If this blog is anything, it's a collection of contradictions, and this post is no exception - last year, I posted about my no-resolution policy - this year, I am posting my resolution. That's not really a contradiction, however. I still maintain my no-resolution position, for the same reasons. It was just a coincidence of timing this year that I had my latest epiphany just a couple of days before the calendar flips.
I've written about my struggle with weight a couple of times. I've written about my struggle with drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. I've written, rather proudly, about my overcoming of those issues. What I have not ever written, however, is how even overcoming is a temporary thing for me, pretty well always. Yes, I lost 75 pounds. I also gained 30 back. Yes, I quit smoking. Three different times. Yes, I gave up drugs and drink. Right up until I decided staying hammered for a year was an excellent idea. It's ok if you want to judge me for those things - I certainly have - but before you decide to do so, please hear me out.
My resolution this year is quite simply, and most difficultly, to be good to myself. I will not resolve to get skinny. I will not resolve to never drink again. I cannot even promise to never again smoke a cigarette (though I do hope I manage at least that). Hell, I'm drinking a double whisky and staring at a box of chocolates as I write this. It seems to me that my struggle was not ever with weight or with drugs or with alcohol or with cigarettes. I have, in fact, been both genuinely happy and sincerely miserable drunk, sober, thin, fat, smoke-free, and in the throes of a pack-a-day habit. What I was doing was never the issue. Why I was doing it was. I tend to be a woman of extremes. When I was thin, I had a certifiable phobia of food. When I was fat, it was my bestest friend ever. When I'm drunk, I'm really, really drunk. When I'm sober, I recoil in horror at the thought of any adult beverage. And so on, and so on. Whether I'm being "good" or "bad", the underlying issue remains - I'm just not all that good to myself. My sobriety or weight-loss was never a result of sincerely wanting to be healthy, it was the result of hating myself long enough to deny my body any pleasures. Likewise, my weight-gain or drunkenness was never a result of being comfortable with who I am and what I enjoy, but the result of hating myself so much that I just didn't give a shit.
This year has been a rocky one, to say the least. I hit my lowest point professionally and personally, watched helplessly as my dad suffered and recovered from a stroke, and re-adopted several of my worst habits. Rather than being angry with myself or anyone else, however, I have opted to be thankful. I have chosen to see all of this as a learning experience - of a clear declaration of who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. I have chosen to no longer dwell on any rut I may feel I am in, and instead look up at that opening. I have chosen to be good to myself.
In case you have been living under a rock for the last 24 hours, some guy that hunts ducks doesn't think anal sex is awesome. This is apparently the most important thing that has ever happened, so I'll give you a few moments to rage.
Feel better? No? What if I told you he got fired for it? Now do you feel better?
You shouldn't. Yes, yes, the guy is a dick. His views are bigoted, and not appreciated by a large segment of society. But there's a larger issue at play here, and we'd be foolish to ignore it. The man was "suspended" from his own TV show, because his personal views do not line up with those of A&E, who claim to support LGBT rights. That may seem reasonable at first glance - afterall, most of us would be likewise fired if we made racist or homophobic statements aloud at work. Here's the thing, though: Duck Dynasty, from what I have read (I'm not exactly up on the latest in "reality TV"), is about openly conservative Christian hunters from Louisiana. Now, I hate to stereotype people, but just from that description, I can assume, probably safely, that they do not drape themselves in rainbow flags at the end of the day. I can also assume that A&E was well aware of the fact that they would have the occasional controversial view. In fact, the more I read about this show, the clearer it becomes to me that A&E was banking on it. Let's be honest - you don't create a show about conservatives from the deep south to appeal to an ultra-liberal audience, unless you're counting on the trainwreck syndrome to work in your favour. Whatever the truth of the matter is, A&E had to know this would happen at some point, and is likely to get more ratings out of the deal, one way or another. Bluntly put, they fired one of their employees for doing exactly what they knew and hoped he would do. Not cool.
But it goes even deeper than that. I vehemently disagree with everything he said. I think it was bigoted and crude, and sorely uneducated. And I completely support his right to say it. This whole "free speech comes with responsibility" and "public figures shouldn't voice their personal views" argument is utter bullshit. No one - not you, not me, not homosexuals, nor Christians, have the right to not be offended. Sorry, but we just fucking don't. Everyone should be very disturbed by the precedents set by stories like these. I'm not generally one to employ a slippery-slope argument, but I can't deny seeing the potential for one here, for two reasons:
Wherein I say
whatever I want.