Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Boobs are for sucking... and Chevrolets suck...

Bear with me.  This is going to be another one of my weird posts about Facebook and the inane discussions that can erupt there.

I highly recommend watching this video.  It's hilarious.  I'd start with a video about breastfeeding, but I don't want boobs on the picture associated with this post.

I have mentioned more than once that I have friends of every political stripe.  Some of my friends clash when they participate in certain threads.  That's fine, although sometimes people don't know when to quit bickering and move on to their next Internet station.  Over the weekend, I posted a couple of things on Facebook that led to some annoying discussions on my page.

I try to let people work things out among themselves, if possible.  There have been a few times when someone has insisted on using my page as a forum for their need to argue.  But most people will go away if I ask nicely and the rest will eventually lose interest.  Those who don't wind up on my block list, usually after they accuse me of "baiting them" (which, I promise, I really don't do).

Hmmm...  This is a very controversial issue, isn't it?

On Sunday morning, I shared a post from George Takei's page.  It was an article from the New York Post about a woman who breastfeeds her five year old.  In truth, I kind of knew the article would attract controversy, although most of the discussion was pretty good.  I don't have children and have never breastfed anyone, so I don't have an actual opinion about how long a woman should be breastfeeding.  It just seems to me that it could be painful for many reasons, not the least of which is because young children have teeth.  Yes, plenty of experienced moms have told me that suckling babies learn not to bite, but I've also heard from other people that sometimes they do bite.  And then there's cracked nipples and the infections that can arise from that condition.  By and large, though, I think that if your kid wants to breastfeed and you're willing to supply the milk, it's your business.

Now, I knew very well that there would be comments about this woman's decision to breastfeed for so long.  Most of my friends seem to think it's awesome.  A couple of friends think breastfeeding small children is gross.  Whatever.  I'm not offended either way.  We also had comments about women breastfeeding because it gave them orgasms.  Plenty of moms said this could never be the case; however, even if I've never breastfed a baby, I know that people get turned on by all kinds of things.  Who am I to say that there aren't moms out there who have orgasms when they breastfeed?  And even if they do, why is that a big deal?  That topic within the thread also became rather contentious, but the arguing about it eventually ceased, thank God.

Unfortunately, there are always a few people in the crowd who can't simply have a discussion without it turning into a flame war.  In this case, it's three friends who, to my knowledge, don't otherwise know each other.  One is someone I knew in college.  One is someone from RfM.  The third is a woman I met on a messageboard for second wives and stepmothers.

The college friend is a guy who is raising his daughter by himself because his wife died a year after their baby was born.  I think he's been having a rough time of things and probably struggles with depression.  He's very opinionated and, I've noticed, has recently become rather bitter and snarky.  When I knew him in college, he was a lot nicer than he is now.  I suppose he has the right to be bitter, given some of the life difficulties he's experienced.  On the other hand, it doesn't make him the most pleasant person to interact with.

The RfM friend has told me that she suffers from Asperger's Syndrome.  I truly believe she's basically a nice person, but she sometimes succumbs to the need to name call and be snarky and condescending, especially when it comes to certain topics like breastfeeding and racism.

The friend from the second wives and stepmother's messageboard is generally a cool person, but she has strong opinions about breastfeeding and also likes to be snarky.

So, you see, with these three people interacting, it's bound to get testy.  Everyone else who was commenting on that thread has moved on, but these three haven't yet.  I'm about to get out the belt.

Parts of this discussion were edited out because they were irrelevant.

My college friend says breastfeeding until age five is "not right".  The next comment is mine.

Next are comments by the two ladies and my college friend, as well as a clarifying comment from another guy, who was mostly watching from the sidelines.

I think if this continues, I'll have to raise a little hell.

I probably wouldn't be so cranky about this if there wasn't another annoying comment thread going on on my page.  This time, it's about Chevrolets and whether or not they actually suck.  I happen to think Chevys do suck.  This opinion did not form in a vacuum, either.  I learned how to drive in Chevrolet cars and, to this day, they remain the most troublesome cars I've ever driven.  

My dad was a big fan of Chevys. At one time, he owned two Chevettes that were almost identical.  One was a used 1976 model that had a manual transmission.  My dad bought it from a church friend.  The other was an automatic that my parents bought brand new in 1982.  They were rewarded with two plane tickets, which they used to visit Barbados.  My two middle sisters eventually inherited those cars and I remember how often they were in the repair shop.  

I also remember that my mom inherited my grandfather's 1967 Chevrolet Impala after he died.  I have vivid memories of someone having to take a fire extinguisher to the heater.  For some reason, my sisters continued to drive that car, even though it was blowing white stuff out of the vents.

My own personal experiences with Chevys came in the late 80s.  My dad bought a 1983 Chevy S10 truck for me to drive when I was in high school.   I remember having a few mishaps in that truck.  One was entirely my fault.  I got too close to a poplar tree in our driveway and put a big dent on the front side of the truck.  It took weeks for my dad to notice.

Another time, a friend walked her horse too close to the side of the truck and knocked the passenger's side mirror off.  It took weeks for Dad to notice that, too.  He wasn't the most observant person, especially when he was drinking a lot.

But the real kicker was when I was a senior in high school.  My parents asked me to drive the truck to the western outskirts of Richmond, Virginia to help my sister move.  I don't remember being annoyed about the request at the time, although I do remember it turned into a disaster.  Bear in mind, I was seventeen years old, driving alone to the big city, about 100 miles from home.  At some point, the check engine light came on and the heat failed.  I kept driving because, hell, what did I know about engines?  I figured if I ignored the check engine light, it would go away.  

I made it all the way to the exit where I needed to turn to get to my sister's apartment.  The truck just fucking died right there.  I happened to be at the front of the line at the stoplight and it was rush hour. People honked at me.  Finally, two guys pushed the truck out of the way and left me to my own devices.  This was before cell phones were a thing, so I ran across the busy road to a gas station and used a pay phone to call my sister, who came and picked me up.  We had to leave the truck on the side of the road and later had it towed, where a mechanic discovered that the head gasket had blown.  

My sister, who was very broke at the time, was not too happy about this development.  I remember having to miss a day of school because I couldn't get home.  It was an unexcused absence, which meant I had to take a zero on an assignment in a class I was doing well in because my mom refused to write a note saying I was sick.  She reasoned that I had a good reason for missing school and ignored my protests that "car trouble" was not a valid excuse, even if the car trouble wasn't because I refused to take the bus, but because I was stuck in Richmond, helping my sister move.

That unexcused absence cost me a very valuable good grade at a time when I needed all the good grades I could get (my high school grades sucked).  And then my sister started yelling at me when I complained-- it turned into a very unpleasant fight.  We had to call my dad, who drove his Chevy Astro van to help my sister move.  Later, when the truck was functional again, we brought it home.  I remember quite distinctly that over the course of the next few months, the head gasket blew two more times.  One time, it happened when I was in Newport News, maybe twenty-five or thirty miles from my house.  A friend followed me as I drove it home, big clouds of steam streaming out of the exhaust pipe.  I'm sure it was a hilarious sight, but I was pretty freaked out about it, being a teenager and all.

Yeah... my experience with that fucking Chevy S10 was enough for me to permanently dislike Chevys.  Even my dad eventually gave up on them and bought a Ford as his last car.  He was a diehard fan of buying American.  Oh, and he also bought a butt ugly 1986 Nissan truck that I drove after the S10 finally croaked.  That thing ran for over twenty years.  I've had similarly good experiences with both Toyotas I've owned.  They simply seem to be better made than any American cars I've experienced driving.  

Now... you may be wondering how we got on this topic in the first place.  Well, it had to do with Trump's recent comments about "banning" German made luxury cars in the United States.  I had read an article about it and noted this comment from Trump...

“When you walk down Fifth Avenue, everybody has a Mercedes-Benz parked in front of his house,” Trump said, according to a Wall Street Journal translation of the comments. “You were very unfair to the U.S.A. It isn’t mutual. How many Chevrolets do you see in Germany? Not many, maybe none, you don’t see anything at all over there. It’s a one-way street.” 

Bill and I are about to start car shopping again.  We may very well choose to buy a BMW or a Volvo, although I don't think Bill is interested in a Mercedes.  It's likely that whatever we do buy will be foreign made.  Hopefully, we'll also get a military discount, if European car manufacturers continue to offer them after Trump's stupid comments.  But anyway, to Trump's drivel about the need to ban German luxury cars in the USA, I wrote this...

Maybe it's because Chevrolets suck? God, I hate this man.

Sorry... but I do think Chevrolets suck and my opinion is based on a lot of personal experiences with the brand.  However, I knew in the back of my head that I'd get contrary comments from the peanut gallery.  I was not disappointed.  Behold...

Notice, I don't argue with anyone.  I just reiterate that I think Chevys suck.  And I do.  No amount of telling me how much you love your car is going to change my mind.  I'm glad you love your car, but it's irrelevant to my experiences.  Your mileage may vary.

As to Trump's assertion that Germans don't drive Chevys, I have been told that it's incorrect.  Apparently, Germans do buy Chevys.  Personally, I have seen a lot of Fords here,  but I haven't seen that many Chevys.  But then, it's not like I'm out looking for them, either.  My German friend says her brother likes Chevys.  My guess is that most Germans would rather drive a sexy BMW, but I'm not the authority on car tastes.  Of course, Chevy does make the Corvette and I'm sure some Germans think that's a sexy car.  More power to them.  I still think Chevys suck and I'd like to be able to state that without an argument.  Alas, that's not allowed on Facebook.

Look...  you keep driving your Chevy and, if you want to breastfeed your six year old, I'm not going to give you grief about it.  But, for God's sake, we all have opinions.  I try to keep my snark on my own page as much as possible.  I don't mind a little snark from other people, especially when it's funny.  But sometimes, I must admit to getting a bit crabby when people either don't know when to quit arguing or come late to the party and revive a thread that should have long ago died.    

It's probably best if I simply share cat videos...

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