Saturday, June 30, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

Look at my new BOOKMARK buttons!



They are so cool! Digg me, del.icio.us me, reddit me, Furl me. Whichever. Just tell your friends, and some strangers, too.

I got inspired to add the button by this lady who wrote this insightful article and had to write these responses to deal with all the feedback.

How did I find danah boyd's article? Er... Umm... Look over there!

Using Add This! was so much easier than figuring out how to put each of those buttons on every post, and deciding which buttons were really relevant. No, Add This! is not paying me to endorse their product. I wish someone would, though. I have talent!

Now how can I get the BOOKMARK button to move to the bottom left? Anyone?

Turn that frown upside down.


I was having kind of a bummy day today for reasons I will expound upon later this weekend. Then I received a notice in my email Inbox telling me I had a new comment on my blog. It was in response to my infamous post, The Law Fairy says it best:

Anonymous said...

Wow. I was trolling through the internet looking for reviews for a movie I am dying to see and I come across this one. The love of my life is a former feminist. I say former because she had the brains to realize that feminism is as stupid as chauvinism. She says a lot of her female friends were bashing this movie for the same reasons I see here. Hold a sec.....

Let me get this straight. You are mad because a woman you find attractive and successful gets loaded and has sex with a man you find unattractive and gets pregnant. She then decides to keep the child and attempt to be a caring parent and wants the father in the child's life and you find that wrong? What in the hell is wrong with you. First of all, it is a FICTIONAL MOVIE for the strict purposes of ENTERTAINMENT. Second......You sound less like a feminist and more like a spurned woman. Who cares if a beautiful woman digs a guy you find below average. ! mans trash is another mans treasure. My guess would be that your man found another woman and you turned out to feel like the trash and now resent the idea. You have issues. It is just a movie and looks funny as hell. have a good day. :)


Ha ha! So funny. I was seriously cracking up. Where to begin, where to begin?

First, "Anonymous." One of those hit and run commenters. I understand that some blogging programs don't allow you to leave your name if you don't have an account with them. I get around that by leaving my name in my message, along with a link to my blog. That leaves an open door for communication. Anonymous did not do so.

Second, I feel sorry for the love of your life. Not because she's with you (snicker), but because she is a reformed feminist. That concept seems analogous to that episode of Will and Grace where Jack meets Neil Patrick Harris through an organization that tries unsuccessfully to turn gay people straight. The Ted Haggard treatment, if you will. Why would someone not be a feminist anymore? That's ridiculous.

Third, "What in the hell is wrong with [me]." A) that sentence should have a question mark at the end of it, and B) buddy, you have no idea. If you'd like to chip in for my much-needed therapy sessions, please let me know. Donations are welcome and appreciated.

Fourth, "it is a FICTIONAL MOVIE for the strict purposes of ENTERTAINMENT." It is? I've been watching television since I exited the womb and reading since I was three. But thank goodness Anonymous was here to school me on fiction and entertainment. Apparently my graduating cum laude with a degree in film production did not provide me with the necessary skills to recognize that Knocked Up is not a documentary.

Fifth, can't someone be both a feminist and a spurned woman? Don't all raise your hands at once.

Sixth, I'll ignore the "!" that should be a "1," because I'm nice like that. Clearly Anonymous has not read the rest of my blog. I've never had a man. So he couldn't have left me for another woman, because he doesn't exist. And I don't feel like "the trash."

Seventh, I do have issues. Duh. What are you, new? Oh yeah, you are. Welcome!

Eighth, "It is just a movie and looks funny as hell." I guess The Birth of a Nation was just a movie, too. Did Anonymous also find that film amusing?

Ninth, you have a good day, too, Anonymous! :)

Side note: the baby in the above picture was originally labeled "oriental_baby2" on the BBC Parenting website. Someone needs to let BBC know that it's 2007 and we in the civilized world no longer call people "Oriental." (Insert your own Sarah Silverman-esque joke here.) I'm going to watch Degrassi.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Where does the rest of the cuteness come from?

Found on YouTube by my friend Stephanie: baby laughing.



Wait a minute. I'm a "minority" in my own country. Shouldn't I have a YouTube video made about me? When will I get my "minority rights"?

I wonder how "unchecked immigration" affected the futures of the native peoples of North America, South America, Australia, India, and South Africa. Who cares? Save the white babies from the horror of pressing "1" for English!

Ignore the fact that babies can't actually speak English or any other language for at least a year. And that even after year one, not all white babies speak English, exclusively or otherwise. And that mute babies, regardless of color, don't speak at all.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I don't call her "Man" Coulter

But I don't fault those who do. Adam's apple.

This has been all over Air America and the interwebs today, but the easiest thing to link to was this post on Feministing: Bad-ass woman of the day: Elizabeth Edwards, by Jessica.



She called Monica Lewinsky "chubby." How original. And topical in 2007! I wish she would call me chubby.

#

In other news, I got another unrequested link! This one isn't as exciting since it's from someone I know. My "friend." On one hand, I did first meet stephanie online a few months ago. On the other hand, I now know her well enough that a few weeks ago, I made her and two other friends sit through a Jesus Camp/MTV's Fat Camp marathon with me in person. And, she initially found my blog because she is a real friend of my friend who I've known since my sophomore year of college.

Anyhoo, I'm linked. Hooray! We better be going to see SiCKO together (read my comment at the bottom. I'm funny!)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Yet another (white) guy who just doesn't understand.


I try to read Racialicious every day, and almost every time I end up yelling at my computer screen. Today was no different. Here is the article that the site linked to yesterday that got me perturbed: That's Racist! The Unjust Crusade Against Video Games, by Chris Mottes, CEO of developer Deadline Games, on GameDaily BIZ:

Members of the media often attack video games for being racist, sexist, mean-spirited, callous, unpleasant, insensitive, or just generally nasty. As a developer, I find most of these claims not only a touch insulting but also extremely tenuous, and in the majority of cases unfounded...


Unfounded? Really? Has he heard of Grand Theft Auto?

...while critics most frequently assert that video games contain too much violence and sex, they also endeavor to expose games as racially prejudiced. Games with minority characters, and especially minority stereotypes—even tongue-in-cheek characters not meant to be offensive—are torn down by accusations of intolerance. A surprising number of critics condemn video games as blatantly racist...


How dare they.

...Total Overdose and Chili Con Carnage, titles I helped develop at Deadline Games, were both targets of this type of criticism...


Chili Con Carnage? (Shaking my fist.) Calm down, calm down.

...When researching for Total Overdose, we spent a great deal of time in Mexico, taking over 6,000 photos—photos that were the basis for the vast majority of the textures that appeared in the game. We visited a variety of nightclubs to influence the settings and humor of the game, and we spent time in the company of self-styled gangsters to get a flavor for how they spoke and what they said.

When recording dialogue for both games, we employed Mexican-American voice actors to ensure that we would be providing accurate representations. And when it was time to decide on the soundtrack, we chose to include music from several acclaimed underground Mexican bands, including Molotov, who enjoyed the game to such a great extent that they offered to record unique tunes for a sequel.

However, in reviews, forums, and blogs following the releases of both games, some people slammed Deadline for being bigoted towards Mexicans. While we did employ stereotypes we considered lighthearted and humorous...


Well, if you considered them lighthearted and humorous, Mr. Mottes, why should anyone else complain? I'm sure you not only have participated in, but also have led many Diversity Days.

...our intent was most certainly not to cast Mexican individuals in a derogatory light. In fact, we continue to receive fan mail from Mexican gamers who love the games and praise us for depicting our cartoon version of Mexico as a modern, if corrupt, place.


Someone better hold me back. Who the bleep does Chris Mottes think he is?

In response: Denial and Delusion - Why Public Conversations About Race Fail Before They Begin, by Latoya Peterson, on Racialicious:

...As a black, female console gamer, I can definitively say that many of the video games I play (and enjoy) can be considered both sexist and racist. Sexism is rampant, particularly when you consider character design, costuming, and forced gender roles in play. Most female characters are designed for maximum sex appeal, relegated to damsel in distress roles, or physically limited and/or forced to contribute to the game in a limited capacity...

...The reality is that no stereotype can be considered light-hearted and humorous. A stereotype is defined as “an often oversimplified or biased mental picture held to characterize the typical individual of a group.” Stereotypes are negative. Even “positive” stereotypes are ultimately detrimental to the groups that struggle to find a sense of self within the narrow parameters of society’s vision...

...Stereotype after stereotype abound in the virtually crafted console world, with very few characters of color to provide an alternate perspective. Mottes argues that "most games with racist characters do not reflect the mindset of their developers." I would argue that they do. It reflects the developer’s mindset in dealing with the world and in dealing with minorities. If the developer was not holding on to this mindset that minorities can be categorized with one or two main characteristics, we would have multi-faceted characters of color to play...

If anyone knows of a similar critique of the video gaming industry based on sexism, homophobia, or any other general bigotry, prejudice or discrimination, please let me know. Thanks, readers!

Two things that entertained me this week.



#

"Dutch" isn't veg-friendly, by anna on Sepia Mutiny:

...me: How was dinner?

she: Can I vent?

me: But of course, my little cabbage!

she: I got robbed.

me: OMG, you got mugged???

she: Noooo. I mean…when the bill came.

me: I don’t get it.

she: Of course you do, you’re veg, too.

me: Oh, THAT-a-way

she: Yes. That. A. Way. Not a damned vegetarian entree on the menu AND everyone I was with obviously ordered seafood— not just any seafood…the market-rate stuff.

me: Ah, that which has no price listed.

she: EXACTLY!

me: Ouch.

she: That’s not even the worst of it! You know how I don’t drink??

me: Yeah…?

she: Well, everyone else more than made up for it. 3-4 each.

me: Wow, so you-

she: Subsidized a bunch of fish and vodka. What I ordered came to all of $25 WITH tax and a 20% tip…what I PAID was $72.

me: Sigh. Well, you made the birthday girl happy by being there.

she: True. But, I COULD HAVE GIVEN HER THE $50. Then she’d be happy and I wouldn’t feel so damned ripped-off.

Stop smirking, dear readers. You know you’ve had that EXACT conversation with one of your friends...



#

In fairly unrelated news:

Question: When is it appropriate to wear a tube top in the workplace?

My Answer: Never. I don't care how casual the office is.

Your thoughts?

"How often do you talk to homicide detectives?"

Jokes.com
John Mulaney - Jerry Orbach
comedians.comedycentral.com
Joke of the DayStand-Up ComedyFree Online Games


The jokes about Law & Order come about three minutes in. They're funny because they're true. I wish he had done a joke about Jerry Orbach's inappropriate hilarity. Dennis Farina tried to recreate it during the two seasons he was on, but his quips came off as less hilarious and more inappropriate. Someone died, dude.

If anyone can get me a clip of Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Poehler doing their Law & Order sketch on SNL, I will love you to pieces. My fellow TV-obsessed friend told me about it, but did not tape the episode. Harumph.

Friday, June 22, 2007

There are times when I should stop myself.



And yet I choose not to.

It started with my friend sending me a link to this article called I'm Just Not Attracted To Her, by Michael Lawrence. Goodness knows if there is a piece involving Debra Dickerson, Wedding Crashers and Christianity, I'm all about reading it. Which I did.

The article was on a "webzine" called Boundless, which is "a website of Focus on the Family." This is when I should have stopped reading, because I have heard of Focus on the Family, and none of the reviews of their organization have shown them to be positive or progressive.

I clicked on the home page of the site, scrolled down and found, Ten Things Now To Stay At Home Later, by Heather Koerner. Below the title was the description, "I thought it might be an article similar to Leslie Bennetts' book, The Feminine Mistake. It was not.

Then I clicked on the Boundless "Best Of" tab and scrolled down. Of course I had to click on the "SEX" link. Modesty Revisited (", and your Subversive Virginity (So-Called Marriage, which argues homosexual unions are irrelevant to marriage laws because they are effectively sterile. Marriages are supposed to be between a man and woman because the primary function of marriage is to breed. Hmph. Then there was Abortion and Rape: "BA: FEARING INFERTILITY: "permissive attitudes about moral issues like divorce, extramarital sex, homosexuality and abortion." What's wrong with that? At least I'm not James Dobson.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Moving on


Since the moment I graduated from college and became an official grown-up, it has gotten harder and harder to both make new friends and to keep the old ones. I'm a congenial person, albeit a quirky one. But outside the bubble of shared classes, dining tables and residence halls, it's difficult to find people who share your interests and want to socialize with you on a regular basis. The even bigger challenge is maintaining those elusive relationships once you find them.

One of my best friends in the whole world is moving away from me. Again. She found a new job in a new place that is closer to her family. I'm going to miss her a lot.

She holds the special position both as the friend that I have fought with the most, and as the only friend who tells me, "I love you."

She was the friend that held my hand the time a huge, infected bump appeared out of nowhere on my forehead and an emergency room doctor had to slice it open. That was a very scary time.

She thinks I have magical powers, including the ability to answer numerous questions that philosophy experts still haven't figured out. Despite my explanations of how hard the GMAT is, she told me she knows I'll get into business school because I'm "smart." She also insisted that I cut her hair last weekend, even though I have absolutely no training whatsoever, professional or otherwise. I was so afraid we would be reenacting that "Dye! Dye! My Darling" episode of Daria (which actually wasn't about Daria destroying Jane's hair as much as it was about Daria stealing Jane's boyfriend...). Anyway, my friend had no doubt that I would style her hair in the way she requested, despite my complete lack of experience. (Plus, she doesn't have a boyfriend, and I highly doubt I'd try to steal him if she did. Different strokes and all.)

Strangely enough, she always seems satisfied with my answers, and she was pleased with her hair. She consistently has the confidence in me that I often forget to have in myself.

I've seen her grow so much in the past year, dealing with the obstacles placed in her path, and trying to rise above them with insight and maturity. I'm very proud of her, and I hope she finds the happiness that she deserves in her new home.

Hooray?


From today's Defamer: Innovative Assistants Get Their Health Coverage Back.

The free bagels enjoyed each Wednesday by Innovative Artists' overworked, undercompensated, and recently uninsured assistants will be slathered with the delicious schmear of victory this morning, as Variety is reporting that agency president Scott Harris has recanted his belief that benefits were being wasted on his young, hearty workforce and reinstated their health coverage through COBRA.


And from the related Variety article, Innovative benefits return, by Peter Gilstrap, emphasis mine:

The good:

"...non-contracted employees are not the only workers upset by this issue. Presently, several agents have offered to share salaries with their assistants to help compensate for our loss of benefits, several outside employers have solicited our services for rival companies, and most assistants are questioning their rationale for continuing to work at Innovative."


The not so good:

Though they've seen "nothing in writing," the mood within the company "is better," the source stated. "People are happy that we won a small battle, and hopefully things will continue to get better. We know it was a big step for him to do this. And now there won't be a boycott on bagel day."


As usual, the comments on Defamer were both entertaining and informative:

Everybody Likes Pandas says:

...The article says they're covered by COBRA until he chooses a plan. Which they would've been anyway, I think, so is this news? Unless Innovative is paying for the COBRA. Or bartering bagels for it.


papa_bear says:

Countdown til all of the people who put their names on the letter are fired for various "unrelated" reasons...3...2...1

Then have fun interviewing elsewhere when suddenly you have "too much experience" for a PA job on a cable access show.

Ahhh, Hollywood, love it.


Finally, the longest, yet completely accurate comment:

D Day says:

So you got your HMO plan back (kind of)...congrats.
If you work at this, or any other lower level agency, you can now look forward to 2-3 more years of making $450/wk and working 50+ hours a week, plus the expected night time and weekend schmoozing (at your expense), and getting yelled at by some douchebag with a drug problem. Then, when you're up for the BIG PROMOTION, you'll be presented with a shitty contract that pays you probably about $40K/yr to start. Raises? Oh yeah, they'll dangle some nominal annual bumps, but only if you sign a long term contract that resembles indentured servitude. When you've finally "made it" you'll be 29 or 30 years old, making $55K/yr (plus HMO!), living in the same apartment and wondering why you ever dropped out of business school. Unless of course you get lucky and break a hot young client. Unfortunately for you that client (who has always expressed their undying gratitude for all your hard work) will leave you at the drop of a hat as soon as they find out they can sit on someone else's client list next to a few bigger names. And you will sit there justifying why you should continue squeezing your soul to pay for someone else's mansion and service every little need of a bunch of C-list narcissistic actors who could care less about you.
Have fun!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another Tuesday without Gilmore Girls


As I opened my internet browser this evening, I noticed the following stories on Yahoo! News:

Bush plans to veto stem cell bill

Army considers longer combat tours again

The third headline down was

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg leaves GOP.

Hmm. I wonder if those stories are related. I wonder if any other Republicans will follow. I wonder what's taking them so long.

#


In funnier news, I LOLed at this post on Defamer: Me: A Real Hollywood Director; You: Hot, Smart, Willing To Believe I'm A Real Director. Yet another example of the quality individuals you will find on Craig's List. Ladies, before start sending in your headshots, the director is looking for a dude. Non-crazy gentlemen, feel free:

director needs a (fake) date for a (real) movie premiere - m4m - 33 As bizarre as this sounds, I am looking for a date for a movie premiere...

...Here are the requirements. You are:

1. not insane
2. between 25 and 40 (give and take a year or two)
3. reasonably intelligent
4. good looking
5. not an actor who is going to try and use this as a networking opportunity (ok to be an actor - but again, not insane)
6. clean (well groomed) and sober (not a drunk or an addict)
7. willing to go along with the charade for the fun of it
8. not crazy...

...Please reply with a picture (to weed out crazies and freaks - although you can't always tell)...


Ha ha! My favorite comments:

SusanDeylite says:

Obviously, it's the premiere for "Transformers".



nojo says:

Fox News is going to have a field day with this latest Michael Moore revelation.


and

bedofnails says:

HBO is taking this Medellin/Billy Walsh thing to new levels.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Way to go, Innovative.



From today's Variety: Innovative cuts health benefits, by Michael Fleming, emphasis mine.

Talent agency Innovative Artists instituted a cost-cutting innovation that had 50 or more assistants and mailroom staff threatening to call in sick on Monday -- because they no longer have health benefits.

In a memo from agency president Scott Harris dated Friday, staffers were informed that their health benefits had been eliminated, retroactive to June 1. In the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Daily Variety, Harris told the staff the decision was made "after much deliberation in the face of the ever-increasing costs of medical premiums." Staffers were told they could continue their coverage through Cobra.

Move does not affect senior or junior agents or administrative staff working under contracts. Several assistants on track to make agent also were excluded. Support staffers were reeling, and agents were unhappy because they risk losing assistants who will have to pay higher premiums to get coverage through Cobra, which is usually retained when a person is between jobs.

One Innovative employee who was affected by the maneuver told Daily Variety that as many as 70 employees lost their health insurance, some with families. They had no warning before the memo arrived. The timing of the move was particularly galling, the source said, because recipients learned they unknowingly had been without insurance for two weeks, and because the bomb was dropped while Harris was on vacation. Assistants who made low wages will be hard-pressed to afford coverage, and the expectation is that some will leave.


I have never even worked at Innovative, and I am appalled. Entertainment assistants and mailroom staff, especially those who work at agencies, are overworked and grossly underpaid as is. Now their medical benefits are being taken away, too? That is some nonsense.

Harris estimated via email that 50 were affected by the move, which he made after evaluating health care costs. "Most Innovative assistants are very young and do not have medical issues (and hence do not get much value from the coverage)," he wrote. Harris said the agency would institute a new pay structure for assistants that would allow them to make more money, which he felt was a higher priority for them.


Let me tell you, I'm "very young," and I get very much value from health insurance. And I'm not even on the molotov cocktail of prescription medications that I know for a fact many of my peers in the industry are on. Drugs are very expensive. So are doctors visits that aren't covered by insurance. Why didn't Harris give them benefits and a new pay structure? Because he wanted to save a few bucks, at the expense of his most expendable, least respected employees.

And Harris delivered his proclamations "via email?" while he was "on vacation"? Where was he?

Harris said he was in Germany to have medical treatment on a knee -- a procedure not covered under his own health plan.


It's nice that Harris can A} take time off from work, B) afford the cost of plane tickets to and accommodations in Germany, and C) find a doctor in a foreign country that can treat his medical afflictions. He better hope his newly-screwed assistant reeeally likes him. I couldn't imagine telling the person that runs my life, "I know I make you work long hours doing menial tasks at a job you are grossly overeducated and overqualified for. And I compensate you poorly for your efforts. So to reward you for all this, I'm eliminating your health insurance. Don't get sick. And don't have any sick kids."

Edit (6/18/2007 3:38pm): Speaking of Defamer, I totally beat them to re-reporting this: Benefit-Reducing Innovative Artists Faces Possible Uninsured Assistant Mutiny. Yeah, I only make an average of one post every other day, as compared to their 10+ posts a day. But I still think it's cool that I scooped them.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Book Reviews and Nannies


From Jennifer Weiner's blog, Snark Spot:

So I’m having my own little Kanye West “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” moment over on the New York Times’ book blog...

...Things started on Tuesday TBR senior editor Dwight Garner posted a roundup of what other newspapers were reviewing: Michael Chabon, Woody Allen, your typical assortment of Living Dead White Men who the Times routinely covers to death and beyond, leavened with a review of Tina Brown’s take on the ten-years-dead Diana.

I posted a comment pointing out that it was interesting that the Times itself has reviewed all of those titles (in Chabon and Brown’s cases, twice), and wondered whether book review editors the world over got some kind of top-secret list as to which books to write about each week...


To find out what happened next, follow the thread here. You can read my comments on Jennifer's MySpace blog here. I was incensed, yet humorous. It sounds like something catherine would be interested in, since she "of course [she writes] romance novels."

#

Next. From Salon via Racialicious: The other mothers, by Lynn Harris.

Separation anxiety, race and class, our very identities as women and parents: This is precisely the bumpy terrain that Lucy Kaylin explores in her new book, "The Perfect Stranger: The Truth About Mothers and Nannies." Said "truth" -- refreshingly -- is not, say, research twisted to assert that mothers who employ nannies have higher rates of self-hate, or that their children tend to grow up to be sociopaths. Kaylin's book -- her own nanny story, woven into interviews with other mothers and nannies, too -- shows that, actually, it's messier than that.

Kaylin's responses to the interview questions said more about her than I think she intended:

"I see what a cliché I've become, you know, when I come in the house with my hard shoes and dark clothes and I'm hugging my kid with one hand and working the BlackBerry with the other. You see yourself like that and it's awful; you're exactly the person you have long decried or felt superior to. A nanny can give you a really clear perspective on what it looks like to them...

...[My nanny Hy] is very frank, and if she thinks something's wrong she'll say it. And there was this one day when my husband and I were being so harried, doing that "two ships passing in the morning" thing, and she literally gave me a command: She said, "Kiss your husband." I was about to run out the door without doing so. And I thought it was great because she has a really macro sense of our operation. It's not just "I've got to make the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches this afternoon and make sure they have their bath by 6." She really cares about the health of the whole family. She cares about people getting kissed before they go out the door. She knows that it matters. And God bless her, it does matter."


Thank goodness Kaylin's nanny can function as her therapist and personal assistant, in addition to taking care of her kids. I wonder how her husband fits into the "operation." I'm not sure. In response to the question, "How do fathers feel about nannies?", Kaylin stated:

You'd think in this day and age that fathers would be as affected by the presence of a nanny as we are, that they would be as involved as we are in child rearing -- since we do have these great, well-adjusted feminist dads these days, wearing Snuglis and going to play dates -- but the reality is, the brunt of the childcare still falls to the mother. If something goes wrong with the kid, [people] are going to look to the choices the mother made to see what went wrong. And there's just no sense in which a father is hiring someone to be his proxy when he brings a nanny into the home. The nanny is a mother figure. So as a result, it's the mother who's overseeing the relationship and managing it.


Did Kaylin consult any fathers who may actually be the primary caregivers in their homes? Did she even ask her own husband how he felt about the nanny in their own home? Nope, she made a sweeping generalization without referring to any research at all.


My favorite part of the article was the comments. Some people were ticked off. An excerpt:

Add me to the "Who Fucking Cares?" Camp

I can't believe that there is an entire book industry dedicated to the minutia of motherhood. Every little aspect of being a mother/working mother/stay at home mother has been fetishized to a point beyond ridiculous. So now there is a book that dedicates at least 100 pages to dissecting how upper-middle class mothers FEEL about their nannies?

I don't care how these women, who have all the choices in the world, feel. What interests me more is how the illegal Mexican nanny who has had to leave her own children behind feels about being paid subsistence wages? Or how the working-poor mother feels about not being able to work at all because of the lack of daycare, period. Or how another working-poor mother feels about having to work nights at a corner store while her husband works days, and then having to haul yourself around all day after not sleeping. So to complain that you feel JEALOUS of your Nanny is whiny and self-indulgent.

Incidentally, I am working-mother who has more choices available to her than almost 90% of working Moms. I pay 45% of my take-home for childcare costs. I pay my childcare provider 25% more than the going rate to insure that she'll stick around, and because I really believe that my commitment to feminism and social and economic equality starts with me and my bank account. The endless navel gazing of upper-class women does little to alert our consciousness to the class implications of hiring other women to mind your children for subsistence wages.


Your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Equally divisive and funny, but in a different way


via Defamer: The Hunt For America's Best Singing Ogre Begins.

Can you readers guess what my favorite part is?

Nope, you're wrong.

It's "20s-30s." When Shrek the movie came out, Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy were both hovering around 40. If the actors in the musical are going to be in Shrek and Donkey costumes, who's going to care what age they are?

Then the casting people have the nerve to assert that "Anyone, no matter how Far Far Away, can try and audition for these roles!" No they can't. Setting aside that women can't audition for these roles, the casting people are probably going to hire Americans. Maybe Canadians if their desperate. I would love they got an actual Scotsman to play Shrek. And for Donkey, an actual burro. Maybe from Mexico. Fun!

Thoughts I had while watching this video.

From Vimeo, via Pajiba:



  • That girl looks pretty pleased with herself.
  • Oh, it's a music video.
  • I remember Disturbing Behavior.
  • Whatever happened to Nick Stahl? (I didn't watch Deadwood.)
  • litelysalted is right: those guys are cute.
  • Are all of them white?
  • They are.
  • And under 30.
  • Except for that one woman with the curly hair.
  • Oh my gosh, all the guys in that office look exactly alike. Not just young white guys, but practically clones of each other. All the girls--the few that they have--look alike, too
  • Apparently they work at College Humor. Here's one of their popular columns. I found no corresponding "Cute College Boy" column.
  • This reminds me of every time the staff of The Daily Show makes an acceptance speech at the Emmys. Every guy on stage looks like a slightly taller, slightly younger version of Jon Stewart. There are maybe two women, and one Larry Wilmore. And every time, Jon comments on that fact, but never does anything about it.
  • I guess that's because only white guys (with brown hair) are allowed to write for comedy. And for every other entertainment medium, too.
  • Now I feel depressed again.
  • My feet hurt.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I hadn't thought about it that way.

Via tonight's episode of The Colbert Report: Tommy Chong talks to Contessa Brewer about Paris Hilton.



I love how the MSNBC lady starts implying that Mr. Chong is high during the interview, after he makes his "far out" claims that Republicans control the media. Contessa? You're the one who invited Tommy Chong on your show. Shouldn't someone ask if you're high?

Did Mel Gibson do any real prison time?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Date Rape and Name Changing

I love this cake!

I found this video from The Onion on today's Pajiba Love: J.K. Rowling Hints At Harry Potter Date Rape. I have my own thoughts about it, but I'd like to hear yours, too. Second opinions are nice when they're requested. Subsequently, I found this video,
Onion News Network : Panda Demands Abortion, which I actually found amusing. I guess abortion can be funny. But rape? No.

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In marital news, What's in a name? by Jessica on Feministing:

...Even before identifying as a feminist, the whole changing your name thing never really made sense to me. I mean, what's the point outside of upholding an antiquated sexist tradition? You want to share a last name with your partner for feeling-like-a-family and kid purposes? Ok. What about hyphenation? Or taking the woman's last name? And I'm sorry, I don't buy the "it's just easier" argument. What's easy about changing your name and all that paperwork? Ugh.

I'm in the minority opinion on this one, 81 percent of women getting married intend to change their last names. (An aside: Can I just how much I love that National Review writer and IWF's token young woman Alison Kasic says that I'm crazy radical for my opinion on name-changing? The day the National Review doesn't think I'm radical, I'll have a problem.)...

As I have told my friends and associates, I'm not changing my name unless I go into the Witness Protection Program. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about my kids if I have them with someone else, especially someone with a hyphenated last name like mine. That'll be fun. I know I'd be hard-pressed to not give my kids my name. I don't care who it ticks off, they're getting my name. The question isn't whether there will be a hyphen, but how many.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I feel this way, too.


Except for the part about the potbelly. That's not "as it should be."

Not so hot, by Shannon, on Personally...

...I think I'm more bothered, though, by the fact that I'm seen as not being a prospective romantic partner because of my lack of hotness. This person of whom I'm speaking is someone I've mentioned here before, the guy I had a crush on not long ago, the one that rejected me. We had become friends, and occasionally had lunch or talked on the phone. Now I realize that he turned me down simply because he doesn't find me attractive, and I'm pissed at that. He's gotten to know me; in fact, he'd gotten to know me when I admitted my attraction to him. And despite knowing me, he let my looks determine his answer. I'm not good-looking enough for him. And that pisses me off. Not because I wish he was attracted to me. Absolutely not. Shallowness is a big turn-off for me. And because I'm pretty happy with who I am, and have finally become comfortable in this body, I'm pissed because this suggests I shouldn't be happy with myself, that who I am isn't good enough. And that's a load of crap. So I'm also pissed because I let this person affect me, let him make me consider changing, let him make me feel like I'm not good enough. Which is also a load of crap.

Here's the thing: I have a good personality. I get a bit intense, a bit emotional, and sometimes my depression is more than I can manage, and I get pretty darned weepy. But I would characterize myself as being a good person overall: smart, funny, caring, loyal, thoughtful, giving, strong, and so on. And I'm not unattractive. All in all, a good package. Not "hot," but good. I'd date me!...

I'd date me, too. I'm really nice. I have exceptional earning potential. And I enjoy hugs. But I'm no Garth Brooks, so...

Another Joseph Gordon-Levitt post?



That's correct. Today I went to Mr. G-L's website, HITRECORD.org, and I found the above video. What happened to the hair? I liked the hair. Now he's looking like Heath Ledger. Spooky. I wonder if he has a baby, too, like Heath does. He could have a baby and not know about it. Like in that movie. You know the one.

Watching the video reminded me of the time when a couple of my friends showed me this video: Kristen Bell and Chris Lowell Candid Interview.



They found it fascinating and hilarious. I didn't think it was that funny, because I don't watch Veronica Mars. Similarly, people who aren't into Joseph Gordon-Levitt are probably like, "Who's that weird looking dude in the cape?"

Moving on, here's a clip from my new favorite comedy series, The Big Gay Sketch Show, which I discovered while perusing my ON DEMAND cable:

I still won't see it, yet I can't let it go.


Not exactly the well-funded version of “Silent Scream”, by Amanda Marcotte, on Pandagon. I love pandas.

Amanda liked Knocked Up. A lot. So why am I linking to her post? Because of the 145th comment that follows her post, by Sam:


...I’m sorry, Apatow-loving feminists, you almost swayed me, but not quite. The movie is pretty sexist. Sexist and funny, like most comedies out there, sure. But to say that Apatow’s brilliant directing masks the misogynist undertones of the film is giving him way too much credit. The last scene of the movie features a guy looking at his daughter and telling her that NOT WEARING A CONDOM WAS THE BEST DECISION HE EVER MADE. On that alone, the movie is seriously problematic...


That comment led me to this post, More Knocked Up Knocking, on The Egalitarian Bookworm (Chick?)..., which led me to this article in Time magazine: Not Knocked Out by 'Knocked Up', by Richard Corliss.


Having chosen to bring the baby to term, Alison now has to figure out whether she brings Ben into the equation. In such a dilemma, whom can she confide in? You might expect that such a personable sort would have a circle of women friends — what Apatow would call her pussy posse — but not Alison. All right, no girlfriends. But she's got an infotainment job in L.A.; the place must be swarming with gay men, ready to offer their sympathy or tart wisdom. In show business, isn't there a Will for every Grace? No again; Alison is effectively friendless. In the old movies, the heroine was often isolated by convention or prejudice. Here, Apatow strands Alison is in order to make the unthinkable Ben an attractive, indeed the only, choice.


Where is my Will? No, wait. I am Will, the uptight intellectual trying to find a man who will put up with my idiosyncrasies. What I should be asking is, where's my Jack?

Someday I'll actually watch the movie that I can't stop blogging about. But that day is not today.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

My favorite thing today


other than recovering from the GMAT:

Fame Audit: The Cast Of Gilmore Girls, on Television Without Pity.

An excerpt:

Melissa McCarthy constantly and gleefully tapdances all over the line separating the adorable from the insufferable. That line can be very fine. Her unending chirp is endearing in small doses, but she's likely to remain in supporting roles as assorted best friends, unless she's capable of toning it down, which seems doubtful. She displays an admirably sunny disposition, certainly, but not one that's going to make her a leading lady. Frankly, at thirty-seven, she's already played a "Doris" and a "Shirley," so nobody's thinking in those terms anyway.

If I ran Hollywood, I'd make her a leading lady. I love Sookie! She's so much fun. Plus, she's starring in pamie's new show.

It sounds weird to say "The good news is that she's about to star in Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2," but it's very true of Alexis Bledel. Although she was part of a great ensemble on Gilmore Girls, it's hard to know how well that nervous talking thing she does is going to play in any other setting, so it's good that she has a franchise to work on for now. She's managed to get through seven seasons as a pretty young actress without doing almost anything else that got her any attention, and she may have failed to capitalize on her moment.

I know I'm not the only one who wouldn't mind seeing Rory slowly fade away.

Friday, June 08, 2007

This is sad for various reasons.


Diversity still an issue at TV networks, by Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times.

Though minorities are featured in most of the 29 new series on the major networks, only five feature performers of color in central starring roles. While most of the shows have at least one regular minority cast member, the performers are mostly in support of the main white characters. Many shows with ensemble casts (ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Big Shots") feature predominantly white casts.

The CW remains the primary network venue for multiculturalism.

Groan.

Insert Pussycat Dolls/Veronica Mars cancellation/Gossip Girl/Hidden Palms/Chad Michael Murray joke here.

Why I don't say, "I'm sorry"


unless I really have to:

Living While Female, by Ann, at Feministing.

above and beyond all this, by kate, at a cat and twenty.

Let's Watch A Girl Get Beaten To Death, by Joss Whedon (yes, that Joss Whedon), at Whedonesque.

And, if you haven't heard any mainstream media coverage about this heinous situation, let's read about it together, shall we:

The De Anza case: men really hate drunk teenage girls, at I Blame The Patriarchy.

I remember when I was in college--which was like so long ago, I know--my mother was worried about my being a part of the LGBT awareness group on campus. She thought other people would harbor animosity towards me for associating with the gays. I told her then, and I still tell her now, people already hate me for no reason at all. There are people I know for a fact have despised me in the past and will continue to do so in the future because I'm too smart, or too dark, or too fat, or not fat enough, or too funny, or too creative, or too kind, or too patient, or too caring, or too progressive, or too concerned, or too peaceful, or too fortunate, or too demanding, or too driven, or too critical, or too informed. Or because I have a vagina.

Slightly more humorous post to follow in a moment.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Someone hijacked my MySpace account


and sent out this bulletin twice:

Date: Jun 7, 2007 8:47 AM
Subject ATTENTION ALL MY DAMN FRIENDS!
Body: NOONE EVER SENDS ME MESSAGES! CAN YOU REPLY AND TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU LOVE ME OR SOMETHING! :(!

I didn't know about it until one of my friends sent me a concerned email.

I'm so embarrassed, because it wasn't me, and I'm not all clingy and crazy like that. Yes, I know I have issues. But I don't send out messages in all caps ever. And I like my personal Me time just like everyone else. I do like attention, but in an appropriate manner.

The silver lining of this is, maybe I was hijacked because I have become a prominent tastemaker. I'm approaching Ne-Yo and Omarion status, where I have to clarify that this is the real me. Am I important? Maybe!

Edit: I think this dubious MySpace page is the cause of my troubles. Curse you, you evil social-networking hackers.

The dumbest people alive


must be living in the apartment directly above me.

I am so upset. I was spending my Wednesday night, peacefully watching Stephen Colbert's Report, minding my own business, playing SCRABBLE Blast on MSN Games. Then an odor wafts underneath my bedroom door, up my nostrils. I get concerned that it might be a gas leak, like in that episode of The Cosby Show where Theo has to hide his friend's inebriated girlfriend in his house so he doesn't ruin the surprise party.

Then I thought to myself, it smells like bleach. So I tear myself away from my Scrabble and Stephen, and I immediately identify the smell as bleach coming from the bathroom. But I don't own any bleach. I turned on my bathroom light and found my sink overflowing with green water, with sediment and chunks of vomity-looking food spilling down my counter on to the floor.

To make long, sad story short, I called my landlord, he came down, talked to the person who lives upstairs, and determined what had happened. The young lady (if I must call her that) had discovered earlier tonight that her bathroom sink was filled with "black stuff." She consulted her boyfriend, and he poured bleach down the sink to get rid of it.

What?

Then they proceeded to have lots of sex, and didn't bother to tell anyone else--including our landlord--about the problem. They didn't actually say that, but I could hear them having relations above my bed, as my landlord and I were in the bathroom trying to figure out what to do with the mess these fools upstairs had created.

So now I get to deal with bleach smell permeating my apartment, along with everything in my bathroom either displaced or ruined, and who knows what nastiness all over my sink, countertop and bathroom floor. All because those idiots decided to deal with a clogged drain by pouring bleach in the pipes. And then they rub their coital bliss in my face. Like, "Ha ha, you're a loser who still can't any, and here's some toxic throw-up to destroy your possessions and your well being. You deal with our crap while we exchange some STDs."

The phrase "stupid bulimic whores" keeps running through my head. See. These people have reduced me to casting aspersions on their sexual activity, and insinuating that at least one of them has an eating disorder. I bet they voted for George W. Bush, too.

If you two butt-munches are reading this, you know who you are, and you should be ashamed.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Who's learning Spanish now?


From The Washington Post, via Racialicious: Spanish Lesson: Two Constituencies, Two Campaigns? What You Need Is Another Tongue, by David Montgomery.

Off the campaign trail, on Capitol Hill, tune your ears to the new frequency. It's no longer just the cafeteria staff chattering in Spanish. At 7:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays is Spanish class for a half-dozen Democratic House members. The immigration debate has brought advocates on both sides of the issue who are comfortable in both languages. You see pink, sweating gringo faces in reception rooms off the Senate floor suddenly burst into staccato Spanish.

All this Spanish makes politicians nervous: An identical legislative amendment to uphold English passed easily last year. Yet they press on, rolling their r-r-r-r's, auditioning to follow Dodd's and Sen. Barack Obama's example in delivering the weekly Hispanic Radio Address,

What's going on here? Let's translate.

The fact is, the politics of language is one thing, and the language of politics is another. Language is both a tool and a value.

The politics of language requires a politician to honor that sacred and hard-to-define concept, the "American identity." The language of politics is about getting votes -- and pragmatically accepting that every day, including Election Day, the American identity speaks in many tongues.

I'd better not catch any of the more vocal immigrant-haters in one of those classes. Or maybe people like Bill O'Reilly and John McCain--who are worried about foreigners breaking down "the white, Christian, male power structure"--should attend classes like these, and learn some cultural acceptance.

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In even more incendiary news: Know Your Place, Woman: BET’s Meet the Faith on Black Marriage, by Latoya Peterson, on Racialicious.

“Black men don’t want a partner, they want wives.” — Lopez-Pierre

It should be noted that Lake jumped all over him for making this assertion. Lopez-Pierre went on to argue that a partner indicates an equal. While I could not catch everything he said (which is why I can’t quote this part), he stated that having an equal or a partner basically means he has to respect the time of his partner, which would mean he would need to do things to help out like make dinner, or clean the house, which is something he refuses to do. Ergo, he wants a wife - not a partner. Lopez-Pierre talks about his relationship with his wife as an example. It is interesting to see where he draws the distinction - a partner is someone you have to pay attention to, a wife is a person who accommodates her man...

...the focus comes back to black women having the wrong attitude about marriage - but what is the right attitude? To be willing to lay aside everything you worked for in order to have a functional relationship?

Lopez-Pierre again takes another opportunity to drive home his opinion that women need to focus more on being wives and supporting their husbands. Apparently, that will enable women to catch a good man. (Interestingly enough, none of these men mention the need to be financially independent as one of the triggers of modern feminism was women being abandoned by the husbands they devoted themselves to, becoming destitute and dealing with the double blow of emotional pain and financial stress.)


Hmph. Something needs to be done about this Thomas Lopez-Pierre. He could do with some feminist rehab. Here are some more choice quotes from the owner of the brothel--I mean, social organization--called the Harlem Club:

"If I cheat on my wife, it is not a reason for her to divorce me…if a wife cheats on her husband, she would be a whore."

Sir, it's not whoring if you do it for free.

“The problem for black women is so bad, we should be grateful that white men are willing to date them......My problem with white men is that they take our best women - let them take some of these women from the projects, the ones with three and four kids!”

What about the ones with five kids? Don't they deserve a white man, too?

And from the 2004 New York Times article, Only the Gorgeous and Smart Need Apply, by Sherri Day:

"I didn't marry my wife because she was a kind, sensitive woman...I married her because she is a complete package. I married her because she takes her butt to the gym, and she keeps it tight for me. I want it all, and I got it all. There are men who want the same."

What a catch. Sign me up for a patronizing "associate" membership!

Ooh, but wait. Lopez-Pierre "[deletes] the e-mail applications of overweight women." Oh well. I don't have to join some New York club. I can be discriminated against by men in my own state, thank you very much.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Figuring It Out, by N.S.B.


Now that I have this newfound attention, I should do something positive with it. Hence, this post. All y'all that may have a problem with me and my debating style, please do not take your anger out on my friend and her book. I have actually read this book, so I am qualified to review it.

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“That’s what this project was and is – an attempt to expose that inner monologue. I hope that by my doing so, others like me will find a kind of companionship – in knowing that other people have thought the same things, and in knowing that people continue to struggle, because this is an individual’s struggle. For me, this was the hardest part because I felt like I was alone.”


Figuring It Out tells the true story of a young woman admitting to herself, and eventually to her friends—and her boyfriends—that she is a lesbian. The collection of journal entries spans 1997 to 2006, from N’s high school day to her post-college life. I knew the author before she came out, I still know her now, and I am proud of this, her first foray into the literary world. Figuring It Out is kind of like a full-length version of one of the stories in Am I Blue?, which I also own.


My favorite parts in the book were N’s interactions with her family, including her emotionally abusive father. There’s this one scene where he chastises her for using separate glasses for her orange juice and her water, instead of finishing the cup of orange juice, rinsing it out, and reusing it for her water. Crazy.


I also liked the chapter about her former addiction to Paxil. Although I did feel a bit guilty when she described a bad withdrawal trip she’d had, because it had been made worse by the alcohol in the Caribbean Rum Balls I had given her that Christmas. Oops.


Some of the passages did seem repetitive, probably because she felt the same thoughts at multiple times in her life. Also, I would have liked more of a narrative structure to link the passages, as well as what else was going on in her life at the time. It would have been interesting to see N’s tale of coming out in the context of her college experience and in her various workplaces.


Even though I’ve been straight since I was two—though I didn’t realize this until I was 14, when I found out there were other options—I really related to many aspects of Figuring It Out. I identified with N’s conscious introspection, her frustration with a society that doesn’t necessarily accept or understand who she is, her desire to find friends who get what she is going through, and her dreams of finding someone to love who will love her back.


By the by, I read most of this book during jury duty. It was a lovely way to spend my time as I made my (federally mandated) contribution to the American justice system. There could be a humorously ironic observation to be made about the fact that the American justice system does not give the LGBT community the same rights as us straights, but I’ll let you readers make that joke on your own.


I’m not assuming all of you are straight, either. And if you’re not, that’s yet another reason why you should support this book. But I'm still not watching Soul Plane.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Insert Scream Here.


Yet another blog has linked to my blog without my asking! Hooray for me! You can live the excitement in the Knocked Up review at Pajiba. Apparently I made the argument that "the underlying conservative message of Knocked Up necessarily [has] to be hostile toward feminism." I was mostly trying to make a clever comparison between the respective stars of Undeclared and My Father The Hero. But yeah. Those darned conservatives wreaking havoc on feminism. Sure...Whatever gets you readers to leave a comment.

I'm so cool! Plus, someone called me "an idiot" in the remarks that followed. Wow!