Well, you probably saw the kerfuffle yesterday; right bloggers went into a paroxysm of ultrasonic outrage, squealing and shrieking that online progressives were covering up for my supposed "gaffe." Yes, it's true that in delivering birthday greetings to s.z., I departed from my prepared remarks and referred to her as the "Founder of World O' Crap," whereas wingnuts have always considered her the "Father of WO'C," -- at least since Vox Day was marginally polite to her that one time because he thought she was a gay man, rather than an uppity woman.
Good? She's the best!
But then, s.z. was always hard to categorize, because unlike a lot of bloggers she didn't have issues, just a point of view, which could perhaps be summed up as: stupid and mean-spirited opinions are a bit like graffiti and garbage -- if left to accumulate, they make for a depressing and unhealthful neighborhood -- but a measured application of gentle mockery, like the judicious use of broom and scrub brush, can work wonders at brightening up the place, so let's all pitch in and make this a better Internet! And that, at least insofar as I understood the charter, is what World O' Crap was created to do.
When I started moving the archives over -- thousands of posts, from the original Salon blog and our previous domain -- I was amazed at how she always managed to stay funny, despite some pretty repugnant provocations, and how she never lost her temper, regardless how much the source material might have offended her moral sensibilities. (And Sheri is probably the finest, the most moral person I've ever met; smart, but self-effacing, she lives a life of service that our conservative Christian politicians and bloggers, who beat their breasts with the subtlety of Ricky Ricardo abusing a Conga drum on the dance floor of the Tropicana, could never, and would never be tempted to, match -- first by serving her country, and when illness made that impossible, by serving her community with the same selfless, and often exhausting dedication.)
Perhaps that's why WO'C has never suffered the chronic troll infestations that have plagued (and, frankly, amused) a lot of other lefty humor blogs. S.z.'s ability to dismantle any hate-filled screed in that graceful, witty, even-tempered way of hers didn't leave much room for sputtering rebuttals, although we came close with the Marley Brothers, those Save Christmas in Massachusetts guys who haunted our comments section for several weeks, cut-and-pasting urban legends about the Death of Santa by a thousand "Happy Holidays". As you may recall they got a little face time from Fox News, and used their notoriety to rouse the rabble and bring pressure to bear on mass market retailers. To contribute toys and clothes and food to needy families and make this truly the Season of Giving? Nah, the Marleys boys were just peeved about Wal-Mart's modest decorating scheme, and the lack of benedictions mouthed by their cashiers. But it did prompt this piece from Sheri, which both infused me with the Yuletide spirit, and caused me to aspirate my Cinnamon Pumpkin Spice Latte.
I don’t know about you, but I had a hard day warring on Christmas today. First, I visited a lady with cancer who is currently undergoing chemo, and made arrangements to take her to the nursing home tomorrow to see her husband who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. We laughed together over her new hairstyle, I commiserated with her over her nausea and weakness, and we talked hopefully about better times in the future. She thanked me for the visit and for the little Santa teddy bear I had got her from the Dollar Store. Then I punched her in the gut because she didn’t wish me a “Merry Christmas.”
Next, I went to Sam’s Club and bought a large bag of Meow Mix for Shirley’s cats. Shirley, who lives across the street from my parents, is on welfare and has been having some serious health problems for a while. Her cats, which live outside and prowl the neighborhood, have been looking kinda thin and raggedy lately. So, to make me feel better, I spent $9 to buy them some food.
After ringing up my purchase and taking my money, the cashier smiled and thanked me for shopping there — but she didn’t wish me a “Merry Christmas,” so I slapped her.
After exiting the store, I gave a few bucks to the college students who were there collecting for the community food bank. They didn’t wish me a “Merry Christmas” either, so I decked them.
Then I went to Shirley’s house, put out food for the cats, and visited with Shirley for a few minutes. She was clearly touched that somebody cared about her and her cats, and thanked my several times for the cat food – but she didn’t wish me a “Merry Christmas, so I broke her thumbs.
On the way home, I stopped to see drop off some cookies I had bought for my neighbor Linda at the new Mexican bakery in town (of course, nobody THERE said “Merry Christmas” to me, so I was forced to torch their business). Linda has lost control of much of her body due to the ravages of MS, and finds it hard to speak. She did manage to tell me a little about her black cat, to tell me about what she was watching on TV (“Little House on the Prairie”), and to thank me for the cookies, but … well, you can guess the rest.
But enough traipsing down Memory Lane. We do have our traditions here, so let's get to s.z.'s horoscope:
Jupiter joined with Uranus is also found in your Solar Return chart, and this suggests the need for progressive change in your life.Granted, that was pretty embarrassing for all concerned when you came home unexpectedly early from church; still, I wouldn't regard it as an omen. I would, however, recommend changing the locks.
Happy Birthday, Sheri!
Moondoggie: Is that cake?
D.Sidhe was kind enough to email this glamour shot of her cat Nagi recumbent in the sink, as a gift for s.z., and I can't think of a more fitting tribute to someone who spends so much of her time, money, and energy caring for the least among us.
If you've got a photo of your own furry friend -- cat, dog, or whiskery Grandma -- send it along (my email is at the top right) and we'll make it a menagie a trois.
It's a officially a party! I just received this pic from Margaret Nolan, who is best remembered for her role as "Dink," James Bond's masseuse in the opening scenes of Goldfinger (although it might be a different Margaret Nolan, we didn't really get into details):
"More Birthday Greetings to S.Z.! When we wake up, we'll sing to you."
Incoming from Gappy...!
Oh hai s.z. You caught tryin' to wrap up your bifday gift. Is correct.......is me!
Ah gots you flowers too. Happy bifday!
Next! From Brian Schlosser, and his Lipizzaner Kittens!
Kittehs #3 (Abbie, left) and #2 (Lucy, right) converge on an elusive feather...
Lucy sez "I will getz dat fether for u, SZ, wif my lion skilz!!"
"happee birfdae, SZ! Fether mite be pre-nommed, tho!"
"Kitteh #1 (Thursday Next, not shown) is a Jehovah's Witness, and does not celebrate birthdays..."
And acrannymint writes in with the following gangbang of cute:
"In honor of s.z.'s b'day from Ceridwyn, Sam, Tess and Boris."
Anyway, when I told them it was s.z.’s birthday, they gave me the smartest blank stares ever!
And at last...heydave's long-promised cats, Hoover and Coolidge!
Here we see (Madame President Herbert) Hoover and (Madame President Calvin) Coolidge hungrily stare at food from the “cat pyramid” intended to let them feed themselves. With a name like Hoover, I’d expect her to vacuum up food wherever it is. But despite their seeming intelligence, they are absolutely confounded by such and intricate device. Maybe they’re cat savants?
And from KWillow: "Cat photos for the birthday girl."
Here are a couple of our cat "Smokey" aka "Chester"
♫ I'm just a cat in a gilded cage... ♬