Tag Archives: politics

resistance is not futile

mail

I engaged in an act of political resistance this week. I sent a letter to each of the 20 electors of Pennsylvannia to urge them to consider casting their vote for anyone who shows better respect for international diplomacy and the office of president than the president-elect. I don’t expect my letters to change any minds. There’s a good chance my letters won’t even be read, that they won’t arrive before the electoral college meets. That they will be buried in the bags of letters being sent. Even so, I wanted to add my plea to those of many thousands of others to voice that the upcoming administration does not have a mandate to carry out policy changes that put our world at risk.

As an aside, when I stopped by the post office to buy my stamps and mail my letters, I was amused by one of the signs in this quaint little scene at the back of the building.

loading-dock

“Do not climb or jump on or off the dock. Use stairs or ramp.”

jump

It is rare that we are publicly invited to jump off stairs in public buildings. (But I did resist the temptation.)

 

I voted.

I voted today. I didn’t have an appropriate pantsuit to wear, but I did carry my Woman Card in my back pocket. Now, watching the election results roll in, I am sick with worry. I am baffled that things are this close. I’m going to have to go to bed and hope for the best.

Today, I am grateful for the right to vote. It was a hard won right, and I don’t take it for granted.

The 2016 Republic of Pants election

The time has come once more for the Pants Republic to change its pants. Another 4 years have passed since the re-electon of Corduroy O’Bloomer to the Seat of the Pants government after his first election 8 years ago. This year, after another embarrassing fashion show, the Pants Republic’s two major fashion houses have chosen their candidates: Pantsuit Linen and Doubleknit Trousers.

Pantsuit Linen is a garment of a feminine cut as yet not seen covering the Seat of the Pants Republic. Pantsuit Linen is well known to the public eye, known first nationally as the First Raiment to previous Pants President, Twill Linen. Pantsuit, as her supporters like to call her, has also had other important roles in the National Pants Governement, both as elected garment, and as an appointee to the O’Bloomer Wardrobe. Pantsuit has long fought for the representation of skirts and shorts in the Republic’s wardrobe, as well as access to laundry care for all.

Doubleknit Trousers is known to the public eye for more for his showiness and his attention-grabbing appearances in commercials and catalogs, rather than for any material contributions to Pants society. Trousers boasts of having deep pockets and the best tailoring, but his claims have been unsubstantiated due to his refusal to show either his pattern or content tags. Many are unimpressed by the flashy gold stitching of Doubleknit’s style. While his fans claim his tendency to come unzipped in public show that his pants are relatable, others have been embarrassed and offended by what lies behind the zipper. It has been shown on many occasions that Doubleknit’s orange polyester fabric is threadbare, that it snags easily, exposing the tacky and often indecent fabric of his lining. His tendency to come unravelled at the slightest provocation is not only unflattering, but has demonstrated that his cut is unfit to cover the Seat of the Pants Republic.

Both candidates have been accused of breeches of decorum, and many rumors fly. Doubleknit was responsible for weaving rumors that O’Bloomer is a muslin and was sewn abroad, in spite of the manufacturing documentation to the contrary. Doubleknit has further torn the Pants of the Republic apart through giving priority to Pants of the traditional cloth and color of the Old Chaps Club, and devaluing pants of more diverse origins and hues or imported styles. On the other leg, many Doubleknit supporters question the integrity of Pantsuit’s construction, in spite of decades-long inspections of her fabric, thread, and stitching. Pantsuit’s sturdy tailoring has stood up to many attempts to shred her fabric, but she has not shown herself to be impervious to stains on the fabric of her character. Many feel that she has revealed too much of the warp and weft of the Pants Nation’s Undergarments, and much attention has been paid to her Briefs. Her biggest detractors argue that she should be belted.

Overall, the Pants of the Republic are stretched thin and uncomfortable around the waist, and all are ready for this election to be over. Shopping for pants is often demoralizing, but it has never been harder to for this nation to find a pair of pants that fits all.

Tonight I am grateful for laughter, and thankful that I can still find humor in these stressful days of the US election.

history has its eyes on me

My life is busy, and my life is full, but these days it is hard to think of things beyond the upcoming US election.

I have a lot of thoughts on this election, but I want to cut to the chase and say that I am appalled and embarrassed that one of this country’s major party nominees is…and I can’t even type his name without a turn of the stomach…Donald Trump.

I am appalled by his bigotry, his offensive words and actions. I am horrified by the way he has demonized muslims, and spread fear of refugees. I am disgusted by the way he treats and talks about women. I am largely baffled by the way a shockingly high percentage of my fellow Americans are unfazed enough by his words and actions that his candidacy is still considered viable. (And this doesn’t even cover his lack of competence or relevant experience.)

I am, quite honestly, nervous about the results of this election. I know that the world is watching nervously. And I can only wonder how future generations will look back on this time. I am exhausted and don’t want to get into fights, but I don’t want to risk that the future take my silence as agreement with policies and attitudes that are antithetical to my worldview.

Tonight, I am grateful that I live in a country where free speech is protected.

broken bottle bill

The election returns are coming in for Massachusetts, and it looks like there are many tight races. It does appear that some of the ballot questions have been settled, though, including one on the expanded bottle bill. A 5 cent deposit per bottle is currently mandated in the state for soda and beer sold in bottles, but not for water, sports drinks or juices. I’m rather frustrated that the bill fell through, since bottles without a deposit more frequently end up in the trash, or as litter. Not only did the bottle bill fail, but it appears to have done so by a wide margin.

It’s been a very tiring election season, what with the flood of gloom-and-doom emails and onslaught of phone call and mud-sling push polls. I just somehow though this one issue was more cut and dry for my left-leaning state.

The photo above is one I posted back in April. Given the topic of this post, I suppose it’s fitting that it is recycled.

a binder, goofier discourse

With apologies to my international friends and readers who either aren’t following, or are getting more than they’d like about, the US presidential race. For my friends and readers in the US who are still hearing more than they’d like about the US presidential race, I feel your pain. But I’m going to go ahead and post anyhow.

On Tuesday night, I faced the debates with a knot in my stomach.

That last few months have been increasingly stressful for all in this country who have convictions about what is best (or worst) for the country. The discourse has become increasingly ugly. Civility has left the building.

It won’t surprise anyone who reads this blog regularly that I am left-leaning.¹ I voted for Obama in 2008, and will enthusiastically vote for him again this year for a variety of reasons. But that’s beside the point.²

The point is that I watched the debate with many months of tension building, expecting to feel outraged. Dismayed. Disturbed.

What I did not expect was to go to bed giggling that night, and to wake up feeling like a 50-pound weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

I thank the binders full of women.³

I have a number of friends and relations who really didn’t see what’s so funny about “binders full of women.” They saw the reaction to it as blown out of proportion for a simple poor choice of phrase. They saw it as distracting from the real issues.

But I saw it as funny.

Really, really funny.

I loved the way people ran with it, and the many, many clever and quick responses.⁴ Sure, Romney’s phrase was only slightly off. If he’d phrased things a little less awkwardly, there might have been nought to run with. But the phrase brought up absurd imagery. And run with it, people did. To my great enjoyment.⁵

For the record, there were plenty of things that Romney said during the debate that I objected to. Things having to do with real issues that I care about deeply. But for all the critically important well-constructed arguments on the issues, for all the articles and the numbers and the counterpoints, none of them has given me so much relief and release and actual hope about the outcome of this election as the binders full of women comment and the ensuing flood of mockery.

So thank you, internetz. You came through for me this time. And thank you, Mitt.⁶


There are some good analyses out there about why the phrase got such a broad⁷ response. I though this one from the Guardian, brought to my attention by laloca, was particulary good. Here’s an excerpt:

Why did the phrase resonate? Because it was tone deaf, condescending and out of touch with the actual economic issues that women are so bothered about. The phrase objectified and dehumanized women. It played right into the perception that so many women have feared about a Romney administration – that a president Romney would be sexist and set women back. And it turns out the way Romney presented it – that he asked for a study of women in leadership positions – wasn’t true anyway.

¹ I regularly lean really, really far to the left, but I have good balance, so I don’t usually fall over.

² Sort of.

³ In case you missed it, “binders full of women” was an unfortunate phrase used by Romney when telling an anecdote about his efforts to recruit women for positions on his cabinet as Governor of Massachusetts.

And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, can you help us find folks? And they brought us whole binders full of — of women.

To see the full transcript, with a really cool interactive feature that lets you play the section of video from the transcript, check out this page on the 2nd debate at the New York Times.

⁴ Like these, most (if not all) of which can be found on the binders full of women tumblr: 3 rings to rule them all, nobody put’s baby in a binder, Binder?, Gobias, txt from Hillary, Hefner, Bill Clinton. Or the Facebook page, which someone started within seconds of the phrase being uttered. Or the reviews on this binder on Amazon. Or this one.

⁵ I’m sorry, but if the RNC can go gung-ho and build a whole convention theme around a poorly phrased bit of reference ambiguity offered by Obama, folks can have a little fun with Romney’s poorly phrased bit of metonymy.

⁶ Not something that my friends have expected to hear from me.

⁷ Heh. I said “broad.”

The Republic of Pants: Election 2012


It’s once again election season in the Republic of Pants. Four years ago, we were gripped by the tight pants race between Corduroy O’Bloomer and Trousers McPants. Today, the pants of the Republic are still split.

The media’s bias-cut stretches the fabric of the truth, tailoring the fit to either the Left Pants Leg or the Right Pants Leg. For those fully comfortable dressing on one side or the other, the choice may seem an easy fit. For those caught between the legs, however, the decision remains an uncomfortable one, and many concerns chafe.

After wearing O’Bloomer for 3 years, many are ready to try on a new pair of Pants. Some complain that O’Bloomer didn’t fit the way they’d hoped, that they’d been deceived by overly flattering dressing-room mirrors. Others never thought he was a good fit, and are pushing to go back to older pants styles. Yet there are still many who support O’Bloomer, and argue that his sturdily constructed pants are only beginning to be broken in.

O’Bloomer and his Vice Pants, Bootcut BiDenim, seek to publicize benefits of The Affordable Cleaners Act, a law by which all pants should be given access to adequate laundering. They claim that better fabric care for all pants will positively impact the well-being of the Republic, as well as addressing the rapidly rising costs of laundry. Critics argue that the dry cleaning companies will clean up while the pants of the Republic are hung out to dry.

Corduroy continues to be hemmed in by threadbare rumors, including that he is a Muslin, or just like Linen. Rumors that he was manufactured abroad persist in spite of his display of his “Made in the Pants Republic” labels.

Opposition styles, though, are also far from universally appreciated. After one of the most awkward and embarrassing fashion shows in decades, Tweed R. Moneypants was selected as challenger to O’Bloomer.

Few would call the Moneypants campaign seamless, with evidence of it being patched up on the fly. Many claim that R. Moneypants is really a pair of reversible pants, showing whichever pattern of his double-face fabric better suits his base. Some dispute his claims that he pulled himself up by his belt-loops, saying that he was braced by his father’s suspenders. Moneypants has further been criticized and for pocketing his assets in offshore Bermuda shorts, and for being in the back pocket of powerful suits with a vested interest in seeing him wear the Pants.

The uncomfortable stiffness of Tweedy’s material has been the butt of many jokes. Hammerpants Rayon, running mate of Moneypants, seems to be cut from a more comfortable pattern, but many doubt that his flashy cloth has enough substance to adequately cover the seat of the Pants Government.

Every fiber of the candidates is being examined for stains, holes and other defects, whether or not they are material to the issues. In this straight-legged race, neither side has the option to be a relaxed fit. Both must stay up on their briefs or risk being caught with their pants down. As the old adage goes, “He who slacks off gets sent to the cleaners.”

Both O’Bloomer and Moneypants are expected to be neatly pressed for the upcoming debates, with carefully tailored responses under their belts. Questions likely to be addressed include: How will each address the continuing strain on the fabric of the Pants Economy? How will they protect the National Pants from the looming menace of international Powerbritches? And finally, and most controversially, do leggings really count as pants?