Tuesday, January 17, 2012

10 things that make me go nuts

I was telling John about my last post, and happened to say, "Deadbeat dads are definitely on my list of the top ten things that make me angry." He thought that was funny, because I have rather a long list of things that make me angry. All on his own, he came up with about twenty. So I thought I'd go ahead and pick out my top ten: ten things that make me frustrated, angry, riled up, blogging, and ranting to people while their eyes glaze over. I don't think any of these will be a surprise!
10. The massive food industry, which so controls those organizations intended to control it than food freedom is getting more elusive every day. We are not allowed to know if GMO's or hormones are being used in our food. We are not allowed to buy foods that haven't been pasteurized, processed, or inspected, and yet there are food recalls ALL THE TIME because our pasteurized, processed, inspected food harbors deadly disease. We are told it is utterly unreasonable to expect no petroleum byproducts in our food, like dyes.

9. Mommy wars of any kind. From the working moms who want me to admit that they do everything I do plus more (which is probably true, because I'm lazy and have one kid, but wait a few years, okay?) to the moms who are offended if you praise breastfeeding ("because I couldn't so I gave formula and my kid turned out fine, and you're just trying to make me feel GUILTY!") to the moms who call out other moms the second they disapprove of anything they do ... can't we just focus on raising our kids and telling our story and assume others are doing the same?

8. Doctors who, when you ask them about some nagging, chronic symptom, offer you a medication to mask that symptom but never consider that it might be a symptom of something. If you have an idea what it might be a symptom of, they will write you off with, "Very few people actually have food sensitivities/vaccine reactions/etc."

7. People who point out random strangers' actions and label them "bad parenting." Especially if the speaker doesn't have any kids. 99 times out of 100, that "bad parenting decision" is actually the only practical option ... you just didn't bother to find out the person's situation. Oh, and included here are people who say, "I love kids ... it's just the poorly-behaved kids I don't like. I blame the parents." The upside to all of this is that I can laugh my head off at them when they have kids, and those kids do exactly the same stuff they criticized. (Oh, I have been there! John and I used to comment to each other when we saw kids acting up, "Our kids will never do that." Hahahahahaha. Right.)

6. Routine infant circumcision. Bonus points if the only reason for it is "so he'll look like his daddy." That means we have to perform surgery on all future generations of this family, just out of fear that someday, someone will notice the difference.

5. Chauvinism of any kind, but particularly the kind that claims to be "grounded in tradition" and "just simple chivalry." I hate those smarmy jerks who tell me that they have the deepest respect for me as a woman and then ignore what I say, or who talk about how women "in the good old days" were placed on a pedestal and never, ever had opinions. Even telling you about that makes me angry!

4. Children's toys covered in buttons, lights, and noises, which claim to be educational. Especially if it looks like a miniature laptop and promises to help kids learn to read. Sure they're only four -- start them on a baby laptop and they'll be Facebooking by six! Who needs blocks, swingsets, or playmates? I always look past the labeling and see "Mega-toy that will make a child entertained and quiet while the parents ignore them ... but since it's 'educational' it's okay if they do it eight hours a day." Can you say Baby Einstein?

3. Low-fat imitation food. I think the winner here is Smart Balance. But then, anything labeled for kids gets bonus points ... kids are trying to grow their brains, and brains are made out of fat and cholesterol! Give them the whole milk already!

2. Episiotomies. Seriously folks, this one should be obvious. There's [almost?] no good reason to do them. And consent is hardly ever even asked. Where else do we chop up people's private parts without asking them first? (Oh, right, see #6.)

1. Mind control. Any kind of policing of people's thoughts, demanding that they not think or question. Which is why, I guess, I enjoyed 1984 and Brave New World ... they expose that sort of thing. And why I absolutely cannot watch FOX News, presidential debates, or any kind of show where party-line cliches are likely to be spouted. And why I repeat, over and over, to anyone who will listen to me, "Question everything. Have faith that those things worthy of belief will stand up to questioning." Seriously, if you can't question your religious beliefs, for instance, how can you claim to believe them? If they're really true, don't you think they will hold up to you reading up on what they are and pondering whether they make sense or not? (Extra bonus to this practice: you will discover all kinds of new things about your faith that are worth knowing ... and you won't have to rely on the latest televangelist/celebrity priest to tell you what your faith teaches.)

There you go: ten things to drop into any conversation with me to guarantee that I will go on a three-hour rant ... and that's IF no one tries to argue with me!

What gets you going?


Salixbabylonica said...

Yeah, these are a lot of my foam-at-the-mouth triggers too. But you probably already knew that ;). Especially the "let's give the baby cosmetic surgery so he'll look like his dad." Yeah, can girls use that excuse too? 'Cause I'd love to have cosmetic surgery to make me look like my beautiful mother rather than like my father, whose features make a fine man, but a awfully homely woman.

Oh, man #5? That kind of condescending sneering should be considered incitement to riot.

And episiotomies? Well, let's just say I think any doctor who believes in giving them liberally should have to let his patient take the scissors to his private parts first. I have to restrain myself from taking aside the husbands and forcing copies of Henci Goer into their hands with dire threats about what will happen if theydon't protect their wives. Frankly, doctors who don't practice evidence-based medicine in general bring out the crazy.

To these I'd add hearing people tell women that natural childbirth is dooming yourself to pointless, intolerable agony. (Did you see that Slate article posted on Facebook "Are epidurals really so bad?" talk about logically flawed arguments!) Actually, that's part of a general phenomenon that drives me nuts: let's call it the fallacy of the popular narrative. You see it in all sorts of fields, where the overly-simplistic or downright false sound-byte is all that the popular imagination can grasp, despite the fact that scientists or scholars in that field actually know the popular myth is bunk. The best example of it is a conversation I had a long time ago, detailing how my (non-Catholic) history professor had explained that the Catholic Church wasn't really anti-rational in the Middle Ages. After 20 minutes of facts and St. Thomas Aquinas quotes, the response was "Oh, but Galileo . . ." Makes me want to scream!

Sheila said...

See, this is why I rant to you for hours. ;)

And oh, the soundbites! The one-minute answers that answer nothing! Like these:

Natural childbirth: You're not going to get a medal.
Ron Paul: He's a nutjob.
Our foreign policy: Well, we wouldn't be safe if we did things differently. (Or, among the inflammatory, If we did what you want, they would all come kill us in our beds.)
Nutrition: Well, sure, but that much fat is bad for you. ( See also: "healthy plant-based diet.")
Baby care: Talk to your pediatrician about how to put baby to sleep/feed baby/change baby's diaper/discipline toddler/etc. (Because doctors are also all parenting experts. They totally raised 10 kids as part of their med school.)
Vaccines: I got all my vaccines and I was fine. But if you don't vaccinate, your kids will die of the chicken pox.
The Catholic Church: The Crusades, the Inquisition, Galileo, and besides you all hate women.

And on, and on, and on.

'Akaterina said...

Amen to #6 and #3.

It drives me nuts when I hear people saying "I drink diet because it is healthier for me." Ummm do you KNOW what aspartame does to your pancreas or your stomach lining? I want to remind every skinny minnie drinking diet soda that he or she is more likely to get diabetes by drinking that on a regular basis than me, an overweight woman who doesn't drink sodas. Grrr.

As to the circumcision, I read a scary and sad statistic: 100+ boys die each year from circumcision complications and nearly a third of all circumcised boys end up in the hospital within the first few months of life due to infection, reattachment, other complications. Leave it alone already!

I would add (and don't worry, I don't think that you do these things Sheila):

1) health nuts who eat bad things and assume that because it is "natural" it is better. (Ex: Soy products - they are loaded with estrogen!, Sea salt - still has sodium honey!)

2)And moms who criticize working moms as though they some how neglect their children.

3) Moms who criticize when you do vaccinate. Listen, you don't want to - whatever, your prerogative, but don't assume I have a death wish for my children because I do vaccinate.

4) People who get huffy because I think the eastern liturgy is more beautiful than the roman liturgy. I do. Which is why I am eastern. If I didn't I would be roman. I don't expect everyone to fall in love with the eastern liturgy, but have respect for your older brother. :)

5) Mumble Mass. Can't stand it. I would rather go to an all english novus ordo than a mumble mass because Sunday liturgy wasn't meant to be a private affair between the priest and the altar.

This was cathartic. :)

Sheila said...

Those are great rant triggers Akaterina! Go ahead, let 'em all out ... good for the soul. ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh, there are many, many things that set me off. Your list was very good. Here's one of mine...

I love it when people who have very little life experience will preach to others just how much they know, and how much they've done, and how others should live their lives.

Example: the breastfeeding furor. If you don't have a child, and think you can tell a nursing mother where and when to nurse, you should look in the mirror then just shut up! And those who said to breastfeed in a ladie's room. Uh, no, I don't eat in a bathroom, and neither would any child of mine!

Oh, and let's not forget those who will interpret religion and land on the right extreme of things, and then condemn others who don't quite see things the same way.

Example: If you think you have to confess after slow dancing with a man, so be it. But please do NOT chastise me for doing the same when there was no sinfulness involved.

That may have not made much sense but it felt good to vent. Thanks Sheila. :)

Enbrethiliel said...


I was at a toy store the other day and couldn't believe how pointless about 90% of the toys were. They're the playtime equivalent of imitiation food, wrecking havoc on the imagination the way the latter wrecks havoc on the body's nutrition.

I told my brother I'd rather buy him a board game than a new Transformer, but I don't think he was very happy about that. =P

He'd also prefer something from McDonalds to homemade chili or baked beans. I should have started on his palate when he was younger . . . but then again, he wasn't (and isn't) my son!

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