Last night, a Facebook friend shared the following meme.
I understand people not wanting to see medical care being “wasted” on the non-compliant. It’s heartbreaking to read stories about people with cancer being turned away from hospitals because of unvaccinated people taking up beds as they die of COVID-19. I get that, in spite of overwhelming evidence that the vaccines help prevent severe illness and hospitalization, some people just aren’t on the bandwagon yet. They have this idea that there’s a conspiracy going on and that Democrats are trying to grab power and quash individual liberties.
I’m also not so naive that I don’t understand the concerns of people who are against mask and vaccine mandates. Personally, I don’t like the idea of being forced to wear a mask or be vaccinated against my will. But I also don’t like the idea of being hospitalized, helplessly gasping for air while my husband wrings his hands in anguish. I may not mind exiting the world as soon as possible, but COVID-19 is not the way I would like to go. So I was all for getting vaccinated as soon as I could, which in my case, was in May and June. I will also willingly get a booster. And while I still hate masks and find them depressing to look at and wear, I do cooperate.
Every day, I read another story about someone who was preaching against the vaccines getting COVID-19 and dying. Last week, it was conservative radio talk show host, Phil Valentine. Like several others before him, Phil Valentine had the false idea that COVID-19 is a hoax. He wrote on his blog that if he caught it, he’d have “way less than one percent” chance of dying. Sure enough, on July 11, 2021, Mr. Valentine announced that he had COVID-19. But he was upbeat, and vowed to be back on his show within a day or two.
“Unfortunately for the haters out there, it looks like I’m going to make it,” [Valentine] wrote. “Interesting experience. I’ll have to fill you in when I come back on the air. I’m hoping that will be tomorrow, but I may take a day off just as a precaution.”
Within two weeks, Valentine was hospitalized and in serious condition. His radio station, Nashville based 99.7 WTN, announced that Valentine had changed his mind about the vaccine and was urging people to get the shot(s). Unfortunately, it was too late for the late radio talk show host. He died this past Saturday. Interestingly enough, I see that Valentine was born in Nashville, North Carolina, and died in Nashville, Tennessee. He had been ventilated since July 28th, all to no avail.
So anyway… after reading yet another tragic story about a dead vaccine skeptic, I had a look at the comments. A woman named Nicole wrote this:
Comments here just show how fine the line is between dems and reps…as in there in no line at all. Hateful people hate, no party affiliation necessary.
At this writing, Nicole’s comment has over 1100 reactions, some of which are “laughing”. I honestly don’t see what’s so funny about someone else dying of a virus. Many people also responded to Nicole in a rude and disparaging way. I noticed that she kindly and patiently answered some of the people who “laughed” and “raged” at her, preaching about how they no longer had any “sympathy” for people like Phil Valentine. My heart went out to her, so I wrote this:
I get it. I feel the same way. Whether or not people want to acknowledge it, he had loved ones who are grieving. I have a hard time accepting people on a moral high horse when they are literally laughing and cheering about a man’s death. I am vaccinated and believe in science over foolishness, and I get tired of the craziness spewed by the ignorant. But I also hate seeing how mean people have become, especially as they preach to others about compassion and forbearance.
Thanks for being brave enough to speak up. I am with you.
The truth is, Phil Valentine is not going to read or care about the hateful comments. But he’s got loved ones and friends who are seeing all of this stuff. I don’t think reading hateful, derisive, mean spirited comments are going to convince them to change their views. Moreover, I also don’t think the idea of denying medical care to people with communicable diseases is the best way to convince cooperation. All being “mean” does is shut down communication and make people feel angry… and hopeless.
Also… by denying medical care to people with COVID-19, we would simply be prolonging the pandemic. COVID-19 is contagious. Even if a person is totally recalcitrant and belligerent about COVID-19, they can still spread the disease to others if they get it. Not helping that person is only going to put other people at risk. Some of those at risk will include children, elderly people, those who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons, and those who are vaccinated, but immunocompromised. So, I would never be onboard with denying medical care to people with COVID. I think that attitude only puts other people at risk. I do, however, understand the sentiment. It’s frustrating to see so many people not understanding the very serious risk COVID poses to everyone and not wanting to do their part to end the pandemic.
For example, when I was getting my MPH/MSW at the University of South Carolina, I was classmates with a woman whose field placement was working with people who were being detained because they had tuberculosis and refused to get treatment. These folks were not being held by law enforcement, per se. They were “locked up” because they had a communicable disease and would not cooperate with public health authorities by either isolating, or getting treatment.
I remember my classmate talking about what it was like to deal with these folks who, for one reason or another, decided that they would not voluntarily take the very powerful antibiotics used to treat TB. I distinctly recall her telling our class that the people were “pissed off”. And yet, there they still were, locked up, not necessarily because they had committed a crime, but because they put other people at risk.
Here’s a more recent example. About seven years ago, Ebola was the communicable disease that was in the news. A nurse named Kaci Hickox had returned to the United States from Sierra Leone, where she had been caring for people with Ebola. She supposedly had a fever upon arrival to the United States, so she was forced to quarantine in New Jersey for three days. She then returned to her then home state of Maine, where she was requested to self-isolate at home, which she also refused to do, as she had tested negative for Ebola.
A year later, Hickox sued then New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former state Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd and other Health Department employees for false imprisonment, violation of due process and invasion of privacy. She claimed that there were no medical or epidemiological grounds to hold her. Interestingly enough, Chris Christie is a Republican. At the time she was in the news, Hickox was “loathed by Republicans.” The late Rush Limbaugh had harsh words for her after Hickox returned to Maine, where she very publicly flouted voluntary quarantine. Meanwhile, she got praise from more liberal outlets.
“Is this not a little bit sanctimonious?” Limbaugh said at the time. “I mean, here you volunteer and you let everybody know, by the way. … ‘I am a good person. I have volunteered to go to Africa, and I am helping Ebola patients. Look at me. See me? I am a good person.’ You come back, ‘I have just returned from Africa helping Ebola patients, and you are not going to quarantine me so that I can’t be noticed.’”
Hickox eventually settled the lawsuit, and new protections for quarantined travelers were introduced. I’m sitting here shaking my head, though. In 2014, Republicans were screaming for Ebola quarantines and Democrats were lamenting the potential loss of civil liberties. And now, in the COVID era, the opposite is happening. It really shouldn’t be controversial or political, though. It’s a matter of basic decency and consideration for other people, isn’t it? I guess some people are fine with denying other people their civil rights, as long as it doesn’t affect them personally. And some people are fine with flouting public health rules, if it’s they who are being asked to quarantine.
I wrote about Kaci Hickox on my old blog. At the time, I was of a mixed mind about her situation. I was definitely understanding her points about civil liberties. However, at the same time, my background in public health made me concerned about her risk of spreading a deadly disease to Americans. I looked up Kaci Hickox last night. I see that she, too, has a master’s degree in Public Health. I wonder how she feels about COVID-19. In this article from March 2, 2021, a reporter states that Ebola is deadlier than COVID-19 is. That was before the virus had mutated to what it is today. Moreover, according to the article, unlike like COVID-19, asymptomatic people don’t spread Ebola. But Ebola is still a very nasty disease, just as COVID has proven to be.
Anyway… I just think that we should all try to be as compassionate as possible. I don’t think it’s ethical to deny medical care to people, even if they behave in a foolish or offensive manner. I get being offended or annoyed by the willfully ignorant. God knows, I post all the time about my irritation with people who have unhelpful attitudes. But when it comes to getting people to cooperate, I don’t think it’s helpful to laugh at them as they die or express hatred for them. All that does is divide people. It’s in everyone’s best interests to be cooperative. At least for now, people still have the right to choose whether or not they will be vaccinated. It would be good if some of those who hesitate figure it out for themselves that not getting the shot could really mess up, or even end their lives.
As for Phil Valentine… it is a shame that he didn’t comply sooner. But at least at the end of his life, he tried to change hearts and minds. For that reason, I think people should be kinder regarding his memory. When it comes down to it, this issue is really NOT about politics. It’s about health, and potentially life and death.
This morning, as my eyes were opening to another Friday, I checked my Facebook notifications. I noticed I got a comment from someone I don’t know. It was in response to a comment I made five days ago on a conservative friend’s meme.
I usually try not to comment too much on other people’s political posts. The reason why I have that policy is because I’ve found that I don’t enjoy getting sucked into arguments with people I don’t know. I also think it’s kind of rude to try to impress my opposing views on someone else’s page. I’d rather do that on my own page or on my blog. But I couldn’t help myself… because not only did I disagree with the meme, I also got triggered by poor spelling.
My response to this meme was “*your… and many people hate him for good reason.” When my friend wrote that she hadn’t written the meme and knows the difference between “you’re” and “your”, I explained that one of my pet peeves is when something is supposedly shared as “wisdom”, but isn’t even properly written. Ordinarily, I do scroll past, but sometimes I slip.
I think this particular post was about Trump, although this same friend also posted how disgusted she is that people are “celebrating” Rush Limbaugh’s death. That post has, at this writing, swelled to over 119 comments, with some people trying to justify their negative opinions and feelings, and others shaming them for having and expressing them. A healthy smattering of “I wasn’t his biggest fan, but…” comments were also included.
This morning, I noticed the comment I made on the above post five days ago got a response from some confrontational guy I don’t know. He wrote:
Hate who and what good reason?
And my response was, “You should have asked me five days ago. “
I don’t like it when people revive stuff that died ages ago. It’s like having a conversation with someone and, a few days later, having some uninvolved stranger ask me about it. I also don’t like it when some stranger confronts me for my response to a friend. Dude, I wasn’t talking to you, and if you wanted to address my thoughts on Mr. Trump, you should have done it before the discussion effectively ended days ago.
I think this guy was just feeling energized and wanted to stir up some shit. My hunch was confirmed when I noticed his comments on the aforementioned Limbaugh thread. I did not comment on that thread myself, but I can see that it generated a lot of controversy. Most of the comments were made by women, and most of the women are quite intelligent and articulate. Naturally, intelligent and articulate comments from women sometimes invite dumb commentary from mansplaining men. One lady wrote this:
I adore you, but I don’t think it’s fair to condemn people that hate Rush and celebrate his death. This is a man who celebrated the death of gay people from AIDS on air with whistles etc. That is just one example of his heinous behaviour. Some people are entitled to their hatred of him and that is a good and healthy thing. My brother in law is gay and men like Rush have attacked him intending to cause harm. So no pity, no sorrow or sympathy for him and his family. He had no sympathy for other people’s families when he mocked and celebrated their deaths. Everyone has a story and we shouldn’t judge before we know it.
The same guy who confronted me about my comment had this to say to the woman who defended those who disliked Rush Limbaugh and are glad he’s dead. He wrote:
Have we become so polarizes that we no longer offer grace to those who repent publicly. He apologized and said that that was “the most regretful thing Ive ever done. “He was on radio waves 3 hours a day for 30 years. Of course, he, like anyone else, is going to say something regretful. Can you honestly say that you didn’t say something 20-30 years ago that today would be considered hateful? More than that, have you ever been offered the gift of forgiveness? Maybe I’ve got you all wrong. Maybe you are the shining jewel of perfection in this sea of scum and villany in the world…idk..maybe you’ve never had to have been forgiven. But if you have, maybe, for the sake of unity, stop celebrating the death of human or promoting it. Hatred only produces more hatred.
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. There is a HUGE difference between saying something regrettable once or twice 30 years ago, and saying regrettable things EVERY DAY for over 30 years. Apologies are all well and good, but they are absolutely meaningless if the bad behavior continues. I don’t think Rush Limbaugh ever seriously repented. He still said a lot of really offensive and fucked up shit that hurt people. As someone who clearly honors the “good book”, the dude who was shaming those who were cheering about Rush’s death might want to remember that age old proverb from the Bible. You reap what you sow.
Personally, I didn’t follow Rush Limbaugh. I remember hearing his program at my granny’s house and my father watching his show on TV in the 1990s. I could barely stand to listen to him, so I didn’t pay attention to, and consequently wasn’t affected by, the more inflammatory things he said. Other people did listen, and a lot of them didn’t like what they heard. They were hurt and offended by Rush Limbaugh. Conversely, some people loved what Rush said, and are genuinely sad that his life is finished.
I think both groups have the right to have and express their opinions. I’d want and expect people to respect my right to have and state my own opinions. I can’t, in good conscience, want and expect that for myself and not for others. I can understand why many people legitimately hated Limbaugh and are glad he’s dead. I can also understand why others loved what he had to say, even if I disagree.
In yesterday’s post, I wrote that I am not in any of the groups Rush openly mocked. One of my readers corrected me, saying that as a woman, I am in a group Rush mocked. She says he was a misogynist. She’s probably right about that, but when I made that comment, I meant that I’m not in any of the groups that Rush had a special habit of tormenting, like homosexuals and people of color. But then, I do call myself the “overeducated housewife”, and I realize that Rush probably would have ridiculed me for that. Lots of people do. In yesterday’s post, I included a video of Rush insulting a woman he considered “overeducated” as opposed to “intelligent”. I disagree with Rush Limbaugh that the woman wasn’t intelligent, as well as educated, but kudos to him for sort of understanding the term “overeducated” as I view it.
I have gotten LOTS of shit from people about the name of my blog, especially in the military community. Many people in the military community like to laugh at those they think of as “butthurt”, although they don’t seem to like it so much when they get labeled and laughed at the same way. They also like to make fun of anyone who doesn’t fit the norm. God forbid you’re an intelligent woman who went to graduate school and dared to marry a man in the military. The people who are offended by my blog’s title probably hate people like me even more than they hate so-called “dependas“.
Smart women can be most threatening to men in the military culture because they’re not as easily controlled or impressed by them. And despite their bravado and the hot air they spew about their service, I have found that underneath that exterior, a lot of them are closed-minded cowards. For instance, instead of actually talking to me and finding out the origin of my blog’s name, these narrow minded folks will simply make assumptions about the kind of person they think I am.
They’ll assume I’m arrogant and disdainful, looking down on them for not going to college. They will hate me for existing and having a voice. They have no problem trying to put me in my place, sometimes aggressively, and with hateful, misogynistic language like Rush Limbaugh’s. And then, when I respond in a way that ends up embarrassing or humiliating them, many of them do, indeed, get quite “butthurt” about it. I’ve been blocked by them so many times! It’s not just the men, though. Some of the women hate me, too. Not only do I have three degrees and work as a “housewife” (horrors), but I also never managed to have any children! I’m also fat, not particularly pretty, probably a lousy lay, and I don’t put out very often. So what the hell good am I? (/facetious)
The people who have given me a hard time about the name of my blog are mostly folks who haven’t stopped to wonder why anyone would call themselves “overeducated”. For those who do wonder about that, here’s an explanation of why I titled my blog “The Overeducated Housewife”. I am a housewife. I have three college degrees. I don’t need three college degrees to do what I do every day. I am literally overeducated for my lot in life.
People have pointed out to me that it’s “impossible” to be overeducated. It may surprise them to know that, in theory, I agree with them. The name of my blog wasn’t meant to be taken so seriously or literally. And I never thought it might cause annoyance or offense, because when I first started writing it, I didn’t share it with others. The title was meant to be taken tongue in cheek, and was just something I came up with one day. I’m not the first or even the only person to call a blog “the overeducated housewife”, either. However, I probably am the most persistent and prolific one.
I was cleaning the toilets one day in March 2010. We were living in Georgia, and my husband was still on active duty. We had only just moved to Georgia, having come from Germany, and I knew we would soon be moving again, as Fort McPherson was going to be closing. I knew our time at the next installation, which turned out to be Fort Bragg, would also be short. So there was really no reason to try to get my career launched, because I knew I might spend months job hunting, only to have to move yet again.
As I squirted blue toilet detergent into the commode and commenced to cleaning and disinfecting, it occurred to me that I’d spent seven years in college, fully expecting to launch a paying career. Then I fell in love with a soldier, married him, and commenced to moving multiple times. It would have been very difficult, if not impossible, for me to launch a career in the field I trained for in graduate school and still be with my husband, so I eventually decided to just be a housewife. Then I started writing, which is what I’d wanted to do in the first place. I don’t make a lot of money doing what I do, and some perspective challenged people would say I don’t really have a job or even a “purpose”. But it’s all worked out fine, even if it’s not what I planned for myself.
If I had known that I would be vacuuming and scrubbing toilets instead of being a public health social worker, I certainly would not have gone to graduate school. Not that I regret the experience, mind you. I learned a lot, proved to myself that I could do it, and had some truly excellent experiences. But I would have preferred to save the money. It seems like I wasted a lot of time on something that didn’t come to fruition in the way I hoped it would. On the other hand, I can’t truthfully say that I don’t use that education. So maybe it wasn’t such a waste.
I think the guy who called me out and took another one of our mutual Facebook friend’s friends to task is a bit “perspective challenged”. It’s obvious that he’s one of the people who liked Rush Limbaugh’s messages. Or, even if he wasn’t a Rush Limbaugh fan, he feels compelled to check and correct the thoughts, opinions, and behaviors of other people. He’s obviously uncomfortable letting people be who they are. I wonder why that is.
It may be time to close this post, as I’ve pontificated quite a bit already. However, in the interest of annoying those who don’t like that I get “hung up” on comments and like to criticize me for that, I’m going to relay another story. I hope you’ll bear with me, even though this part probably warrants a new post.
This morning in my Facebook memories, I noticed a post that got quite contentious. It was from seven years ago, when Bill and I lived in Texas. He was just a few months from retirement and we were about to experience one of the worst summers of our lives before we finally moved back to Germany. At that time, I was still kind of fixated on Mormonism and resentful of people who felt it was their duty to “correct” other people’s morals.
I had shared an article from the Salt Lake Tribune about a woman named Judy Cox. She was in the news because she’d been shopping with her 18 year old son at the University Mall in Orem, Utah, when she noticed some t-shirts on display at a store called PacSun. Cox didn’t like the t-shirts. She found them “indecent” and akin to pornography. So she complained to the store manager, requesting that they be removed from the window display. The manager told Mrs. Cox that the shirts couldn’t be removed without approval from the corporate office. So Cox decided that she would take matters into her own hands. She bought every single t-shirt, spending about $567. She vowed that she would eventually return them at the end of the store’s 60-day return period.
The photo that accompanied the news article was pretty funny. Judy Cox wore an expression of utter disgust. She looked like someone had just taken a dump in her living room or something. I thought it was funny, so I proceeded to make fun of Judy Cox’s photo. I will admit, it wasn’t particularly mature behavior on my part, but I have never claimed to be a super mature person, especially on social media. A few others joined in and we enjoyed some laughs.
Well… it wasn’t long before we felt the wrath of Papa Smurf. His name wasn’t really Papa Smurf. I just called him that because a lot of us knew him from Epinions.com and he often acted like he wanted to be everybody’s daddy and the voice of reason. If you’ve read my blogs for any length of time, you might know that I disdain “overly helpful voice of reason” types. I may act like an adolescent sometimes, but I already have a mom and dad and I’m 48 fucking years old. If I’m not grown up yet, it’s probably not gonna happen.
Anyway, Papa Smurf, who was visiting my page, wrote this:
Talk about teen kids bullying on a web site. Some of you need to look at yourselves. Just because this woman took an action you may not believe in, doesn’t mean you need to disrespect her in personal ways. Just sayin’.
Horrors! I just got upbraided by Papa Smurf. I wasn’t impressed, so I posted “Thanks for the lecture.”
A couple of other people chimed in, rejecting Papa Smurf’s self-righteous discipline. One person, who had insinuated that Cox had a stick up her ass, wrote “You mean like the sharp pointy stick? I confess I don’t know for a fact that she has one.”
Papa Smurf came back, still a bit butthurt, since his attempt to check us hooligans hadn’t worked and we weren’t suitably chastened. He wrote:
You mean about disrespecting this woman in many ways because she has a different mindset than many of you. No, I don’t believe the ends justifies the meanness. I could respect those who would express why they differ in views in regard to her actions but this petty vindictiveness shows a dark side to our supposed new and enlightened world.
Incidentally, Papa Smurf is a card carrying Trumper and probably mourns Rush Limbaugh. He’s no longer a “friend”, so I don’t know if he is or isn’t a Limbaugh fan. It wouldn’t surprise me, though, if he is upset that Rush died and people are dancing in the streets about it.
I wrote this in response to Papa Smurf:
I’m sure she is a very nice lady when she’s not scowling over piles of t-shirts that she claims are indecent. In the above photo, she genuinely looks like a barrel of laughs. Frankly, all she’s done is draw more attention to the product she seeks to have banned which kind of defeats her stated goals. I don’t see what is respectable about that. I also tend to be disrespectful toward people who presume to tell other adults what is and isn’t appropriate. It’s her choice to waste her money if she wants to, but I don’t have to respect her for it.
And Papa Smurf wrote, “Please spare me. Be well.” (ugh… where’s my violin?)
You would think this would be the end of the shamefest, right? But it wasn’t. Although he kept saying he was leaving, he continued to read and respond to the comments. One person eventually called Papa Smurf out for bullying us with his overbearing shaming and lecturing. Not willing to honor his comment that he’d be taking his leave, Papa Smurf wrote:
…if you read the article you would know she had no plans to keep the merchandise. Upset? You ask. I suppose reading she needs to get laid. Needs beers. Has a stick supporting her and all just didn’t sit right. As you were. Enjoy yourselves. I spoke my mind and now I’m atta here.
(actually, I didn’t say she needed beers… I said she’s a “case”– as in, one needs a case of beer to wake up next to her every morning… I suspect Papa Smurf is also a “case”.)
My friend hilariously quipped, “Aw, c’mon–please *stick* around. “
And Papa Smurf wrote, “I see you fidget to finally read the article. Again bye to all .” (huh?)
I tried to send him off with this… “Have fun riding your moral high horse off into the sunset.”
Another commenter wrote she thought it was funny that Papa Smurf got “chased off”. Papa Smurf didn’t like that, either, so he wrote rather maudlinly:
Chased off? Hardly. I just know I don’t belong at the “cool” table. (yeah, I’d say so…)
Then someone else attempted to validate Papa Smurf’s concerns about how “adolescent” we were being about this subject. Papa Smurf appreciated that, so he wrote this:
Your word, “adolescent,” is definitely a better discription. My point and yours seem to agree in that though we may disagree with someone, there’s no need to revert to “adolescents.” Cheap personal shots to me is disrespectful, doesn’t strengthen an argument and adds to divisiveness. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts in a clear thoughtful manner. (He’s thanking her for “stopping by” on my page? Does he go to other people’s homes and thank random visitors for “stopping by? What is he, a sovereign citizen?)
Ooh! A treat for the commenter who was giving Papa Smurf some credence! But it didn’t last long, because I finally got completely fed up and wrote this comment, which effectively shut down the tit for tat mansplaining bullshit:
Oh for God’s sake. I confess I often act like an adolescent and am generally not the most polite person in the world. Anyone who knows me well, already knows this about me. This is my Facebook page, though, and I feel free to post whatever I want on it and make whatever snarky comments I want to make. If you have a problem with that, hit the unfriend button. I guarantee that much worse things about this woman have been said and written elsewhere. As a general rule, I don’t go on other people’s pages and leave them self-righteous comments about the things they post. As rude as my comments may have been, I think publicly shaming someone on Facebook is also very rude.
Seriously… it started out as harmless funny banter about a woman’s over the top reaction to t-shirts that she thought were obscene. Judy Cox took it upon herself for decide for everyone else what is or is not morally acceptable. Who appointed her judge and jury of what is appropriate in fashion merchandising? While she was within her rights to buy up all the t-shirts, I take exception to her attitude that she needs to be the morality police for everyone else. It looks like she fully cooperated with being in the news, too. She’s probably the one who called the media, and it’s obvious that she willingly posed for the above photograph, complete with disgusted scowl. Moreover, her action was futile, because PacSun doesn’t care why she bought the shirts. They care that they got her money, and they no doubt sent a new shipment of shirts to the Orem store. And even if she did return them, all she really did was give them free advertising and make herself look like an uptight busybody. So yes, it was stupid on her part, and her “church lady” fart expression does make me think she badly needs to get laid. But then, I probably need to get laid, too.
Either way, no one wants or needs some random guy to come along to lecture everyone about their thoughts and opinions. Save that crap for your (minor) kids. Papa Smurf has much in common with the guy up post who was appealing to our sense of shame about Rush Limbaugh’s death. You may find it vulgar and disgusting to laugh at people, particularly those who have died. I often feel that way myself. But when it comes down to it, especially if you’re a religious person, your opinions about me are none of my business. God is the ultimate judge. I am not a particularly religious person anyway. Moreover, I guess it’s alright if you think I’m an asshole. I can’t help what you think. You have the right to your opinions, too. Please respect my right to my opinions and spare me the confrontations. I’d rather have a pap smear than be constructively criticized by some random guy who thinks I should be ashamed of myself. My days of tolerating that from anyone are OVER.
A few months ago, my husband lost a “friend” over his “hatred” for Rush Limbaugh. I put quotes around the words “friend” and “hatred”, because I’m being facetious. Anyone who knows Bill knows that he doesn’t hate anyone. He doesn’t even hate his ex wife, who probably deserves his hatred more than anyone on the planet. The point is, my husband isn’t a hater. But he never liked Rush Limbaugh. Neither did I.
Back in October 2020, Bill was labeled a hater by a former friend because he had noticed that the very organ that had allowed Rush Limbaugh to spread hatred and bigotry toward large groups of marginalized people was also going to be the death of him. Bill had posted his thoughts about Rush’s illness on his Facebook timeline, and some of his friends went freakin’ nuts. One even accused him of being a “bad person” for stating this:
I know what I’m about to say is the result of unskilled thinking, but this appears to be an example of Karmic Justice. The organ used to spew years of hate, vitriol, and self-centeredness will be his undoing.
We weren’t rejoicing in Rush’s illness in October, and we’re not rejoicing in his death now. I don’t generally celebrate when people die, even people I think of as highly contemptible, and worthy of disdain or even outright hatred. I think Rush Limbaugh qualifies as someone who, in life, was highly contemptible. And while I’m not particularly happy that he’s dead, I am relieved that he won’t be spreading his toxic negativity, ignorance, and bigotry anymore. He won’t be saying or writing hurtful things to or about people who aren’t like him and don’t share his opinions.
In the aftermath of Rush’s death, we’ve also seen yet another falsely attributed quote arise from the dead. If you’ve been on Facebook lately, you’ve probably seen people sharing this meme.
I know a lot of people like to share these kinds of cute and clever memes, and many people don’t actually care who said it. I care, though, because I like to give credit where credit is due, and I don’t like false attributions. So where did this quote come from? According to the article from The Atlantic I linked above, no one important actually said or wrote it in that precise manner. Alex Eichler, the person who wrote the article for The Atlantic, writes:
Matt Blum at Wired has the fact-check: the quotation actually comes from Clarence Darrow, the lawyer of Scopes Trial fame. Here’s a fuller version of the quote, which appears in Darrow’s 1932 work The Story of My Life:
All men have an emotion to kill; when they strongly dislike some one they involuntarily wish he was dead. I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.
I know some people are glad Rush is gone. Some are actually jubilant about it. And I would never tell them they don’t have the right to feel whatever it is they feel. I’m not in a group that Rush openly mocked, unless you want to call me a liberal. I’m not actually that liberal, but I don’t like the way the Republican party has gone in recent years. I think their embrace of both evangelical Christians and Donald Trump is confusing and wrong. And Republicans often say regrettable, heartless things to people who are in trouble and need help.
Case in point. Yesterday, I read about former Colorado City, Texas mayor Tim Boyd, who basically went off on his constituents for begging the government for help. Texas, as you probably know, is in serious trouble right now, thanks to a terrible winter storm that has disrupted the power grid. People are suffering because of power outages. Some people are even dying! They’re either freezing to death, or poisoning themselves with carbon monoxide by doing things like running their cars in closed garages or using barbecue grills indoors to generate heat. But Mr. Boyd, proud Texan conservative he is, had this to say in a poorly written and now deleted Facebook post:
And then he continued with this:
I’ll bet Tim Boyd is sad that Rush is dead. I’ll bet Boyd was a Limbaugh fan. I don’t know for certain that he was, but what he posted is the same kind of hateful, mean-spirited shit that Rush Limbaugh was spewing for YEARS on the airwaves. And ignorant, compassion challenged people who are deeply saddened that the raucous voice of their belief system has died don’t seem to understand that Rush hurt a lot of people with his snarky, hateful rhetoric.
This has been a very difficult year for so many people– from the deaths and illnesses caused by the pandemic, to the many natural disasters, to the massive job losses, and complete upending of of normal life for everyone. It’s really sucked on many levels. And so, when an elected official like Tim Boyd mocks and lectures people for their valid complaints, it stings a bit. Rush Limbaugh was of the same ilk, and people like Tim Boyd looked up to him. He had no compunction about saying awful things to and about anyone, especially people who have historically suffered and been marginalized by privileged people.
Let me remind Rush’s supporters of a few things. Rush Limbaugh mocked Michael J. Fox for having Parkinson’s Disease and accused him of exaggerating his symptoms. Rush Limbaugh called women “sluts”, and referred to Barack Obama as the “magic negro”. And he wouldn’t have thought much of me, either…
Anyway… I’m not glad Rush is dead. I don’t care enough about him to rejoice in his death. Besides, everybody has to die sometime. It was simply his time to go. I’m not going to celebrate his death. But I’m also not going to shame or blame anyone who is glad to see him gone. I figure they have their reasons, and many of those reasons, while perhaps hypocritical, are understandable. We all have our own karma to tend.
In other news, our heating went out last night. It’s not as bad here as it is in Texas, but I am a bit chilled. Hopefully, the landlord will have it fixed soon, so my hands, feet, and nose won’t be so cold. And Bill has to go away for three weeks next Saturday. Hopefully, he won’t bring any COVID-19 viruses back with him. Otherwise, people might be cheering about my death.
So long, Rush… You served a purpose and now your work is done. And, as Folk Uke reminds us, even shit has a purpose.
Today’s featured photo is a screenshot of signs seen posted in the United States. People are so delusional about Trump and his ilk. I don’t get it.
It always amazes me how quickly and easily people will sacrifice real life friendships and family relations over politics and religion. I’ve seen it happen repeatedly over the years, but ESPECIALLY since Donald Trump became our dear leader. In my 48 years on this planet, I have never seen a world leader as polarizing as he is. I have quit speaking to a lot of my family members over Trump (and they have quit speaking to me), and Bill has lost so-called “friends” because he isn’t a Trump supporter.
Trump has a lot of obnoxious cronies, too. One such man is Rush Limbaugh, who announced in February that he has lung cancer. I remember when the news came out, a lot of people were laughing and rejoicing about it. I wasn’t laughing or rejoicing, but I can’t say that I have a lot of sympathy for the man. I’ve been aware of him since the 1980s. My late father was a big fan of Rush’s radio show. I think Rush is an asshole, but that doesn’t mean I wish him ill. I just want him to go away.
Anyway, ol’ Rush was in the news yesterday, saying that his lung cancer is “terminal”. A recent picture of him was included with the CNN article. Rush is looking pretty gaunt. I wouldn’t have recognized him.
My husband, who is a lot less temperamental and outspoken than I am and almost never posts on Facebook, shared this comment in response to the news:
I know what I’m about to say is the result of unskilled thinking, but this appears to be an example of Karmic Justice. The organ used to spew years of hate, vitriol, and self-centeredness will be his undoing.
I see nothing in this comment that rejoices in Rush’s ill health or impending death. I see no derision or mean-spiritedness. It’s just a simple and truthful observation. It seems almost fitting that Rush would get lung cancer, since his lungs have made it possible for him to spread his negativity for decades over the airwaves. But… as to the actual cause of Rush Limbaugh’s illness, I don’t know. It probably has nothing to do with karma and more to do with bad luck and bad habits.
A few minutes after Bill posted this comment, he got this response from a man he knew thirty years ago. This guy was a non-commissioned officer in the Army and someone Bill had always liked and respected.
Bill when did you become such a bad person? I really do not want to see your filth end up on my screen so I guess it’s adios buddy.
And then he unfriended Bill.
Well… I must admit that comment flipped my bitch switch. I don’t usually feel the need to take action on Bill’s behalf, but it was getting close to bedtime and I am really fed up with hypocritical people who follow people like Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh and then have the nerve to call my husband a “bad person” for making a valid observation on HIS own space. So I sent Bill’s ex friend a private message:
“Nice that you unfriended my husband for speaking his mind on his page. I am glad you unfriended him. Go fuck yourself.”
He did respond to me, but I didn’t bother to read what he had to say. I’m sure it was the usual tripe spewed by these types of mouth breathing fuckwits… a sarcastic remark like “Wow, classy!” He probably followed it with some mansplaining comment that I’ve read and heard a hundred times before from people like him, including my own father. Instead of reading more of that shit, I blocked him, because I have enough people like him in my life. I don’t know him at all, but I do know Bill, and I KNOW he is one of the most decent, kind-hearted, loving men ever. And he’s brave, too, because for thirty years, he put on a uniform and put up with self-righteous dickheads like his ex “friend”, running their mouths about the virtues of capitalistic Republican politics while they worked in what is actually a very socialist “government run” career.
Seriously… if you’ve served in the military and get free health care for yourself and your family, live in government owned quarters (which not everyone does, but enough do), buy food at the commissary (again, not everyone does), and accept educational benefits paid for by taxes, then you are not so much against socialism, are you? Because when you’re in the military, the government pretty much owns your ass… and potentially your family’s asses, too, depending on whether or not your spouse chooses to live with you as you are moved from place to place for years on end.
While the military lifestyle is not for everyone, and not everyone who’s served makes it a career, enough people are fine with the conditions. The benefits and perks, especially for retirees, and all paid for by taxes, are pretty damned sweet. And I have yet to meet anyone in the military or a military retiree who would willingly give them up, although I am sure there are people out there who would. I do remember reading, several years ago, an op-ed written by a retired officer named Tom Slear who felt his military benefits were too generous. I also remember the outraged comments left for him by his “brothers-in-arms” who basically had the same sentiment for him that I did for Bill’s former “friend”. To be clear, I don’t fault veterans for having these generous government provided benefits and enjoying them. They have certainly EARNED them. But those taxpayer sponsored benefits aren’t exactly stellar examples of the Republican ideal, are they?
Bill was very dismayed that he lost a “friend” over his comment about Limbaugh. Like I said, this was a guy Bill knew early in his military career and for whom he’d had much regard and respect. The guy who posted the comment wasn’t really a friend, though. They were connected on Facebook, sure, but it’s not like they interacted a lot. And by doing what he did, he revealed his true lowlife character. Seems to me he could have just quietly unfriended or unfollowed, rather than resorting to publicly insulting my husband. That would have been the decent thing to do. Instead, he calls my husband a “bad person” and accuses him of spreading “filth”. Well, it may be unbecoming and unladylike of me to tell him to go fuck himself, but that is precisely what I think he should do. Clearly, he’s not grown up enough to hang out with adults on social media.
This was Bill’s very gentlemanly response to his friends… he only has 77 of them at this writing. He really doesn’t post on Facebook much, and when he does, he’s a lot more respectful than I am:
So I was just unfriended for being “such a bad person” for expressing myself on my own space. Any other takers? You might as well get it over with. Honestly though, I try really hard to respect your space. Why is it so hard to respect mine?
Ironically, earlier tonight I was reflecting on Dr. Manhattan’s words in “Watchmen”. “I’m tired of this earth, these people.”
Are these the words of a “bad person”? I think not. And if you’re a military veteran who truly supports freedom, then it’s beyond hypocritical to shame people for speaking their minds. I may not wish ill on Rush Limbaugh, although he probably deserves the derision he’s getting, but I kind of hope Bill’s ex “friend” falls into an open manhole. I don’t want him to get sick or die, I just want someone or something to knock some sense into him.
I don’t like hypocrites, and I’m really tired of Trump and his cronies, to include self-absorbed loudmouths like Limbaugh who egg on divisiveness and spew hatred. I don’t wish for death and illness for most people because that’s not the decent thing to do, but if someone is nasty and hateful and becomes terminally ill, they probably shouldn’t expect a lot of sympathy. Pointing that out does not make someone “bad”; it makes them astute. And if you’re too dumb to see that, and want to publicly unfriend your old friends, then good fucking riddance. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
A couple of days ago, the world was notified that notoriously obnoxious radio host Rush Limbaugh has lung cancer. I must admit, my first thought was, “Finally, something will put a stop to that wind bag.” Then, after a few minutes, it occurred to me that it’s not cool to wish cancer on people, abhorrent as they may be. Personally, I don’t wish cancer or any other disease on people who haven’t personally injured me or someone I love. However, I completely understand why so many people dislike Rush Limbaugh and are not sorry, or are even happy, to see him with a cancer diagnosis. I don’t judge them for feeling the way they do. A lot of them think it’s proof of karma.
Not twelve hours after the news about Rush, and Donald Trump’s subsequent decision to give him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, I noticed some people posting self-righteous rants about how so many folks were “glad” to see Limbaugh so sick. Can I just say that I sort of hate this kind of behavior? Yes, I get that it’s distasteful to wish ill on others, but publicly shaming and chastising people, particularly when they are fellow adults, is also distasteful.
I honestly think a whole lot of people in the United States and around the world are just flabbergasted and exhausted by the way Donald Trump has taken over the country with his brand of narcissistic bullshit. He’s made it *cool* for people to be misogynistic and racist, and even openly hostile to anyone who isn’t a white Christian male with a conservative viewpoint. Awarding Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom completely cheapens the award, but given that the man who gave it to him has completely cheapened the office of U.S. President, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. And people are also rightfully pissed off, but probably not at all surprised, that Donald Trump was acquitted in his impeachment trial, simply because no witnesses were allowed to speak. In a situation like the one we’re in, it’s hard to be high-minded and lofty. And so… Limbaugh may have his medal, but at least we won’t have to hear his insulting yammering for much longer.
Let’s be real about Mr. Limbaugh. For all he’s done for radio shows and their popularity, he’s also said some really fucked up shit and stoked the fires of racism. Have a look:
I think a lot of people are just plain fed up with this. Even when W. was in charge– and he was not a popular president– I don’t remember people being as completely gobsmacked by just how fucked up everything was. Yes, people were angry about the wars he got the United States into, but there was still a basic modicum of respect shown both ways. Donald Trump has turned the job of president into a complete mockery. And when he gives Rush Limbaugh a consolation prize for having lung cancer– a prize that was once highly regarded and is now forever cheapened– it just chaps a lot of asses.
So… I don’t judge anyone for thinking it’s karmic justice for Limbaugh to have lung cancer, or even those who applaud it. Rush Limbaugh is just as vile as Trump is, and I would not shed a single tear if Trump got cancer, either. I wouldn’t. Trump wouldn’t cry for me, so why should I cry for him? To be clear, I am not necessarily happy that Limbaugh has cancer. Frankly, I don’t really care one way or the other. But I also don’t care that people are happy for the way things have turned out for Limbaugh. It’s human. And hey, he’s got a shiny new medal for his office, too.
It’s pretty obvious Rush has been blowing toxic fumes for many years now, so it stands to reason that he’d get cancer. And I don’t blame people for expressing out loud how frustrated and disgusted they are by this shitshow of a presidential administration. Personally, I am frustrated by people that I used to think were decent, good, intelligent, loving people continuing to support Trump and his band of merry shitgibbons, even in the face of all of the awful things he’s said and done for decades now. What exactly has to happen before people realize that Trump doesn’t care about anyone but himself and, to a much lesser extent, those who can do something for him?
You know who else I don’t judge? Nancy Pelosi. I think she’s a badass. I never paid much attention to her– or really, politics in general– until Trump got in office. In fact, I would say that might be the one GOOD thing Trump has done. He’s gotten a lot more people to care about politics and exercising their right and duty to vote. And because he’s done that, I now pay more attention to the people who want to run the country. I listen more to what they say and who surrounds them. And now, I vote in elections I might have otherwise skipped. I’ve also pretty much sworn off voting for Republicans. It would take a very special person to get me to change my mind about the Republican party. They permanently fucked up when they foisted Trump on the world.
But… when people get all up in arms about people wishing ill on Limbaugh or Trump or other world leaders– people who have great power over the rank and file– then proceed to go down the road to hell themselves, that’s when I have a good laugh…
People have the right to their opinions. They (still) have the right to express their opinions. They’re gonna say what they’re gonna say. Even the twit who commented in the above exchange has the right to be an asshole if he wants. And the rest of us have the right to wish ill on him if he goes too far. You may not maintain respect for people who wish ill on others, and that is certainly your right. But personally, I see it as more of a very human expression of frustration myself. I’m sure there are people who read my blog and think I’m an asshole, too… simply because I can’t stand Trump and dare to say it out loud. And yes, it’s true, I probably wouldn’t cry if he dropped dead on live TV. Like I said, he would never cry for me. Of course, I don’t actually wish for Trump to drop dead while he’s in office, since that would mean we’d have Mike Pence as president, and I think he’s probably worse than Trump is.
Anyway… people are rightfully disgusted and they’re expressing themselves colorfully. I think, if the United States is really a “free” country, we should let them have their say without chastising them for their opinions or trying to squelch what they say. When someone posts a lot of shit I don’t like, I scroll by. If it’s a habit that gets on my nerves, I unfollow or unfriend. Life is short… and people are gonna say what they want, anyway. And even if they don’t say it, they’ll still think it.
Hell, why not just have a good laugh, like Lori and I did in the above exchange? There’s nothing you can do about it, and telling people to stifle themselves is not going to do anything more than cause them to look at you with a jaundiced eye. My personal belief is that the vast majority of people– with a few notable exceptions– aren’t all bad all the time. Those who want to lecture others for expressing their true feelings are almost always hypocrites. Everyone does this… On the same thread I posted above, I noticed a comment from a conservative about how “nasty” the “left” is toward Trump. This same person laughed and applauded when one of her buddies called me a “moron” because I dared to say that I didn’t think Trump’s wall was a good idea…
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