Category Archives: Bite

An Open Letter To Rush Limbaugh


Dear Mr. Limbaugh:

So, you were forced to make an apology to Ms. Fluke and other women you insulted when you called her a “slut” and a “prostitute”. However, I have to take umbrage with several statements in your apology. In an attempt to be fair and balanced, I have included your entire apology in this post. I pulled it from the Huffington Post, I hope that doesn’t rankle you too much:

“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Now, I could argue that your whole apology was weak, at best. And I could point out that the coercion is almost palpable. But, instead, I’m going to focus on three specific statements you made. And thank you for the expediency of making all three statements consecutively. This is the passage I’d like to discuss:

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability?

Let’s break the statement down to individual sentences so each statement can receive the response it so richly deserves, shall we?

(And since you started your “apology” with the idea that you have “illustrated the absurd with absurdity,” I’m going to borrow from that phrase for just a moment.)

Absurdity Illustration #1: I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress.

Here’s a stat for ya, Rush: Men think about sex almost twice as much as women. Notice I didn’t trot out the “men think about sex once every seven seconds” urban legend. That’s a, well, absurd statement, and I don’t need to be incendiary or outrageous to make a point. (You should try that sometime.)  Don’t believe me? Check here, here and here. Also, men see sex more as a recreational activity than women (that point is also supported in the previously provided links). Republican congressMEN created a committee to discuss contraception, and refused to let women participate.

Believe it or not, I agree with you, Rush. It is absurd that a group of men decided to get together and discuss recreational sex. That should have stayed on the golf course, in the locker room, and around the poker table — you know, those other places men work to keep female-free. Here’s an interesting tidbit: when women get together to, oh I don’t know, make a quilt, discuss the latest book club selection or swap recipes, female contraception only comes up if someone’s having an issue “down there.” Otherwise, it’s generally not topic worthy.  Birth control is not recreation for us — for many of us it’s a necessary evil. Period. (Pun intended)

Absurdity Illustration #2: I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities.

Did I miss a memo? When did this become something that the American citizens collectively would be required to pay for? I thought the point of the hearings was to discuss if private insurance should be required to cover oral contraceptives. How did that become free birth control lines at the free clinic? I believe that if I’m paying for insurance, then I should be able to get any medication I need to live a healthy and comfortable life. I get highly insulted when I’m paying for a service but I cannot receive all the parts of the service I want because someone determined I didn’t need it. Someone who has NO IDEA what I really need or want. That’s insulting. What if your insurance company told you that you’ve had enough sex in your life, and therefore they will no longer cover your Viagra? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Absurdity Illustration #3: What happened to personal responsibility and accountability?

Oh, Rush, Rush, Rush (when was the last time a woman said THAT to you?)…I’ve been pondering this same question for years. I ponder it when I hear statements such as:

  • It’s the woman’s responsibility to take care of birth control.
  • Women who use birth control are awesome. I hate having sex with a condom — it ruins it for me.
  • (When the birth control fails): Not my problem — you should have known you were fertile!
  • (When no birth control is used and pregnancy results) See statement #1 followed by “What do you expect me to do about it?”

You dare to pose the question about responsibility and accountability, while other men place that responsibility and accountability squarely on women’s shoulders. And when a woman does take on the accountability, and a pregnancy results, you point the finger and denounce her.

That’s bad enough.

But then, when the woman takes on the responsibility, but simply asks that her insurance, which she is paying for, offer contraception coverage as part of the planfor which the woman is paying premiums, you have the audacity to insult her and tell her she has no right to make the request.

You’re out of your freakin’ mind.

I doubt you’ll read this, and that’s okay. I didn’t really write it for you to read, since that might mean having some sort of contract with you, and like the flu, I try to avoid things that make me feverish, clammy and feel like I want to faint. I really wrote this for my readers who actually respect your opinion, and for my other readers who think you are a moron. So, let me finish off this post with a brief summary:

Men can get Viagra through insurance. It’s used primarily to treat Erectile Dysfunction. Most men use it for recreational sex. And yes, sex with your spouse that is not a deliberate attempt to procreate IS recreational sex.

Women use oral contraceptives to treat a myriad of gynecological ailments, including infrequent cycles, PCOS, endometriosis, PMDS and acne. They also use it for recreational sex. But insurance doesn’t want to cover oral contraception because women might use it for recreational sex.

If you can’t see the flaw in that logic, then it’s a good thing this is the end of my post, because I have nothing more to say to you.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , ,

An Open Letter to One Million Moms


Dear 57 sad women with no life and a drinking problem One Million Moms:

You seem to think I need you to tell me what I can and cannot do, see, read, listen to or buy. Guess what? I don’t.

JC Penney’s choice of Ellen offended you. You said she didn’t represent the values of the American people.

You thought wrong.

Now you have an issue with a comic, or more to the point, Toys R Us because they are carrying the comic. Two men got married. I guess they don’t represent the values of the American people either.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say, you’re wrong again. Two people who commit to each other, who commit to share their lives, forsaking all others…

Sounds like familiar American values to me.

I have a suggestion: if you don’t like what is on your television, change the channel. Don’t like the content of a book? Don’t read it. Don’t like the song on the radio? Change the station.

But you do not have the right to dictate what I do or what I choose to let my children do, even if, in your opinion, it’s for the “public good.”

You’ll forgive me if I roll my eyes at the utterance of that statement.

The Public Good.

Do you know what has happened in the name of “the public good”?

  • Blacks were enslaved for the public good, because they were no smarter than animals and incapable of being productive members of society.
  • Women weren’t allowed to work, go to school or vote because it was for the public good that they stay home, barefoot and pregnant.
  • Native Americans were herded to reservations because they were savages and it was for the public good that they be isolated.
  • Concentration camps in Germany were for the public good.
  • Japanese internment camps were for the public good.

Get it?

You are free to pray for my soul.  Go ahead and find Bible passages that prove I’m a heathen and that I’m going to hell. Lament sadly that I just won’t accept the truth. Knock yourself out. But do it quietly. I don’t want to hear this nonsense. I do not need you to police my life. I’m more than capable of that, myself. And obviously, I’m also capable of calling you on your crap, something I will continue to do for as long as you are determined to sling it.

Regards,

One Annoyed Mom

(You see, I don’t need to claim 999,999 other Moms to stand up to you.)

Tagged , , , , ,

I Struck Down the Soup Nazi!


Well, I helped, anyway.

I’m going to keep this short — I’ll probably post more about it tomorrow.

Every Sunday for the last year and a half, a friend of mine and his wife have been making soup for the local freeze shelter (that’s a shelter that takes in homeless people when the weather is cold). Well, this past week, my friend was told by the Health Department that he could no longer provide soup to the shelter because he didn’t have a commercial kitchen or a permit.

This upset my friend, and as people often do, he posted about it on Facebook. And we were rather annoyed for him.

After doing some research, my friend discovered that although he couldn’t take a whole pot of soup down to the shelter, there was nothing illegal about an individual taking a single serving of soup to another individual.

See where I’m going with this?

So, tonight, I participated in some civil disobedience. Yes, it was technically still not legal for him to serve the soup, but since individuals delivered it, it was okay.

Sorta.

Well to me, and the rest of us who pitched in, it was perfectly okay. Matter of fact, a good time was had by all.

Anyway, that was my first act of rebellion since college. Felt good. Might have to see what else I can get myself into…

🙂

Tagged , , , , ,

Would You Like Fries With That?


or how about “Welcome to WalMart!”

Or maybe “We offer the cardigan in three colors: fuchsia, magenta and chartreuse.”

Oh, don’t mind me, I’m just trying out some phrases for a new job. Cuz this whole writing thing is getting on my last nerve!

Yeah, today hasn’t been the best day. But you have those.

Sometimes you have two.

Hell, sometimes you even have 12. And if you’re really “lucky,” you have them consecutively.

OK — so I haven’t had 12 bad writing days in a row, but this has not been a stellar week. I’m making progress toward my goals, but it’s slow.

I hate slow.

Hate. It.

This life is hard. Writing is hard. Dealing with clients is hard. Waiting to get paid is hard.

But if it were easy, it probably wouldn’t be worth doing. (Oh, hush, Mom, I know…I KNOW!)

So, I’m going to whine a bit, eat something fattening, whine some more because I blew my diet, then probably drink some wine.

(No, wine is part of my diet. I’m a writer, remember?)

Then I’ll go back to being a writer, because, well…

I’m not asking anyone if they want fries, I’m more apt to ask people why the hell they’re at WalMart and I’d never in a million years own a  fuchsia, magenta or chartreuse cardigan, let alone suggest someone buy one.

A bad day (or two or 12) working from home is better than a good day working for someone else. (So, I keep reminding myself.)

How do you deal with rough day(s) with work? What gets you through?

Tagged , , , , ,

Due Diligence


[Note: I know this is supposed to be my response to my blog post yesterday, but I want to address this particular issue right now, and interestingly enough, it does still carry the yesterday’s issue forward. I’ll explain my reasoning for why our industry works for peanuts tomorrow.]

Dear Client Whose Name I Shall Never Utter Again:

I got your email yesterday. No, not the one where you promise me payment “shortly” for the fifth time. Uh, no, not the one where you want me to work for you –again–although you still haven’t paid me for my last three jobs (I ignored that email, I’m sure you’ll understand why in a moment). I’m referring to the third and final email I received from you — you know, the one where you accused me of stealing someone else’s work. Remember that one?

—–Changing gears here a bit. I’ll come back to the letter at the end——-

To their credit, they didn’t come right out and accuse me of it — they blamed it on Copyscape and how my two articles showed “significant matches” to content already on the web. I guess they figured I’d become fearful and not fire off a response. And they were right — almost. I decided I would make this a teachable moment.

And they are the student.

You see, I have a Copyscape account too. I think all writers should have an account with a plagiarism checking service. It’s a good way to check your own work for duplicate content, and to be sure no one else is stealing from you. I mean, accidents do happen, and sometimes we do write something that is too similar to something we’ve read. It happens.

So, I ran the “offending” articles through Copyscape, thinking, ya know, maybe I did subconsciously duplicate content. Sure enough, article #1 showed substantial hits. Like 20 of them. So I started clicking through all the duplicates…

Let me stop here and backtrack a bit. The article was about a rule the FCC put in place to deal with debt collection agencies. In my article, I quoted the rule, with a “the FCC, in a recent ruling[ ….]The rule states:” lead-in for the quote. At the bottom of the article, I provided the source for the quote. Introduction, quote, source. With me? Good.

So, I’m looking at the sites where I supposedly lifted this content..and I notice four things:

1. No lead in sentence.

2. No quotation marks around the quote. It’s written as if the person wrote the rule himself.

3. No source citation.

4. None of the sites are the source I used.

And this was the same for 20 DIFFERENT SITES.

So, all these sites include this quote, without acknowledging it as a quote and from where it came…but I’M the one who plagiarized.

Eh…no. I think that’s backwards. And when I checked the second article — same issue. A quote I used tripped the plag flag.

Now here’s the teachable moment, folks. Just because a plagiarism checker picks up something, that does NOT mean the article is plagiarized. You have to compare what the checker picks up with the document being scanned, and determine if it truly is duplicate content or not. Copyscape doesn’t care if the text is in quotation marks. It doesn’t care if there was a attributive sentence or phrase leading up to the text in question, and it doesn’t care if the text is sourced at the bottom of the article. It sees the words and kicks them out. YOU have to verify whether it’s plagiarism or not. That’s your job. And you didn’t do it, because if you had, you would have seen that my work was properly quoted and attributed, and you wouldn’t have needed to send me an insulting email.

And since you didn’t do your due diligence, you end up reading a post like this from a pissed off writer who just got accused of committing the worst crime in our industry.

You also end up getting dropped as a client. I’m not working for you any more. You’re small potatoes and slow-paying small potatoes at that. Go find some other writer to try and screw over. I’m done with you.

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Catfish, Trout or Tuna?


I love a good piece of fried catfish, though fresh tuna in a salad is rather yummy as well. Not a fan of trout.

But that’s not really what this post is about. Go ahead, breathe a sigh of relief.

Now, the reason for the title was to segue to this question: Which would you rather be: a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?

Ponder that for a moment. I’ll wait.

insert Jeopardy Theme here

Know your answer? Good.

Anyone who has been in the writing field for more than five minutes knows three things: it’s pretty cutthroat, you need a thick skin and for as large as the industry is, is a pretty small community. To get anywhere, you have to be determined, lucky and resilient.  Skill and talent helps, but as we’ve all witnessed at least once, this is not really a requirement.

For years I wanted to be the BIG FISH IN THE BIG POND. Anything less than that would have meant failure.

Well after years of working and sacrificing my family and social life, the best I managed was medium-sized fish in a medium-sized pond.

But that was enough to tell me one thing — although I might like to be the Big Fish in the Big Pond, I was NOT willing to do the things I would need to do to get there.

My grandfather had two sayings that I still embrace:

Pap-pap saying #1: Locks are for honest people.

Pap-pap saying #2: No man has ever become rich without stepping on the backs of others.

Both of these sayings have molded how I have treated my career. I am more than capable of being a big fish, and in many ways, I am. What I am NOT willing to do, however, is kiss up, step on and screw over other fish to be the big fish in the big pond. I’d first become the diner special of the day or sacrifice myself for sushi.

So all that to say, I’d rather be the big fish in the small pond. I prefer helping the smaller fishies, and if they use me as a springboard to the big pond, more power to them.  I’m happy in my small pond, doing what I love, snacking on kelp and happily swimming in my self-made paradise.

But a warning to all you small fishies out there that are looking to usurp me and the medium and big fish that couldn’t hack the big pond — don’t think I won’t bite you. This is MY pond. I might prefer kelp, but don’t think I won’t eat a goldfish, trout, catfish or tuna that tries to cross me.

Tagged , , ,