Saturday, June 20, 2015

Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do

I've got a little Facebook icon, floating around somewhere, that leads to pretty much nothing.  Well, now it leads to definitely nothing because I quite the Place of Face.

I guess maybe a week ago I got on Facebook to fucker around and I realized that a family friend, who'd been close to my sisters, had had a baby without my even noticing.  I usually check my account on my smartphone, so most of the content I'm exposed to is payed content - minus things I'd had on notifications.  Then there was some minor kerfuffle in a group I was a member of, and everyone lost their shit and didn't seem able to recover, so I quietly walked away. 

I'd been pretty disconnected from most of the people in my life for a while now, for various reasons.  I've always had a habit of floating in and out of the fray of life.  But around a week ago I realized that the disconnect was much deeper than, say, a bout of depression that takes me out of the game.  Or not keeping in touch as much as I once did after moving. After I saw that I missed the birth of a friend's third child, I made it a point to check in on my friends.  I know that our FB profiles are inaccurate snap shots of our lives, like the one acceptable selfie after taking one hundred bathroom mirror photos; it's carefully angled and filtered to present an image that isn't 100% real, but in it's own strange way it is 100% honest.  The internet has afforded us our own platforms for espousing our ideologies and values on a relatively captive audience.  After all, we're friends, so we'll all spew out things we'd never say to someone's face, and you'll hit "like". Because we're friends. 

I congratulated my friend, and said how lucky I thought she was to have three beautiful children who she loved and who loved her in return.  I'll only ever have Stinkbug, even though I'd always thought I'd have more.  I'm happy for her, and a little envious that she'll get to kiss baby toes for another year, and hear "mama" for the first time again.  If I'd known that these sentiments would set off a diatribe about how hard her life is and how I'll never understand or be as strong as she is, I'd have just moved on with my life as if I'd never found out about the baby.

I moved on down the friends list.  Another rant about deadbeats on welfare who are leeching off the system and living off our tax dollars...from someone I know for a fact receives food stamps.  Really?  I see a lot of those types of rants on my newsfeed, and - to paraphrase - I'll defend your right to your opinions, no matter how disparate they are from my own.  But the fact that easily 90% the people putting these recycled right-wing fundamentalist memes out there are on, or have been on, some kind of assistance, completely boggles my mind.

I feel like that last sentence is grammatically wrong somehow.  I'm sick, so I get a pass.

Caitlyn Jenner was why I eventually just hit the "deactivate" button. 

I have an aunt who is MtF.  We're not crazy-super-close.  I'm not "crazy-super-close" to anyone.  But she's a bitchin' burrito smothered in awesome sauce.  She's a Republican, which is a total mind-fuck, but she's articulate and I can understand her rationale - even if I disagree.  I'd throw a pie for that lady, not because she's my aunt, or because of equal rights, or anything else other than she's cool beans and a human being.  And she has nothing to do with my leaving Facebook. 

I have a friend.  We're not crazy-super-close.  I'm not "crazy-super-close" to anyone.  But she's another bitchin' burrito smothered in awesome sauce, and she is often wounded by how shitty the world is.  She's beautiful, and I sort of want to steal her hair.  She's in love with a fictional character, because real people are shitty.  She is MtF, she is very young, and she is very vulnerable.  We have mutual friends, at least one of whom felt the need to weigh in on Caitlyn Jenner.  Post after post about how we shouldn't call "it" Caitlyn.  About perversion, about sin, about going against god.  "Friends" who know how she struggles, can call Caitlyn a "freak" or a "monster," and still smile into her face. 

I'll defend anyone's right to their opinion, even if I disagree with my entire soul.  But you can't say, I dunno,

"Women with brown eyes are genetically predisposed to murdering babies."

and still want to be friends with my brown-eyed self.  You know?  I feel like we're in "I'm-not-racist-because-I-have-one-black-friend-at-work" territory at that point.

I could unfriend a bunch of people, easy peasy.  Buuuuut...that'd be like 80% of my 60+ friends.  I'm sick, so don't ask me to math.  Let's just say it wouldn't be worth keeping a Facebook.  It's not worth it, to find out that people I care about are horrible, so I called the whole thing a wash, and deactivated.  I still IG, because cats and Funko.  I'm a lame ass.  Some of my real-life friends follow my account, and vice versa.  We don't interact much, except to like each others' pictures.  I like people much better at a little more than arm's length.

Completely unrelated P.S.:  THIS WHOLE WEEK OF STEVEN UNIVERSE GUYS!  ZOMG!!!!!!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Not The Babies!!!

I'm finally watching Annabelle, something like a million years after its release on DVD. It stars a bunch of people whose names I don't remember, because I'm bad at knowing who people are. But I am good at knowing who Ed and Lorraine Warren are.

Annabelle is about an evil demonic doll that terrorizes a nice, squeaky clean couple sometime in the the early 70's. The movie also uses the baby/child in peril trope, which is seriously my least favorite because it does it's job entirely too effectively. I've always had a hard time watching horror films about very young children in danger (teenagers can go to hell), and now I'm especially anxiety ridden because the act of having a kid myself has driven me bat-shit crazy. Normally only one very specific type of horror film actually scares me, but I'm fairly squeamish about the prospect of children, especially babies, in danger of a supernatural variety. I tell myself that I can throw myself in front out-of-control buses, and that I'd run into a burning building for my son, but there's about jack-shit you can do in the face of paranormal shenanigans. I don't believe in demons or malevolent spirits, per se, but I am freaked out by the idea of them. And for the record, the sub-genre of horror that does scare me is possession films. I'll get into that another day.

You'll get to it now!

Another thing that I super hate is dolls. Again, not actually afraid - I can be in a room with them, I even have a few for Stinkbug. I guess what I hate are China or porcelain dolls. There's just something inherently creepy about even the pretty or cute ones, and the filmmakers managed to create the fucking ugliest mother fucker ever captured on film.

This is what every nursery needs.

Which makes no sense, because the reality was so much more horrifying. The "real" Annabelle was a Raggedy Anne doll. I never had a problem with Raggedy Anne or Raggedy Andy until I read The Demonologist back when I was a teenager.

This blog post is now full of demon cooties.

Which leads back to Ed and Lorraine Warren. I don't know if I mentioned it, but I was a teen in the 90's. And if there's anything 90's teenaged girls love, it's the occult. The Edward Cullins loving youth of today got nothing compared to the tom-foolary we got up to back when I was a youngun. Like all young girls coming into the flower of womanhood, I made it a point of reading every horror novel, vampire novel, every true-story haunted house book, all of Mom's Wicca 101 books, and all the (now debunked) books about the psychological effects of Satanic ritual abuse on children. I've also, then and now, read a lot of books and articles exposing many of those "true-life" stories as fraud. And the Warrens are (were, as Ed is now dead) two of the biggest hucksters out there. So while Annabelle is the fictionalized prequel to The Conjuring - based on the "true" story of one of their cases - the association takes a lot of the shine off this film for me. Had the filmmakers changed the name of the doll, this would have been a semi-decent film. It has some genuinely creepy parts, and like I said, you put babies in danger and I immediately flip the fuck out. I'm all "NOOOOOO!!!! NOT THE BABY!" And there'd only be a 50/50 chance I'd recognize the story, because I don't always recall details very well or at all sometimes.  But the "based on a true story" angle was a huge part of the marketing for both films, and so the baleful specter of those two crackpots' lies hung around to constantly annoy and harass me.

*For the record, my computer totally freaked out when I added that picture of Reagan.  Like, freezing up at the mere mention of it.  I don't know if my laptop is possessed by demons or just by Acer.  I'll keep you updated.