Monday, August 20, 2007

And I'm not sorry.

You know what I love? When some guy tries to school me on the definition of misogyny. (Scroll down to the bottom for the reference.) Because he would know better than me. Despite the fact that I have been doing significant research on women studies, gender studies, and sexual orientation since I was fourteen years old, I'm sure he has the vast knowledge and depth of experience to tell me what is and what is not misogyny, at the very moment I have become the victim of it.

I will comment on all of that craziness, and on Dan's . . . response later. For now, since is the almost end of August, I am going a two week blog vacation. Everybody else is doing it, so why can't we? I'll be back on Labor Day with some choice words for some choice people. I will still be able to see the comments on this blog through my email, so feel free to leave some witty musings.

To anyone to voiced their support for me on the Superbad comment thread: Thank you. I really appreciate it. I often have to defend my views and even my very existence all by myself. It's wonderful when I have help from people who understand where I'm coming from, even if they don't necessarily agree with me.

Until September, I leave you with the abridged lyrics to Madonna's "Human Nature." I usually hate to quote song lyrics to express my emotions, because I think it's silly and overdone. However, this ditty fits the situation perfectly:

Express yourself, don't repress yourself

And I'm not sorry
It's human nature
And I'm not sorry
I’m not your bitch don't hang your shit on me

You wouldn't let me say the words I longed to say
You didn't want to see life through my eyes
You tried to shove me back inside your narrow room
And silence me with bitterness and lies

Did I say something wrong?
Oops, I didn't know I couldn't talk about sex
[I musta been crazy]
Did I stay too long?
Oops, I didn't know I couldn't speak my mind
[What was I thinking]

You punished me for telling you my fantasies
I'm breakin' all the rules I didn't make
You took my words and made a trap for silly fools
You held me down and tried to make me break

Did I say something true?
Oops, I didn't know I couldn't talk about sex
[I musta been crazy]
Did I have a point of view?
Oops, I didn't know I couldn't talk about you
[What was I thinking]

And I’m not sorry
[I'm not apologizing]
It’s human nature
[Would it sound better if I were a man?]
And I’m not sorry
[You're the one with the problem]
I’m not your bitch don't hang your shit on me
[Why don't you just deal with it]

And I’m not sorry
[Would you like me better if I was?]
It’s human nature
[We all feel the same way]
And I’m not sorry
[I have no regrets]
I’m not your bitch don't hang your shit on me
[Just look in the mirror]

And I’m not sorry
[I don't have to justify anything]
It’s human nature
[I'm just like you]
And I’m not sorry
[Why should I be?]
I’m not your bitch don't hang your shit on me
[Deal with it]

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Bet On It"

If you didn't see this coming, you shouldn't be working in television.

High School Musical 2 Big 2 B Ignored
, by Joal Ryan, E! Online. Emphases mine.

...Disney Channel's HSM2 was simply huge, averaging 17.2 million Zac Efron-worshipping viewers, preliminary Nielsen Media Research ratings showed, per the network Saturday.

The TV movie set records for all-time biggest basic cable audience (besting a 2006 ESPN Monday Night Football telecast) and all-time biggest made-for-basic-cable telepic (besting TNT's 2001 western, Crossfire Trail), the Disney Channel said.

Overall, HSM was easily TV's most watched show, on broadcast or cable, since the final week of 2006-07 season, topping the summertime likes of The Sopranos finale on HBO (11.9 million) and the season premiere of NBC's America's Got Talent (12.9 million). And according to the Disney Channel, it was the most-watched TV-movie anywhere since the 2005 premiere of the Keri Russell-Skeet Ulrich period drama, The Magic of Ordinary Days (18.7 million), on CBS...

...It was not clear what impact the mobilization of such large numbers of children had on the greater society on Friday night. Historically, or at least anecdotally, big TV events, such as the Beatles' debut on Ed Sullivan, have been linked to drops in crime. There was no word if HSM2 could be credited with bringing calm to the nation's pizza parlors and summer camps.

Also, according to the Disney Channel, there was no way of gauging exactly how many youngsters watched HSM2 owing to an untold number of HSM2 viewing parties. (Nielsen doesn't count heads at such events. Ditto for slumber parties.)...

...The new movie starred Hairspray's Efron and duet partner Vanessa Hudgens, both of the old movie, in a tale seemingly borrowed from the third season of Saved by the Bell, i.e., high-school friends take summer jobs, en masse, at a country club.

In its review, the New York Times said there was "much to admire" in the sequel, but also "so much to hate," including, for its taste, too much cast use of bronzer...

For more commentary on into this cultural phenomenon, read High School Musical 2: What Time Is It? on Ducky Does TV, as well as Miss Alli's review of the first High School Musical on TWoP.

For some more heated Apatow debate,

visit Pajiba, read Morals and Ethics and Carnal Forbearance, Dan's review of Superbad, then enjoy the comments that follow. The drama started when I read the review, then posted this statement:

...teen comedies, even ones written by men as smart and talented as Rogen.

Ha ha ha! That was a joke, right?

In addition to shoving the girls into short-shorts and not letting them say much -- no woman is seen onscreen who isn't talking to a man...

I am sooo not seeing this movie. Furthermore, I still can't understand why seemingly intelligent people will watch this movie, acknowledge that every woman on the screen is portrayed solely as a potential sperm receptacle, then declare the writer of said movie "smart and talented." It doesn't take that much "talent" to essentially remake American Pie.

Then came this comment from "Johnny":

Hey Bianca, if you're trying to reinforce the stereotype that feminists don't have a sense of humor, it's working.

Oh, you know it was on now. After I replied to Johnny's ejaculation, I was then told by "Allen" to "STFU" because I obviously "haven't been a teenage boy" and I "don't have a sense of humor or perspective."


Then "dave" informed me that I was "a complete fucking idiot" and that I should "get off [my] soapbox please."

Well, he did say please.

People like my Mummy would have told me, "Bianca, pick your battles," or, "ignore those fools; they don't deserve a response." This is an excellent example of why there are "so few women on digg." If I voice my reaction to a movie marketed as inherently sexist (and passively discriminatory towards nonwhite people as well), I am told by certain hateful males that I am a humorless feminist who needs to shut up, because I wasn't born with the right genitalia and therefore my opinion is not valid. If I say nothing, my silence is acceptance: the film's co-writer Seth Rogen is indeed "smart and talented," despite the fact that he excels at casting a female lead "simply because she’s 23 and looks good in just a bra and has no qualms about portraying [an] interchangeable female archetype" Faced with this dilemma, what's a good feminist to do?

This feminist decided to stay and fight. And by fight, I mean I responded both politely and effectively to the trolls, using my wit and charm to get my points across. Subsequently, I was met with some hostility, but I also got some good support, even from people who initially disagreed with me.

I'm tired of backing down online when I'm right. I did it once before a few years ago when the moderator of a certain unrelated forum twisted my words, inserted his own, and insisted that I was calling him a racist. Because to him, it was worse for me to call him a racist, than it was for him to espouse discriminatory beliefs towards certain nonwhite people. I chose to leave that forum because it was no longer beneficial for me to be there. I didn't regret that decision at the time, and I don't regret that decision now.

However, I'm not going to stop reading or commenting on Pajiba because some ignorant guys aren't ready for this jelly. They need to get ready. They don't need to call my words "insulting and immature," then suggest that I "fuck off." They need to step up and bring something to the plate. And if they can't? Then they need to step off.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

For Stephanie's peace of mind

A few months ago, my friend and fellow blogger read this post, watched this video, and made the following statement:

Shouldn't we be concerned that an elephant is able to buy all that stuff just swiping a card and no one checks his ID?

Well, worry no longer, Stephanie: Elephants in India get ID cards, by Ashok Sharma, AP.

Wildlife groups have created individual photo identification cards for wild elephants in southern India to help track the effects of poaching, conservationists said Thursday...

...The project focused on male elephants because "unlike African elephants, where both males and females have tusks, only male Asian elephants have valuable tusks, so they are specifically targeted by poachers," said WCS researcher Varun Goswami, the main author of the study.

Unfortunately, I don't think that the elephant featured in the video was male, or of Indian descent. Oh well.

Status Quo, or Something New?

Who else is watching the sing along version of High School Musical on The Disney Channel right now? 23 hours, 46 minutes and counting till High School Musical 2 premieres!

I feel so much safer.

I first heard of this situation from last night's Colbert Report. I'm shocked (shocked!) that this isn't a bigger story in the mainstream media.

Gonzales to Get Power In Death Penalty Cases: Rules Would Expand Fast-Track Authority, by Dan Eggen, Washington Post. Emphases mine.

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, under political siege for his handling of the U.S. attorney firings and other issues, is to get expanded powers to hasten death penalty cases under regulations being developed by the Justice Department.

The rules would give Gonzales the authority to approve "fast-track" procedures by states in death penalty cases, enabling them to carry out sentences more speedily and with fewer opportunities for appeal if those states provide adequate representation for capital defendants.

Such powers were previously held by federal judges, but a provision of the USA Patriot Act reauthorization bill approved by Congress last year hands the authority to the attorney general.

Under the regulations, death row inmates would have six months, instead of a year, to file appeals in the federal courts, and federal judges would have less time to consider petitions in capital cases.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Why I don't have kids yet

(Yes, Bratz - Babyz: The Movie is enough to make anyone sterile. But the video above was merely an afterthought.)

Women delay having kids because of care costs, by Jessica on Feministing.

A new poll says that one in five women are deciding against having children--or delaying having one--because of the high cost of child care and preschool. The poll, which was commissioned by an anti-crime organization, recommends increased funding and support for quality child care and preschool programs like Head Start...

Or maybe this is why: Black Love is Dead, from The Message on YouTube, via Racialicious.

Nope, it's mostly the first reason. I would have a kid now--meaning after I finished business school--if I had the money to raise it properly. I barely make enough now to house myself. :(

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I still won't forgive him for Hot Rod

Andy Samberg: "Totally sincere" feminist, by Ann at Feministing, an update on Andy Samberg: Pro-feminist or ironic hipster douche?, by Jessica at Feministing. From Andy's Nerve interview:

You wore a National Organization of Women shirt to the Spike TV Awards —
I did! Thank you for noticing! I thought it would be funny, because obviously Spike TV is very in the opposite direction. You know, we were promoting the movie, and it was a good time with a lot of fun people we liked. We went and had fun, but you know, I'm from Berkeley, California, I can't go into that thing wholeheartedly. I had to put a little wink in somewhere to let everyone know back home that I hadn't gone all the way.

I was reading a feminism blog that was trying to decide whether you were sincere or ironic.
[laughs] Totally sincere.

So you all don't think I'm simply into Color Me Badd looking dudes, here's what Andy looks like when he's not playing dress-up with Justin Timberlake:

Is Andy my new celebrity crush? That depends on what his next project is. Space Chimps? Really? Oy. His agent should be ashamed.

And yes, Mr. Samberg is coincidentally a member of the tribe. If you readers know of any famous young gentiles that might capture my fancy, please let me know. I'm open to the other four major religions as well. Just as long as they can bring me humor like this:

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Friday, August 10, 2007

Separate But Equal

After watching most of the Visible Vote 08: A Presidential Forum on Logo last night, I have now chosen my candidate: Dennis Kucinich. I don't care that some say he looks like "a cross between a hobbit and mole" and that he's "soooo left that he’ll never get nominated." He is indeed "idealistic and amazing," which is more than I can say for the other candidates, aside from Mike Gravel. They had the gall to show up to the LGBT forum, tried to convince the room that civil unions were just as good as straight marriages, and then got defensive when the queer moderators challenged their bigoted beliefs. Senator Obama had the nerve to bring up his miscegenating parents as proof of his understanding of fighting for equality, then got all mad when Jonathan Capehart from the Washington Post asked him, "how can you run as a candidate of change when your stance is decidedly old-school?" I haven't watched the Hillary part yet, so I can't comment on her.

So far, here is my second favorite part of the forum, 18 minutes of love and hope:

Kucinich at HRC Logo Dem Forum

Did you hear what he had to say about health care? Yep, that's right. Coverage for all.

My first favorite part of the Logo special? The gratuitous shots of NPH in the audience. This week I've been watching Season One of Doogie Howser, M.D., courtesy of N.S.B. If I had watched the show when in first came out in 1989, I would have been so in love with Neil Patrick Harris. The only thing stopping me from watching his latest series, How I Met Your Mother, is . . . the rest of the show. I don't need anymore white male focused heteronormative fantasy shoved down my throat. Hence, I will not be seeing Superbad (shocker!) no matter how much Dustin and Dan will probably love it and anything else Apatow pulls out of his tuchis, and no matter how cute Michael Cera totally is.

I did like NPH in Stark Raving Mad, though. What, you don't remember that NBC show with the former child star all grown up and doing something wacky? With his lookalike brothers?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"What?! Interrobang?!"

From the comments section of "What's the matter, Boo-Boo, you photograph puffy?": My Boys, by Carrie on South Dakota Dark.

Bianca Reagan said...

Did anyone else think/hope that Brando brought Bobby to the party but didn't tell anyone because they were secretly dating each other? That is totally the vibe I was getting from them in the elevator, going up to their special hotel room, where they [would] give in to the love that dare not speak its name. I would have loooved to see that story play out.

"I'm phmished. Ampersand flummoxed."

The Law Fairy Strikes again

The situation started for me with this post on Racialicious by Wendi Muse: Esquire asks: Can a white man still be elected president?

Have you seen this cover? What are they really trying to say?

“Can a white man still be elected president?” asks Esquire of its readers in next month’s issue featuring presidential hopeful John Edwards.

Um, I’m sorry, but did I miss a memo? I would love to read the article, but the opening remark on the cover is a big time turn off. What exactly are they trying to say here? Esquire editors might be attempting to be cute and sarcastic with their cover page line, but to me it rings of the infamous fear that one day, the world will wake up and find itself being run entirely by minorities, oh and women too...

Then came this post by Jen on Feministing: White Man's Burden.

Elizabeth Edwards is doing a remake on the campaign trail. Why? Because she thinks John Edwards is getting screwed in press coverage. So they're turning to the internet to help get the message out about their campaign, reaching out directly to voters. Sounds like a smart strategy to me. But she also says:

"In some ways, it's the way we have to go. We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars."

Some commenters didn't get what Jen was upset about, sharing statements such as, "Its almost gotten to the point that if you support Edwards or another white male Democratic candidate, you are seen as racist or sexist," and "I just don't understand how her statement is prejudicial."

Well, The Law Fairy took them to school:

Obama got more press coverage because he's an exciting new face. The story of his winning the election to senator in Illinois is the stuff of legend -- he was out-experienced, out-fundraised, out-everythinged, and he still won a landslide victory...

Hillary gets more press for big fat "duh" reasons. She's a fucking Clinton. HELLO????? If she were Bill Clinton's son instead of his wife she would have every ounce as much press.

Elizabeth Edwards' comments were sexist and racist, period. LOTS of presidential candidates, in ANY race, get disproportionately less coverage. That's just the way politics works...

As an aside, I really dislike the way the Edwards campaign is being run. Edwards is trying to talk out of both sides of his mouth by having his wife pander to the left of the left as he panders to the relative right of the left. It's just gross. It really makes me lose respect for him as a candidate, and suspect that most of what either of them is saying is more or less a lie.

Cara also weighed in:

I'm really surprised that so many are willing to defend this statement. [Elizabeth Edwards] is basically saying that being a white male is a liability, when in fact being a white (straight, middle or upper-class) male is one of the largest indicators of success in our society. To say that Edwards is getting less attention is fine. To say that sex and race is being unfairly focused on for Clinton and Obama respectively is fine. To say that Edwards is at a direct disadvantage because he is neither female nor black is not fine, and is in fact really insulting and completely blind to the privilege that our society automatically grants to white males.

Yet some people still didn't get it. From mjk82:

I don't understand the problem here...Does any one think for a second that if Edwards wins the nomination, the media won't immediately attribute his victory to racism/sexism?

As if John Edwards is going to win any nomination.

And from Pup, MD:

John Edwards isn't "white males." John Edwards is an individual who is white and male, and that's a world of difference...

The biggest real difference between the backgrounds of these three are that Obama and Clinton have Ivy degrees, and Edwards is the product of a respectable state school...Obama's story might be a poster for how a little bit of affirmative action can do a lot of good for our society...

When comparing three successful lawyers, invoking white male privilege against one of them seems a bit hollow.

This prompted The Law Fairy to break out her expletives and caps:

See, this is a problematic attitude. This is PRECISELY what people say when they're arguing against affirmative action. The problem is, you're talking out of both sides of your mouth if you're going to acknowledge that there's systemic bias and prejudice on the one hand, but argue that it doesn't affect some subset of individuals on the other. BY DEFINITION IT AFFECTS EVERYONE. PERIOD...

I'm suggesting that looking at where the candidates are NOW and completely discounting the possibility that Hillary and Barack have been disadvantaged by their sex and race, respectively, is disingenuous.

I mean, this is RIDICULOUS. People FOR ONCE, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, FOR ONE FUCKING TIME IN OUR NATION'S ALMOST 250-YEAR HISTORY, are FINALLY paying attention to a black man and a white woman (and God I wish there were a woman of color up there too, but I'm still THRILLED with what we've got here) who have an ACTUAL SHOT at the presidency because they are AMAZING people and have WORKED THEIR ASSES OFF and have PROVEN THEMSELVES politically and professionally, and people start boo-hooing because a rich and famous white man, who also get TONS of press attention and TONS of campaign donations and TONS of support from the MSM, has a teensy bit less than a couple other people??????...

Okay, the more I think about this, the more pissed off it makes me...Where was Elizabeth Edwards in 2000 when Alan Keyes was getting less press attention that W? Or did no one think anything of that, because OF COURSE a black presidential candidate will automatically get less press coverage...

The Law Fairy needs to generate this passion into more posts on her blog, if only to entertain me.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Why do I read?

I was perusing on Monday and I found the article below. Something bugged me about it, but I couldn't figure out what until now:

Married at 24: Crazy in Love or Just Crazy? by Elissa Schappell, Marie Clare.

...It was November 1986. I was fighting my way down the congested stairway at Track 10 in New York's Penn Station, heading for a southbound Amtrak train, when the hand of fate flung my future husband and me together...

...It wasn't the discovery of my inner murderess that made my blood run cold. It was the idea that I wanted this man — not for the challenge or the novelty or the kicks. I wanted him to be mine. Forever. And I wasn't ready for that sort of love. It was too soon!...

Too soon? She was 24. How many kids did the Duggars have by then?

...Having never lived alone — I'd gone from a communal house in college to having roommates in New York City to living with Rob — I had never had any privacy. Even though I didn't feel dependent on my roommates, I wasn't exactly independent. In hindsight, it would have been good for me to realize I could live alone, with no one to let me in when I forgot my key, no one to pay the bills, no one to talk to me in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep.

On the other hand, Rob and I hadn't had a chance to develop the deadening domestic routines that can come with years of living alone. We had no issues regarding how the bathroom should be cleaned, no boring rituals like insisting every Sunday be spaghetti night. And while we were both occasionally haunted by the specter of old lovers, there was no tangible wreckage to deal with. No insurance dramas, no divvying up of real estate or sharing of country houses. No issues of custody regarding pets or children.

Yes, it's better that you never grew into an independent person because now you don't the burden of . . . fighting over when to clean the bathroom? What?

Even if I got married tomorrow morning, I wouldn't have any drama regarding domestic routines, real estate, pets or children, because I have none of the above. Yet I have been living independently since my junior year of college. Someone has to clean the bathroom at some point in time. I don't see what that has to do with paying your own bills or forgetting your key. How did she get out of the house? I guess that's a function of her living in New York, because in LA, you can't get very far if you don't have your car keys.

And yet, even as I was grateful for my mostly happy marriage, there were times when I was jealous of my unmarried friends' romantic dramas. It's twisted, but when my friends talked about how, through some intricate web of sexual liaisons, they'd all gotten genital warts from the same guy, who supposedly got them from a girl who'd slept with a famously promiscuous rock star, I envied them [sic] the rock star's genital warts.

That's just nasty. She needs to get over herself.

But there's been a downside for me, too. While I knew that committing to Rob obviously meant a big change in my life — it would really cut into my dating — it never occurred to me how tying the knot might affect my career... I was a wife. Off-limits. Some days it seemed everywhere I looked — publishing, retail, the art world — doors were opening for single women simply because they still had sexual currency to spread around.

Boo-freaking-hoo. I'm so sure Rob is sorry that his lifelong commitment to Ms. Schappell "cut into [her] dating" and prevented her from spreading around her "sexual currency" in hopes of sleeping her way up the ladder of success.

As a feminist, I was embarrassed and horrified by the idea that a woman today (say, me) would use sex, or the promise of it, to get ahead, but it did seem you could move up the ladder of success a lot faster if you were potentially available. When, at a party, a very famous, very dashing older novelist put his hand around my waist and asked me if I wanted to go skinny-dipping later that evening, my first thought was, Wouldn't that be a story to tell the grandchildren? Forget that — wouldn't it be good for my career? My second thought: I'm married. "I can't," I said, regretfully holding up my left hand, feeling like I was flashing an invisible handcuff. "Oh, come on," he said in a conspiratorial whisper. Then, before I could answer, he shrugged and moved on. I felt a pang.

Her first thought was "a story to tell the grandchildren?" If she went skinny-dipping with some old dude, she wouldn't be having any grandchildren. At least not with Rob. And apparently, she couldn't have told grandpa no if she hadn't been married? I have repeatedly turned down old dudes, and I don't have a ring, I mean, "handcuff."

The more I read this, the more I want to call up Rob and tell him, "Take the baby, and get out now!"

I certainly feel safer. Don't you?

I learned about this story today from Big Boy in the Morning on Power 106. As Big Boy and Jeff Garcia suggested, if you want to take more than 3 ounces of liquid onto your flight, give it to your monkey?

Man smuggles monkey onto NYC-bound plane
, AP.

A man smuggled a monkey onto an airplane Tuesday, stashing the furry fist-size primate under his hat until passengers spotted it perched on his ponytail, an airline official said. The monkey escapade began in Lima, Peru, late Monday, when the man boarded a flight to Fort Lauderdale, said Spirit Airlines spokeswoman Alison Russell. After landing Tuesday morning, the man waited several hours before catching a connecting flight to LaGuardia Airport.

During the flight, people around the man noticed that the marmoset, which normally lives in forests and eats fruit and insects, had emerged from underneath his hat, Russell said.

"Other passengers asked the man if he knew he had a monkey on him," she said.

The monkey spent the remainder of the flight in the man's seat and behaved well, said Russell, who didn't know how it skirted customs and security...

I can't imagine a monkey got past security. It boggles the mind. Maybe the TSA agents were distracted by a pair of flip flops or a suspicious tube of Preparation H.

In case you're not feeling safer yet, here are the New Policies for Lighters, Electronics, and Breast Milk.

In an effort to concentrate resources on detecting explosive threats, TSA will no longer ban common lighters in carry-on luggage as of August 4, 2007...

Q. Are lighters not a threat anymore?

A. Lighters are not a serious threat. Lifting the ban is a common sense, risk-based security decision. This change allows officers to focus on finding explosives and IED components.

What about the liquids?

Q. Does your lighter need to be in a baggie since it contains liquid?

A. No. TSA's common-sense approach harmonizes with worldwide standards for lighters.

Common sense. Ha! But what about the worldwide standards for liquids?

Q. Why is breast milk not a threat?

A. Breast milk is a medical necessity and it is being classified as such. It must be declared at the checkpoint.

Q. How do you ensure liquid explosives disguised as breast milk or medications are not brought through the checkpoint?

A. Since September 2006, certain liquid medications have been permitted at the checkpoint as long as they are declared to security officers and are subject to additional screening.

Why can't the agents do additional screening on my Aquafina so I don't have to spend $2.75 on a bottle of water?

To recap: Monkeys and lighters? Okay! Frappuccinos? No.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

We Got to Do Better

In news that I wish weren't true: Court rejects 'Sally Hemings' name for horse, AP.

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a filly can't be named "Sally Hemings" after Thomas Jefferson's most famous slave and reputed lover...

..."If he really wants to race or breed this horse in Kentucky, [horse owner Garrett Redmond] will have to come up with a name that complies with the Jockey Club's rules," [Judge Alice Batchelder] wrote. "A quick look at the Jockey Club's Registry confirms that 'Horse With No Name' is no longer available."

Editor's note: I couldn't find a screenshot of Tracy Morgan dressed up in his costume from the movie Jefferson on 30 Rock. So please enjoy the picture of him as Uncle Jemima from SNL.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Lazy Monday: Hairspray and 17 babies

Based on my friend Stephanie's enthusiasm for Hairspray last month, I went to see the movie yesterday with my friends. The music was bouncy. My favorite song was "The Nicest Kids in Town." I liked the movie, but I still felt that something was off. It wasn't just John Travolta's grating performance. It wasn't just Amanda Bynes' orange skin. It was the concept I had expressed last month about remaking movies; something gets lost when you make a copy of a copy, i.e. a movie based on a musical based on a movie. Ranylt Richildis expresses her disappointment in the film in her review on Pajiba: Say It, Don't Spray It.

...The original Hairspray found eternal life thanks to its unusual cast...There’s something real at the core of Waters’ freak-parade—one of his least provocative, so designed to prevent its subcultural elements from upstaging the film’s gentle message about acceptance. Shankman’s Hairspray, conversely, suffers from the contrast effect—not against the original version, so much, but within its own structure. Its very effort and proportion reveal just how tinny its message really is—just how unrealistically tidy the struggle for integration is presented...The in-your-faceness of Shankman’s more corporate version turns the fragile backbone of the commentary to jelly; now we really notice that, in Hairspray’s world, racism only seems to exist as an institution, not as a widespread character flaw—most everyone is just so jim-dandy-ready to put the fat and the dark on a lime-lit pedestal because (shucks) people are just so great and accepting when those mean old rules get lifted...


In Someone Needs to Stop Them News, here is the story that greeted me on Saturday morning: Lucky No. 17 born to Ark. couple, by Jill Zeman, AP.

It's a girl — again — for Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the proud parents of 17 children.

And after Jennifer Danielle was born Thursday morning, her parents already were talking about having more children.

"We'd love to have more," Michelle Duggar said, adding that the girls are outnumbered seven to 10 in the family. "We love the ruffles and lace."

...Among the "fun facts" listed on Discovery Health's Web page devoted to the Duggars: A baby has been born in every month except June; the family has gone through about 90,000 diapers, and Michelle Duggar has been pregnant for 126 months — or 10.5 years — of her life.

I was first introduced to the Duggars via the TWoP Forum on their Discovery Health Channel special, 14 Children and Pregnant Again!. After I actually watched the special, my annoyance grew. Those Duggar parents have serious problems. Jeremy Slater elucidates one of my many concerns about "raising" that many children in his post, Seventeen kids? SEVENTEEN?.

...I certainly can't think of a compelling argument for NOT blasting Jim Bob (OF COURSE his name is Jim Bob) and his Amazing Vag-O-Matic wife into the cold comfort of deep space. As for his sad gaggle of emotionally-neglected Children of the Corn, the kindest thing would be to send them to 17 separate foster homes. Let them experience for the first time what it's like to have parents who actually give a shit about you.

Because let's face it--when you're having multiple children, there comes a point where you stop building a family and start building a collection. Some people choose Precious Moments figurines, others pick comic books or Pokemon monsters, and you chose wailing, ever-pooping drains on this planet's finite natural resources. Personally, I would have gone with the Pokemon...

I don't agree with the severity of Jeremy's suggested methods, but there is also something wrong with viewing your body as a "living sacrifice" to combat "forty years of destruction wrought by women's liberation: contraception, women's careers, abortion, divorce, homosexuality and child abuse."

Readers, what are your thoughts on the Quiverfull movement?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hooray for Drugs!

House OKs prescription drug imports, by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Writer. Via Yahoo! News.

The House passed legislation Thursday effectively permitting the importation of lower-cost prescription drugs from places such as Canada, Australia and Europe...

...The bill, passed by a 237-18 vote, faces a promised veto from President Bush over its price tag, and the administration also opposes the drug importation provision...

...The administration "strongly opposes"the drug provision, which would effectively permit individuals, wholesalers and pharmacists to import lower cost U.S.-made and FDA-approved prescription drugs from Canada and other countries...

It might not pass the Senate, and it might not survive a veto. But I'm glad someone is doing something about our health care crisis. There's good news for the children, too:

Senate approves children's health bill, by Donna Smith, Reuters.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved legislation that would raisetobacco taxes to pay for expanding a children's health program, shrugging off a veto threat from President George W. Bush who wants a more limited plan.

The Senate voted 68-31 for the bill that would provide an extra $35 billion to provide health insurance for more children under the popular state grant program. The Senate acted a day after the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $50 billion increase financed by higher tobacco taxes and cuts in payments to private insurers in the Medicare Advantage program for the elderly...

Bush has threatened to veto either version, which he and Republican allies have called a step toward nationalized health care.

Because nationalized health care would be bad. For the insurance companies. Boo hoo.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Why there has been no Daria: The Movie

On Writing Female Characters, by Jeremy Slater at the now defunct How to Write Screenplays. Badly.

It's hardly surprising that the vast majority of working screenwriters are men...or, as some call them, "the unwomen." The operative word in that sentence is working, by the way, since the blogosphere (literally: a sphere of blogs) is crammed to its pink little rafters with female screenwriters. Most of them are talented. All of them are unemployed.

If you've ever read a woman's screenplay, you know how provocative, intelligent and humanistic they can be, rich with nuance and complex character arcs. Many of these feemplays, as we like to call them when no women are around, are so beautifully written and heartfelt they can leave even the strongest reader quivering and shattered in the grip of that foul beast we call emotion...

...What this means, gentlemen, is that the burden of writing female characters falls squarely on our burly, hair-spackled shoulders. The glass ceiling may be keeping the ladies out of Hollywood, but there's nothing keeping them out of the movie theater...

...This doesn't mean the women in your screenplay have to be realistic or believable, thank God...Fortunately, decades worth of lazy movies have conditioned audiences and executives alike to expect female characters to fall into one of three easily classified categories...

There's more. Go read it. It's funny!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More Good Reading

Good enough? by evil fizz at Feministe. Click on the link; the true insight comes from the comments, including mine at number 6. My favorite statement inspired by the post comes from punkrockhockeymom:

My feminism is not about finding or making better men, it’s about “woman” being defined as “human” without reference to men (be they good or bad, feminist or misogynist) and independent of her sexual behavior or identity.

Maybe someday we will all be human.

My Wednesday via Feministing

This puts my troubles into perspective: Sexual violence against women in the Congo, by Samhita at Feministing.


This story makes me sad for Oprah: My isn't that a MANLY sweater you have on there! by Samhita at Feministing.


This gives me hope for the Hillary Clinton campaign: Hillary and cleavage and hair, oh my! by Jessica at Feministing.

I also like the take that Ann from Feministing has on the apparel issue: Hill's hills: The stuff that got edited out, an update on Ann on Hill's hills and pervy 13 year-olds.

Don't be lazy. Click the links!