Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy have changed. We think you'll like them better this way.

WomenontheVerge

You can't ignore politics, no matter how much you'd like to--Molly Ivins It took many years for me to realize that not everyone grew up in a house where politics dominated daily conversation, or where it was normal, let alone expected that a dinner with the family would include someone shouting back at the evening news. I would sooner hear "that bastard William Casey should face a court marshall" at dinner than "would you please pass the peas". Weren't all dinners like this?


So you can imagine my surprise at my first real dinner with a family that found discussing politics crude but had no qualms speculating on just who was visiting the neighbors wife at lunchtime. Neighborhood voyerism and suburban speculation were the norm in the middle-America existence of my peers. But they were not my norm.


There are two kinds of humor. One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity -- like what Garrison Keillor does. The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule -- that's what I do. Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel -- it's vulgar.


But if the soundtrack of my youth was a running political commentary, I soon figured out that it was recorded by only a select few. They were men. White men. And even in my liberal-leaning household that was an unescapable fact.


By now I had learned two things: my family is bizarre beyond words and I'm enveloped in a conversation to which I can somehow not have full participatory rights. I was held hostage to political discourse, desperate to have my say but clueless how to speak.


Thank god for Molly Ivins. Here was a woman unapologetic in her loud and brash manner, who spoke truth to power conseqeuences be damned. I literally drank in her words, her wisdom, so eager to have them as my own. She was funny. She was smart. And she didn't give a damn.


There's never been a law yet that didn't have a ridiculous consequence in some unusual situation; there's probably never been a government program that didn't accidentally benefit someone it wasn't intended to. Most people who work in government understand that what you do about it is fix the problem -- you don't just attack the whole government.


But she did, actually, give a damn. She dedicated her life to making sure others did as well. And when I look at the current state of political discourse, the direction some want to take our domestic and international policy, and the degree of helplessness so many feel in the wake of garbage coming from Washington I can only think of one thing.


Damn I miss Molly Ivins.

  1. Today's Best
  2. Top Shows
  3. Best of BTR
    1. Loading

      Flash For DC Comic's

      Scott Kolins has drawn The Flash for DC Comics, so he provides a unique perspective. Between TV, a potential movie, & a legacy in comics, the Flash is a rich topic to kick off this new podcast.

    2. Appropriate Emoji

      Ann's visit to RuPaul's DragCon, men and housework, women in flats, the gross faux food Soylent, how white people are using the new multiracial emoji and the amazing life (and death) of Sandra Bem.

    3. Comedian Craig Shoemaker

      Craig Shoemaker is an American comedian, writer, and voice actor. He is best known for his baritone-voiced character, The Lovemaster, which he routinely portrays in his comedy act.

    4. Paranormal Legend Rosemary Ellen Guiley

      America's Most Haunted Radio Speaks with Paranormal Legend Rosemary Ellen Guiley

    5. Why You're in a Rut.

      Indie Parents are moms and dads who are self-employed, entrepreneurs, followers of passions and require a flexible lifestyle. In "When You're in a Rut", Amy and Des chat about the common ways that business owners get stuck and ways to pull out of it.

    6. BABIP and Hitters to Trade or Trade For

      Rich will review the most misunderstood and poorly used sabermetric tool BABIP. He'll also provide a number of hitters that are overperforming and underperforming their BABIP and are do for a correction.

    7. Which Hogwarts House Are You In?

      If you were in a Hogwarts house, which one would you be in?

    8. The One & Only Palmilla

      This week's episode of Travel Today with Peter Greenberg comes from The One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico.

    9. Mock Draft Madness

      http://cdn.btrcdn.com/pics/hostpics/a3e28687-fda8-474f-b6ac-4d7ae88ab177_pff_radio.jpg

    10. Hot Dog, Sandwich or Not

      Jonathan, Nick, and Kyle discuss if a hotdog is or is not a Sandwich. They talk about mis-pronuncing the Eastern Confrence final, and the Tampa Bay Lightning in the playoffs thus far.

    11. Ride the Magical Dolphin

      Join Jeff Adams and Kris Cruz as they talk current events and what happen over the weekend! Plus one of the weirdest show ever by The Jeff Adams Show casts.

    12. WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder

      Real Fans Real Talk with current WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder

    13. Civil War Talk and S.H.I.E.L.D. Season

      Matt and Jeff discuss all the events of Season 2 of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. plus all the news coming from the set of Civil War which is filming now!

    14. Batman Mad Love

      The Pull Bag we are kicking off the second annual BATMAN MONTH by exploring the psychology of Mad Love!

    15. Stroke Awareness and Sunscreen Basics

      A sudden numbness in your face, difficulty speaking, a severe headache. These are signs and symptoms of a stroke. Each year, nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke. May is Stroke Awareness Month and on the next Mayo Clinic Radio, neurologist Dr. Robert Brown, Jr., talks about diagnosis and treatment of stroke.

    16. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome

      Today on Weekend At The Movies What’s next in the world of the X-Men, a slew of trailer talk and our main review, finishing up the Mad Max Trilogy with Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome Box Office.

    1. Loading

      Small Business Unstuck

      Host Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. He has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. This is a business radio show where he shares all the craziness of small business. It’s that craziness that actually makes it exciting, interesting and totally unpredictable.

    2. America's Most Haunted

      Official Internet radio show of forthcoming epic paranormal investigation book by Eric Olsen and "Haunted Housewife" Theresa Argie.