Category: Politics

Why I talk about mental illness

Close-up of a woman's smiling face, shot with way too much flash

I haven’t been shy about discussing my mental health on this blog. There’s a lot of privilege behind that — I know that I’m probably not going to suffer ill effects to my life or livelihood if people know about it. That isn’t the case for everyone with mental illnesses, and I would never insist that anyone come forward to talk about theirs if they aren’t comfortable doing so. That’s one reason I talk about it: Because I can, and it needs to be talked about.

The Las Vegas shooting was a tragedy. That doesn’t mean mental illness is at fault.

A wide shot of Vegas casinos as seen from the street, with people milling around

In Las Vegas Sunday night, a gunman in the Mandalay Bay hotel used many, many automatic weapons to rain fire on fans at a country music festival, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500. We currently have absolutely no idea why. And while it’s natural to speculate and distance ourselves when we’re scared and confused, declaring it a mental health issue without evidence indicating that it’s so isn’t helpful to anyone and is actively harmful to people with mental illnesses.

Help for Puerto Rico

Things are dire in Puerto Rico. They’re desperate for help. Here’s a quick rundown of what they’re facing, along with a (constantly updated) lists of ways we can help.

The sacred institution of protest

They aren’t protesting the flag or the anthem. It isn’t about the flag or the anthem. And if you’re more upset about the way they’re protesting than you are about the reason they have to protest, that’s not about them or the flag or the troops or America — that’s about you.

How to help with Texas — and what doesn’t help

Watching Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Harvey ravage the western Gulf Coast, with no apparent intention of leaving before the entire region is under water, and feeling helpless? Reasonable. When what people need is to be literally boatlifted from their flooded homes, it’s hard to sit hundreds of miles away and feel like there’s nothing you can do to make anything better. But you can! There are things you can do to help.

Four non-Confederate-general ways to not forget history

Confederate statue enthusiasts have argued that removal of such statues amounts to an erasure of history, and that they have to remain to remind us of how bad slavery is. But believe it or not, there are ways to memorialize difficult, painful, and contentious parts of history without glorifying, for instance, generals who led the wrong side of a war to perpetuate slavery. Birmingham’s Kelly Ingram Park provides several examples of different ways to do this with statues and sculptures memorializing the Civil Rights movement. Individually and collectively, they send the message that bigotry is bad, and equality is good, and fighting for freedom is noble, all without putting a single Confederate general on a literal pedestal.

Yes, this is America.

This isn’t how we want America to be. This doesn’t fit into the ideals we have for America. This isn’t how we see America when we squint at it like we’re looking at a Magic Eye painting whenever reality gets scary or disappointing. But it’s America.

Notes From My Boner: Man Courageously Finds Wife Attractive

A photo of Robbie Tripp and his wife, Sarah, at the beach, with the text of his Instagram post to the right

So this dude posted on Instagram with a photo of him and his wife at the beach and a lengthy note about his love for her “thick” thighs, ass, and waistline. And I know he’s gotten a lot of positive attention and that a lot of women (his wife included, thank God) see it as the most romantic thing in the world. But a dude getting infinite back pats because he finds his own wife attractive? The post is mostly about his love for big butts.

Because We Need It: The gentlelady from California reclaims her time

Representative Maxine Waters (D-California) has long been known for her firm and outspoken views, even more so since Donald Trump emerged as a presidential contender. Most recently, she’s been celebrated for her interaction with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during his testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee. Mnuchin made it clear from the beginning that he was going to provide meaningless drivel in place of real answers, and Rep. Waters made it clear that she knew exactly what he was doing and that she literally didn’t have time for that.

Because We Need It: Accio burn medicine

[Content note for Tomi Lahren’s casual Islamophobia and transphobia]

Trump’s recent ban on transgender service members in the military is unconscionable. Never one to not make things worse, recently shitcanned freelance political commentator Tomi Lahren decided to use it to take a jab at President Obama.

J.K. Rowling wasn’t having it.