Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm working very hard before the New Year,

so enjoy these insightful posts from people I've never met, mostly via Feministe:

On Being First, by Jay Smooth at ill Doctrine.


Godwin’s law: NEW RECORD, by Sara at Sara Speaking. Emphases mine.

. . . So all of that I’m holding in mind as I’m reading this advice column about “professional” language. All told, it’s not a bad column, and I’m not here to pick at it. I’m just here to pick at the concept of “professional” language period. And I’m wondering if I’m smart enough to really unpack it the way I’d like to — but hey, that’s what other people’s blogs exist for, right? Surely someone else out there has deconstructed it more meaningfully than I will here.

But: professional language. The language of professionals, of people who know their shit (but probably do not name it), the language of power. Who is in power? Well, white guys. Straight white able-bodied Christian cisgendered [defined here] heterosexual (did I miss anything?) guys. So when we’re talking about “professional” language, isn’t that what we’re really talking about? . . .


Most Dangerous Person 2007, by Christina at Saying Nothing Charmingly.

First runner-up: Mike Huckabee. If this man should, by some conspiracy obviously organized by Satan himself, win the Oval Office, we will see a theocratic kleptocracy the likes of which The Shrub only fantasized about in his most fevered wanking sessions . . .


Boo Urns., by Red Stapler at Me and My Red Stapler.

The movie Idiocracy is on cable right now. I'm excited about this, because I never got a chance to see it.

The wonderful Sara Rue has a small role. As usually happens when I watch movies with my laptop in front of me, I looked her up on IMDB.

I saw some photos of her there, and I was so appalled by what I saw . . .


Finally, my favorite: Jamie Lynn Spears: Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t, by Emily at Planned Parenthood. Emily says much of what I have been thinking for the past month. Emphases hers.

I would agree that consequences of teenage pregnancy (here in America) have generally become less dire. But even today, it can mean losing a shot at college (b-ball player Darnellia counted on sports to secure her a scholarship), losing your job (in Jamie Lynn's case, her TV show) and losing your reputation (from role model to "trailer trash whore" ).

That's a whole lot of loss. Yet our message is--- we want young women to keep unplanned/unwanted pregnancies but we're not going to give them respect, decency or even a great number of options . . .

. . . I talked about this with a friend and was shocked when she told me, "She better be fired from that show!" When I asked, why, she said, "Because she's a role model!"

Perhaps she is. But she's also a human being. Is it so unreasonable to think that a 16 year old might have a sexual relationship when she's a working actor and treated like an adult in so many other aspects? Why does Spears lose the right to her job because she's pregnant? . . .

. . . We can all agree that teenage pregnancy is nothing new, so can we find common sense middle ground between "slut-bashing" and "don't do it"? Could we please talk about the obvious? Birth control! Sex education! And forget reducing girls to "role models" - teenage pregnancy is an issue so much bigger than one 16 year old girl. If we want to send better messages, we need to start from a broader cultural standpoint that frankly discusses reproductive functions and consequences. Because let's face it, no young girl's world is G-rated anymore.

And trust me, we aren't doing young women any favors by crucifying their former idols as "sluts."

That's what I'm saying, yo. I grew up on an island whose public high schools had to install an official uniform for pregnant students because they had so many girls in a family way. Let's not act like Jamie Lynn Spears is the only undereducated 16-year-old who has ever gotten pregnant. Let's not pretend that her young American fans--who are growing up in an increasingly oversexualized culture--don't already know where babies and STDs come from. Let's not demonize a teenager whose parents didn't seem to mind that she was allegedly living with her 19-year-old boyfriend. If parents can't handle teaching their children about sex and its consequences, they are in for a rude awakening: if you don't explain healthy sexual behavior to your children before someone else does, your children may end up pregnant or dead.

For more insanity on this topic, I give you Sherri Shepherd's take on The View: Should Nickelodeon Take The Knocked-Up Jamie Lynn Spears' Show Off The Air? A Very Special 'View' Debate, via Defamer.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Musings from an Angeleno: The Christmas Eve Edition

(Imagine a Christmas picture of the Psych boys and their families here.)

1. If you'll remember my musings from this same time last year, I apparently wasn't so impressive. Well someone was impressed by me this year, and rightfully so, and that is all I will say about that.

2. At the annual Christmas Eve candlelight service, one of the teenage ushers was sporting some Zac Efron-type floppy hair. In my head I was all, "Dude, get a haircut." Then I was like, "at least you don't have the Ef's orange skin." Finally I thought, "Thank goodness Stephanie is at another church over 3000 miles away, because we all know how she likes them young."

3. After the service, I was in the bathroom about to take a shower when I started to have a think. I had encountered some of my old classmates over the past two days, which triggered a frown on my face. Why were most of the people I was friends with in elementary school and middle school and high school still friends with each other, but they weren't friends with me? I hadn't really thought about it before. I just figured they had made other friends in college like I had. And they did, but they are still friends with each other too. I started remembering times during college breaks on St. Thomas when they'd all be hanging out together wherever, but I wasn't really in the group anymore. Then I felt bad retroactively for being left out.
Somehow, when I was scrubbing myself under the shower head that needs better water pressure, I realized that they are all still friends because they all live on the East Coast. They went to the name brand schools in New England and New York and the Washington, D.C. area and Florida, while I went to my top-choice, lesser-known school in California. They have all been visiting each other and hanging out regularly in their new homes since they graduated, because they all live in easy traveling distance from each other. As if the West Coast is a foreign country that requires a Visa and an overnight flight.

I have never regretted going to college in and remaining in Los Angeles. I love my new(ish) friends and being in my industry. There are things that I cannot stand about LA--the required driving and the high cost of living--but that is where I want to be. I just never considered that my old friends would continue to be friends sans moi. I thought I had done something wrong, like, "Thank goodness we got rid of Bianca. She was always such a Debbie Downer. Now we can finally have fun without her loser personality harshing our mellow. w00t!"

Yes, I know I have issues.

Happy Christmahanukwanzaakah to you!

Friday, December 21, 2007

My little hater says

everyone is going to resent me for being a dirty whore who runs with the Blame America First crowd. Apparently my hater is a tiny Bill O'Reilly.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

How sad is my Thursday night

without 30 Rock and The Office? I can't even find a good show on Logo. I have seen every episode of Rick and Steve, The Big Gay Sketch Show and Exes and Ohs at least twice. They really need fundage for some new original programming.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My friend got married!

No, that's not her. I don't know those fools pictured above. Can you believe [SPOILER ALERT] New York picked Tailor Made? That's some nonsense.

My friend Catherine got married. You can read about it here. Her husband seems pretty nice. And she made her own dress. How cool is that.


Three related stories:

Abstinence Programs Face Rejection, by Rob Stein, The Washington Post, via Feministing.

Bush policies likely to blame for more teen births, by Cynthia Tucker, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Feministing.

Knocked-Up Jamie-Lynn Spears Carrying On Britney's Troubled Family Tradition, Defamer.

My first thought was, How old was Solange (yes, that Solange), when she had her scandalous baby?

My second thought was, TedSez is funny.

My third thought was, Vanessa and her fellow Mouseketeers must be cracking up right now.

How many stereotypes

can fit in one trailer?

I know Tracy Morgan has issues, but Ice Cube should know better by now.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Posts that have intrigued me today,

mostly via Feministe:

Hannah Montana, Part II, by Reb at Adventures in Lame.

The Mommy Fetish- short version
, by The Red Queen, at Elizabitchez.

Why so angry? by zuzu at Feministe.

And The View on transgendered children, by Jessica at Feministing.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

What are your New Year's resolutions?

I haven't figured out mine yet, but you can share yours here.

This miniature post was inspired by Activist Resolutions, by Latoya Peterson at Racialicious, which I did comment on.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

When I asked for a more appropriate caption

this is not what I had in mind:

New York Post reaches all-time low., by Vanessa at Feministing.

Click on the link. It took me a moment to get the double entendre. Way to keep it classy with a K, New York Post.


Law & Order is an urban show.

It takes place in New York City, the epitome of the word urban. However, black people in general are not "urban." Not all black people live in cities, or even suburbs. I, for one, grew up on an island with many other black people. These two black men who were shot by a trigger-happy white man named Joe Horn in Pasadena, Texas, were not "urban" either. I'm glad that someone is finally addressing this idiotic semantic issue:

Gabrielle Union does not like black movies labeled as ‘urban’, by Kirshan Murphy at Nubian Waves.

"No one calls Fred Claus the white Christmas movie. The Perfect Holiday is a movie about the holidays. It’s not race-specific.

"If there’s more than one black person in the movie, it’s an urban romantic comedy, an urban thriller - it’s just a flipping movie..."

I would never call Fred Claus "the white Christmas movie." I would call it, "the reason to avoid the theater." If I want to watch a holiday film starring an overpaid "comedian", I'll catch one of the thousand cable airings of The Santa Clause or Elf, both of which I also own.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My favorite commercial of the year,

as I recently mentioned to Stephanie:

If only I had switched to Geico. Then my life would be magical too.


Not the caption I'd use.

Ike Turner dies in San Diego at age 76, by Elliot Spagat, AP, via Yahoo! News.

Yahoo! has labeled the corresponding link on their front page, "Legendary but troubled Ike Turner dies."

Troubled? How about "Wife-beating psycho comes to a well-deserved end"?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Another completely different movie

I'm watching Breakin' All the Rules right now, which I did not realize starred Gabrielle Union and Morris Chestnut. I only remembered that Jamie Foxx was in it, because he was all over the commercials, coasting on the Ray momentum of 2004. The problem is worse than I had previously thought.

Peter MacNicol is in the movie, too. As Jennifer Esposito's boyfriend. Yeah, okay. I guess if Jimmy Fallon can do it . . . What has Peter been doing since Ally McBeal? Oh. Well good for him. I wouldn't mind hanging out with David Krumholtz all day.

Friday, December 07, 2007

They are called stalkers.

Subtitle: Why I don't like movies and television shows based on the desires of the white male patriarchy.

How Will Smith Saved My Life, by Josh at Bricks Explode

Will Smith Project: Hitch

Lesson Learned: Girls can be tricked into having sex with you

Explanation: There are three distinctly different ways you can get women to sleep with you:

1. Stalk them. Not the creepy "follow them around all dressed in black while calling them and hanging up one hundred times a day stalking," the funny kind that you can find in a PG-13 romantic comedy. The mistake that real life stalkers make is that they:

A: Are not as attractive as Will Smith

B: Don’t play whimsical music while they are stalking. How are we supposed to know that what you’re doing is funny, not creepy? You need to play a little Sheryl Crow or Third Eye Blind to show us how to feel. Silly stalkers, sex is for winners . . .

It goes on from there. I actually wrote about this double standard in my journal after watching an episode on How I Met Your Mother on the plane last year. Carrie Bradshaw also talked about this on that episode of Sex and the City where she encounters Aidan after their first break-up and wants to be with him again.

This Hollywood concept of wearing women down until they agree to fall in love with you remains ridiculous. Though it does seem to be the hallmark of male/female interaction in Aaron Sorkin productions. I don't think he knows any gay people or Latinos, other than Lily Tomlin and Martin Sheen, respectively.

It's insulting. It's dangerous. Yet one of my friends--who shall remain nameless--actually thinks that in relationships, men are naturally hunters and women are naturally prey. (She didn't use those words, but Steve Harvey did.) I explained to her that concept makes no sense, especially when considering relationships in the queer community. Using that logic, lesbians would be waiting around alone forever since no one would be pursuing them. And then there would be no L Word.

I'm sure I will expound on this at length at a future date. If I forget, then please remind me to.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My favorite quote today

From Marge Simpson, via commenter caitlin at Agoraphobia:

Well it doesn't matter how you feel inside, you know? It's what shows up on the surface that counts. That's what my mother taught me. Take all your bad feelings and push them down, all the way down, past your knees until you're almost walking on them. And then you'll fit in, and you'll be invited to parties, and boys will like you, and happiness will follow.


Ten years later . . .

Katherine Heigl says Knocked Up was sexist, by Jessica at Feministing.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, actress Katherine Heigl says that Knocked Up, was "a little sexist."

"It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys," she says. "It was hard for me to love the movie."

Really Katherine? Here was my immediate response:

I've only been writing about this since this May when the movie came out. Katherine could have taken a looky-loo at my blog months ago. It was hard for me to simply tolerate the movie. Maybe she could have realized the overt sexism and misogyny saturated in the script when she first read it.

Other people had some strong words about this development as well. Feel free to share your reactions.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

These are two different movies:

The Perfect Holiday and This Christmas. I know how one might be confused considering the similar festive themes and the pigmentation of the casts. Also, the picture featured about is from a completely different movie starring the usual suspects: Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut, Vivica A. Fox, Tamala Jones, Anthony Anderson and . . . Bobby Brown?

I got a reply from Mr. Stein!

It him over a month, but Joel Stein has responded to the heated email that I sent him in October:

Fair enough. I'll check out the movie. I had hoped I was using the word
with a positive connotation, but I do have some misogyny issues that
stem from my hormones. It's hard being a misogynist feminist, but I'm
working on it.

Thanks for the email. Really.


Well then.