So last Sunday I loved the entire universe, but let’s be real: no one can love the entire universe every single day. Unless they’re the Dalai Lama, and I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe the guy never, ever, ever has a bad day. Or acts purely for selfish reasons, is inconsiderate, or forgets to be in the moment.
Anyway, I’m human, and I admit it. This week has had its highs and lows, like everyone (yes, everyone!) else’s. But here, for your entertainment, are a couple of moments whose merits qualified them for special awards.
Winner in the Annoying in an Entirely Perplexing Way category: After picking up my little guy from school the other day, I drove (at a reasonable speed) along a wooded, sidewalk-free road in the affluent town where his school is located. Heading toward me, on my side of the road, was a mom walking with her pre-school-age daughter and, on the other side, a couple of cars. The mom, with a haughty, pleased-with-herself, self-righteous expression, motioned for me to move to the left, away from where she was walking with her daughter, and toward oncoming traffic. I responded with my patented Perplexed and Irritated Look.
First off, in my estimation, I was nowhere near dangerously close to her and her little girl. Secondly, I don’t think driving into oncoming traffic would have benefitted anyone.
If you choose to live in a town with no sidewalks and don’t feel comfortable walking on the side of the road, I suggest you don’t. Take your car everywhere. Yes, it’s bad for the environment, but you should have thought of that when you moved to your sidewalk-free town.
But this is even better. It’s the winner in the Utterly Outrageous BS category: Gayle Trotter’s testimony before the Senate Judicial Committee.
Uh, what?! Why isn’t there more general outrage in response to this fiasco of a hearing? Isn’t it bad enough we repeatedly hear from Wayne LaPierre, who looks as though he’s been perfectly cast for the worst villain in movie history? Isn’t it bad enough that, though LaPierre can call a press conference at the drop of a fucking hat and will be granted the attention of world media, though he shows not one ounce of compassion for victims or displays any common sense whatsoever on gun policy, though he represents corporations that make billions of dollars off the deaths of innocents, though the majority of Americans (according to several polls) disagree with his proposals to place armed guards in America’s public schools… Despite all this and more, the Senate Judiciary Committee determines he ought to be consulted by United States legislators on gun-control policy?
Yes. That’s bad enough. But Gayle Trotter. Gayle Trotter, whose claim to fame is that she happens to be a woman who is a lawyer and a “fellow” at the ultra-conservative Independent Women’s Forum? This organization was initially established to defend Clarence Thomas against sexual harassment charges and, in its twenty-plus years of existence, has rarely addressed issues related to firearms or gun-control policy. Trotter herself has no expertise in the area (she is apparently a tax attorney) and, despite her professed concern about women’s safety at the hearing, believes the Violence Against Women Act discriminates against men by characterizing them as violent.
Oh, it’s rich, isn’t it? It would be comical if it weren’t so infuriating and horrifying. Her testimony, which drew a picture of a woman at home “with her babies,” fighting off three, four, or five male attackers with a “scary” weapon (while her children cried in the background, perhaps partly because they were scared of their mom’s scary weapon), itself portrayed men as extremely violent. And as for guns as the obvious “choice” (nice word, Gayle) for women when protecting themselves from crazed maniacs in their homes, I noticed there was no mention of the fact that Nancy Lanza’s own guns were used, not to heroically fend off her attacker, but to murder her as she lay in bed.
This is worst of all: Gayle Trotter was the only woman to testify at length at the hearing. What, pray what, my friends, are you and I going to do about it?
Please contact your senator, particularly if s/he serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and tell them something like this: That hearing on gun control, which is crucially important to the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness of every citizen in this country, was a joke and and an insult to the American people.
And please let me know if you’ve done that so I can personally thank you.
Photos (Top: “Bad Apple in a Tree Orchard”; Bottom: “Miniature Army”)
by alegri / alegriphotos.com