Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mitch Albom's Asshatedness Reaches Critical Mass and Fireblossom Can't Stand It Anymore

There is a time when a girl just has to speak up. Now, you know me, readers. War, famine, politics all leave me unmoved. I don't even look up from filing my nails. But bad writing, and using bad writing as a platform to spew one's teensy thoughts into the world as though they were carved on stone tablets, well, that gets my goat.

Let's talk about Mitch Albom. He writes for the Detroit Free Press newspaper and has won many awards (mostly for writing about sports). I won't mention his having been censured by his employers for plagiarism. He has written several (schmaltzy, presumptuous) books. One of them was subtitled "The Meaning Of Life." Such a humble man. But you've got to hand it to him. He waits patiently for someone more interesting than he is to die, so he can bend their bones into a self-serving book. "Tuesday's With Morrie" and the new one about the late Detroit Tigers' broadcaster Ernie Harwell. Mitch not only claims to know the meaning of life, he also knows what happens when you die. Wow! Not bad for someone who has spent most of his life hanging around locker rooms and looking up at everybody. He's so small and delicate, I'm surprised he didn't get asked to dance. Oops! Was that a lame-brained idiotic comment I just made? Which brings me to my real subject...

Some of you may have heard about baby Storm, born to a Toronto couple who have decided to keep their baby's gender under wraps for the time being. Unorthodox to be sure, but this has made them targets for an angry, sneering lynch mob (kind of like gay people who blunder into the path of Reverend Phelps!). More on Storm in a minute.

Mitch Albom now writes a Sunday column on the front of the "News & Views" section of the Free Press, ( http://www.freep.com ) which is the next section after section A. Flip once, and there's Mitch. Now, in Detroit we have a zillion things someone could express their views about. There is unemployment, the housing crisis, racism, corruption in city government, and a public school system that is disastrously underfunded and floundering. So, at what does Mitch decide to point his sword-like pen today? At baby Storm and his family.

The column is a gold mine...of easy generalizations and facile bullshit. Quoth Mitch: "Meanwhile, Storm's two older brothers, Jazz, 5, and Kio, 2 -- are being raised without formal schooling and taught to choose whatever behavior they like. Jazz, according to the Star, dresses in pink, paints his nails and wears a stud in his ear. This, we are to believe, is his 'choice'. Of course, Mom and Dad made the choice to buy the nail polish, the clothes and the stud. What happens if the child points to a chain saw? They get him that, too?"

Hmmm. What does it mean that Mitch Albom equates the danger of nail polish for a five year old, with that of a chain saw? Scared that Jazz will never make it to a professional locker room, Mitch? With that stud in his ear? Oh wait. Look around. Studs on those studs. Oops! Still, far better that Jazz be treated in a more traditional manner, as you espouse. Shame the shit out of him. Beat the crap out of him. Scorn him, insult him, yes, disown him. All these are better than studs or nail polish! And all of these are done all the time. Better to engender self-hatred, isolation and, often, suicide in our children than to put gender and gender roles aside. You accuse Storm's family of making gender everything. No, Mitch. That would be you doing that.

Mitch also says: "It's called parenting. If the child, later in life, prefers football to lipstick, or boxer shorts to dresses, or one day asks a doctor to mangle its private parts in an effort to be something else, it still will be unable to deny that it was born one way."

Well, Mitch. How stunningly transphobic and simple. I capitulate. Fairies should just suck it up and be a man. Transsexuals should ignore their foolish impulses and be a man. Women, farm animals and tractors should all just be a man. Sister Sally and her kitten as well!

One last quibble, before I take up weight lifting and belching the alphabet. Many intersexed babies (babies born with dual or ambiguous genitals) are summarily operated on, the decision of their gender made for them, irreversibly, before they have the chance to show who they are, or say what they want. In fact, this was routine until recently. If you want to talk about mangling and butchery, there it is. 

But back to baby Storm, and then I'll hush. Look at the picture of Storm and Jazz. They are clearly a threat! Their parents are obvious monsters! Canadian authorities need to step in and force them to enlist in the army or something!

Good grief. Isn't there enough real trouble in the world? Why does this bother you so much, Mitch? Maybe you are just an asshat. After all, you're the one who says a person is what they appear to be, and that's that. So here's your hat. There's the door. Please go away and let the rest of us live our lives. 

 

17 comments:

Jeannie said...

*clapping my hands*

ellen abbott said...

I'm with you. Why do people like him care so hatefully about stuff that doesn't happen to them and won't ever affect them. News flash folks, there are no hard and dried rules about gender. It's mushy. Bodies and brains get born in all sorts of configurations. and that god you attribute all that hatefulness to, well, he makes those people too. so get a grip. turn your ire toward those asshole republicans who want to get rid of Medicare, public school, and taxes on the rich.

My son knows a woman who is a lesbian. she was one of those intersexed babies who was turned into a girl (they make them girls cause it's easier than making them boys). turns out, genetically, she's a boy with a boy's brain. so maybe she isn't a lesbian after all. she's just a guy who was mutilated at birth.

Mama Zen said...

When I saw the story about baby Storm on the news, I suspected that the asshats would come out in droves. Seems I was right.

brenda w said...

Holy shikeys, Batgirl, the asshats are coming, the asshats are coming.

Thanks for this piece. It deserves a wide audience.
~Brenda

Sioux said...

Several points...

Yes, those two kids look menacing. They DO need to be removed/contained/imprisoned...Whatever is necessary.

I love that billboard. I'm not religious, but it would remind thost that ARE how screwed-up their thinking is.

Have I missed out on "asshat" as the perfect phrase in certain situations? Did you make this up, or has it been around for a while?

LL Cool Joe said...

I wish my parents had let me choose my own gender, that way I wouldn't have ended up looking like Kylie Minogue in my teens. ;)

Brian Miller said...

unfortunately the same freedom extends to bigots and jackasses who go around braying as if they are god...i like to think they will find her quite different...

hedgewitch said...

I think it's a sign of how bankrupt our whole society is that any attempt for people to exert some sort of personal freedom in their private lives is immediately seen as a threat to the sort of people who actually ARE a threat to civilization and progress.

Another example besides this idiot you've profiled: the entire batch of Tea Party assclowns elected last year on a platform of jobs and improving the economy and getting government out of people's lives, right? They've spent this whole session of congress focusing on more important things, like defunding Planned Parenthood and legislating the wild uterus on what it can't be allowed to do, which is ever for any reason, permit itself to be controlled by the person whose body it is in instead of the government, i.e., them.

But don't get me started. ;_) Great post, Shay.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Great writing, kiddo. Maybe you should send it to the Free Press. Seriously!

Lolamouse said...

OMG! Nail polish! Call social services and quick buy that boy a BB gun before it's too late and he's gone sissy for good! That being said, I do question the motivations of these parents in conducting a social science experiment on their baby and demanding that the rest of the family participate. Yes, society may make too much of an issue over gender, but by refusing to acknowledge Storm's sex (to say nothing of gender identity, as Storm is only 4 months old), the parents are making an even bigger issue of it. And so much media attention certainly can't be great for the family either. Good parenting entails honestly dealing with society's issues as they affect your children and teaching them your own values as well as helping them develop their own. Denying that they exist is just pointless. Okay, I'm done.

Cloudia said...

you are MY hero - AGAIN - Shay!!!





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Cloudia said...

Amazing the hurtful, stupid things someone will say without realizing how over their head they are. What a jerk!

Cloudia said...

I'm just SO MAD!

Raven said...

I really don't know what to say. Some people get their knickers in a twist over the dumbest things. Like you said, isn't there more important things to be angry about? I firmly believe in free speech, but sometimes wish that ignorance was not given center stage in our country.

cinderkeys said...

I can't believe this actually made the news.

Because here's the thing. Let's say Storm's preferences, behavior, attitudes, and all that, map onto whatever his or her true sex is. Maybe he'll be all boy, or she'll be a delicate little princess.

If that's the case, Mom and Dad's parenting isn't going to get in the way. He wants toy trucks/she wants baby dolls? They seem game.

It's the parents who try to make their kids the opposite of what their kids are who run into trouble.

Daryl said...

This is getting a lot of attention but I have to ask: IF the parents dress Storm, clearly s/he is too young to choose his/her own clothing doesnt that negate this experiment? I mean by NOT dressing Storm in a dress/skirt/anything pink they are automatically showing us s/he is not a girl .. I mean how long can one dress an infant/toddler in onesies? or even leggings and t-shirts?

AND I must ask do these parents not get that if Jazz did go to school in pigtails he would for sure be bullied and ostracized ... trust me, I have a non-gender specific name HOWEVER it seems to be more a male name than a female one since I am constantly explaining I am not a man......................

Senorita said...

Writers like Mitch (and I use that term loosely) make my teeth itch.

I could care less about Baby Storm. Who cares....... I don't like that the family is making such a big deal about this either.