eruthros: A panel from a 1950s educational comic book showing a communist deflating -- I mean, blowing up, the Washington Monument (Communists!)
[personal profile] eruthros
1. I deleted my facebook page a couple days ago and was so happy about it. They've been eroding privacy rules and controls steadily, as long as I've been there, and I've never really done anything with facebook, and it's not really my ideal internet social network because I don't really want to talk about politics with people I went to elementary school with and haven't seen since. But I kept being like, oh man, people might be pissed or think I'm a weirdo if I delete. But connections was the last straw, and anyway I am a weirdo. So now: delete delete delete! And I just felt this great relief, that I could now get angry at facebook's privacy policy changes without having to go and change all my privacy settings or delete stuff from parts of the profile or whatever.

2. Today in Dangling Modifiers:

"Keith learns that three of the Lilith House girls were in the area of the Dean's office around the time of his murder, which was egged by unknown assailants."

From the wikipedia Veronica Mars episode guide.

3. We had a mouse or possibly mice in the house! We just discovered it this morning, although it's likely been in off and on for a while -- the problem with rentals is that landlords often don't cover holes in the foundation, so in this house a mouse can come up from the basement where the pipe for the sink goes down. And so we cleaned everything and took everything out from below the sink and swept and moved the oven to clean behind it and promised to live lives of purity and cleanliness henceforth and not leave dishes out overnight for ... at least the next couple weeks. And also we bought spring mousetraps, which is perhaps more to the point. And caught the poor thing in, like, the first hour -- sorry to kill you, mouse, but I can't do humane trapping, I don't have a car to take you to the middle of nowhere, and also you are a house mouse and wouldn't like it there. Twings took out the mouse after it was killed, and she was like "aren't you going to come witness my bravery?" which is kind of hilarious because she lived on a farm and dealt with mice a lot, but I went and held out the trash bag and witnessed her bravery, so.

Anyway, this involved going to buy traps at the drugstore, which reminded me of how much I hate the household-pests narrative, right. Like, when I say "live lives of purity," that's exactly the point -- if you have mice (or cockroaches, or fleas, or whatever) the assumption is that it's because you're bad at cleaning, that you're a slob, that you don't care about cleanliness. And it's a narrative about poverty, too, because mice and rats and cockroacahes are so associated with certain kinds of poverty, so it becomes this "dirty poor" thing. And so I'm supposed to be embarrassed to be buying mousetraps. And so of course they don't carry them at our "good" high-end grocery store, only at the little local drugstore. And actually I used to buy mousetraps and roach traps at the dollar store, which, well. I'm supposed to be properly ashamed of myself, for being such an awful, dirty, poor person.

Only the thing is, it's not just about sanitation, it's not actually about being dirty and disgusting, it's not of a sign of failing as a human being or not being educated enough to understaaaaaand how you get pests or that they're bad for you or whatever. It's a sign of living in rental housing where the landlord doesn't care about maintaining the building (class), it's a sign of living in certain climates (race), it's a sign of living in multiple-apartment buildings and row houses and whatever (class), it's a sign of living in certain houses and neighborhoods where everybody has cockroaches so no matter what you do you can't get rid of them (race and class), it's a sign of lacking time because of working too much (class), it's a sign of not having enough spoons to do the incredibly hard work of getting rid of pests when the entire neighborhood is full of them (ability and its associations with race and class). I lived in an apartment in Philadelphia that had roaches. We never didn't have roaches. The neighborhood was full of them; they lived on the sidewalks and in garbage cans and in the bins out behind bars, and we could put down traps and we could keep the kitchen impeccable and I could sweep every day and we still had roaches. I couldn't move the fridge or the oven to clean behind them, but we got the landlord to put traps behind them -- and we still had roaches. But barring, like, tenting the building neighborhood, that apartment still has roaches.

And I hate the scorn people would give me if I mentioned it. And I hate the scorn that doctors and social workers and whoever directed to women who didn't clean "well enough" in Philadelphia -- weren't they concerned that their BABIES could get SICK? weren't they GOOD MOTHERS? didn't they know about SOAP? And the health care clinic I went to had these awful brochures about How To Keep Your Home Healthy, with a pretty strong subtext of you bad bad dirty mothers. It's just such shitty and harmful rhetoric, the whole thing, and it makes me so angry.

Anyway, that is a story about household pests.

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eruthros

January 2014

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