I was watching CNN yesterday when Clay Travis made his “I believe in only two things completely, the first amendment and boobs” in the context of should Jemele Hill be fired for tweeting that Donald Trump is a white supremacist who surrounds himself with white supremacists. Brooke Baldwin was perplexed at first. Did you say—They're the only two things that never let me down, Travis affirmed. Baldwin cuts the interview short. Lost in the shuffle is Jemele Hill who the white house has announced should be fired. And all I ever said was that Trump was a sewer who surrounds himself with sewage. Maybe lost a few friends over that remark, but then what’s a few friends in the service of a good line.
Had I been on the panel with Travis and being the father of five daughters, I would have probably felt the urge to beat the shit out of him, maybe even given into that urge. But my daughters would have been just as offended by my actions as they would by his characterization of women. I don’t need you protecting my honor, one of my daughters has already told me. I am perfectly capable of defending myself. And she is. But the truth is, I have been working out my whole life, I am getting old and losing my strength, and I’ve never beaten the shit out of anyone, which I think was part of the purpose of my working out all those years. So it isn’t so much to protect my daughters’ honor—the act itself a way of denying my girls their absolute freedom as human beings—as it is just this need to fight something, to kick ass for whatever reason. I have a good friend, artist, and poet in Austin who tells me that’s just my jungle DNA coming out, the darker side of being male. She’s right.
My wanting to beat the shit out of someone is a flaw in my character, I admit. It played a part in my quitting a perfectly good job once or twice, this urge I have to pound some bullying boss—I think the actual thought was something like how easy it would be to snap his chicken shit neck, and I knew I had to leave before the thought took root. Prison my have been a deterrent, but I’m not sure. I think it was more that while I recognized the dark impulses dancing in my skull, it’s not who and what I chose to be. It’s as if there is something that feeds on violence and anger that I don’t want to feed, some dark angel. Even my writing about it seems to feed the beast somehow.
What Travis said was worse. It’s a worn argument, this reducing women to sexual body parts. Worn because we seem too stupid to get it. Worse, we seem to embrace it now.
There are two cups of coffee on my desk. Seems I am confused. Poured one cup of coffee, typed a few lines, returned to the kitchen and poured a second cup. Both hot. Hell, I’ll sip from both. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.