Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A post about stuff other people have been posting about

For awhile, Ta-Nehisi Coates over at The Atlantic has been singing the praises of our own Ulysses S. Grant's memoirs of the Civil War. Apparently he's kind of bitchy, and that sounds awesome. You know I've covered Grant myself here (he's also the one next to Lincoln on the banner above), but ever since I read Doris Kearns Goodwin's awesome Team of Rivals a few months ago, I've gained a greater appreciation for the old drunkard.* Especially since that book really traced out what an incompetent douchebag George McClellan was. Anyway, Coates thinks Grant is basically a real-life superhero and wants Kevin Costner from the '90s to play him in an awesome movie. I support this. Also, 20 extra points for Marvin Gaye reference. The point of all this is that history is cool and now I'm getting Isaac to check out Grant's 500+ page memoirs for me to read. For fun. Because I'm a nerd. But apparently I'm not really a student here right now because I graduated and I don't technically enroll in the PhD program until later this summer. Or something. Whatever. Isaac can do my library bidding since he's on campus anyway and I am in a cubicle in Toledo.

On an unrelated note, have you guys heard this shit about the little girl in Seattle whose white teacher couldn't handle the "smell" of her hair product or something and kicked her out of class? Yeah. That happened. Over at Racialicious, Andrea Plaid takes on the various gendered and racialized stereotypes brought out by this classic example of "the Delicate White Woman Frightened by the Negress’ Physical Being" (Plaid). Because SRSLY: I'm sensitive to a lot of perfumes, etc., but I don't ask people to LEAVE my presence. Especially ironic in this case was that the girl was the only non-white student in an advanced placement class at a school named for Thurgood Marshall. Seriously. That part happened, too.

But in case that doesn't make you depressed enough about the world, Jill at I Blame the Patriarchy attacks the disgusting coverage surrounding a 13 year-old girl whose self-induced abortion with a PENCIL with the help of her 30 year-old "boyfriend" are causing people to call her a stupid slut. Now, I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to go ahead and say seventh graders can't consent to fucking 30 year-olds. So this grown-up man has been dating raping her for a year, gets her pregnant, and she (or HE) so desperately doesn't want this baby that she tries to induce a miscarriage with a fucking pencil and basically bleeds for three days. That sounds to me like an action taken by a terrified victim. One who happens to still be a CHILD. But apparently some people think she should be charged with a crime. Because they are assholes and don't understand what rape or abuse are and don't understand why she might not have had access to a proper medical abortion. Have I mentioned that I hate the world?

If that makes you too sad, just think about how awesome Ulysses S. Grant is. The Civil War's not, like, depressing or anything, right?

*I do have some issues with Goodwin's depiction of Lincoln's mental health in this book, however. She claims that because he was mostly functional he was merely "melancholy" of temperament and not actually "depressed." I haven't done the archival research she has, clearly, but he sounds like a classic depressive to me. We don't all just lay in bed all day and cry, sometimes we accomplish things and manage to also have a sense of humor at the same time. Just sayin', Doris Kearns Goodwin, it's okay to admit he was depressed. It's not actually that big a deal.

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