The Urban Dictionary defines a “trainwreck” as “something that is so bad that you don’t want to keep watching or following but you just can’t look away from it.”
Kevin D. Williamson’s ex-wife wrote an enormously long, rambling, getting-everything-off-her-chest letter to the Atlantic’s editor, congratulating him for firing her ex-hubbie, which is as bad a trainwreck as you are ever going to find. Naturally, that leftist sewer site Medium hastened to publish it. You can’t believe that you are still reading this stuff, but you find that you can’t stop.
Dear Jeffrey Goldberg,
Thank you for firing my ex-husband Kevin D. Williamson. …
So thank you again for coming to your senses even if your due diligence was three days too late for the tastes of the Twitter â€œmob.â€
All that said, when Kevin turned my head, I was a senior in high school, and I came from a very dark, violent family where no one genuinely loved me, and he was the first man I ever slept with and he was nine years older than me. Whatâ€™s your excuse?
My allegations of spousal abuse were shot down when I filed a protection from abuse form. I was mouthy and disheveled in court because I had to go to a womenâ€™s shelter and it was my day to cook breakfast for everyone and I wore a hat, and the judge asked me why I was wearing a hat, and I said, â€œI didnâ€™t have time to do my hair.â€
Kevin got his due process. I lost that case, and I got kicked out of the shelter because the judge asked me when I was on the stand where I was staying, and I answered honestly, and that was enough of a disclosure to violate the shelterâ€™s confidentiality rules. All of this is a matter of record within our court system which used to dog my ex-husband from time to time, back when he was just a newspaper editor in Montgomery County and had nasty things to say that irked the League of Women Voters, but it also pains me because I kind of canâ€™t believe, on entirely separate intellectual grounds, that you would go so far in the direction of appeasement and accommodation as to hire him in the first place.
Here are the brass tacks disclosures. What Kevin and I have in common are that we are both from Lubbock, Texas, both grew up in incredibly violent, chaotic households, both like to read and write, and both offered to write for your magazine. What Kevin and I no longer have in common is that I am still a member of the white working class he actually despises and disparages in his anti-Trump writings. You hired him after your magazine turned down a piece I wrote about organizing my fellow servers at a restaurant last year. (Mobius picked up a better version.)
Unlike Kevin, I did not become desensitized to violence because of having seen my mother and stepmothers beaten by a man. Unlike Kevin, I have actually moved to a small town in Appalachia because I was living in a boarding house in a slum outside of Philadelphia, and I could not take the drugs nor the crime nor the cost of living in my neighborhood any longer. A quarter of the ceiling in my room caved in two winters ago. I did not have a stove, and for three years I had to wash my dishes in the sink of a bathroom barely more presentable than that in a truck stop. I lived next door to the same womenâ€™s shelter I had gotten kicked out of. This past winter, I was without power frequently because of how ill-equipped the old housing stock was to deal with multiple tenants. (It was a Victorian era building). After a snowstorm, I went two and a half days without running water, and in December a meth-addled prostitute who lived on a floor above me took an ax to a manâ€™s head.
Until last winter, when the house became really unsafe, I pretty much woke up every day and thanked God that I was there, instead of still married to Kevin, because he was just that mean.
Now that I have moved to a small military town between Philly and Pittsburgh, I feel that I understand conservatives in a way that I never have. The town is so beautiful and affordable. People are just so terrified it will change. It is also full of snaggle-toothed, mullet-sporting Confederate flag-flying freaks and plenty of people who want to assure me that the military is out there â€œfighting for our freedom.â€ This in spite of the fact that they fought only for enhanced state power, and since they have been over in Afghanistan and Iraq, I have lost habeus corpus, any expectation of privacy online or otherwise, and all of my income to student loan or medical debt and predatory auto loans. I have never had a credit card with more than a $500 limit. I havenâ€™t gone anywhere on vacation since I was 13 years old, except maybe attending a wedding with Kevin in Austin. My credit score is 185. During the Recession, I lost my job three times in five years. I am economically dead. I donâ€™t even have a pulse.
I didnâ€™t come here on assignment; my assignment is my life.
Bang up job theyâ€™re doing, those soldiers, protecting my freedom.
My downward mobility issues aside, I also moved here to be closer to the best friend of my late stepmother, an exquisitely kind, married, pro-life evangelical Christian. ….
Amanda Norris, a.k.a Penelope Gristelfink
P.S. If I have an abortion, Iâ€™m agonna name it Kevin.