[image Â©1984 Universal Studios]
The mists of time part to reveal the origins of The Blame
With the damp, colorless fog that awakened the denizens of the Twisty Bungalow this morning (instead of the expected diamantiferous fanfare of taco-eating cherubim upon which my obstreperal lobe depends for its award-nominated vim and vigor) has also dawned the realization that the FAQ is somewhat out of date. It is time once again to revise the I Blame the Patriarchy mission statement.
But before I do that, I will offer the current working definition of patriarchy as it is blamed in this oeuvre.
But before I do that, as part of my continuing program to bollix stuff up, I will dust off a wrinkly old explicative device and describe what patriarchy is not.
But even before I do that, I gotta get one other thing off my chest.
The Blames Begin
It grieves me to confess it, but I am no shining beacon of accuracy when I say that I blame the patriarchy. Nothing against blaming; recrimination, self-pity, and vengeance definitely have their place in the spinster auntly ethos. But where the blog is concerned, my high moral purpose is not so much to blame, as it is more or less to put the finger on patriarchy. Or, to borrow a quaint phrase from the golden days of yore when feminism was an actual movement, I attempt to raise consciousness by shining the Flying Flashlight of Obstreperosity on those often invisible constructs of culture, education, politics, religion, sex, and behavior that reinforce a global paradigm of dominance and submission, which global paradigm ultimately benefits like 4 guys, and which paticularly fucks over several of the classes into which I personally have been shoved against my will.
Readers new to the blog are liable to misinterpret the blaming trope as some species of whiny, responsibility-shirking self-victimization. Not so! Whereas it true that the word “blame” appears in the title, it would be more accurate to say — and it therefore should be understood within the patriarchy-blaming argot to mean — “espy, descry, and condemn.”
Normally I don’t go in for this sort of obfuscatory, misleading lingo, and in fact I rarely use the word “blame” in the essays themselves. Which makes the title somewhat unfortunate. But “I Blame the Patriarchy” became the name of the blog when it existed only as an outcast vessel, uncherished by any audience whatsoever, into which I was wont to decant my anguished soul. The entitulation occurred long before the site began to acquire readers who don’t know me from adam, and who therefore might not realize that “I blame the patriarchy” is just a puerile and not altogether apt allusion to an early 80s cult film. Of course it’s too late to change it now.
Naturally, the modern blamer will have grasped il y a longtemps that I copped the title from a scene in “Repo Man”. That scene is this: in the bloody aftermath of a comical convenience-store robbery, stick-up punk Dick Rude lies dying of a gunshot wound, whereupon he has the following conversation with his former best friend, anti-hero Emilio Estevez. [I would put this seminal video clip up on YouTube, but it is very inconveniently copyrighted material].
Dick Rude: Lights are growin’ dim … I know a life of crime led me to this sorry fate, and yet … I blame society. Society made me what I am.
Emilio Estevez: That’s bullshit. You’re a white suburban punk just like me.
Dick Rude: But it still hurts.
[repellent dying gurgle noises ensue]
Emilio Estevez: You’re gonna be all right.
Next: Mission Statement Part II: What Patriarchy Ain’t
And after that: Mission Statement Part III: What Patriarchy Means To Me