Archive for March, 2008
Larry ambled into the office the other day, back from a medication visit, slapped his water canteen on the desk, scratched in the direction of his ass crack (I didn’t look), and said matter-of-factly, “Well, shit.” I asked him what was up, and he replied, “You been over to the [client’s name] house yet?”
(The client of which he spoke has a very large dog. I’m 5′7″ and its head reaches my chest.)
I told him yes, and he said, “That dog couldn’t keep its goddamn head outta my sweetass crotch the whole time I was there.”
I replied that the dog had done the same to me during my last visit to this client’s house, and that I had surreptitiously given it a good knee in the snout when the client’s mother wasn’t looking.
“That goddamn dog almost lifted me up with its head, it was so anxious to get a sniff.” Pause. “Thought I was gonna get camel toe.”
I have so many questions.
This post won’t be interesting to anyone who isn’t involved in social work or the mental health field, so feel free to skip it and refresh yourself on what’s been happening lately with Larry. As I was sitting in my Human Behavior: Disorders of Adults class this morning, I was once again baffled by the level of discourse that happens in the School of Social Work. Lately we’ve been discussing disorders that I just don’t believe exist, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep my mouth shut. I often feel as though I come off like the angry, irrational feminazi during class discussions…which I am, but I’m trying to keep my cool these days.
Borderline Personality Disorder. Probably nothing else withers a social worker’s resolve to do good quicker than getting stuck with a client who’s got BPD, an Axis II diagnosis for which there is no cure and no medication, and for which the only known form of semi-effective treatment is something called “dialectical behavioral therapy”–where the therapist commits to being on call for the client 24/7/365 should a crisis arise.
“It’s very clear that’s what’s happening. It’s very clear. I mean, the population is going to continue to rise, and the earth is going to continue getting warmer and warmer. But I guess it doesn’t matter because we humans are just a bunch of cells swimming around in a little petri dish waiting to drown in our own shit.”
-One of the supervisors at my internship (and an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan), talking about his crusade to get his barber on board with global warming and population growth. I’m not sure why he was talking to me about this. I had only come into his office to be reimbursed for some items I’d purchased at Kroger for our agency’s wellness group earlier in the week. He commented on the fact that, while at Kroger buying a veggie tray for the group, I had also purchased (with my own money!) some maxi pads. (Although he only figured this out after trying to read what the abbreviation on the receipt said: “What’s ‘Styfree mxi 18′?”) After I explained, he informed me rather sanctimoniously that “feminine hygiene products” contribute to global warming because of all the packaging and somehow we got onto the petri-dish-drowning-in-shit thing. My internship is awesome.
…but why the style section? Is it because many of us are females? Oh New York Times, you keep me guessing.
P.S. I’d be interested to hear your take on why vegetarianism and veganism are more prevalent among women.
I’ve been promising myself I would not get caught up in the primary election snafu between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (by the way, since when did she drop the “Rodham”?), but after hearing the nonstop media circus surrounding the video snippets of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s response on Tuesday, I feel I have to say something, and it is this: Wright has wrongly received a blanket condemnation from the mainstream (white) media as being a racist, hateful pig. In fact, when you search for the snippets of those videos on YouTube, those are some of the tags: racism, hate speech, anti-American, etc. Hmmm. After watching the clips that have been circulating the most frequently on the news and internet, I have to say I’m a little surprised. I find myself agreeing with many of the points Rev. Wright makes, and in fact I would venture a guess that most or all of my white friends would also agree. So this brings us yet again to the real crux of the problem in this country, one that only becomes more apparent as the media endlessly replays clips of the sermons even in the wake of Obama’s speech: white people still aren’t getting it.
All I have been hearing about on the news today is whether this D.C. gun law is going to be upheld by the Supreme Court. NPR has been particularly insufferable, hosting panel discussions between diametrically opposed gun apologists and flower children, neither of whom have added anything new to the debate. (Although I did hear this gem: one of the Second Amendment people said something like, “As soon as you introduce gun control, banning free speech is next!”)
I’m all for banning guns. Aces to California, where I believe the strictest gun laws in the nation can be found (see also: flower children). Unfortunately, gun crime is hardly going to disappear when my utopian vision is realized and the sale and possession of firearms is declared illegal. Truly taking care of gun violence and chipping away at the dent in our nation’s rather inglorious crime rate will require some creative solutions to very complex problems (almost 80% of guns used to commit crimes are already obtained by illegal measures anyway, for instance). Luckily, I had nothing to do for two hours today as I was zoning out in my Field Seminar (that lovely biweekly support group for disaffected Social Work students whose trust fund did not prepare them for a job where they might be called a white bitch or have to sit in a counseling session with someone who hasn’t bathed in awhile) and I have come up with the solution that may go a long way toward solving our nation’s gun problem, without even disturbing the Second Amendment, that divine right under which free speech would topple if it were stripped away.
ANTM was disgusting tonight. The photo challenge was a shoot in a warehouse in the Meatpacking District and guess what? The girls were dressed up in bikinis made of raw meat, posing alongside huge slabs of slaughtered cattle on hooks. So controversial! So fashion!
This challenge raised multiple issues for me. I appreciate Carol Adams’ critique of women’s bodies used, essentially, as “meat”; advertised, commodified, and “consumed” by the male gaze just like a big juicy burger. On a literal level, the meatpacking industry (and specifically the fast food industry), as detailed in Fast Food Nation, is notoriously exploitative of women, especially the Latinas–many undocumented–who constitute a large part of the slaughterhouse workforce. And finally, from an animal rights perspective, I object vehemently to the use of animals’ bodies–alive or dead–for the human purposes of consumption, both literal (eating) and figurative (advertisting, marketing, commodification).