Y chromosome from Wolverine’s DNA sample was damaged and therefore unable to supply them with a viable male clone of Wolverine. The female scientist who was working on the project was forced to donate her DNA in the form of an X chromosome and also carry and give birth to her. In any case, I say “Meh, close enough.” I’ll take it. I wasn’t really into the creation of a new male clone of Wolverine. It wasn’t really true to the comics and it felt like a cheap, contrived plot device. However that is my only complaint. Otherwise, Logan is a solid film.

I think we have some pretty good things on the horizon, fellow nerds. Even though it will be later and shorter, there is the new season of Game of Thrones and I’m sure The Winds of Winter will be published…eventually. We also finally have a Wolverine movie that actually gets it mostly right. It also opens the door for X-23 to get her own movie and to an entire new series of New X-Men movies featuring the next generation of young mutants. We’ve got some good stuff coming, so fight the good fight, follow nerds!

Transphobia: I don’t get it

There seems to be a lot of controversy around transgender people and their use of public bathrooms. There are some (read: bigots) who seem to think that if transgender people are allowed to use the bathroom assigned to the gender they feel comfortable in rather than the one they were assigned at birth, perverts the world over will get the idea that if they throw on a wig and some make up, they’ll be free to hang out in ladies rooms and molest women of all ages. This logic makes no sense to me because the very same people who think this way put a pervert who wears a wig and make up and openly brags about sexually assaulting women in the White House.

Let me go ahead and break this down for you piece by piece and using small words so that your tiny pea-sized brains will understand: TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE TOO! That means like all people they go potty. It also means that they should have the same basic rights you and I do.

But what about our daughters? Don’t they have the right to potty in relative safety? What if some pervert pretends to be transgender and tries to molest them?

Fact: More Republican lawmakers have been arrested for sexual misconduct in public restrooms than transgender people. It’s true. Google it. I’ll wait. But more importantly, if you’re so concerned for your daughters’ safety why exactly are you not escorting them into the public restroom?

She’s a teenager. What if she’s out with her friends?

Seriously? Have you ever seen a teenage girl out with her friends go into a bathroom alone? That’s what I thought.

But what if she’s on a date with her boyfriend?

Then the boyfriend is the one you should be worried about because I promise you he’s the one who’s trying the hardest to get at your daughter’s bits below the belt. But if you’re really that concerned about her using a public restroom by herself, teach her how to defend herself. Hint: the answer is almost always kick the groin.

Well I still think there ought to be a law requiring people to use the bathroom assigned to the gender they were born with.

Of course you do, but let me ask you this: How exactly would we go about enforcing such a law? I don’t know about you, but if someone walked up to me in a public restroom and asked me to show my genitals, I’d punch that person in the throat. You complain about how high taxes are now. Imagine how high they’ll be when we have to allocate public funds to enforce a ridiculous law on who uses which bathroom.

Why don’t we talk about the real issue here, that being your obvious transphobia, hmm? I get it. People fear that which they do not understand. You’ve always felt comfortable in your gender and don’t understand how anyone possibly couldn’t feel the same way. Okay think about why people dye their hair. Let’s say you were born with blonde hair, but as you age, you start to feel like your hair color just doesn’t fit you. You try everything. You try styling it differently, different cuts, etc and you still just don’t feel comfortable in your own skin as a blonde and you think you’d rather have brown hair, so you dye it. No big deal right? Sure some people may hate on you, but you’re happy and that’s what matters. At its very core, this gender issue is basically the same. Admittedly comparing changing gender to dying one’s hair is perhaps oversimplifying it and doesn’t entirely do it justice. After all, it’s not very likely that your parents will disown you for dying your hair. However for the purposes of explaining something big and complicated to people whose minds are small and closed, oversimplification can be a useful tool.

But what if my kid turns out to be one of those freaks?

Come on. Really? Transgender people are people just like you and me. They’re not freaks. We talked about this. A chance meeting with a transgender person in a public restroom is not going to turn your non-trans child trans. It doesn’t work that way. Frankly the fact that you think it does makes you a very special kind of stupid. If your child is going to be trans, it’s going to happen and there’s nothing you can do about it at this point because you see, your child has already been born and oh my God I can’t believe I have to say this in 2017.

When you were expecting your child before you knew what his/her gender was going to be, you didn’t care right? When people asked you said you just wanted a healthy, happy baby. So um…what exactly has changed? Why would you feel any differently now? Do you not love your child? Seriously what the hell is wrong with you? If you disown your transgender child, there’s a very special place in hell for you. I’m also going to need you to take that Jesus fish off the back of your car because anyone with your lack of compassion and tolerance has no right to call themselves a Christian.

Fine but they should have to use a separate bathroom from the rest of us.

Oh sure and while we’re at it, maybe we should make them use separate water fountains, make them sit in the back of city busses, and go to “separate but equal” schools. See, that’s how legal precedent works. First it’s a separate bathroom and then down the slippery slope we go until we bring back segregation. But here’s another fun fact about legal precedent: When the Supreme Court rules something unconstitutional, it’s pretty much game over for that law. Newsflash! In case you missed it, Brown v. Board of Education ruled state-sponsored segregation illegal in 1954.

I have a novel idea for you! JUST PEE OR POO AND MIND YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS! If the person in the restroom looks like a female from the waist up, assume she’s female. If the person looks like a male from the waist up, assume he’s a male. What goes on in the stall is between you and your deity of choice, so why should it be any different for them? What’s below your waist is none of their business so why is what’s below their waists any of yours? Seriously how old are we? Grow up! Just do your business and mind your own.

How to Talk to Women

*Blogger puts down soap box and steps up on it*

Here it comes another one of my classic rants, folks! Consider yourselves warned!

<Begin rant>

I can’t believe I have to say this to grown men in 2017, but here it goes: There’s a right way and a wrong way to talk to women. It’s true! You really can speak to women in a way that doesn’t frustrate, annoy, offend, or otherwise aggravate them.

 

The first step is understanding that YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! We’re not over-sensitive. We’re not triggered snowflakes. You’re just an asshole. Don’t feed me a load of crap about how women are by nature irrational and prone to emotional reactions. That simply isn’t true and for God’s sake it’s 2017. Don’t bother bringing up our menstrual cycles either. We have years of experience dealing with our own hormones or as I call it riding the dragon. Call me Khaleesi. We’re not frail, emotional, reactionary creatures. Political correctness isn’t out of control. Stop making excuses.

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Keep talking. I dare you.

Now that we have that out of the way, the next step is very simple. It’s called SHOWING WOMEN SOME FREAKIN’ RESPECT! That means not taking a condescending tone, not interrupting us, and not mansplaining when we ask you a question. Mansplaining is defined by the fine folks at Merriam-Webster as “when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does.” You don’t need to patronize us or translate your college level words into Trump speak for women to understand you.

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Don’t act like this guy

Speak to us the same way that you would speak to someone you respect and admire. If you wouldn’t call someone you respect and admire honey, sweetie, puddin’, etc., then don’t do that to women. The only time it’s acceptable to use a term of endearment when speaking to a woman is if she is your significant other, child, or younger female relative (e.g. your niece). If she’s none of the above, don’t do it. It’s not nice or cute. It’s annoying and it makes you sound like a condescending jackass.

 

Now let’s talk about joking with women. Some men seem to think one of two things: Either women can’t take a joke because we’re “too sensitive” or “too easily offended,” or they think that their jokes are funny when in reality they’re just offensive as all fuck.

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Act like this guy

When making a joke, you have to think carefully about your topic. A joke about your girlfriend’s flatulence could be funny. A joke about gang-raping the only female comic at a comedy show? Not funny. Got it? Good. Violence against women is not funny. Violence against anyone who is not an obviously fictional cartoon character is not funny.

Now let’s talk about content. If the joke about your girlfriend’s flatulence ends with you recording an album of songs made from the various sounds her flatulence makes and releasing it next month, that’s funny. After all, who doesn’t like a good fart joke? The only way a joke about violence against women could ever be funny is if it ends with us getting to watch you get your ass beat by the woman you tried to assault or if it ends with you getting arrested, going to prison, and getting the same treatment from your cell mate and his buddies that you tried to give to that female comic earlier. That’s called poetic justice and sometimes it’s funny as hell.

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This guy knows all about poetic justice

Now let’s talk about a little thing I like to call discernment. As an adult, you should already understand the importance of thinking before you speak and having a filter. However if you don’t that’s okay. I’ll break it down for you.

The Child Filter:

If you’re about to say something to a woman, stop and imagine how you would feel if another man said the same thing to your daughter. If you’d knock him out, don’t say it. If you’re about to say something to a woman, stop and imagine what you would do if your son said the same thing to a girl. If you’d punish him, don’t say it.

Think of the example you’re setting for your children and act like they’re watching because trust me, they are.

The Husband Filter:

If you’re about to say something to a woman, stop and imagine how you would feel if another man said the same thing to your wife. If you’d knock him out, don’t say it. If you’re about to say something to a woman, stop and ask yourself, “Would my wife cuss me out and make me sleep on the couch if I said this to her?” If she’d cuss you out, don’t say it.

You want your wife to brag about you to her friends, right? Good! Act like it.

The Boyfriend Filter:

If you’re about to say something to a woman, stop and imagine how you would feel if another man said the same thing to your girlfriend. If you’d knock him out, don’t say it. If you’re about to say something to a woman, stop and ask yourself, “Would my girlfriend be pissed if I said this to her?” If she’d be pissed, don’t say it.

If you want your girlfriend to stick around, show her that you respect her and all women. Respect for women is hot.

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Bubba says be respectful

If all else fails, think of any woman in your life that you love, respect, and admire and if you wouldn’t want another man to speak to them the way you’re thinking of speaking to the woman in front of you, change your damn tune! Treat others the way you want to be treated. You want to be treated with respect don’t you? Yes? Good! SO DO WOMEN!!! I’m so glad we had this talk.

*Blogger hops down off of soapbox*

</End rant>

Why I’m Refusing to Shut Up

I’m going to post this entry now before the current fascist dictatorship…I mean Presidential administration in the US repeals the First Amendment. From the moment Lord Commander Marmalade entered the presidential race I have wholeheartedly opposed him. Every single thing about him offends me from his racism, xenophobia, bigotry, ableism, and misogyny right down to his God-awful comb-over, orange skin, and tiny hands. I am absolutely baffled at how such a disrespectful, sorry excuse for a human being even made it to the Republican National Convention, let alone got elected to the highest office in the United States. On November 9th I woke up and asked, “How the f*ck could we let this happen?” Then I remembered the sheeple who supported him. Well I hope you’re pleased with yourselves because you got what you wanted. An orange reality TV star is the president and you have a Repugnant…I mean Republican majority in Congress.

Oh and by the way, for all of you moderate Republicans who are watching your party get hijacked by the Tea Party and alt-right, I don’t feel the least bit sorry for you. This is your circus and they are your monkeys. You could’ve stopped them and taken your party back. You could’ve said to hell with the legal quagmire that would result and run a contested convention. You had a chance to stand up, but you chose to go along with the insanity and now you have a misogynist in the White House. Your wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers must be so proud.

You can say “sour grapes” all you want. You can call me a snowflake and tell me to stop whining and just accept the fact that Hillary lost and he’s our president now and I should respect that and respect him. That’s fine. Freedom of speech is great! However I’m going to respectfully disagree. Sour grapes, my ass.

This isn’t about who won or lost. It’s about standing up for what we believe is right and that is as American as apple pie and baseball. Say what you want about the women who marched on January 21st. No matter what Il Douché tells you, more people mobilized in support of the Women’s March than the Inauguration. Criticize the airport protests all you want, but the public outcry got the attention of a Federal judge. Gosh! I gotta tell you I feel so safe now that those terrifying five year olds are being put in cuffs and dealt with! I can now walk the streets at night safely knowing that I won’t be attacked by a crayon-wielding terrorist! Oh wait, I should explain that last statement in case anyone from Cheeto face’s base is reading assuming that any of them are even literate. That statement about a crayon-wielding terrorist is what’s called sarcasm. I don’t feel any safer and I damn sure don’t walk the streets at night because I’m a woman and we can’t do that. (see previous entry)

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I can’t un-see this

We’re resisting because we refuse to normalize hate. We’re resisting because we see what’s really happening and refuse to have the wool pulled over our eyes and surprise! It’s working. The phone lines of Republican Senators have been blowing up with untold thousands of calls. The repeal of the ACA has caused Republican Representatives to have to duck out of back doors to avoid their angry constituents who want to know why they’re trying to take away their health insurance.

Even scientists are standing against the “alternative facts” and the gag order that was placed on them. Organizations like the National Park Service and NASA now have alternate Twitter accounts where they can speak freely. Even the Pope is resisting. Pope Francis is departing from the traditional Papal role of silent observer of all things political and openly criticizing the administration’s treatment of immigrants, refugees, and Muslims and calling for all Catholics to do the same.

We’ve seen this before and we don’t want to see it again. This administration is taking pages right out of Hitler’s playbook, but Hitler was much more dangerous because unlike this dream team of geniuses (<=sarcasm) he was smart. Hitler promised a better world, a German world. Trump promised to Make America Great Again. Hitler rose to power by criticizing the government. Trump criticized the government and promised to “drain the swamp.” Hitler reached out to frustrated Germans. Trump reached out to frustrated Americans. Hitler criticized the press and told people where to get their news. Trump won’t even entertain questions from CNN reporters and has told people to get their news from Fox or Breitbart since other outlets report “fake news.” Hitler maligned Jews in Germany and used them as scapegoats. Replace Jews with Muslims or immigrants or women or LGBTQ or any other group he’s attacked and you have Trump.

Those of us who learned history don’t wish to be doomed to repeat it. In 1939 we turned away Jewish refugees at our shore. Over 250 of them were then murdered in concentration camps. The Diary of Anne Frank is a popular reading choice in American schools. The strict immigration laws leading up to World War II caused us to deny entry to her family. Anne Frank could be an 88 year old woman living in Boston. Instead we allowed her to be murdered in Bergen Belsen concentration camp in 1945 at the age of 16. Still think this is about an election?

We’re not fighting over politics. We’re fighting for our rights. We’re fighting for our friends, coworkers, neighbors, and families. We’re fighting for the future, ours and yours.  I will not shut up. I will not be complicit. I will not obey. I will resist because I love my country and it’s the right thing to do.