Where Oh Where Is McCrabass?

Contrary to what you read on the bathroom stalls, I am alive and well. I’ve just been a titch busy.

A tasty gem of a tome has been tossed into my lap by my pal, Andrew Huff, over at Gaper’s Block. I can’t give details at the moment, but when it’s done, y’all will be the first to know.

Also, I’m getting my act together and taking it on the podcast road–so to speak. It’ll be based on my blog and other topics that interest both the host (me) and the various co-hosts I’ve tapped to help me out (Charlie Meyerson, Monroe Anderson, Andrew Huff, Ranjit Souri & others to be named when I get up the courage to ask them). Due to the monumental amount of time that has passed since I’ve dealt with anything audio-wise, I’m in the process of educating my gin-soaked noggin regarding the equipment needed to make this whole thing a success. Word on the street is this podcast could be some sort of underground sensation with my handful of readers.

Why am I doing a podcast, you ask? Well, I’m bored, out of work, and have grown weary of trying to count my freckles. Oh and I have lots to say. I’m not looking to make money, I’m looking to have fun.

This is Chicago, after all, and there’s lots going on here–and elsewhere–to talk about. Especially if the news continues along these lines.

See you soon!

 

 

The wonderful, nameable egg

I’m up early for god only knows what reason, and watching one of my favorite shows, “Up With Chris Hayes.” One topic this week is culture wars–one of the many third rails of the Democratic agenda. Take a step closer to that rail, and the whole personhood rhetoric emanates from it.

Ugh. Personhood amendments. We have a bunch of extremist nutjob (I know, a bit redundant) Tea Baggin’ Republicans who don’t want big gummint in general, but when it comes to us wimminfolk, the Baggers believe that we need to be regulated up the ying-yang. A wave of ridiculous bills came riding in on transvaginal ultrasound wands into many state legislatures roughly two years ago, after the Tea Bagger Revolution in Congress. However, the good thing is, many of these bills were introduced, voted upon and failed. Some didn’t even make the ballot in states that allegedly have super-special relationships with the mostest specialist homeboy of them all, God. Now, to a non-religious person, those failures say that God has bigger things to worry about–like strife, sickness, hunger, poverty–than making sure women who are menstruating aren’t, um, doing whatever. Then, there is one particular state, where according to the law, all menstruating women are pregnant. Or something like that. This Arizona law is so Draconian that the main image I have in my head is a woman being dragged to an interrogation room at her local Phoenix CVS for attempting to purchase tampons–murder weapons.

Back to Chris Hayes (who needs to stop whining about being on a book tour & leaving the work of parenting to his wife–please–y’all have help. Shuttie.), personhood was brought up which got me thinking: Perhaps I need to start naming the maybe 20 eggs left in my cob-webbed womb. Hmm.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Vladimir, Simka, Aloysius, Schmenkman, Huxtable, Poon, Ping, Yarbotz, Dale Earnhardt, Louboutin, and Nam. That’s a good start.

What are your suggestions?

I love India

It’s the largest democracy in the world, and gave us folks like Gandhi, Mira Nair, Vijay Amritraj and V.S. Naipul.

Vijay Amritraj

Aaand Aishwarya Rai.

Oh and countless PhDs, MDs, patent holders and uber-smart people. You know the types — the Bell Curve demolishers, National Spelling Bee winners, valedictorians, film directors, artists — I could go on and on but that would be a big bowl of dull. Of course there are felons and real dumb politicos. It’s not unusual for the good, the bad and the ugly to come out of India considering it’s the second largest country — population-wise — on Earth. What’s even better is the 24/7 news cycle that craves all sorts o’ stories from the farthest corners of the this planet.

Those of us who are news junkies — especially odd news — love India. So much weird shit comes out of there it’s tough to keep up.

For instance — here’s a great story for you. It is sure to warm the deep, dark crevasses of your soul. How do I know this to be true? It worked on mine.

From The Independent. Edited for, well, everything.

The ‘Tampon King’ who sparked a period of change for India’s women

Well played, copy editor, well played.

“When Arunachalam Muruganantham spotted his wife gathering dirty rags in their home one day he asked her what they were for. If he was shocked by her reluctant response – that she was using them for her monthly period – he was even more taken back by her reply when he asked why she was not buying sanitary napkins in the shop. “If I buy sanitary napkins,” she had told him. “It means I cannot afford to buy milk for the family.”

First, I’m not going to do the obvious ‘on the rag’ joke here. You’re welcome.

But what disturbs me is how a gal in India — the land of one of the fastest rising middle classes in the world — has to choose between buying milk and maxipads. It boggles my first world, well-educated, WASP senses so much so that I can’t imagine having to choose between nourishment and cotton donkeys. *shudder*

“The conversation spurred Mr Muruganantham into a frenzy of invention to try and produce an affordable napkin for women such as his wife. Such was his dedication, bordering on obsession, that he once wore a football bladder of animal blood to trial a prototype. He was forced from his home by villagers who thought his methods had become too perverse after he started collecting used napkins from medical students and storing them in his home. He was even abandoned – albeit temporarily – by his wife and mother, who believed he had gone mad.”

How does one wear a football bladder? What the crap is a football bladder? Why use animal blood–why? His obsession reminds me of the guy who invented intermittent windshield wipers. You know who I’m talking about — Greg Kinnear starred in a dull movie about him. Remember? Nope, I don’t either.

“But 14 years later, the 49-year-old, who never finished school, has few regrets. His award-winning napkins are being produced on simple machines by groups across rural India and helping to revolutionise women’s health.”

What’s great about this guy is he’s busting his ass to help the women of not only his country, but in other 3rd world countries as well. What I — and countless other American women — view as a basic need is being introduced into Indian culture as a new, basic need. Once Muruganantham dove deeper into solving this sanitary issue, he realized that there’s much more to women’s health than just tampons and maxipads. As a result of this epiphany, Muruganantham took it upon himself to teach the women in his village, as well as the surrounding villages, how to take care of themselves and their families. He started by holding workshops and from there, others took the reins and started reaching out to other villages to share their knowledge.

Bravo to them all.

Forever pregnant

A few thoughts on Arizona’s brand, spankin’ new anti-choice law.

But first, a brief summary. Let’s see if I can get through this without wanting to gut myself with a Spork. I think I’ll let my pals at The Raw Story do it for me.

Jan Brewer signs abortion ban defining pregnancy before conception

You read that correctly, monkehs. According to Jan and her minions, all of us gals who are still dealing with menses are pregnant — right now.

Um ….

“Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Thursday signed one of the most controversial and restrictive abortion bans in the country, which experts say effectively bans abortions after 18 weeks and declares that a woman could be pregnant 2 weeks before she even had sex.”

Oh holy fetus suction device, you’ve got to be kidding me. How Draconian must we get? And the GOP says there ain’t a war on women.

Of course, after ruminating about this for a titch, I had a few thoughts — with a little help from some friends.

Are maxi-pads and tampons considered baby blankets now?

If you say “Not tonight dear, I have a headache” are you, in effect, committing pre-meditated murder?

What about those folks who don’t believe in the Immaculate Conception?

If a woman is murdered, is the killer now responsible for two murders?

If you drink or take drugs at any time during your cycle (which is all the time) could you be locked up for endangering a fetus?

Eventually will new life start with a filthy thought? (if that was the case, I’d have a million chirrun running hither and yon)

Will there soon be anti-jackin’ it bills introduced in the Arizona Legislature to prevent male Arizonians from spilling their sacred seed? Can’t have one without the other, see.

What if you’re a eunuch? A castrato?

If you’ve had a hysterectomy, will you be considered a serial killer?

Will New Mexico now construct a large Abortion Plex near the Arizona/New Mexico border?

What about women who aren’t on the perfect 28-day cycle? How will they be ‘regulated’?

Will all stillbirths and miscarriages now be considered homicides?

Is cooking eggs now considered animal cruelty?

Is a douche now considered a weird kind of baby shower?

If you’re a post-menopausal woman, does that mean you’re eternally pregnant?

Knowing how Arizona feels about brown people, does this law apply to women of color too?

Does a uterine lining now get a social security number?

Finally …

Does the law really mean two weeks AFTER conception?

*thanks to Michael, Liza, Paul, Jennifer, Donald, Jeff, David B. et al. Big kisses!

The case of the moldy muff plugs

Every now and then, I come across a headline that causes me to throw up in my mouth a little.

Don’t Worry, That’s Just Bread Mold On Your Tampon

This headline required several readings before I could actually dive into the meaty part of the article. Plus, I needed a visual before I could carry on with my day.

Let’s take a look at the story, shall we? via The Consumerist.

“Normally, Danielle wouldn’t have pulled her Kotex tampon out of the applicator for inspection before using it. I mean, who does that? One happened to fall out of the applicator, though, and that’s when she saw them. The splotches of blackish mold. “Makes you wonder how many times things like this happen to tampons and we don’t have a clue,” she wrote. Um, yes.

She posted photos on her blog, along with the response that she received from a Kimberly-Clark representative when she e-mailed in the same photos. Their response, paraphrased: “don’t worry about that mysterious substance that you almost inserted into your vagina. It’s just bread mold.” Then they promised to send her coupons for more Kotex tampons. Thanks?”

Who does inspect a tampon before using it? I sure as shit don’t, because once it’s out of the little protective casing, insertion is close to impossible unless you happen to be the proud owner of a jumbo jet-sized snatch. I never understood how anyone could use o.b. Tampons — you know, the non-applicator tampons that are used by women who into all things-natural. (wonder what they do for vibrators.) For those of you (read: men who are somewhat clueless about lady bits) who don’t know what I’m talking about, just THINK about it for a moment or two.

“Dear Danielle,

Thanks for contacting us about your experience with KOTEX® SECURITY® tampons. We are very sorry that you were disappointed with your recent purchase of our product.

We understand how distressing it can be to find mold on a product that is used for personal hygiene and apologize for your concern. In instances where it has been found, we conducted tests on the product involved and have found the mold to be a common environmental species that carries no health risk. The vegetative mold is similar in nature to mold on vegetables or in baked goods.

You can be confident that we are diligently reviewing our manufacturing process to ensure this problem does not recur. Because our customers and their well-being are very important to us, we want to assure you that the quality and safety of our products are our top priorities. We apply very rigorous procedures to our products to ensure that they are safe for their intended use.

With the hope that you will continue to use SECURITY tampons with confidence, we are sending you some coupons through the mail for your use on future purchases.
[redacted]
Consumer Services, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
Lead the world in essentials for a better life.”

Nice to know that a pharma company is equating their products with baked goods. What this little letter tells me is that all we gals really need to do is buy some bread sticks and use ’em as feminine protection because that’s what Kimberly-Clark is inadvertently comparing their little ‘oops’ to. Next time I’m cruising the crimson, I’ll just mosey on into the Olive Garbage and pick up some of their famous bread sticks and go to town! Don’t know how I’ll explain the resulting yeast infection though. Perhaps I should think this one through a scosch more.

Oh and the coupons, well that’s just good business. *AHEM*

“Danielle didn’t find this particularly comforting. The reply came quickly, and knowing that had a form letter ready to go for cases of tampon mold is a little unsettling. She noted on her blog:

‘Yeah, that’s real reassuring. I was grossed out in the first place and their response just makes it worse! Seems this is a fairly common problem … and that is a cause for serious concern. I doubt most people get as lucky as I did – I just so happened to accidentally expose the mold and I am so glad that I did! Most people wouldn’t be so fortunate.

Thanks for the coupons, Kotex, but I can confidently say I’ll never be purchasing any of your products ever again.’

 Then her blog post went viral. Readers wondered whether she had faked the mold with a Sharpie for attention, or stored the tampons in a damp cabinet. (Isn’t that why they’re sealed in little plastic wrappers?) At readers’ urging, she approached a local news outlet which plans to send the tampon for independent lab testing. But in the meantime, someone higher up at Kimberly-Clark noticed, and reached out.”

Remember the whole Toxic Shock Syndrome kerfuffle back in the 80s? Rely Tampons were responsible for several cases — a few of them fatal — of TSS. As a result, this particular brand of tampons was given a new tag-line “Die With Rely” by a bunch of smartasses and eventually pulled from the shelves. Yep, our family had a field day with that saying. But, I digress. One would think that because of this particular type of feminine protection’s history, the parent company would rethink the whole creepy form letter signed, sealed and delivered with coupons.

I’m glad Danielle took the viral route.

“Dear Danielle,

I just read your message to us on Facebook and I wanted to tell you that we are so sorry you had this experience! In [redacted]’s eagerness to get back to your e-mail right away, she unfortunately sent you incorrect information concerning this issue.

Nothing is more important to us than consumer safety. Any discoloration or abnormality with our tampons is extremely rare, and we want to do a full investigation to determine the source and follow-up with our manufacturing facility. So if you still have the tampon, can you please return it to us by using the prepaid mailing envelope we’re sending you?

We’d also really like to get on the phone with you and find out more to help us in our investigation. Please give us a call at [redacted] and ask for [redacted], or reply to this e-mail and give us your phone number and the best time to contact you.

Again, we are so sorry this happened and thank you so much for getting in touch with us and giving us the chance to help make sure this doesn’t happen again.

[redacted]
Account Executive
Consumer Services, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
Lead the world in essentials for a better life.”

In other words, you embarrassed us on social media. See, we were so hoping that you would view the mold as natural, and wouldn’t have issues with sticking the offending tampons up your hoo-ha during your monthly visitor since some mold is actually good for you (see bleu cheese and penicillin). But since you’re all about blogging (kids these days!) and using the Twitter and the Facebook, you’ve sullied our rep but since we can’t say that, we’ll have to gosh, change our shitty for-profit ways and start making safer products for 52 percent of the American population. Shit howdy … we shoulda jumped on that War on Women bandwagon when we had a chance.

What total choads we are.