Ron Johnson is right! If we haven’t seen things, it’s probably because they aren’t real!

Inspired by senator's sexual harassment theory, here are 8 things that probably don't exist as far as I'm concerned

Topics: Ron Johnson, Wisconsin, U.S. Senate, GOP, Sexual Harassment, Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Abraham Lincoln, Whales,

Ron Johnson is right! If we haven't seen things, it's probably because they aren't real!Ron Johnson (Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed)

A Republican senator from Wisconsin isn’t sure if he can believe that women are sexually harassed in the Senate because “he’s never seen that kind of behavior.”

Sen. Ron Johnson expressed his skepticism on a conservative talk show after he was asked about the harassment New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she faced after she gave birth. According to Gillibrand, an older male colleague told her, “Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky!” Another advised her, “Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby.” (Related: With all of this conflicting input, Gillibrand must have felt really confused about whether she was too fat or just fat enough.)

In honor of Johnson’s wise observation that it is irresponsible to believe in things that you have never seen, I have compiled a list of things, people and places that I have never seen, which I no longer believe are real.

Whales that are alive. 

I have never seen a living whale in my life. I have seen the big dead one at the Museum of Natural History, so I know dead whales are real. But living whales? The jury is still out.

Albertsons grocery stores. 

My friends from Kansas say that this grocery store exists, and insist that they have memories from their childhood of going there with their parents to buy things like cereal and eggs. But I’ve never seen one, so I’m going to vote “doesn’t exist.”

My friend Alana’s baby. 

One of my closest friends just had a baby — or so she says. She left New York to live in Massachusetts just before she gave birth (“gave birth”). I’ve received lots of pictures of this “baby girl” since then, but I have never seen this baby with my own two eyes. So in all likelihood, she doesn’t exist. Which is why I haven’t mailed this sleep sack thing that I bought for her. Because babies that don’t exist don’t need sleep sacks.

North Dakota.  

Heard it’s nice, but I’ve never been. Last year I interviewed North Dakota State Rep. Kathy Hawken who was pretty insistent about North Dakota being real and existing, but I remain skeptical. Show me the proof, Hawken!



Abraham Lincoln and all of the other American presidents.

I have never in my life met or seen an American president in the flesh. Which is why, as a child in school, I used to tell my history teacher, “STOP MAKING ME LEARN ABOUT THESE MEN PLEASE. THEY AREN’T EVEN REAL. WHY ARE YOU WASTING EVERYONE’S TIME? MAY I PLEASE HAVE MY SNACK NOW BECAUSE MY MOTHER PACKED ME A DUNKAROOS AND I AM FEELING PRETTY GOOD ABOUT IT.”

So many movies.

I have never seen “The Last Picture Show” and about a million other classics that I probably should have watched. But now that I know that never seeing them means that they don’t exist, I feel a lot better about it. Probably just going to go watch “The Purge” again because that movie definitely exists.

God. 

I mean.

Ron Johnson. 

I’m supposed to believe that this guy from Wisconsin is real just because there is an Internet video of him giving an interview and saying ridiculous stuff? You think I was born yesterday? Nice try, jerks!

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 22
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Talking Heads, 1977
    This was their first weekend as a foursome at CBGB’s, after adding Jerry Harrison, before they started recording the LP “Talking Heads: 77.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Patti Smith, Bowery 1976
    Patti lit up by the Bowery streetlights. I tapped her on the shoulder, asked if I could do a picture, took two shots and everyone went back to what they were doing. 1/4 second at f/5.6 no tripod.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Blondie, 1977
    This was taken at the Punk Magazine Benefit show. According to Chris Stein (seated, on slide guitar), they were playing “Little Red Rooster.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    No Wave Punks, Bowery Summer 1978
    They were sitting just like this when I walked out of CBGB's. Me: “Don’t move” They didn’t. L to R: Harold Paris, Kristian Hoffman, Diego Cortez, Anya Phillips, Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Jim Sclavunos, Bradley Field, Liz Seidman.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Richard Hell + Bob Quine, 1978
    Richard Hell and the Voidoids, playing CBGB's in 1978, with Richard’s peerless guitar player Robert Quine. Sorely missed, Quine died in 2004.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bathroom, 1977
    This photograph of mine was used to create the “replica” CBGB's bathroom in the Punk Couture show last summer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So I got into the Met with a bathroom photo.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Stiv Bators + Divine, 1978
    Stiv Bators, Divine and the Dead Boys at the Blitz Benefit show for injured Dead Boys drummer Johnny Blitz.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ramones, 1977
    “The kids are all hopped up and ready to go…” View from the unique "side stage" at CBGB's that you had to walk past to get to the basement bathrooms.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Klaus Nomi, Christopher Parker, Jim Jarmusch – Bowery 1978
    Jarmusch was still in film school, Parker was starring in Jim’s first film "Permanent Vacation" and Klaus just appeared out of nowhere.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Hilly Kristal, Bowery 1977
    When I used to show people this picture of owner Hilly Kristal, they would ask me “Why did you photograph that guy? He’s not a punk!” Now they know why. None of these pictures would have existed without Hilly Kristal.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Dictators, Bowery 1976
    Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators with his girlfriend Jody. I took this shot as a thank you for him returning the wallet I’d lost the night before at CBGB's. He doesn’t like that I tell people he returned it with everything in it.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Alex Chilton, Bowery 1977
    We were on the median strip on the Bowery shooting what became a 45 single sleeve for Alex’s “Bangkok.” A drop of rain landed on the camera lens by accident. Definitely a lucky night!

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bowery view, 1977
    The view from across the Bowery in the summer of 1977.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ramones, 1977 – never before printed
    I loved shooting The Ramones. They would play two sets a night, four nights a week at CBGB's, and I’d be there for all of them. This shot is notable for Johnny playing a Strat, rather than his usual Mosrite. Maybe he’d just broken a string. Love that hair.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Richard Hell, Bowery 1977 – never before printed
    Richard exiting CBGB's with his guitar at 4am, about to step into a Bowery rainstorm. I’ve always printed the shots of him in the rain, but this one is a real standout to me now.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Patti Smith + Ronnie Spector, 1979
    May 24th – Bob Dylan Birthday show – Patti “invited” everyone at that night’s Palladium show on 14th Street down to CBGB's to celebrate Bob Dylan’s birthday. Here, Patti and Ronnie are doing “Be My Baby.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Legs McNeil, 1977
    Legs, ready for his close-up, near the front door of CBGB's.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Suicide, 1977
    Rev and Alan Vega – I thought Alan was going to hit me with that chain. This was the Punk Magazine Benefit show.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ian Hunter and Fans, outside bathroom
    I always think of “All the Young Dudes” when I look at this shot. These fans had caught Ian Hunter in the CBGB's basement outside the bathrooms, and I just stepped in to record the moment.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Tommy Ramone, 1977
    Only at CBGB's could I have gotten this shot of Tommy Ramone seen through Johnny Ramones legs.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bowery 4am, 1977
    End of the night garbage run. Time to go home.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...