Long time no post\boring update

Ugh, so I wrote like, three half posts over the holidays, and I can’t remember what I wrote about in any of them, and now I have to find a way to finish them and shove them back in chronologically. I’m having a few roadblocks. First of all being my Mom broke her foot on Boxing Day (I think, somewhere after Christmas and before New Years) while chasing after the garbage truck in her slippers. Everyone kind of had Christmas on the brain and we forgot what day it was and my Mom heard the garbage truck and just went for it. Like a dog after a mail man. I woke up to our security cameras going off and through the magic of the Internet watched an HD video of her limping up the steps in my bed. She wasn’t sure it was broken, but I was sure it was broken, because it was my Mom and these are the things that happen to her. She broke her thumb getting hit in the face with an umbrella then rolling down the stairs. She’s a petite woman but somehow she just becomes unstoppable… Mass sometimes.

She had to have surgery to put a pin in it, I guess I’ll write more on that experience later, and how we are coping with her mass, now hobbled and unmoving (spoiler alert: not well.) But that’s taken up (rightly and what not) a lot of my time.  Refuse to pick up after my sister out of spite, and my Mom’s motherly love is the only thing more powerful than my resentment. Without her mobile and picking up the used paper towels and food packaging my sister leaves around the couch, I become hostile. I’ve subsumed my Mom’s role, which is empowering (In the not quite fitting words of Leonard Cohen “I used to live alone before I knew you” I guess your Mom is literally the only one you can’t use that line on, but you get the point.”) I’m an adult again. I’m THROWING SHIT OUT. KATE’S RULES. I’m enjoying that. I’m not enjoying my Mom’s depression (obviously) or the fact she stubbornly refuses to stop moving around (remember the stairs and how graceful she is on two legs) when I’m not there to supervise\call for help. Before I take a shower I ask her what she needs, does she need food, does she need ice, does she need coffee or to go to the bathroom or the remotes or a pillow, she always says she’s fine. The SECOND water hits porcelain, this bitch is thumping around on her peg leg like the house is on fire. It sounds like we have MOVER’S IN. I don’t even know what she does! One time I leave the shower in a towel, and there is what looks to be a trail of blood from my Mom’s room all the way to the kitchen. Her foot is kind of numb, I’m thinking she cut her toe, or pulled her stitches and can’t feel it. I go downstairs, ‘Hi sweetie!” Not only was she not supposed to walk down stairs, she did it on crutches while trying to hold a mug and a full coffee pot. Yeah. I can’t. I can’t have kids.

So it’s been shit like that. She’s okay which is all that matters, but the lack of independence is depressing her, which depresses us, on top of the fact me and my sister have to come together to fill in the gaps which is not something that usually happens.

And my computer is shit. It’s not shit. I feel bad saying that. The guts are fine, but it’s a big ass 15″ laptop from 7 or so years ago, it’s massive, it’s heavy, the power cord and battery both went, so I have to carry it around plugged in, and the screen is falling off. Would love a new set up but money is so tight right now. My Dad thinks he can get work hook ups but I’ll probably wait until the thing completely keels over. It’s just so… Immobile.

That is all sorry for my angsty bitch mode rant



Shake that Bear: In Defense of BrickleberryBrickleberry’s Malloy cooks with AIDS
Leave it to me to be pissed off by a listicle. This morning I read an article on Salon titled “The 7 most offensive TV shows ever” a typical minimally researched Buzzfeed-y slideshow with a vague-yet-provocative, shareable headline. For purporting to be the definitive account of “ever,” the list doesn’t even cover the history of television. The earliest program is from the ’90s, so apparently Beulah was just fine, sorry NAACP. But anyway what annoyed me was the justification for the inclusion of the Comedy Central cartoon Brickleberry.
The line of thinking seemed to be that the inclusion of taboo subjects like violence, rape, stereotypes, racism, sexism, were fine as long as they were pursued for some end, which is left totally undefined. There’s an implication noble and ignoble intentions exist, Mad Men and Game of Thrones being examples of acceptable forums for the exploration of the forbidden while Brickleberry uses offense for the sake of offense and is therefore hollow and valueless.
I’m all for the existence of a spectrum of morality, and no doubt centuries of art criticism is based on assigning moral/societal value to works under the guise of objectivity. That seems to be the inherent problem with any form of criticism or journalism or human existence; we can’t get away from our own biases. But claiming that a critically acclaimed drama is ‘allowed’ to push boundaries, while a comedy show is too irresponsible to be trusted with that sort of power, seems like a flimsy argument even for a listicle. For one, it’s elitist, the only programs deigned respectable enough to push boundaries by critics are those with the critical stamp of approval, a concept of decency that just perpetuates its own taste and point of view.
Not to mention it completely ignores context. Lets remember one show includes a talking bear.
The article’s specific criticism is that the use of the taboo in Brickleberry is unacceptable because it is “nihilistic.” I realize nihilism is associated with depressed mall punks and the kinky Germans from The Big Lebowski, but I’m pretty sure the actual concept of nihilism is not exactly apathetic. In fact, I’m pretty sure nihilism is the view that some or all aspects of the human experience are a construction, therefore there is no absolute truth to be used as a barometer for human action or thought or achievement or morality, which is a pretty damn radical mode of thinking.
And coincidentally kind of similar to Brickleberry.
If everything is offensive then nothing is. Inundated by jokes about abortion, plot lines about bestiality, characters that so embody racist and sexual stereotypes that they become stereotypes of stereotypes, in Brickleberry all benchmarks for morality are lost, like a moral sensory deprivation tank. Whereas instances of rape in Mad Men or Game of Thrones are shocking because they mark a departure from the norm, the environment of Brickleberry creates a flattening effect. Brickleberry uses taboo subjects so excessively that events with a natural tendency to create dramatic effect are transmuted into neutral events merely in service to the plot. Bear rape and picking up the mail become equally mundane. It’s not amorality, but the experience of moral relativism. Societal norms about what subjects are approachable and how they can be spoken about are stripped away. Brickleberry isn’t celebrating rape or violence or racism, but it is doing a number on the hierarchical structure and labyrinthine code of ethics we must abide by in order to talk about them.
You don’t get a monopoly on meaning. I recognize taste is subjective, but too often people want to regulate who is allowed to say what and how it is said. Rape, violence, sexism, racism, homophobia are all unfortunate parts of the human experience, and dictating that only Kenneth Brannaugh in a powdered wig is allowed to mention them is like saying the patricians get to use 26 letters of the alphabet while everyone else gets 20.