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Burning Rage and Ebony Spleenwort

Scalzi wrote a brilliant post about Republicans talking about rape yesterday. It’s scary hard stuff and you shouldn’t read it if you don’t want to, but it’s very good.

I tell you true, though, the things that make me most furious in the comments (and there are many, many things to get furious about, you can find a half-dozen without even trying) is not the people who disagree with me ideologically. (They make me plenty angry, but nothing new about that) or the young dumb ones with the stars in their eyes going “but it’s so HEROIC!” because when you’re that young and dumb, your head is generally so far up your ass you can lick the underside of your esophagus, and lord knows, I was no exception at that age.

No, the ones that infuriate me most are the ones who break in and say, with the breathless air of one is who is Delivering A Game Changer, “You know, if you just really thought about it, you’d realize that fetuses are people/fetuses aren’t people/pro-life people aren’t evil/pro-choice people aren’t evil/etc etc.”

And then they sit back and seriously, truly expect you to give them a cookie for being just so awesome.

And this is where I really want to scream and grab people by the throat.

If I just really thought about it?

Sweet god, since the age of eight, when I learned what an abortion was, when have I ever been allowed NOT to think about it?

When is anyone in the possession of a uterus allowed to go ten minutes in this fucking life without having an opinion shoved down their throat about what they ought to be allowed to do with said uterus? When has my reproductive life not been something that other people feel allowed to have opinions about? When, since getting in spitting distance of puberty, has my body not been Fern-motherfucking-Gully?*

Arguments about abortion are of no interest to me, and we will not thrash out the ethics in the comments here. (I really will go after this with an iron fist.) But for god’s sake, whatever side you’re on, do not say “But if you REALLY think about X…”

We have thought. We have been forced to think. We have been forced to think about it a whole goddamn lot.

At best you sound like a stoner going “Did you ever really think that maybe the colors I see aren’t the same as the colors you see?” and at worst….well.


And then I was angry and went and planted a very nice fern called Ebony Spleenwort which we all, regardless of our political opinions, will probably agree has a seriously awesome name.

So there’s that.


*Somebody make sense of this analogy, I’m just pissed and right now it’s all loggers up in my ovaries and somebody thinking I need a man to lead the revolution. Or, err, something. Possibly near Figi.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

Ebony Spleenwort is a very fitting name at that, and when it sprouts please post a picture of it because that's awesome.

As for everything else in your post... yeah. Yeah, this. All of this. /agree

You are awesome.

You are even more awesome when you're angry.

If there hadn't been a plant named Ebony Spleenwort, you would have invented it. And then named an oracular slug after it.

Hey wait, you could still do _that_!

Spleenworts gets oracular caterpillars, which turn into philosophical butterflies.

What they said! *beth points upwards*

Lemme hear you say YEAH.

.... and that is why I do not allow myself to read the comments on many news/blog sites without a nice glass of something highly alcoholic in hand. It's the only way I can read them without punching my poor laptop in an effort to get to the person on the other side.

Yeah, I read that post too. I'm slowly easing my way through the comments a few at a time, so that my blood pressure stays in medically safe ranges. Even WITH the Mallet of Loving Correction in play, I still get royally bullshit.

I am not going *near* the comment thread on that one. Ain't no mallet big enough.

But very well ranted - thanks.


Goes hand in hand with what I ranted about the aforementioned "gamechangers" a while ago - when has any woman, faced with the decision, not been aware that it's a potential life they're taking? It's not like women are stupid, you know. The way pro-life people make it sound is as if those women would hear it for the first time.

Yes. I feel the same way about "Try reading for comprehension next time!" or "You clearly don't understand my argument!" or "You're just not listening!" — all the online-argument tactics that mean You have not yet agreed with me, clearly that is only because you're doing something wrong.

Look, online-arguer, I understand your argument. I have encountered it before. That does not make it convincing, no matter how vehemently you state it, how much you disparage me, or how much you imply that if I just read your words HARDER, and actually UNDERSTOOD them, I would finally come around.

I get this in real life, from my parents, about religion.



Yesterday it seemed like every link I followed was about sexual assault. Good, powerful writing about it, mind, but it meant it was all "And here is a reminder about men wanting to control your body!" all the time.

I think an Ebony Spleenwort would have helped. Sadly, all I've found so far today in the line of nature is another instance of dead wildlife (a gorgeous, sad blue jay, this time) in the street by the house that I suspect contains a Cat Of Death, and a sign that my redwood seeds very well aren't going to sprout. So I may try the spleenwort path tomorrow.

I'm sure I miss many good articles because I do not have the self control to avoid comments which will only enrage me. :(

I have now added "Spleenwort" to my list of potential D&D pixie names (along with such classics as Toadflax and Spurge (the exploding pixie)). I love pixies - I hate the cutesy-twee names they always seem to end up with.

If you don't have it you should add "Skeet" to that list. That was the name my step-son gave his pixie. Lasted dozens or so adventures and retired to open a music museum (DON'T ask).

Edited at 2012-10-26 10:44 pm (UTC)

I think I need to install something on my computer that prevents access to comments. Yet here I am...


But these are good, wholesome UVcomments, with +10 magical powers of disinfection. Not the same thing at all.

Excellent post by Scalzi. However, as a survivor, my response to even the idea of wading through the comments page, even lovingly moderated as it is, is as follows:

Excellent use of Twilight Sparkle.

I'm in the same position and just cannot with the comments.

I was dreading the comments, but some of them are actually pretty awesome.

I wish the growing season hadn't already ended up here in the northeast. Using my rage to plant something in the garden would be such a great way to channel all that angry energy into something positive.

Suggestion: indoor plants.

When I saw the title, my first thought was "invasive plant!"
I tend to stay far, far away from the internet political crazy. I have a enough pain on the cooking and garden boards.

Edited at 2012-10-26 10:44 pm (UTC)

The amount of industrial-grade fury to be found on cooking and gardening boards is really quite unnerving.

I won't touch the comments on a post like Scalzi's one. Not even with flame-resistant triple-thick fire-resistant gloves.
It's just.. I agree so much with your "YES, we have ALREADY thought about it, AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. We HAD TO." point.

Sadly, the gardening season here has already come to an end, so I cannot follow your spleenwort-y example.