Category Archives: Open Question

A Routine Traffic Stop

I have never been pulled over by the police, except for that one time when they were having a DUI checkpoint when I was driving home from the bowling alley. But, this doesn’t stop me from feeling like I have to have a plan should that ever happen to me.

This morning as I drove to work I evaluated the situation in case a cop decided to pull me for whatever reason. I have a slight lead foot (I end up going 5-7 mph over the speed limit usually) and drive a 20 year old SUV. I don’t pay attention to my taillights and could have one out without knowing it (I nearly always turn my lights on, even in broad daylight).

Anyway.

This morning, I realized that if I got pulled over, I would find myself in a bit of a pickle. My wallet, with my driver’s license in it, was in my backpack, which was on the floor of the front passenger seat (this is true about half the time, with the other half being my backpack is in the actual passenger seat). Now, the last time I reached over to the passenger floor while wearing my seat belt, I pulled a muscle in my back/neck and thought I was going to die because it hurt so bad. Virginia has a seat belt law, so taking my seat belt off before the cop sees me wearing it seems like a very bad idea.

Plus, there’s the whole issue of the cop seeing me reach around into my floorboard before he gets the chance to walk up to my car window–what’s he going to think I’ve grabbed?!?!

Did I mention that there’s a whole host of random crap in my backpack and my wallet is usually somewhere at the bottom?

And my registration is in my glovebox, I think (it may be in the center console). One of the two. So again…do I break my neck or risk a lack of seat belt ticket?

So. I guess I should leave my important stuff in their places until the cop gets to the window so he can see my seat belt is on. But then…what’s he gonna think when I ask to start rummaging (seriously, there would be some rummaging going on) in my backpack and my glovebox?

I guess it’s a good thing that I’m a tiny white girl and not a black guy of indeterminate size. Cop is totally going to assume I’m harmless.

Which got me thinking–what would I do if I actually was a black guy of indeterminate size?

Ya know what? I think that if I get pulled over, I’m just going to do what everyone recommends black guys of indeterminate size do: I’m going to leave my seat belt on and I’m going to keep both my hands on the steering wheel (I may even turn my car off so that the cop doesn’t think I’m a flight risk). I will already have the window rolled down. When the cop comes to the window, I’ll be polite and tell the cop that my license is in my wallet in my backpack and that my registration and insurance are in the glove box (you know what? I think I’ll make sure these items are  in my glovebox in a clearly marked envelope). When the cop tells me that I can reach over and pull them out (because that’s how tiny white girls are treated), I will calmly tell him that I’m more comfortable staying as I am and give him (or her) permission to retrieve the relevant items. When the cop looks/acts uncomfortable doing this because I’m a white girl…well, that’s not my problem.

Hmm…thinking about moving my period supplies from their private pocket in my backpack to the main compartment with the rest of my crap, just to add to the awkwardness of the situation, in case the cop is a squeamish guy.

Anyway, what do y’all think? Good plan?

 

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War on Christianity?

If you only listened to Conservative media outlets, you’d be certain that the government in the US is doing everything it can to expel Christianity from our borders.

So, please explain to me how, in that worldview, a Bojangles in Portsmouth, VA can get away with playing nothing but Christian rock(?) music in their restaurant.

Exactly.

I eat at this particular Bojangles about once a month between September and May because of bowling (since I work and bowl so near each other it is impractical for me to drive all the way home for dinner).

Anyway. I have already told you that I’m a Deist rather than a Christian. I don’t really have an issue with their music choice as being Christian. But to be honest, I think Christian music sucks.

Musically, that is.

The content is fine for the genre. The lyrics themselves aren’t always awful.

But something seems to happen whenever Christians decide to make pop music religious. The singers sound incredibly whiny! I guess it’s the forced “worshipfulness” that does it, like in order to sound reverent, they have to sound a certain way that just nauseates me. Forced strikes me as being a very appropriate word to describe what annoys me about this genre; maybe even more appropriate than whiny.

The easiest way for me to describe it is the beginning lyrics of Hoobastank’s The Reason:

I swear I can identify a Christian rock(?) song even when I can’t understand the lyrics, just by the way the lyrics are sung.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a deep love for some types of religious songs. The traditional gospels songs like “Amazing Grace” and the somber hymns like “Oh Come Emmanuel”. I will listen to Gregorian Chants at work. But Christian rock? No thank you.

I do wonder if there are any Christian rock songs that aren’t forced and whiny. Is it possible to take the same lyrics (which I don’t think are necessarily the problem) and put it towards better musicality? I welcome y’all to share whatever you figure out on this topic!

Open Question: Climate Change Deniers

As this year marks 100 years of the National Parks in the US, NPR has had many articles on various parks that have been noticeably affected by climate change since their establishment (Glacier National Park and Joshua Tree National Park immediately come to mind). My question is “Since there’s so much evidence that the climate is changing, what are the various ways that climate change deniers blow off the evidence?” Of course, there are many different flavors of deniers: the ones who agree its changing, but say humans have nothing to do with it; the ones who flat out deny that the climate is changing; and the ones that say the climate can’t change are just a few. So, to best answer this question, it’d be important to specifically identify the type you’re talking about.

Thanks a bunch and I look forward to reading your answers!