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I knew that a recent blog post I wrote on the Federal Government shutdown (which is now in its third day and it will remain closed tomorrow and probably next week as well) was strong stuff. But I got this comment that have me alternating between laughing and shaking my head. This person who identifies herself as Sandy Perrine posts her comment on my About Me and My Blog page instead of the actual entry I wrote about the Federal Government shutdown. I could’ve deleted her comment before allowing it to go through but I decided to allow it to go through so that her name will show up on any Google searches other people who are considering using her services could do before deciding on whether to hire her or not.

This comment also provides an example of the mindset of a Tea Party supporter, many of whom wanted a government shutdown. I’m going to do a point-by-point rebuttal of Sandy Perrine’s comment. Sandy’s comment will be in italics (like this) while mine will be in regular print (like this).

As a designer looking for other artist blogs I came tonight to see yours.

I did a Google search under "Sandy Perrine" and "designer" and found several designers named Sandy Perrine located all over the United States. One can only guess whether her name is really Sandy Perrine and whether she really is a designer.

First, your vitriol concerning the tea party, which you obviously know nothing about…….

Wrong, Dearie. I know plenty about the Tea Party based on what I’ve read in newspapers, on websites, and on television. I’ve heard views on the Tea Party from both liberals and conservatives. Based on everything I’ve heard, there was originally a legitimate protest movement which called itself the Tea Party that arose from the economic meltdown of 2008. It was originally created as an independent non-partisan protest movement. Then this happened:

Although the Tea Party started with a “pox on both your houses” approach to the two political parties, it focused its electoral activity at reforming the Republican Party, ridding it of RINOs (Republicans in Name Only). It ousted several well known establishment Republicans, starting with former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, giving Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch a run for his money, and turning out six-term Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar. But the Tea Party stayed Republican, and with the help and guidance of entities such as FreedomWorks, chaired by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, it has gravitated much more to the mainstream of the GOP—or perhaps the GOP has drifted ever closer to its extreme right wing Tea Party element.

The final trend in the evolution of the Tea Party has been its transformation from a secular, populist movement to something closer to the religious right. That actually might be the most disappointing part of the Tea Party movement as it now stands. Despite its allegiance with the Republicans, if it had remained relatively secular, it would have presented something of a Paul Ryan “big idea” challenge to the Democrats and fomented a productive debate in this country about the roles and financing of government. But scratch the Tea Party surface now and you’ll find the resurgence of the belief in the supposed Christian motivations of the nation’s founding fathers and increasing opposition on social issues such as gay rights and protection for women (see the candidacy of Todd Akin in Missouri).

I can remember when the Occupy movement sprung up, that movement was determined not to make the same mistakes as the Tea Party did and allow itself to be usurp by any of the major political parties. I remember last year when I saw statements coming from the various Occupy groups where they declined to publicly support any politician for any political office because it was committed to remain non-partisan. Anyway, back to the comment.

First, your vitriol concerning the tea party, which you obviously know nothing about……..and your public condemnation of political issues (very unprofessional) will continue to infect any and all people who might have been interested in getting to know you as an artist.

If Sandy Perrine really thinks that artists should never express anything about politics, she is totally ignorant about art history. It’s obvious she has never heard of Pablo Picasso’s statment about the Spanish Civil War, Guernica, or Ben Shahn’s painting about the infamous Saco and Vanzetti trial. In addition, there are artists, such as Jon McNaughton, whose paintings promote a conservative political point of view. Would Sandy Perrine also condemn Jon McNaughton for his political message just as much as she condemns me?

She condemns me for being "unprofessional". Well what about the fact that the Federal Government is now closed simply because there are certain Tea Party Republicans who are so opposed to affordable health insurance that they are willing to shut down the government no matter how much it affects people? Why is it that she has denounced my opinion as "unprofessional" while being silent on those politicians who are so irresponisble and unprofessional that they are willing to risk tanking the economy of not only the United States but possibley several other nations as well. (Anyone who has ever taken Economics 101 would know that the economies of many nations are interconnected.)

She may think my opinons are "unprofessional" but my opinions are in the mainstream majority. According to numerous public opinion polls, most respondents blame Republican congressment for the Federal Government shutdown. (I provided a link to an article on the Voice of America site as my source in the previous sentence in order to show that it’s not some heavily liberally biased article that’s posted on a left-leaning site like or the Daily Kos.)

I live outside of Washington, DC. My ex-husband and several of my friends are federal employees. They are not a bunch of lazy hacks. These are people who love their jobs, are devoted to the concept of civil service, and only took those jobs in order to make their country and the world a better place. These are people who could’ve made more money in the private sector. Yes, they have better benefits (such as more vacation and sick leave) than the private sector but many of them genuinely love their jobs and they hope that they could eventually retire from the same agency if their jobs don’t get eliminated due to budget cuts.

On top of it, I have other friends who work for federal government contractors. The longer this shutdown goes on, the more likely their jobs will be affected. I also have artisan friends who are worried about being able to actually sell their stuff at future street festivals because these government employees are being furloughed without pay and it’s uncertain whether Congress will give them backpay once the shutdown ends so these furloughed employees have less disposable income to purchase pretty things. There are also tourists who had planned to visit DC but are changing their plans since many of the area tourist attractions (such as the Smithsonian and the National Zoo) are closed because they get federal funding.

Too bad……….your loss.

Actually, no. In fact, in the past I’ve sold the following items through either Etsy or at various craft festivals.

President Palin
Matthew 19:24
Where's My Government Bailout?

Actually, my work is far above yours, so I don’t feel deprived at all.

Yet she doesn’t seem to have a website or Etsy shop where she has posted her work. The real talented artists I know don’t brag like that. Her argument is about as convincing as the guy who claims to have had sex with dozens of women but is still frequently seen in public alone.

And……..any of my clients I can steer away from your etsy shop is all the better.

And any of my readers I can get to read the following online identification of the person who made this obnoxious post claiming to be a "desinger" named "Sandy Perrine" is all the better.


I even did an Internet search under that IP address and found that it was sent from Southport, North Carolina. North Carolina is definitely a Red State area that the Tea Party Republicans have infiltrated on the state and local levels.

Aaaahhhh!!!! It can be fun taking on a troll. But I don’t intend to make a regular habit of it. I really feel that I had to respond because I’m literally living on the front lines of the Federal Government shutdown and I’m seeing real people being adversely affected as a result. I’d like to see those Tea Party people actually talk to people who are actively scared of what could happen if they have to go without paychecks for a long time while facing mounting bills for things like rent, utilities, and groceries.

I know that the Internet is definitely full of rude behavior. There are trolls who go on blogs, forums, and social media sites who post provocative stuff on purpose in the hopes of starting a flame war because these trolls are essentially loser nobodies who have nothing else going for them in their lives other than posting obnoxious stuff on the Internet. There are would-be writers who have their own blogs who think they try to be witty but fail miserably. I have stopped reading a certain Yahoo! mailing list that dealt with news and issues in my local community because the moderator thinks he’s such a comedian that he posts snarky responses to legitimate posts that end up hurting people’s feelings. (I remember one instance where someone posted a question on which restaurant had the best vegan meals and this moderator posted a reply where he totally made fun of vegetarians and vegans that were way beyond the pale.) And I had people tell me that they had been banned by this moderator simply because they protested his brand of so-called "humor."

Making snarky remarks can be an art form if 1) they are made under the proper circumstances and 2) you are knowledgeable about the topic that you are snarking about. Last night I came across an example of what can happen when an attempt at snarky humor by a person who isn’t totally knowledgeable about the topic that the person is snarking about. This came from the Facebook page of George Takei (yes, the actor who portrayed Mr. Sulu in the original 1960’s Star Trek series).

Cosplayer Critic

That creator of the meme definitely got pwned by those more knowledgeable about both cosplay and comic book characters. (I’ll admit that I have never heard of Duela Dent before last night. After seeing the side-by-side comparisons of both the photo of the cosplayer and the original illustrated comic book version, I have to give props to the cosplayer for the very accurate attention to detail. She totally nailed it in her portrayal of Duela Dent.) The lesson here is don’t criticize what you don’t fully understand.

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