Let Liz Speak

Okay, okay, okay, I swore that the next time I posted it would not be about politics and, come to think of it, that’s probably why I haven’t written anything in like 3 months, because, honestly, what the fuck else is any sane, thinking human being preoccupied with right now?!?!! So I decided to hone my outrage to one specific thing and that thing is motherfucking patriarchy! Specifically the atrocious and hypocritical treatment of Senator Elizabeth Warren during the Senate debate over the confirmation of Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.

On Tuesday Senator Warren attempted to read a letter written by Coretta Scott King. The letter had been sent to then Senator Strom Thurmond regarding Jeff Sessions’ nomination for a federal judiciary seat in 1986. In her 1986 letter the widow of the Civil Rights leader details how Sessions had continually made efforts to suppress the votes and voices of Black Americans in the State of Alabama. King laid out, in very measured language, how Sessions attempted to abuse the power of his office at the time in his “eagerness to bring to trial and convict three leaders of the Perry County Civic League…despite evidence clearly demonstrating their innocence of any wrongdoing”. Sessions was not confirmed for that Judiciary seat in 1986 by a vote of 10 to 8. Did you guys hear that? This guy was deemed too racist and polarizing to be  judge….IN 1986!!!!

Not once, in her letter, did King resort to name-calling, speculation or rhetoric. She simply recited history from an eyewitness point of view. So it was kind of slightly odd when Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell stopped Senator Warren in the middle of her reading this letter to say that she was “impugning the character of a fellow Senator”. What happened next is straight out of my college journalism class where I would raise my hand to answer a question, get called on by my flagrantly sexist Indian journalism teacher (yeah, it was community college so he definitely does not get to be called a “professor”), provide the correct answer to his question only to have him tell me I was wrong, then call on the boy sitting next to me who said THE EXACT SAME FUCKING THING AS I JUST SAID and was told he was correct. It was literally like being in the Twilight Zone. I audibly said, simultaneously addressing everyone in the class and no one in particular “Isn’t that EXACTLY what I just said?!?!” which was met with general murmurs of confirmation and agreement.

McConnell interrupted Senator Warren’s remarks about Sessions and she was then reprimanded by the Senate Majority Leader. Warren was then gaveled down by Republican Senator Steve Daines (Montana) and told to “take her seat”. McConnell then cited rule XIX which prohibits debating senators from ascribing “to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator.” Which is pretty much a bullshit rule to begin with and one that no one has ever paid attention to until it came time to shut up an outspoken woman on the Senate floor. When asked about the silencing of one of his colleague McConnell responded by saying “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless she persisted.” and now Mitch McConnell will have to live the rest of his short, miserable life knowing that thousands of feminists are at this very moment getting his words tattooed across their ribcages. Take that, patriarchy! Mitch McConnell’s very concise history of the Women’s movement was quickly turned into a meme because of course it was and #ShePersisted became one of the most awesome things on the internet for a few hours because that’s pretty much the shelf life of sensationalist internet memes.

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Sadly, the fact that Senator Warren was censured, reprimanded like a disobedient school girl, ordered to sit down and shut up, and ultimately blocked from speaking by her male peers comes as no surprise. What was slightly more surprising and very irksome was that just a few hours after Senator Warren was ordered off the Senate floor Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon picked up Mrs. King’s letter and read it in its entirety, uninterrupted by McConnell or his cronies. So to recap, it’s okay for a dude to violate rule XIX but not for a lady? Is that the lesson I was supposed to learn from watching C-SPAN yesterday? That my voice, because it issues from a body in possession of a vagina, will never be as valuable as the voices of my male peers and colleagues? Because THAT is shit! To be clear, I applaud Senator Merkley for picking up where Warren left off and using his voice to convey the messages that she could not. I just think it’s supremely fucked up that he had to do that in the first place.

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Then there is the hypocrisy that goes along with all this shit. The fact that male Senators have, on record and on the Senate floor, called other colleagues horrible names and definitely impugned their characters but were never censured and rule XIX was never officially invoked. It was not invoked in May of last year when Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas had this to say about then Democratic Senate Minority leader Harry Reid:

“I’m forced to listen to the bitter, vulgar, incoherent ramblings of the minority leader,” “Normally, like every other American, I ignore them. I can’t ignore them today. . . . When was the last time the minority leader read a bill? It was probably an electricity bill. … This institution will be cursed less with his cancerous leadership.”

It was not officially invoked when, in the Summer of 2015, Republican Senator Ted Cruz called Senator Mitch McConnell a liar on the Senate floor. It was not invoked when Senator Harry Reid called his Republican colleagues “puppets” in 2007. It was not invoked when, in response to Reid’s comments, Republican Senator Arlen Specter fired back with the implication that Reid was not qualified enough to do his job. It was not invoked in the initial 1986 hearing when Senator Ted Kennedy called Jeff Sessions “a disgrace” (although Sessions was not then a sitting Senator). It was not invoked in 1979 when Republican Senator Lowell Weicker (Connecticut) called his colleague, Republican Senator John Heinz (Pennsylvania) “an idiot” and “devious”. Have you noticed anything about all those who were warned about Rule XIX but were not forced to “take their seat” or forced to “shut up” or ousted from the Senate floor? If you guessed they were all dudes you get a gold star for paying attention.

This serves to reinforce the idea that it is far more uncomfortable and outrageous when a woman is being tough and outspoken. I actually just read an “article” (those are my sarcastic air quotes) on the clearly bipartisan website Restate.com (nice name guys) about how liberals need to stop whining about Warren’s treatment and that “the Republicans treated Senator Ted Cruz much worse” for the comments he made about McConnell’s being a liar. That is just patently false. Cruz was never told to sit down and shut up. Cruz was never voted off the floor by his colleagues and to suggest that he was “treated much worse than Warren” is irresponsible, false and incendiary (and maybe someday we can talk about how right leaning news outlets feel the need to lie in order to maintain their narrative that the left are a bunch of nazi hypocrites who are also, somehow, hippies and whiners and cucks and stupid and elitist all at the same time but that conversation is for another day). Even if one scrolls down to the comment section on the C-SPAN video of Warren’s hour-long speech “impugning” Senator Sessions the majority of the comments are about how Warren is a mouthy bitch who needs to be put in her place. This despicable rhetoric is just being reinforced by those in the Senate and in the current White House who are more concerned with protecting the speech of Neo Nazis, white supremacist, anti-feminists and basically just racists and xenophobes of every stripe than it is concerned with hearing facts and history recited back to them by a well-respected sitting Senator.

My point, and I do have one, is to ask my Senate why it is okay for a man to call his fellow Senators names (idiot, cancerous, liar, bitter, devious, vulgar, disgrace etc.) but when a woman dips her toe into that territory she is immediately voted off the floor and told to “take her seat”? Did she not earn her Senate seat in the same manner as her male colleagues? Did she not work as hard or spend as much money (because honestly) to get where she is today? How can you say out of one side of your mouth that you “cannot understand why women think they need to march” while simultaneously exploiting your station to keep a woman silent? Do you not see what you’re doing? If not, let me assure you that we see what you’re doing and we’re not going to forget it….you useless, wrinkled, old, limp-dicked, fascists! (I threw in that last part for any Republicans reading this post [HA!] or anyone who wants to tell to “go high” because fuck that!)

And here is a link where you can buy your very own “Nevertheless She Persisted” T-shirt and a portion of the proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood! 

Pussy Grabbing, Locker Room Talk and Why Trump’s Comments are Truly Problematic

pig-pile

We get it, men talk about pussy. They do, and they talk about it like that, like it’s a thing having nothing to do with an actual person and while it’s not ideal I think it’s fair to say that it is normal and will continue to be normal until societal norms change, and I am sure they will, slowly, but they will.

But until we live in an ideal society where everyone has their own unicorn and all lives of all human beings are valued equally and we all get together and hug it out at a big fucking ice cream social every Saturday afternoon, men are going to continue to talk about women and their vaginas like they are a commodity, something to be obtained in order to bolster their own self worth. But that’s not the problematic thing about Donald Trump’s comments that were caught on a hot mic in 2005. The problematic thing with the comments that the Donald made is that he explicitly talked about kissing women without their permission and then went on to talk about how he didn’t need permission because he was famous! It’s not because he said the word “pussy”! It’s because he talked about grabbing said pussy without obtaining consent to do so! I’ll allow that his talking about trying to “fuck” a married woman whilst being married himself is gross but I think it’s gross because it’s Donald Trump talking about fucking and that’s just toe-curling-ly nauseating! Was is very “presidential”? Certainly not but is anything that guy does?

Obviously we have had presidents in the past who were absolute poon-hounds and were absolutely unfaithful to their wives, before, during and after their presidencies but, as far as I know, none of them were ever caught on tape, describing themselves sexually assaulting women. And that is why Donald Trump parading all (okay obviously not all, it wasn’t that big of a room) the women who Bill Clinton slept with or sexually harassed or flashed or  who have accused him of sexual assault is not going to work for Donald. First of all using these women, who have already been through Hell, as a despicable political prop is pretty fucking lousy and just feels icky but the worst part is that, in doing this, Donald Trump seems to have completely disregarded that fact that Bill Clinton IS NOT THE ONE RUNNING FOR FUCKING PRESIDENT!!!! It’s like he can’t even treat Hillary like an individual human being and simply equates her to the closest man in her life.

But here’s the thing; Donald Trump wants to use the actions of Hillary’s husband against her, citing that because her husband did these things that somehow makes her unqualified to be president! WHAT THE DAMN HELL? So, on the same side of that coin, does Donald Trump’s wife posing naked on the cover of Max Magazine in 1997 (and naked on the inside of the same magazine with another naked woman in 1995) make him somehow morally deficient? My guess is that Donald Trump would argue that it makes him a “stud” because that is just the kind of grotesque, prepubescent logic and phrasing he would use. I find that Donald Trump’s repeated and continued attempts to use Bill’s actions as a case against Hillary to be genuinely disturbing and definitely a symptom of his own deeply held sexist attitudes towards women. Donald Trump is a sexist, I don’t think anyone can argue that point (although that won’t stop some from trying), but it’s the fact that there is an enormous segment of the population (as well as an enormous segment of people in positions of power) that is able and all-too-willing to overlook the fact that he is a sexist that is the real problem.

Which brings me to my next point, larger Republican establishment, why now? Why this audio? How is this the straw that finally broke the camel’s back? Is it because he said “fuck” and “bitch” and “pussy”? I’m guessing that’s why because you already knew who Donald Trump was, and this audio is EXACTLY who he is! You already knew that he was basically just a racist, upside down traffic cone filled with bile and overcooked steak who liked to start Twitter wars at 3 a.m. with former beauty queens or David Letterman or Rosie O’Donnell or basically anyone who has ever said anything bad about him. He has no self control (which is probably one of the reasons he is always cheating on his wife and trying to have sex with married women), he has no capacity for empathy, he is a pathological liar (I MEAN SERIOUSLY! JUST LOOK AT THE FACT CHECK SITES, THIS IS NOT FUCKING COMPLICATED! IT IS LITERALLY A GOOGLE SEARCH AWAY FROM YOU!!!!!!), he is a deplorable racist, he is a xenophobia-spreading cancer on this nation! But it was that fact that he talked about pussy that was just too much for y’all to bear? Seriously?

And the way that most of the Republicans who came out to denounce Donald Trump or remove their support of him was just as cringe-worthy as having supported him in the first place. All the cable news channels just showed wave after wave or white guys talking about how Trump’s comments disgusted them because they have daughters and/or sisters or mothers or wives or females dogs as pets or what the fuck ever. So basically, you’re saying that if you didn’t have females close to you then you’d be just fine with ol’ Pussy Grabber Trump prattling on to a giggling Billy Bush (and we are DEFINITELY going to talk about that scumbag) about how he uses his fame to justify assaulting women? It’s only the fact that you have daughters that makes you capable of understanding why his statements were deplorable and wrong? Otherwise you would have no understanding of why the things that Trump said were so damaging? Well….that’s just fucking great!

Your saying that you found Trump’s comments upsetting because you have daughters is nearly exactly the same as Trump saying that Hillary is unqualified to run this country because of the things her husband has done! Both statements are steeped in some seriously deep-seated sexism but really one thing should not have anything to do with the other! The things that Trump said on that tape should be condemned because they patently sexist and, even worse, were advocating sexual assault and if you could not come to that conclusion without first thinking about whether or not someone might speak that way about your daughter or your wife then you, my friend, are right up there with the Donald himself! And this seems like the perfect time to remind you of a point I made WAY back up at the top of the page; women are not pissed about Donald Trump talking lewdly, we are pissed about his admission that he has kissed women without their consent, that he would grope a woman without consent and would expect no consequences because he is famous!!!!

It’s not the words he used, it’s what those words said! Do I wish I could go back in time and never have to hear Donald Trump say the word “pussy”? You’re Goddamn right I do! That shit is gonna haunt my nightmares for at least another month at which point all of my frustration and exhaustion over all this sexist bullshit will be completely washed away by the elation of having our first female President of the United States of America…even if it is Hillary Clinton. Just like how racism doesn’t exist anymore because we had a black President!!!!

Wouldn’t that be awesome if that’s how things worked in real life though?

XOXO!!! Thanks for hanging and reading!

P.S. I said I was going to talk about that tittering piece of human garbage, Billy Bush, so here is it: Billy Bush is a vile little troll who single-handedly grossed out millions of women by acting as Donald Trump’s hug pimp and referring to himself as “the Bushy”. That alone should be an offense punishable by firing squad or being made into some kind of human piñata and then being continually beaten with a baseball bat until his intestines fall out his asshole. He is a shriveled, repugnant, jizz-stained, hair-sprayed, malodorous sack of fetid human waste who is absolutely the worst version of himself and I don’t even think that Oprah could help now. That is all.

P.P.S. Also, how great was it when actual professional athletes came out and started criticizing Trump for his use of the phrase “locker room talk” citing that sexually assaulting women was definitely NOT something that was discussed in actual locker rooms?!?!  Super Great! That’s how!

P.P.P.S. Also THIS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Often Confusing and Terrifying World of Stock Images

I figured we all (an by “we all” I mean me) could use a break from all the “my Dad’s dead” monotony, plus I wrote this right before I got the first call from the hospital so I pretty much did not have to do anything which is how I like things. Enjoy!

So (drink), in my other life I am a graphic designer which makes me sound more important or more educated or more grown up than I actually am. In reality I make ads for newspapers which is actually a lot of fun. I get to play with art and make things and play with typography and really what more could an artsy, word-loving, font nerd want out of life? More money, that’s what….but that is not my point although I do totally have one, I swear.

In our various peregrinations as graphic artists we look at a ton of art, stock photography, vector images, clipart etc. each and every day. And sometimes we find exactly what we are looking for and other times we find so much more than we set out to find! Which is why I decided to make a special folder at work, on one of our servers, where the whole creative team in my office could drop pictures they found that were more curiosity than anything else: Images so horrifying, poorly executed, head-scratchingly vexing, and downright ugly that they defy reason and imagination! I made a “Horrible Stock Art” folder and, if I ever get off my lazy ass, am totally going to make a Tumblr out of all the terrifying things in there. The best part is that with 16 artist working in one creative hub, new stuff gets downloaded every day!

In the meantime I decided it would be fun to share some of the images here!
*Crowd Roars*
So here are some of them in all their bizarre, tacky, irrelevant glory! Enjoy!

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Admittedly, when I first looked at this I thought it was a real person just wearing a super creepy mask but no, it’s a statue…smoking a cigar, because why the fuck not!

 

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You should see the picture of him before meth.

 

Its called presenting

It’s called “presenting”. 

 

is he smelling her crotch

Is he smelling her crotch? 

 

i have no words

I have no words… I really don’t. Or maybe I am just saving them for a worse picture than this one, if that is at all possible.

 

OMG is that a discman

HOLY FUCK! Is that a discman?

 

wax martha graham

I know this is supposed to look like Martha Graham but it kind of just looks like the wax statue of an awkward Carol Burnett in the process of melting.

 

this monk knows how to party

This monk knows how to jam out…either that or he’s putting out an imaginary fire.

 

scary clown drag queen ballarino

I call ’em like I see ’em…and here I see a scary drag queen clown ballerino.

 

i madethis in Paint for you_mom

“LOOK MOM! I made this for you in Paint!”

 

I have no idea for what scenario this would be appropriate

I have no idea for what scenario this image would be appropriate.

 

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And here we have a headless man romancing an anthropomorphic female car!

 

bells palsy ballarina

And this is a ballerina and her tremendously severe case of bells palsy.

 

axe dog

????

 

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This WILL hurt a bit.

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WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?

thug life

#ThugLife

 

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Now THAT is my kind of Doctor!

 

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And you thought YOUR kidney stones were a bitch!

 

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A one-eyed butcher or blackjack dealer flashing “East Side” while listening to an abacus.

 

underwater nun

I am super confused right now.

 

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NOM NOM NOM!

 

yum gasoline

This seems like a perfectly reasonable thing although, if she still has beer left why has she already switched to gasoline? 

 

This baby looks like Vic Mackey

This baby looks exactly like Vic Mackey!

 

thefutureiscorn

THE FUTURE IS CORN!!!

 

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I have never felt this much pity for a snowman before. Everyone knows the pointy end of the carrot faces out! What the fuck is wrong with society? 

 

the murderer

This bitch is all, “Yep, I killed him! What the fuck are you going to do about it?”

 

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FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP LOOKING AT ME!

 

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I have so many questions: what did that fish ever do to her? Why is she so happy about killing that fish and probably losing a digit in the process? Is that Bridget Fonda? Is she cosplaying “Reservoir Dogs”?

 

infants and champagne

“Join us for the further adventures of Drunk Baby! In his next adventure he gets taken away by CPS!”

 

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Is that supposed to be Death or Jesus? I legitimately want to know the answer to this.

 

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This baby LOVES rat poison and also looks like River Phoenix from “Stand By Me”.

 

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Mommy’s little arsonist!

 

Mr. Princess

Okay, I supposed this could be explained if he were a mayor and his last name was actually Princess. 

 

shrunkenheaddoctor

I am not sure why this doctor has a shrunken head…either that or he’s borrowed the suit that David Byrne wore in “Stop Making Sense”. And for the love of all that is holy, please put down the Goddamn baby and walk away slowly! 

I have an excellent caption for this

“Oh-Em-Gee, Guys! Look how much fun we’re having! Or at least that’s how it will look when I post this to Instagram!” Also, one of those dudes is getting REAL lucky this new year’s eve. Also, also it just occurred to me that those people are probably all related, or at least were all made in the same factory…you know, the one that made Taylor Swift.

 

I am plotting your eventual murder

Man’s thought: “I am plotting your eventual murder.” Woman’s thought: “There’s just no ‘right time’ to tell him he’s not the father.”

 

deer god

Deer God!

 

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THIS! This makes me super uncomfortable. It’s just so creepy on so many levels; she’s clearly supposed to be his daughter but he is awkwardly embracing her mid-section as if she were pregnant with his child….also, she’s like 10.

 

Title

It says “Sick Cookie” (which, on its own totally makes perfect sense, right?) but all I see is a sick meatball.

 

cake pillow

Okay, this actually seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do….for those of us who would like to have a constant supply of cake in our bed, right next to our mouth.

 

 

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Ladies and Gentlemen, in this evening’s performance Baby New Year will be played by Ralph Kramden!

 

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Okay, presumably if you are looking through stock images to place in advertisements you are an artist and as an artist you would clearly know that this, as art, is a steaming pile of shit.

 

Caesar Cruz once said that “art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable”. Frankly I am not sure which of those I started out as but I am definitely disturbed now and none of these are comforting me AT ALL!

What really blows my mind is not how much bizarre stock photography we find but how much really, truly awful artwork. Why, for the love of Jebus, would anyone whose job title included the word “artist” use something that looked like it was made by a moderately talented German Shepard using the 1985 version of Paintbrush Pro? Particularly when most of us could make something 30 times less crappy in a matter of minutes? I’ll tell you why, because laziness and we don’t get paid enough to care. I hope this made you laugh or at least wonder how someone could go their entire life without being taught how to properly assemble a snowman. XOXO