Someone, maybe it was even you, shoved aside the granite Do Not Disturb sign that secures the rock I live under—think boulder at the entrance to Christ’s tomb, but without the angel—and threw what felt like a dense sheaf of cheap, snow-sodden paper right in my face.
I’m Canadian, so I shouted, “Sorry! Hope my face didn’t get in the way of your dense sheaf of cheap, snow-sodden paper!”
But no reply except a snigger and the loud, clichéd report of a motorbike speeding off. They left so fast I didn’t even get a chance to offer them a second, even more heartfelt apology, some cash for their trouble and a couple of butter tarts from the convenience store.
The dense sheaf of cheap, snow-sodden paper turned out to be a dense sheaf of cheap, snow-sodden paper called The New York Times.
As Laurie Anderson once said: Oh boy! Right – again!
Then I caught the headline:
Phyllis Schlafly, ‘First Lady’ of a Political March to the Right, Dies at 92 (link opens in a new window)
I’ll leave it up to you to read about this woman and her “scatterbrained, dangerous and hateful” ideas;
this dingbat who claimed that “sexual harassment on the job is not a problem for virtuous women” and that “sex-education classes are like in-home sales parties for abortions”;
this indefatigable conservative icon (is there ever a defatigable conservative icon?) who called the atom bomb “a marvelous gift that was given to our country by a wise God”;
this down-home Missouri gal who married rich, became a lawyer (“a hobby”, as she qualified it, and one undertaken with her husband’s permission), then, incomprehensibly, set out with a grim resolve that was equal parts Joan of Arc and Carrie Nation to ensure that women’s rights would forever stagnate by virtually single-handedly still-birthing – the word choice is deliberate – the Equal Rights Amendment.
Gail Sheehy commented: “Phyllis Schlafly’s formula for the better life, then, is based on marrying a rich professional, climbing the pedestal to lady of leisure and pulling up the rope ladder behind her.”
(What’s that? No, honey, Farmville 2 can wait. Please. This is one of those things grown-ups label “important” and I don’t care how many cartoon cows or chickens you’ve accumulated. GAWD! How about pretending you care? Hmm? You’re good at that.
Alrighty, then. And. Stop. Interrupting.)
Now, I often go on about the stupidity of people who express joy at someone’s passing, apparently forgetting that it’s going to get us all in the end, and implying that it’s some diabolically unique and clever punishment for someone’s carelessness or criminality.
But now I kind of see their point. I mean, if I’m lucky, I’ll have 20 years of Schlafly-less living and it’s almost guaranteed that, on whatever Monopoly board I’m destined to play in the afterlife, I’ll be stuck with Baltic Avenue, or just not passing “Go”, not collecting two hundred dollars for all eternity. So the chances of running into her are small.
I think I should go for it, don’t you?
Altogether now (to the heavily copyrighted tune, “Happy Birthday to You”):-
Phyllis Schlafly is dead!
Phyllis Schlafly is dead!
Now there’s one less Con-
Ser-va-taaaaaard – !
Now, blow out the candles, bubbeleh, and make a wish.