Sunday, March 02, 2008

Why Marcia started her own blog

Finally, our interview with Marcia. SICKOFITRDLZ is Marcia's blog and she started it last month. A Common Ills community member since 2004, why did she decide now was the time to start a blog?

"It probably does seem strange and it does to me now," she explained. "I had a million of excuses for not doing one before and now that I'm doing one I realize how silly they were."

The excuses included time, being able to produce something on demand and just nothing "forcing me to do one."

The "change" candidate, Barack Obama, changed it for Marcia.

"Has anyone ever been given such a free ride by the media -- real media and panhandle media?" Marcia asks. "I don't think so. Even John McCain, the sainted McCain, gets brought back down to earth for a moment or two by the press. Not so with Bambi. He says X and offends people and the groupies yell 'He said Y!' and that's what gets printed. He doesn't have a record to stand on so he attacks Hillary's record and no one ever says, 'Hold on a minute.'"

Hillary Clinton is the candidate Marcia's supporting and the attacks on her really were the reason to start a blog.

"I am very opposed to the illegal war and it's something I discuss with friends all the time. I'd love to say that the illegal war is what got me off my ass. But the reality is that I saw what was being done to Hillary and I was offended. From the right wing she's still being smeared as a lesbian and can we talk about that for one damn minute? I'm a lesbian. How has Hillary reacted to that smear? She hasn't felt the need to play like it's a bad thing. She's given the accusation intended to hurt all the attention it needs which is none. She's married Bill, she's been married to Bill, she's stayed married to Bill. End of story. Contrast that with any thing said about Obama and his response which is to go overboard and whine. It's disgusting. Hillary says something and it's attack attack from The Nation, The Progressive, Democracy Now! and all the rest. Obama uses homophobia in South Carolina and that's just fine and dandy with all three except The Progressive which does run an outside article but find anything Matthew Rothschild's written on the subject. If John McCain used homophobia, if he invited homophobes onstage for a rally, he would be called out by the same outlets. If Hillary did it, you know they'd be up in arms. But with Obama we're supposed to ignore it? And there are so few lesbians working in the media that when one of them, the Uncle Tom Laura Flanders, can't say a word about it, then someone needs to speak up. There's the issue of Iraq where Barack Obama has lied consistently. And you've had the media ignore it and cover it up and you've had idiots like Laura Flanders and Tom Hayden claim he was calling for this or that. I'm embarrassed for most of the outlets I used to turn to."

Until Amy Goodman disappeared Iraq in the summer of 2006, the following statement appeared constantly at The Common Ills: "'Democracy Now! always worth watching', as Marcia says."

"That was my program but Amy Goodman's certainly run me off," she says today. "Independent journalist my ass. Has anyone been more in the tank for Bambi? Last week, on two separate days, she included in headlines that Bambi got endorsed by Chris Dodd. She can't even mention Hillary's endorsements but she can mention all of Bambi's and, with Dodd, plug it as news in her headlines two days running. Look at who she has on, Hillary Haters. Her last roundtable, as C.I. pointed out, featured four guests. One wasn't committed to either Hillary or Barack. Three were committed to Barack. They didn't admit that on air. Frances Fox Piven had already signed on to so-called 'Feminist for Obama.' Not one Hillary supporter but three Barack supporters and this is supposed to pass for fair? Does Amy Goodman think we're idiots? Or look at the way Nevada and Wisconsin played out. She brought on a Hillary Hater who said Hillary was hearing voices to talk about Nevada. She didn't tell her audience he was for Barack. She interviewed him and pretended like he was a journalist and he hadn't decided to support any candidate. And with Wisconsin it was go to Hillary Hater John Nichols. I loathe that show today and I have no respect for Amy Goodman. I could list examples from here to next week of how she has slanted the coverage. And the disgust factor set in for good when she refused to report on the homophobia. Every LGBT audience member of Democracy Now! should remember that forever because she made it very clear that we don't matter."

She said there wasn't specific incident that led her to say "Enough!" so much as the snowball effect.

"It just all got out of control," she says. "One minute I'm watching Jesse Jackson Jr. lie and race bait on TV and the next I'm thinking, 'Enough!' I'd had it and I thought, 'This is appalling.' They went out of their way to tear down Bill Clinton. That was disgusting. As an African-American, I was embarrassed by the press. Obama's campaign screamed 'Racism!' over and over to score points and they ran with it. There are many people who are racists, no question, but when we're including Bill Clinton in the mix, there's a problem. When all the sudden 'fairytale' is somehow a racist word, there's a problem. When criticizing a candidate is 'racism,' there's a problem. Obama has the biggest sense of entitlement in the world and any criticism of him is dismissed by his campaign as racism. I think he's a danger and a menace in the same was that our current White House occupant is and I think you can see that in the way he looks down on people -- really, he looks down on his nose on people, check out the photos -- and in his sense of entitlement. He has built a race upon himself. He has nothing to offer America. How is that any different from who we've got in the White House right now?

"Or take all the women -- girls -- showing up to claim 'I'm a feminist and Gloria Steinem offended me with what she wrote.' Some even claiming it was racism. Stop tripping, girls. Gloria didn't say anything wrong. She wrote about women, all women, as Betty has pointed out, and somehow that was offensive. Now all the little girls showing up in their half-slips and teddies, and yeah, I especially mean you, Jenny Fang, you stupid idiot, weren't by standers, they were part of the Barack Obama campaign. Well, Jenny Fang and you other morons, tell my Black ass when you're going to call out your boy's use of homophobia because, last time I checked, feminism didn't support homophobia. So kiss my Black ass, Jenny Fang, you stupid, stupid moron."

Asked if she feels angrier these days than she would normally, Marcia laughs and answers "Hell yes."

"If I have one regret," she says, "it's that I didn't start it sooner, my blog. I would have loved to have posted on the Jenny Fangs. I would have loved to have written a column telling them how much they offended me as they came off as New Aged englightened wonders, with their dippy little doodles calling out Gloria Steinem while never calling out a man who used homophobia as a campaign strategy. I would have been pointing out that they've got some nerve going after Gloria for including all women -- all races, gay, straight, bi -- when they're not able to call out homophobia. To see that fat ass Katha Pollitt acting her usual bulls**t self, well, I guess we should all be glad Katha didn't feel it was time to again offer up orders to the NAACP about what they should be focusing on. Katha, you're a racist. Your fat, White, cracker ass is a racist. You can lust after what you hope Barack's got in the front of his pants, but, honey, even during slavery, White women were lusting after Black men and that didn't make them any less racist."

She also credits Ava and C.I. because "I saw them hitting hard on the crap being hurled at Hillary and I just thought, 'They're not endorsing.' They aren't and that's fine. But if they can take on this nonsense, if they can call it out, then I sure should be able to because I will state loudly that I support Hillary Clinton. She is the best candidate in the race. She would make an outstanding president. America would be lucky to have her as president.

"I also thought, reading Ava and C.I., 'This is a moment.' It really is. This moment will be addressed -- regardless of outcome -- for years and decades to come by feminists. It will not be pretty for women claiming to be feminists. When the sheen's gone from Bambi's dewy eyes, the reality will set in that this was a race between a woman with a record and a man with none. It will set in that he was inexperienced. It will set in that the press covered for him repeatedly, created false divisions between him and Hillary on the illegal war to his benefit. It will set in that non-racists were called racists to try and silence everyone and anyone who questioned the fairy tale. It will set in that his record on issues primarily effecting women was shameful. And women looking back on this era, young women being born after, are going to have a field day with these women self-presenting right now as feminists. You better believe that homophobia, which has already become less and less accepted in my lifetime, will be even less accepted in the future and all these Eve Enslers and the rest are going to go down in history not just supporting a candidate who used homophobia but also having never called him out on it. This really is the death of Eve Ensler and I don't think she gets it. The Vagina Monologues, for it's good and it's bad, has been turned into an experience, an event more than a play. It's an event primarily for women and it is about the importance of women sharing, women coming together, women supporting women. When Eve Ensler endorses Barack Obama, she makes a mockery out of her play. That play's dead. It's over. No one's going to want to hear that. No one's going to want to see that. And if Hillary loses the nomination, it's going to be even worse for Ensler. What's her next play going to be? Stroking The Penis? If Molly Shannon were still on Saturday Night Live, I'm sure she'd be writing an Eve Ensler parody right now."

Can a feminist endorse Barack Obama?

"My opinion?" Marcia asks. "No, she can't. She can't do that and call me her sister. I'm a lesbian and if she's down with homophobia, she ain't my sister. If she's down with homophobia, she's not a feminist. I'm not White, I'm not straight. Don't talk to me about barriers, because I know all about them. And any woman backing up a man who endorses those barriers -- using homophobia to scare up votes is endorsing the barriers and the hatred -- is not in it for all women. She may be in it for all straight women. But Eve Ensler, Naomi Wolf, Frances Fox Piven, Katha Pollitt and all the rest of you, you ain't in for women. You're in it for some women. For straight women. But you turned your back on your lesbian sisters and that will not be forgotten. It's a huge deal to me right now but you wait ten years and it will be a dividing line when feminists talk and write about what went down in 2008. Most people think that same-sex marriage will come to be at some point, legalized marriage. They think that because prejudices have been confronted. They still have a lot of confronting to do. But they're right and it's been a sea of change for those of us in the LGBT community. That's only going to continue and as it does, you will see these women claiming to be feminists called out. If they're lucky, they won't be alive to see their legacies in ruin, their names the subject of jokes and scorn. If they're unlucky, they'll live long lives and have to answer for their actions as long as they self-present as feminists. As the song says, 'People get ready, there's a train a' comin'.'"

[Mike interviewed Marcia last month here.]
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