Saturday, July 02, 2005

I had an abortion

If you read the gina & krista round-robin this morning, you have a pretty good idea of what you can do. I know that they already stressed this but I want to say it here as well, it's not about money. If you're someone with all the dough in the world, donate to every organization they listed. If you're someone that has enough to spare to donate a little, please pick an organization to donate to. But if you don't have any money, that doesn't mean you sit on your ass.

There are petitions to sign, there are talking points to get out, there is the simple fact that you can share with people around you.

I talked about my abortion in the round-robin. Here I'll just say that I've had one and I support the right of any woman to have one. Why I had one is no one's damn business. I appreciate that other members were willing to share if they'd had one. The Common Ills is a great community and Krista and Gina do a great job with their round-robin.

Some of the women they quoted said they'd never really talked about their abortion before. I have. With friends, I will go into details. Though friends and friendly people come here, a lot of assholes do too.

I don't want to work up a sob story or justify what I did. No woman should have to. So I will say loudly that I have had an abortion but it's no one else damn's business.

I support women who share their experiences and C.I. will post anyone's comments if she wants to share her story. More power to any woman who wants to.

For me, it's my business. I'm not ashamed of it. But I'm not going to go begging for the pro-life crowd's understanding. Or to prove to moderates that there are "reasons" to support choice.

If, after all this time, someone needs a "reason" then chances are they either live in a very limited world or they already made up their mind against choice.

My story is nothing compared to X (readers of the gina & krista round-robin know who I mean)
and that was so brave of her to put it out there like that. If that were my story, I would share it in the privacy of the round-robin and still not note it here. Because where I'm coming from is it's none of your damn business.

I'm not ashamed of it, I'm not embarrassed by it. But I'm not going to put myself in a position of saying, "Like me, understand me, love me."

I made the decision I made and I stand by it. And thank you to the women and men who've read the round-table and have e-mailed to thank me for sharing. No one wrote, "Kat, you need to put this up at your site."

But I will put up at my site that not only do I support the right of pro-choice but I've used that right, I've excercised it.

X is thinking of sharing her story and it's a powerful story. I support her right to consider sharing and, if she does, I applaud her for sharing.

But no woman needs to share anything she doesn't want to.

I do not support parental consent laws because I do not believe that any woman makes the decision to have an abortion without giving it thought. Now maybe if she's strong armed into it by some guy, but if that happens, she hasn't made the choice, she's gone along with someone else's choices.

I have friends who've had an abortion and I'll certainly open up to them in great detail.

But for me it is a private experience and it's not one I'm going to put out there.

I will put out that I had an abortion, I do not regret it and abortion must remain legal.

If you're on the fence about where you stand on this issue, you need to figure out pretty quick because a battle is looming and it's going to be nasty.

We're going to need all the support we can get to keep abortion legal and safe.

Making it illegal will not end abortion.

Abortions are part of our nation's history. In earlier times they were legal and called "quickening." Then they became illegal. But they didn't go away.

They will not go away and the smart thing to do is to make them safe and legal.

A lot of the sharing of the experience has given ground to some middle of the roaders to start the talk of "They're painful and should be used sparingly" or some other bullshit that lets them position themselves as a moderate.

They are a medical right. It is not my business what medical rights you choose to excercise and it's honestly not your business which ones I choose to excercise.

I've never heard anyone dispute a man's right to get his penis augmentated. (For those who are unaware of it and thinking "I can get my dick bigger" -- wider not longer is the result of the procedure.) But when it comes to women's bodies and their medical decisions, everyone thinks they can weigh in.

You can't. A woman has to make the decision herself and she should be able to make the decision and have a safe and legal abortion.

Besides the round-robin, I'd recommend you read the entry C.I. did with people sharing their reactions to Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement. And if you're think, "Kat, short for Kaitlin, she's Irish! How can she support abortion?" I'd suggest you read Mike's post. He comes from a pro-choice, Irish-Catholic family. I do as well. Mike's mother is right, the media stereotype isn't reality.

And while I reserve the right not to discuss my medical procedure with anyone but friends that I'd share other medical matters with, I am more than fine with going on the record and saying I had an abortion and I don't regret it.

If you've never known a woman who's had an abortion, you do now. It is not something that happens to "other people." Whether you know it or not, there's probably a woman in your circle who's had an abortion.

Any woman who is comfortable declaring "I've had an abortion" to her friends, should do so. If you want to go in details, that's your right. But I think we need to get beyond the idea that the only women who've had abortions are people you've never met. This effects many of us.

Maggie called me up when she read the round-robin this morning and said if I wrote about it here she wanted her feelings known. She's never had an abortion, but she's damn glad that if she ever finds herself in the position where she needs to consider all her options, it's a choice she has, a legal choice.

Because making it illegal won't make it go away. It will only lead to the return of back alley abortions, people making money on the side and women's lives being put at risk.

Safe and legal, the line is drawn and you need to figure out where you stand.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Keith writes in on the eternal subject of Cobain vs. Corrigan

I read the e-mails. Sometimes I write back, sometimes I don't. I should probably put my e-mail address up here but the majority of you know you just write me at and it's forwarded.

But Keith found a review I did on Nirvana's boxed set and wrote in to ask if I stood by it. Stood by it? Do I even remember it? Honestly, no.

"Kat's Korner: Nirvana's With the Lights Out: There It Is now, It Don't Entertain Us." Click on that link to read it. It went up February 7th and I'm guessing Keith's been carrying his beef since then.

Keith doesn't dispute that the Nirvana boxed set is a marketing scheme to fleece the suckers. What bothered Keith were my remarks about Billy Corrigan (my one remark, I'm providing the surrounding remarks to offer context):

Kurt Cobain's suicide ended all of that. And who can say that, had he lived, it would have been any different? I'm sure, either with the band or without it, he would have continued making great music. I'm just not sure that, having created all these artificial imitations who would go along with any demand and not rock the boat, the mega-merged labels would have stuck with him. So much easier to pour all the energy and A.R. time into a puppet who would stand where you said, play what you wanted, and be a little naughty but never stupid and outrageous.
But he died. And I'll never forget the dee jay saying that. I was driving down the Pacific Coast Highway and I had to pull over. "Heart Shaped Box" came on. I just sat in the car in shock. Hearing that song and then "All Apologies" and realizing that Nirvana was no more.
Somewhere after a long Nirvana block, Tori Amos' "God" came on.
God, sometimes you just don't come through . . .
Would you even tell her if you decide to make the sky fall . . .
Not to take anything away from Courtney Love (I'll be the last to ever slag her), but Tori was the only other writer from grunge that approached greatness. (Which will no doubt will come as news to Billy Corrigan who's been in a pissing match with Kurt -- one he still can't win, even against a dead man.)
It all changed in that moment. When Tori's next album came out (Boys for Pele) she'd be played on alternative radio only. The go-alongs, the pretty boys, were churning out alterna-pop and there was no place for the real thing.
Which was a real shame because "Caught a Lite Sneeze" (intentionally or not) summed up grunge better than anything Todd Synder ever dreamed up.
Boys on my left side
Boys on my right side
Boys in the middle
And you're not here
I always picture "you're" as Kurt. All the pretty boys being churned out by the labels, blathering on about found about you and whining about sniffing sex and candy, all pale imitations of the real deal. And slowly but surely, alternative rock became alt-rock and women were nowhere to be found, though they could spin any track off The Joshua Tree -- a great U2 album but one that predates grunge and has nothing to do with alternative rock.
Maybe that's what's confusing the kiddies? They put on their local Clear Channel affiliated alterna-rock station, hear Nirvana alongside U2, Limp dough boys and a "golden nugget" from Candlebox so suddenly they think they know about grunge.

Out of all that (and much more) what stuck out to Keith was the one sentence on Corrigan.

It's accurate, Keith. Corrigan was highly competative with Cobain. Read the real time interviews. Keith writes, "Corrigan went on to form Swan."

No, Keith, he went on to form Zwan. And he broke up that group while they were in the midst of promoting the first album. Now he's trying to be God knows what but I caught the act and it ain't working.

Which is probably why he's making noises about reuniting Smashing Pumpkins. He knows it will get him publicity. Maybe he will reunite them. Will anyone care?

As the man who he pulled the plug on the group, a great grunge group, are you going to fork over high priced ticket money knowing that Zwan was just making headway when Corrigan pulled the plug on them? It's become really hard to trust Corrigan as a listener.

That's his own fault. "Disarm" is a great song, as Keith notes. It's also one of about six songs that are beautifully written. The other members of Smashing Pumpkins deserve strong credit for selling the sound.

But Billy thought he could do it all alone and reality and sales have disproven that myth.

Do I really feel Corrigan was attempting to compete with Cobain? That's what Keith is concerned about. Yes, I do. Again, go to the contemporary interviews while Cobain was still alive and witness the vennum. If Corrigan weren't so hell bent on proving he was better than Cobain (which he never managed to prove) he might not have trashed his own gifts so. But having heard the new lineup and the new songs, he has trashed his gifts.

Thanks for writing, Keith.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Common Ills & The Third Estate Sunday Review will have the legacy

So the Beyonce lovin' "lib" is at it again as Rebecca tells me in a phone call. What can you expect from someone who's mistaken an ass for vocal talent? Maybe he sings out of his ass too?

Kids, it's the difference between the Mamas and the Papas and the Monkees. Butt singer is the Monkees. Third Estate Sunday Review and The Common Ills are the Mamas and the Papas. In the end, they'll own the legacy. Butt Munch will continue to steal and pretend he can play an instrument or sing or act. Butt Munch will never make it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame because he just swipes from others. He'll Milli Vanilli his way to attention possibly, but even then he'll be a joke. Here's the Third Estate Sunday Review doing what they do which isn't sneaking looks at the test on the desk next to them. I worked on this editorial too as did Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, and C.I. of The Common Ills.

Editorial: Mainstream Press Do Your Homework on the pre-invasion bombings

It's so depressing at The New York Timid. We were going to hand out grades re: coverage of the Downing Street Memo this week. Instead we had to schedule parent-teacher conferences. Mrs. Keller swears she can get little Billy Keller to "buckle down and apply himself." We wait to be persuaded.

Via BuzzFlash, we do however find Tim Harper's "Is this Bush's 'smoking gun'? War opponents seek U.S. inquiry into U.K. memos Documents show" (Toronto Star):

Writing in the Los Angeles Times this week, Smith argued that the real news in the July 23 memo was that the United States was engaged in an illegal air war against Iraq in the summer of 2002.

Smith pointed to the part of the memo quoting Geoffrey Hoon, Britain's defence secretary at the time, saying the U.S. had already begun "spikes of activity" over Baghdad, long before Washington argued its case before the United Nations.
The United States had begun intensified aerial bombing of Baghdad in May 2002, continuing through August of that year, in a bid to trigger a retaliation that would justify a full-out invasion.
When that did not happen, the U.S. responded by ratcheting up the bombing in September 2002, continuing until the invasion formally began on March 19, 2003.
Based on the memos he obtained, Smith argued that Bush and Blair really began an air war six weeks before the U.S. Congress approved military action.

It's a good point, a strong one. And we say that not only because we've harped on it here as has C.I. over at
The Common Ills. Last Sunday, when we wrote our editorial "Editorial: 'Illegal' bombing raids? When will the domestic press note this?" we were thinking (wrongly) that it was now time for The New York Timid to seriously begin addressing the topic.

The bombings raise serious questions that go to the issue of was intelligence "fixed." To quote from that editorial:

As C.I.
wrote, you can't have it both ways. You can't claim "Saddam has WMDs! We're all at risk!" and increase the bombings. If you really believe the WMD lie (we all know it was a lie now, right?) you don't attempt to start a war before you're ready. You don't put your country at risk. If you really believe there's a risk, to invite an attack when you're unprepared, a WMD attack, may border on derelicition of duty for the one who wanted the whole nation (military and civilian) to call him "commander-in-chief." (Note to Diane Sawyer, unless you enlisted, he wasn't YOUR commander-in-chief, nor was he the Dixie Chicks' "commnader-in-chief.")

The bombings are not a side issue, that are part and package of the big picture. But the attention has focused elsewhere instead as people debated. Was intelligence fixed? The debate needs to factor in the increased bombings.

It's time the press dealt with that. All the parents (even little Judy Millers' parents) seemed nice, concerned and genuine and their promises that they would see it to that their children applied themselves. We really want to believe that's possible because this issue goes to the heart of our democracy. If we can't discuss this openly and honestly, one wonders why the First Amendment ever carried any weight to begin with?

It's past time to include the pre-invasion bombings into the dialogue. Mainstream press, do your homework or don't bother showing up for class.