Grand Forks County Fair
This last Saturday, after the temperature cooled down to livable", my friends and I headed for the local county fair.
For those of you who live in actual civilization and not the middle of nowhere, a county fair is a random occurrence where people sell overpriced foods to raise money, any nut-job can put up a booth, and various homemade items go on display. There are also rigged games and a few not so thrilling rides. The whole event is so very lame, but with the right attitude (or lots of alcohol barring the right attitude), it can be an enjoyable day.
Anyway, there were the usual suspects: people touting snake oil (Mangosteen: we may not have an American studies, but look at the anecdotal evidence!) 4-H stands (The judges may not know art, but can recognize the Olson's kid!) and barnyard animals (yes, that means cows, chickens, ducks, pigs and goats.) Do not misunderstand me, I did my share of 4-H projects in my youth, and I rather like the some of the arts, but it is so...kitschy.
However, two stands stuck out in my mind. One was the "pro-life" stand and the other was the "Family Law Reform Initiative".
First and foremost, I was amused at the Orwellian language. The "Family Law Reform Initiative" is about the worst thing for families I have ever seen. "Pro-life" is anything but: they care about fetid, and that is about it.
I didn't get to have a friendly debate with the nice people, my friends were doing that "Please oh please do not do the feminism thing" on me, and since this was supposed to be fun for everyone, I consented. However, I still did manage to get a few shots.
First, the pro-life stand was actually ambiguous. With hope that I found some kindred, (or at least semi-kindred) sprits in this city, I went up expectantly with the "PROTECT LIFE" booth and asked "So, you guys are what, anti-war, anti-death penalty, what?"
Nice lady, glaring at me: "No, this is for abortion. More people die in that".
"Uh-huh" I say, crestfallen and nonplussed with the argument.
"I had a miscarriage. This is what my baby boy looked like" she continues, showing a little plastic baby-looking thing in a disembodied womb.
Recognizing that this was going nowhere fast, I said "Can I take these?" gesturing at the brochures.
"Of course" she said, brightening. "We've even got a banner you can win".
"No thank you," I said, seeing the homemade banner of Mary and the baby Jesus. "I'm agnostic, it really isn't valuable to me."
Glaring lady comes back. "I see".
I look down and see "Abortion causes breast cancer" handout. "You're going to want to pull this one" I said. "There is no link between abortion and breast cancer. That myth has been debunked".
"Well, that depends at what study you look at" said another random lady, popping in from nowhere.
"Yes," I said. "There are peer-reviewed studies that use the scientific method, and then there are false psuedo-science with a clear political bias".
At this point, my friend sees me and pulls me away, but not before I grab the rest of the brochures.
The stuff, oh man, that gets another blogpost all it's own.
The "Family Law Reform Initiative" I didn't even get a chance to look at. My friends cut me off at the pass, saying that I didn't have the money to get fixed up in the hospital after the guy took a swing at me (and they didn't have the money to bail me out if I returned).
The family law reform initiative is something thought up by the fathers' rights activists and are trying to pass shady legislation with irritating slogans like "Children need both parents". They irritate me to no end because children also need child support payments, something that these men are disintrested in supplying. I've met the man in charge, so to speak, and I've never met a more bitter, entitled example of a "human" being. 4, 5, and 6 are my favorite for the sheer assholishness of them (but this is another blogpost altogether).
I tell you, some days there is not enough alchol in the world to drown this away.