Monday, July 30, 2007

A Case of the Mondays



As you readers may recall, earlier this month I had a tête-à-tête with mon amie Stephanie about how my life would be different if I were a nice white lady. I had considered doing an experiment to prove my point. But after today, no need. This morning I learned that one of my college classmates--same year, same School of Film and Television--is now three rungs higher than I am on the entertainment industry ladder. She left a company that won't even interview me, and moved to a new company where she got a promotion to a position that I should have been working in two years ago. The differences between myself and my classmate? I graduated with Honors, multiple academic and extracurricular awards, and a business minor, whereas she is tiny, white and (dyed) blonde.

You know where to send my (nonalcoholic) wine and roses, Stephanie.

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In other news that made me frown, this article greeted me this morning on the Yahoo! front page: Ten New Etiquette Tips for the Workplace, by Penelope Trunk. Yes, that Penelope Trunk. I agreed with Number 4, "Say no to video résumés." The rest of them were...ludicrous. I have excerpted the following for brevity and humor; for the complete article, you can click on the link above.


2. Don't ask for time off, just take it.

When you need to leave work for a few hours or a few days, you don't need to ask for permission -- you're an adult, after all...



3. Keep your headphones on at work.

If you use social media tools, you're probably good at connecting with people and navigating office politics -- good enough that spending all day at work with headphones on won't hinder you...



5. Invite your CEO to be a friend on Facebook.

...there's a good chance that your CEO is registered, and it's likely that she'll really want to hear from you about what to do on Facebook, since she surely has no clue.


9. Call people on the weekend for work.

...The people who grew up being super-connected don't differentiate between the workweek and the weekend, so they don't mind working over the weekend on bits and pieces leftover from the week...

...If your coworkers don't like being called on the weekend, they can tell you. But remind them that a flexible work schedule lets you put relationships first all the time, and a work schedule that cordons off five days a week for work and two days a week for a personal life means that the personal life takes a backseat every week of the year.

The best way to get a life is to stop being so rigid about the distinction between time for work and time for life.


For more unintentional humor, Ms. Trunk also wrote Why We Should Be Grateful for Gen Y earlier this month. As usual, my jollies came from the comments (ellipses and misspellings theirs):

from hatesstupidarticles:

"Who is this lady? Does she write these articles because she has a hard time at work or does she really go around calling people gen x and gen y. News flash... 15 year olds call each other gen x.... I got a great idea, why dont people just go to work, do what they need to do, then go home and in return you get a paycheck.. I just summed up this ladies article in a few sentences. Can her yahoo...."



from Kharlo T:

"Obviously, this article must be a joke. Don't ask for time off, just take it...Invite you're CEO to be a friend on Facebook...Call people on the weekend to work. What was smoked before writing here? I would clearly not hire the author as a consultant to improve employee SAT. The organization would loose billions and loss productivity of just trying to figure out where all the employees have gone. Oh yeah, I must have missed out because I haven't included them on my Facebook. DUH!"


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Happier news. After the comments that I wrote on Friday at this post about Mad Men at the TIME magazine Tuned In blog never appeared, I thought that the Time Warner family had it in for me. Apparently it wasn't personal, and James Poniewozik does not have a vendetta against me and my kind; some bug on the website registered my comments as spam. Also, Mr. P then responded to what I had written about the show. This experience has taught me that it does pay to ask about what happened when you were wronged. A similar situation happened to me with Dan and the Willamette Weekly. I got all paranoid then, too. But it turned out okay. Now I get to add a new site I like. Welcome, Tuned In!

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Next happy. Things I Had to Try Really Hard Not to Say When I Found Myself Standing Next To Jenna Fischer at a Bookstore, by pamie on pamie.com.

1. "Oh, my gosh! You're Pam! And I'm Pam! I mean, I'm really Pam, and you're playing Pam, but your Pam is awesome and I'm not fictional."...

...3. "Hey! My name is Pam and I write on a TV show and you play Pam on a TV show...


I tried to explain this meta concept to my friend Chrissy a few months ago. She either didn't get understand what I saying, or she wasn't that impressed by the realization that every other TWoPer had already come to when The Office premiered in 2005.

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More happy. Man Band, man! by Irwin Handleman on From Studio Twelve A.

...I did not see the commercial for "Mission: Man Band" until last night, but boy am I glad I finally did. I could not be more excited about this show...

...It's Rich Cronin. Who is Rich Cronin? Let me give you a hint: "I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch, I'd take her if I had one wish". Or who could forget the classic couplet: "When you take a sip you buzz like a hornet, Billy Shakespeare wrote a bunch of sonnets!"

That's right, it's the lead "singer" of LFO. They were most likely the low point of the boy band movement. That song was just horrific. It's like "Transformers" is to me now, it makes you question the country you live in. As someone on youtube posted under the "Summer Girls" video, "this is why the world hates white people. I am so ashamed"...


Here's the Television Without Pity take on VH1's latest masterpiece: Mancasting.

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That was my day. How was yours?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My new celebrity crush


Meet Ilan Hall, winner of Top Chef Season 2. He's so dreamy. I wasn't that into him when I was watching his season last year. But after watching Top Chef: Watch What Happens, the inexplicable reunion that is airing during the middle of the third season, I can smell what Ilan is cooking. He was wearing a tuxedo with too-short pants and no socks, which is normally a bad look, as well as too fancy for any show on Bravo. But he looked so cute!

According to the special, Sam (seen below) is the former cheftestant who attracts most of the ladies.


He reminds me of this guy that I once knew. Same look, same distant persona. Not my bag, man.

Before a certain someone asks, yes, Ilan is Jewish; but that's not why I like him. I didn't know he was Jewish until after I started writing this post. I'm sure some of the other guys on Top Chef are Jewish, too, but do you see me labeling them as my new celebrity crush? No, you don't. So stop judging me!

We're back!


Hooray! It's been quite a time. There was the blog situation, of course. Then I got sucked into a dialogue on Pajiba about Maggie Gyllenhaal posing for a overpriced lingerie company. I've talked about this concept before: talented, well-known female actors do not need to take off their clothes for money or additional fame. So you can figure out what my response was to the unfortunate announcement about Ms. G. Then today, my car battery finally died. I had to get my car jump started and then haul my tuchis to the nearest repair place, which was in the Valley, i.e. the hottest place in the LA County. There has been other work related stress, too. And, my big TV is still out at the repair shop for possibly two more weeks.

It has indeed been a time.

With all of these emotions wrapped up inside me, I think it's time for the Krump:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

new post from me

hey hey!

Monday, July 23, 2007

From the Yahoo! front page:


'Potter's' payday: Life's magic as Daniel Radcliffe turns 18.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe gains access to a reported 20 million pounds ($40 million) fortune when he turns 18 [today], but he insists the money won't cast a spell on him.


Happy Birthday to the rest of you, too!

Friday, July 20, 2007

I said this two months ago,



and I used less words to do so.

A Fine Romance, by David Denby, at The New Yorker, via Defamer and Jezebel.


For almost a decade, Hollywood has pulled jokes and romance out of the struggle between male infantilism and female ambition.

"Knocked Up," written and directed by Judd Apatow, is the culminating version of this story...

...The louts in the slacker-striver comedies should probably lose the girl, too, but most of them don’t. Yet what, exactly, are they getting, and why should the women want them?...

...one still wants more out of [Katherine Heigl's character Alison] than the filmmakers are willing to provide. She has a fine fit of hormonal rage, but, like the other heroines in the slacker-striver romances, she isn’t given an idea or a snappy remark or even a sharp perception. All the movies in this genre have been written and directed by men, and it’s as if the filmmakers were saying, "Yes, young men are children now, and women bring home the bacon, but men bring home the soul."

The perilous new direction of the slacker-striver genre reduces the role of women to vehicles. Their only real function is to make the men grow up. That’s why they’re all so earnest and bland—so nice, so good...

...how can [Apatow] not know that the key to making a great romantic comedy is to create heroines equal in wit to men? They don’t have to dress for dinner, but they should challenge the men intellectually and spiritually, rather than simply offering their bodies as a way of dragging the clods out of their adolescent stupor...


I'm not the only person who wrote about this disconnect...in May. Way to stay relevant, New Yorker. What's next? Denby's expose on Bruckheimer's Caribbean oeuvre: "Were pirates always this swishy?"?

For Immediate Release:


PRESIDENT George W. Bush has signed an order enabling the US government to freeze the assets of people who threaten Iraq's stability, the White House announced overnight.


That doesn't apply to you readers, right? Uh-oh...

New Executive Order Stomps on the Fifth Amendment, from gambling911.com (emphases mine).

...By executive order, the Secretary of the Treasury may now seize the property of any person who undermines efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq. The Secretary may make his determination in secret and after the fact...

...The White House will decide if you are in any way “undermining efforts” in Iraq, or related to Iraq or pretty much anything else, the Treasury Department is authorized to seize your money, property, stocks, etc...

...As an example, if it appears that if you, say, donate to a charity that the Bush administration determines, without any proof, is trying to undermine the Iraqi government, all of your assets can be frozen. No due process, do not pass go...

...The scope of the order has raised civil-liberties concerns. "Certainly it is highly constitutionally questionable to empower the government to destroy someone economically without giving notice," says Bruce Fein, a Justice Department official in the Reagan administration. "This is so sweeping it's staggering. I've never seen anything so broad that it expands beyond terrorism, beyond seeking to use violence or the threat of violence to cower or intimidate a population. This covers stabilization in Iraq. I suppose you could issue an executive order about stabilization in Afghanistan as well. And it goes beyond even attempting violence, to cover those who pose 'a significant risk' of violence. Suppose Congress passed a law saying you've committed a crime if there's significant risk that you might commit a crime."...


I thought we had covered the heinous results of enacting such a law in Minority Report.

Here are the actual press releases from the White House website:

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq.

Message to the Congress of the United States Regarding International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Here is the text from the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


You can read further explanations at FindLaw and at Wikipedia.
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For additional aggravating news, I turn your attention to the following stories:

Bush Threatened To Veto Same Military Pay Raise That He Now Uses To Attack Anti-War Critics, from Think Progress.


In his Rose Garden address this morning, President Bush criticized the decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to pull the Defense Authorization bill from consideration, saying the move would deny a pay raise to soldiers serving in Iraq...

...In May, he threatened to veto a House defense spending bill over the exact same 3.5 percent pay increase that he is now touting:

Bush budget officials said the administration "strongly opposes" both the 3.5 percent raise for 2008 and the follow-on increases, calling extra pay increases "unnecessary."...



Executive privilege -- Bush's new twist: President insists his authority trumps all in attorney firings, by Dan Eggen, Amy Goldstein, Washington Post, via The San Francisco Chronicle.


Bush administration officials introduced a bold new assertion of executive authority Thursday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege...


Merlin's beard!

I didn't originally hear about all this from CNN or MSNBC or Fox News (ha!). One could argue that's because I don't watch any of those channels... Anyways. I heard about most of these stories on The Stephanie Miller Show this morning. This morning! If you clicked on the links, you'll see that those White House press releases were dated June 17, 2007, which was three days ago. I'm learning about important national events--nay, Constitutional crises--from a radio show that features the song "You're a Lying Sack of Crap," along with guest appearances by a dirty old man named "Squeezy McFeelPants." I then had to find the articles on websites for gambling and Australians.

To drive home my point about the wretched state of the US mainstream news media, here is the top story on CNN.com front page right now: Waiting for 'Potter's' end.


Midnight can't come soon enough for Harry Potter fans. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the last in the seven-book series, goes on sale at 12:01 a.m. local time. Fans in London braved rain and long lines to find out if the young wizard and his friends vanquish their evil foe.


Here is the story CNN has relegated to tiny print off to the side: Cheney to become president…briefly.


President Bush will undergo a routine colonoscopy Saturday, and will transfer power to Vice President Dick Cheney during the procedure, expected to take about two and a half hours, the chief White House spokesman said.


I like Harry Potter as much as the next 25-year-old. But he's not real! He's not even American! Dick Cheney, a man whose colon is the least of his many health concerns, a man who shot someone's grandpa in the face, is going to (officially) assume control of the United States this weekend. Shouldn't that story take priority over a magical orphan who doesn't exist?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Because I can't stop reading Defamer


here are two more articles of note:

Masi Oka Next Likely Addressee Of Angry Open Letter From Part-Asian Actor Rob Schneider:

...It's not just critics who find themselves offended [by I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry], however: At a TCA week promotional party for NBC's fall slate, Heroes' teleporting office worker Masi Oka disapproved of Rob Schneider's turn as the fake-gay couple's slanty-eyed officiating officer...


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the next thing you know, they'll start asking for company cars:

Competing agencies scoff at CAA's surprisingly progressive program in which it pauses from scorching the bottoms of its assistants' feet with a hot fireplace poker long enough to allow them to pitch projects to clients (which recently resulted in a comedy sale to Imagine superproducer Brian Grazer), fearing that such humane shenanigans could interfere with the call-rollers' development into perfect killing machines.


It's referring to this article in The Hollywood Reporter: Assistants' pitches throw biz a curve, by Borys Kit and Tatiana Siegel.

Last month, Ben Dey, an assistant working in the mailroom at CAA, leaped several rungs on the Hollywood ladder by successfully pitching an idea for a comedy to producer Brian Grazer. The sale came about because the Imagine Entertainment executive visits CAA once a year for a lunchtime meeting in which he entertains assistants' pitches...

...At a number of agencies, employees are wondering why Grazer doesn't come to them for pitches or why their workplace doesn't have anything like the CAA program. Still other agencies question the wisdom of letting assistants pitch to producers and studios, in effect allowing call rollers and mailroom clerks to compete with its writer clients...


My favorite comment on Defamer comes from Nick R:

Ah, it's still hysterical to see "agent trainee programs" referred to so un-ironically. I wonder if that's how they roped people into chamber-pot service back in the middle ages. "Hey, would you like to get paid a few cents to dump out a rich person's sh-- I mean, would you be interested in joining our King Trainee Program?"

Reading is fun-damental!

Today's articles of note:


ESPN's Secret Interoffice Complaint Memorandum, filed under "please give me back my stapler" at Deadspin, via Pajiba and YesButNoButYes.


The managers [at ESPN Headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut] in order to better maintain positive employee relations, host occasional "Town Meetings," in which the rank-and-file question their department heads about all the usual matters that come up in an office. It's our pleasure to have come across a complete transcript of an inter-office memorandum from John Skipper himself, answering all the different gripes from the ESPN staff...


Here are my favorite inquiries and their sad middle management responses (emphases mine):


Question:

I have requested the idea of having a speed bag set-up in the health & fitness center. My response to the question when presented to some of the staff members is "no room for it" or "people don't really know how to use a speed bag properly." I fully am aware of the space issue but anyone can learn how to use one. But I'm still not sold on the belief that space is the issue. Proper planning of the layout for one would allow for such a piece of equipment to be implemented to the facility, (basically, re-arrange some equipment and voila!)

Answer:

We are currently assessing whether or not a speed bag would be a piece of equipment that our members would utilize. It is a piece that is occasionally requested, but not often. Space is certainly an issue with regard to where and how the speed bag would be mounted without causing traffic flow issues or potential injury to members. We will certainly keep this request on the table for future consideration.


Question:

I know that it is human nature to find fault and seldom praise staff members. Everyone knows this is counter-productive. I would like to see improvements here. Do you agree everyone should be praised when they do a good job? Catch people doing something right?

Answer:

Recognition and praise for a job well done is always in order. If you see opportunities for us to do so, be sure to bring it to the attention of your manager.


Question:

Can employees keep the trees that ESPN throws away when doing new construction?

Answer:

No, employees cannot keep the trees. ESPN analyzes all trees and shrubs that are scheduled to be displaced. Once it is determined which trees and shrubs can survive the move we have them bagged, tagged and relocated. Anything left is then the possession of the contractor. Many of the trees and shrubs at the cafe project have been transplanted at Building 4 and other locations on the campus.


I guess the jocks are suffering through Corporate America just like the rest of us.

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With outrage over Isaiah Washington's unexpected casting in Bionic Woman fading, a new, and dare we say much more interesting, controversy is materializing at the TCAs over Kid Nation, CBS's attempt to inject some much-needed Lord of the Flies-style fun into their Fall schedule. Earlier, TV Week reported on how the producers took advantage of subsequently tightened loopholes in New Mexico's child labor laws and classified the production as a "summer camp" (summer camps, after all, are totally fun, and not at all child-exploiting places of employment) to get the show done...


I'm signing up my unborn children for Labor Camp, er, Kid Nation, right now!

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Feeling way too white, by Emily L. Hauser at The Christian Science Monitor via Racialicious.

I'm white and live in Oak Park, Ill., a surprisingly multicultural, upper-middle-class suburb of Chicago. The street I crossed separates my town from the city neighborhood of Austin, an almost entirely black part of Chicago. Though I often traverse it by car, I never have on foot. One day, I thought: Huh. Why not?...

...Yet as I stepped over the curb, I became excruciatingly aware of my skin color, and my heart pounded with social anxiety. In going around a single block, I got stares. Mine was the only white face around, and for five minutes, five blocks from my home, I was a stranger in a strange land.

Of course, I'm that kind of white American for whom this shouldn't be true. I grew up in the 1970s, singing "We Shall Overcome" at school assemblies. I've had black bosses, written about Kwanzaa, and know what Juneteenth is. I even have a black cousin!...


I have a black cousin, too! I wonder if we're related.

New Additions


to the Sites I Like:







Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

StumbleUpon



I was going to write a post about the book pictured above. I decided to read again after the racial angst of the past week. I do like to be right, but I would also like the ability to convince people of my rightness with subtlety and patience. That way, they'll think they came to the conclusion themselves.

Anyhoodle, while I was searching on Google for an image that would fit this smug post--preferably a picture of Ferguson Darling--I came across this page: Fear of the Dark, posted in 2004 by Syd Lexia.


...Nickelodeon [was far superior to The Disney Channel]. Shows like Finders Keepers, where contestants trashed rooms in order to find prizes, catered to what children wanted to see instead of what parents wanted children to see. In the early days, a lot of Nickelodeon's programs were borrowed. Early favorites such as Today's Special and You Can't Do That On Television were imported from Canada, while early cartoons were picked up in
syndication or imported from Japan, England, and even France. These included Looney Tunes, Heathcliff, Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics, Danger Mouse, and Spartakus and the Sun Beneath The Sea. In the early 90s, Nickelodeon had a massive influx of original programming that included Clarissa Explains It All, Welcome Freshmen, Hey Dude, Salute Your Shorts, and the first batch of cartoons produced explicitly for Nickelodeon. While Nickelodeon stuck mostly to cartoons, comedies, and game shows, they were always open to innovation. Nickelodeon decided to try out a horror show called Are You Afraid of the Dark? in 1992. This is the story of its first episode...

It goes on from there. And there are pictures! Yippee skippy.


Update (7/17/2007 2:50pm): In a bizarrely related note, I found this via Pajiba this afternoon: XYZ Affair - All My Friends, on College Humor.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Paul Varghese: My New MySpace friend


If he adds me. He should add me. I'm super cute.

For another perspective on race relations in the US of A, I refer you to Paul's blog post, My Black History Month. It's funny! It also does not involve me losing my patience with my friends after I requested they leave polite comments. So there's a plus.

If I can't deal with someone like Stephanie, who has more in common with me than almost anyone on the planet (who else owns a VHS tape of Dance 'Til Dawn? Who else has heard of it?), how am I going to deal with people like Carson Daly when I become a famous media mogul?

My Harry Potter Review


What was up with Harry's hair?

Why couldn't we see more of the titular Order of the Phoenix?

Where was the rest of the movie?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Note to Readers:


If, while perusing my blog, you spot any typos--including incorrect spelling, confuzzled grammar, malapropisms or spoonerisms--please let me know. Sometimes I'm writing these posts as fast as I can, so that I can finish before my train of thought is interrupted by a coworker or supervisor who needs me to do real work. I don't have a team of magical elves working on Steve the Penguin night and day. It's just me here. So please leave editorial comments, as well as opinionated ones.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Agree to Disagree?


That was a common phrase one of my friends used when we would have different viewpoints on a certain topic. On some nebulous issues, I acquiesced to the request. On other issues, I knew I was right. This is one of those topics.

Before I get to all my other points, the main theme of my feelings on whether my life would be easier if I were white is this: It's not about you. It's about me. I recall my early years at LMU when one of my closest friends, who is white, couldn't understand why there where ethnicity-specific clubs on campus. She felt that they were more divisive than inclusive, because they focused on being black or Chicano/Latino or Asian/Pacific Islander, and in some cases, even more specific than that. She felt excluded because she wasn't any of those things. I tried explaining for years to her--and subsequently to one of her more clueless friends who expressed frustration that he couldn't start a club about white people pride because he'd be called a racist--that these clubs created as a safe space for people who felt marginalized at LMU, a majority white school. I also explained that white people, and other people who didn't share the ethnicity of that specific club, could freely join those organizations. In fact, I spent more than a few occasions at events sponsored by the Han Tao organization, and I wasn't Chinese. Also, the year after I left, the historically Latina sorority on campus voted in a half black-half South Asian woman as their president. The sorority was also probably the most diverse organization on campus, with white, black, Latina, Asian and "other" members, even though they were focused on the Mexican community. Correspondingly, the traditional, i.e. white, Greek organizations had blindingly white brotherhoods and sisterhoods. There were a few Asians, and a handful of Latinas in them, but only three black people total in them when I left.

Looking back, what I should have said to my friend was, "It's not about you." Because it's not. My being a member and an officer in Sistah Friends, a club for and about black women, had nothing to do with my not wanting to hang out with white people or other nonblack people. Or with men, for that matter. It had to do with my wanting to associate with other women who understood what I was going through. I still have that need now, but no club. I shouldn't have had to defend that concept to someone who could hang around people who looked like her wherever she went on campus. I had the double whammy of being a film student in the Honors Program, as if those two populations weren't exclusive enough in themselves. In most of the classes that I was required to take, I was not just the only black woman; I was the only black person. And sometimes, I was the only nonwhite person in the room. Additionally, most of my teachers were white, and most, if not all, of the people whose worked we discussed in our classes were white as well. Books, movies, videos, performances, plays, essays, publications, almost all created by white people.

I didn't really notice this, or care, at the time. I was enjoying myself and my classes and my classmates and my friends too much. But now I'm really getting upset about it. Because this is the time that having more black friends would be handy, so they could back me up. However, I don't have them. So I alone get the honor of explaining to people that I really like, that, despite their delusions, we don't exist on level playing fields. I know what it's like to be white. I can open up any mainstream newspaper, book or magazine, or turn on any television channel, and learn about the white American experience. I have been doing so since the day I was born. But if you are white, unless you make a conscious effort to do so, you cannot easily understand the black experience, much less expect that your point of view on certain topics is a fully informed one. I have been actively studying the overlapping issues of race, gender, class, ethnicity and nationality for the past eight years. So I usually know of what I speak, more so than someone who hasn't been studying these issues, because they have had no prior need to.

To think that California people are more open-minded than...I'm not sure than whom...could be considered naive at best, and clinically insane at worst. I can't find the stories that I wanted to link to. But there are two instances that clearly stick out in my mind as evidence that some of my fellow Californians need to wake up. Most recently, there was the immigration protest downtown at which the LAPD was shooting rubber bullets at law-abiding individuals, including families with infants and other children. Then there was that shooting in 2004(?) where the LAPD shot and killed an unarmed 13-year-old boy who was sitting in a car. The families with children were mostly Latino. The boy was black. One of the reasons I can't find these stories easily is because they didn't garner much national media attention. I think there was a white woman missing that day. And every other day in the news cycle. I have yet to see a Missing Asian Woman story ever.

Back to the actual topic at hand. I like The Cosby Show. I think Denise is an aimless flake, though. How could she marry some guy in Africa and adopt his kid without telling her parents? My favorite character is Vanessa. She's funny. I also love A Different World. That was an amazing show for so many reasons. But those are just two series by the same guy. Even though The Fresh Prince and The Cosby Show currently run ad nauseum on numerous networks, how many (quality) series with nonwhite casts have aired since their original cancellations? How many of these series lasted more than a season? And where would such shows go now that UPN is gone? More to the point, tell me how many shows are on right now that have almost exclusively white casts. Then tell me honestly that the systematic exclusion of almost any face darker that a brown paper bag on TV doesn't have an effect on society in general, and on me in particular. There are still "journalists" in our mostly white news media that can't get over the fact that Barack Obama is black. To them, there is no other reason that people wouldn't vote for him. Just like the only reason people won't vote for Hillary Clinton is that she's a woman. Oh wait, no, that's not the only reason. Duh. But these "journalists" can't get past his color or her vagina. In the film arena, it's getting just as bad. During the previews before Harry Potter today, the only nonwhite face I saw in the five movie trailers was Ludacris, who was playing a greenscreened elf in Fred Claus. I thought the failure of Little Man had ended that ridiculous film technique.

I understand that there are many people out there who have problems finding relationships, regardless of age, gender or color. I have met some of these people. I empathize with their plight. I am not saying that they should have no problem making friends or finding life partners if they are white. I'm saying that if I were white, it would be easier for me. It would also be easier for me to be employed in the job that I want to do. I don't understand how people can't get this. We live in a country that was founded by white men slaughtering Native Americans, enslaving Africans, and then forcing Japanese-Americans--many of whom were born in this country--into internment camps. A country that until 1967 outlawed miscegenation, and pretended that these quadroons and octoroons had previously come out of nowhere. (I found some links. Hooray!) A country that still practices racial profiling, even more so now in airports and immigration situations under the guise of "national security." Yet I'm supposed to overcome all of that institutional hatred, and find a friend, a boyfriend and an employer who won't notice that I happen to be black. Okay, I'll get right on that.

Readers, please don't think that I am saying all this because I'm arrogant and I think that I'm smarter than all of you. Obviously I'm not, because I still can't figure out how to change the color of my blog from pink to purple. I continue to love you all dearly, even if you can't fully understand where I'm coming from. For more insight into this messy topic, I refer you all to The Race Card: Ethnicity on TV on the TWoP Forums, and to this Racialicious article: Craigslist Personals: Desperately Seeking Diversity Training.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Crazy, crazy, crazy


Now that I've alienated most of my friends and readers with rantings about not wanting to be white, I direct you all to some stories that have given me pause today.

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via Racialicious: 'I love my mixed race baby - but why does she feel so alien?' by Lowri Turner at the Daily Mail.

I am white and I have two sons from my first marriage who are both milky complexioned and golden haired. My twin sister, who I spend a lot of time with, has a Danish partner. As a consequence, she has two boys who are also pale skinned and flaxen haired.

Into this positively Scandinavian next generation, I have now injected a tiny, dark-skinned, dark-haired girl. To say she stands out is an understatement.

My colouring and that of my children has never really been an issue before. However, three years ago I met the man who became my second husband and who is the father of my daughter.

Although born in the UK, his parents came from India in the Sixties. This makes him British-Asian and our daughter mixed race...

...when I turn to the mirror in my bedroom to admire us together, I am shocked. She seems so alien. With her long, dark eyelashes and shiny, dark brown hair, she doesn't look anything like me.

I know that concentrating on how my daughter looks is shallow. She is a person in her own right, not an accessory to me. But still, I can't shake off the feeling of unease.

I didn't realise how much her looking different would matter and, on a rational level, I know it shouldn't. But it does.

Evolution demands that we have children to pass on our genes, hence the sense of pride and validation we get when we see our features reappearing in the next generation.

With my daughter, I don't have that...

...As for myself, there is an inescapable status issue to address. White women who have non-white children are stigmatised as 'Tracy Towerblocks' living on benefits, most of which they spend on lager and fags.

Even if I don't fit this profile, my daughter's difference definitely points out the fact that my children come from two different fathers.

If I wanted to pass us off as a nice, neat nuclear family, she would blow my cover at once...

...I didn't think about any of this before I got pregnant. I wanted to have a baby. Her colour and culture were immaterial then.

But self-flagellation is not useful. I have more pressing concerns. I am now the mother of a 'black' child, even if she is more the hue of weak tea than espresso...

...No more Brady Bunch kids for me. The midwife has been proved right and every day my baby's eyes get a little darker.

Even so, when she looks up at me as I feed her, my heart melts. My love may not be colour blind, but hers is, and that is truly humbling.

Lord Harry the Judge. I read this earlier today and got upset because this woman should have thought about what raising a "dual heritage" child would be like before she decided to get pregnant again. Now I'm upset for a different reason. After reading the article for the third time, I realized that her concern isn't about providing a sufficiently cultural upbringing for her kid, even though she is a different color. This woman's main concern was how not having an all-white family will reflect on her. God forbid some stranger recognize that her children "come from two different fathers." Someone needs to smack this woman (figuratively) upside her head. I don't know who "Tracy Towerblocks" is, but I wonder if Turner's "British-Asian" husband knows that her love for their "black"(what?!) child "may not be colour blind."

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Friday gross-out, by Ann at Feministing, which led to Members Only, by Angela Valdez, at the Washington City Paper.

Late Night Shots caters to Washington’s hard-partying preppy crowd. Think of a new generation of young Republicans getting trashed at St. Elmo’s, hooking up, then writing about it at 3 in the morning. The bar-scene-themed Web site launched in late spring 2006 and has since branched out to four other cities. But it’s nowhere near as popular anywhere else as it is here in D.C. Founder Reed Landry, a prep-school boy from McLean, Va., claims he has 14,500 members and that a third of them visit the site every day...

...LNS operates like MySpace and Facebook, but with a heavy emphasis on booze. To get an invite to the site, you need a connection among the clientele of a few select Georgetown night spots. Users have “drinking buddies” instead of “friends” and must list their favorite bars and restaurants. There are fill-in-the-blanks for your sorority or fraternity, your golf handicap, and your country club. The online profiles show a population dominated by good- looking blondes and smirking guys with athlete’s shoulders. They attended the University of Virginia, as did Landry, UNC, and a smattering of pretty-good-but-not-Ivy schools in the South and Mid-Atlantic. Under the space for employer, they list investment and lobby firms and jobs on the Hill...

...Forum posters have made light of date rape, bashed brunettes, and compared notes on handouts from Mummy and Daddy...

..."People who dress like they just got off a Cancun party boat," [says Davis Berg, a 27-year-old UNC grad], referring to the dreaded turbo [a term suggestive of a Long Island mall boy with gobs of gel in his hair and maybe a puka shell necklace], "are not the type of people I want to associate with, especially as I transition into full adulthood."...

...A poster named "rocketscientist" recently asked which careers were considered most suitable for marriage-minded young women. The recommendations were predictable—interior design, teaching, development—fields dominated by the most popular young women on the site.

Hee hee! I thought Born Rich was bad. LNS just seems stupid. The comments that follow are priceless. Here's Wonkette's analysis: The City Paper/LNS Fallout. One of the LNSers used the obnoxiously ironic handle "Sally Hemmings" to leave comments like this:

Let the record show that I was at the party where Angela Valdez was blackout drunk---overly intoxicated and spilling drinks on people at the LNS party she so casually mentions. I am shocked that she has chosen to libel all parties involved, especially in the age of google when these persons, who did not want to speak with her, literally will lose jobs because of this... much less over words they did not speak. Interesting that when you google her name, she has plagiarized another writer's work. The most offensive part of this article is that nearly everyone she came into contact with treated her extremely well. This is the most unprofessional piece of writing I have read in a long time. She is a pathetic, unethical, and unprofessional person who should locked up in a jail cell with other duplicitious, no-talented clowns who propagate falsehoods.

and this (bold emphasis mine):

I didn't know that it was ok to drink on the job. Reed Landry is an outstanding individual who runs a serious business, which you have libeled. I am amazed that you still have a job after this "article". I watched you interview one of the Ofori guys with racist, leading questions. And he NEVER told you that you were cute. This whole story is preposterous.

In response, TechLackey wrote

That Sally sure is mouthy for a slave.

So inappropriately funny! As is this: This Modern World: Young Republicans want to help!

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From hit-or-miss blog Jezebel (sister to Defamer), All Dolled Up With No Place To Go (NSFW):

About 10 years ago, HBO's Real Sex series introduced us to Real Dolls, incredibly detailed, finely crafted lifelike dolls made of fleshy silicone rubber. At the time, they just seemed like extravagant sex toys (really extravagant--they're about $6500 a pop), but a decade later, it turns out that these dolls have become so much more than cum-holes to the owners that use them. For many lonely, socially-challenged guys, Real Dolls are the companions that we (real women) could never possibly be--mainly because, well, we wouldn't fucking want to. The British documentary Guys and Dolls (which we heard about via this post) gives us a peak into the world of make-believe that these men have constructed to battle loneliness.

I barely made it through the 5 minute, 43 second clip on Jezebel. See if you can make it through almost 47 minutes of this on Feministing: Real Dolls, real creepy.

I should share this with everyone!


In response to Stephanie's comment, I have decided to put my self-pitying musings on the front page instead of in the comments section, so all of you can read them, too:

Thank you for asking politely, Stephanie! Please ask more questions if you have them.

First of all, I think you're adorable! I'm sure guys do, too. Although good ones are hard to find.

In response to your request for claims, I think that the friends, boyfriend and career things are all related. I'm a super cool girl, yes, with lots of intelligence and talent. But most people only see that after they get to know me. At LMU and in LA in general, there are a lot of people who have never had a black friend or known a black person at all. These people aren't all white, either. Nor are they all inherently prejudiced or discriminatory. However, it does make things difficult when you're interacting with people who don't see black people as "normal people," but instead as "black people." Most people in general don't like to leave their comfort zone, and if those people's comfort zone never included black people, then that makes it harder for me to become a part of it.

That kind of explains the friends part, in that people make friends with people they think they have something in common with or have some connection with. And if you've grown up without any people of a different color around you, which many of my classmates at LMU had done, then you are less likely to reach out to someone of a different color, no matter how much you obviously have in common otherwise. Especially if most of the images you have seen of people with the same color as that person are negative ones.

The boyfriend thing is similar, but more complex. Most of my female friends from LMU, regardless of color, aren't dating anyone at the moment. For the most part, they also didn't date anyone at LMU. That is due in large part to the campus becoming a 60/40 school, meaning 60% female and 40% male. Additionally, I was part of the 8% "African-American" population, which 70-80% female; that disproportion only increases the further I was also part of the Honors Program. In the Honors class of 2003, I made up the entire black population. The same ratio applied throughout the rest of the Honors Program as well.

With all of those statistics in mind, I was then supposed to find a straight guy who wasn't paired up with someone already, who wouldn't be intimidated by my drive and intelligence, and who had no problem most likely being in a interracial relationship...with a black person. Despite the progress that has been made in America in the past century, most guys don't see themselves ending up with a black woman, even if they themselves are black. White women--especially impossibly attractive yet emaciated--are still seen (or shown) as the ultimate prize. I don't remember any black princesses being saved at the end of Super Mario Bros. I don't think I've seen any nonwhite women on the cover of any bridal magazines. The stigma of dark skin has been ingrained into societies around the world by centuries of white European imperialism. There are still black families in America that frown upon letting someone too dark into the blood line. Marrying a white woman in our culture, regardless of that woman's financial status, is seen as marrying up, especially if the man marrying her is not white. Marrying a black woman, even she ran a Fortune 500 company and came with a hefty trust fund, is usually seen as marrying down. There is so much negative media about black women that I don't think many nonblack American families are that eager to welcome them in.

The career thing. It's not like there's a bunch of black women running the entertainment industry. It's about who you know, and who looks like you. Ergo...

I'm not saying every person I know--or every person I don't know-- acts like this, or is a closet racist plotting to keep me down. I'm saying that white people are seen as "normal" in the USA. Our media continues to propagate that myth in our country and around the world. The people who have controlled the United States and Europe have been spreading that myth for hundreds, if not thousands, of years now. It's incredibly hard for me to fight against the many stereotypes that have been created to keep me down. To some people--not to all people, and probably not to those who have met me--I will continue to be a welfare cheating crack whore with a bunch of baby daddies who enjoys loud rap music involving expletives that Russell Simmons has now denounced after building his hip-hop empire on them. I have never been the girl featured in the movies of the 80s and 90s that those people grew up with. I don't resemble the girl they fell in love with on the TV shows of their childhood. To those people, I am either a scourge on society, or I don't exist.

If I were white, finding a friend, a potential life mate, or an employer, would be much easier. Most people make snap decisions based on the first thing they see. And the first thing many people see is "race", especially if that "race" is black. If that race were white, most people wouldn't see anything at all. They would just see how loveable I am. :) But they might not like my chunkiness. :(
Anyway, that's another post, another time!

Please leave more comments! Politely! Also, Stephanie would like some wine and roses. You can contact her for preferred method of delivery.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'm a normal person.



From Sepia Mutiny, Dearest Pecola, I Want to Weep, by anna, found after reading her more current musing, PostSecret isn't always tragic. As one might expect, a whole heap of comments followed that post.

I have never wanted to be white. During my lifetime, I have wanted lots of physical changes in my body, including longer hair, more manageable hair, browner hair, a smaller nose, less "insulation", smaller feet, less dermatological issues, no allergies, less susceptibility to colds. However, most of those desires were based on wanting to be more like the people around me, who, during my St. Thomas years, were mostly black. That was normal to me then. Being white was not quite the socially-instituted default position that it is here on the US mainland. Growing up in St. Thomas, it was just another color to me, not something to either envy or despise.

I have complained on here and in real life about many situations that would have ended differently or would never have occurred at all if I were white. Many of those same situations also would not have occured if I were male. And if I were a white male...well, then there would be no need for this blog.

If--holding every other defining factor in my life constant--I were white, things would be a lot different in my life. I can't fathom the difference it would have made in my growing up, because that would my a time-space continuum, Back to the Future study of epic proportions. I do know that my college life and post-collegiate career would have been different in at least three ways:

1. I would have had more friends (though their quality would be debatable).

2. I would probably have dated someone, or multiple people by now (again, of debatable quality).

3. I would be infinitely more successful in my career (and possibly be equally disappointed in it, if not more so).

I know life would have been easier for me over the past eight years if I were a white woman with the same instinct and abilities that I have now. I probably would have gotten most of the stuff I have wanted and have worked hard for in my professional and personal life. If any of you would like further explanation of my unsubstantianted claim, please ask politely.

Having said all of that, I again state that I have never wanted to be white. Not that being white is a bad thing. Although, considering the track record of white people over the course of recorded history, with all the conquering, enslavement, and exploitation of peoples on six continents, I understand the hesitation towards lumping yourself in with pale people at large.

As Daria said in the first episode of her eponymous series, "I don't have low self-esteem...I have low esteem for everyone else." I don't dislike myself for not being white. I dislike other people who treat me like I'm different because I have a skin with a high melanin content, naturally kinky hair and a relatively wide nose. I dislike people making assumptions about me based on some woman they saw on The Apprentice. I dislike that this is the level of discourse about the 2008 Presidential election. I dislike that it took till 2007 to begin even a meager national discourse on misogyny in hip-hop.

But I don't dislike myself, the color of my skin, or the ongoing history of my people. All of my people: women, black people, feminists, pop-culture enthusiasts, entertainers, writers, comedians, Americans, St. Thomians, Angelenos, advocates for social change. All of my people are discounted, disparaged or simply ignored by our white patriarchal, hyper-masculine society. That doesn't mean I should change myself to fit in. It means I should facilitate change in my society, so we can all fit in, and we can all feel normal.

Someone needs to listen to...



...Big Boy in the Morning. Because I do. That's how I know Defamer should check its facts before re-reporting stories:

K-Fed Learns From Britney Mistakes, Targets Baby Momma With Active Income And Radio Connections.


Kevin Federline, proud possessor of some of the most potent baby-batter in all of pimpdom, has pulled no punches in trying to negotiate custody of his children away from their increasingly unhinged mother, who will now only communicate through angry couplets scribbled into a spiral notebook and cryptic messages on her website. The National Enquirer, meanwhile, reports the "PopoZão" singer may have already found his next baby momma:

[Jeannette Walls of MSNBC reports] "The aspiring rocker has been dating Los Angeles hip-hop radio personality Liz Hernandez, according to the National Enquirer."

However, the main topic in Big Boy's Neighborhood this morning was how Liz clearly is not dating Kevin Federline. The Liz and K-Fed story is being reported all over the world, but according to Liz, it's false. Supposedly Liz recently started dating some non-famous guy whom Big and the Neighborhood refer to as "Sebastian LaFontaine" on the air, so as not to reveal his true identity. Liz and Big and Jeff and Tattoo were feeling all guilty, because they knew they have regularly reported celebrity rumors as facts before, just like the rest of the media is now doing with Liz.

In Defamer's defense, the story was originally reported by the news organization who has employed Joe Scarborough, Tucker Carlson, and Don Imus: MSNBC. And MSNBC's main source was The National Enquirer. Hmm.

This turn of events has inspired me to create my own unsubstantiated celebrity rumor. Which sketchy, recently separated "artist" with multiple baby mommas should I attach myself to?

Also, because these amused me: Separated By The L Word and Separated By Gay Hair, from Perez Hilton.

Hey! There's someone I could attach myself to, Kathy Griffin-style. Zac, not Perez, ew. And don't call the cops on me, people: Zac is 19.

I can see the headlines now:

BAD NEWS FOR VANESSA: Z-EF HAS A NEW LOVE.

According to STEVE THE PENGUIN--the premium source for self-righteous snark on pop culture and politics--the star of High School Musical and Hairspray has ended his relationship with fellow teen sensation Vanessa Hudgens, and has been spotted around town with low-profile Hollywood assistant Bianca Erin-Dempsey.

"Zac is definitely thrilled with Bianca," says a source. "He talks about her all the time — how smart she is, how she's marketed herself so well, and how beautiful she is. He's serious about her."

"Bianca is trying to keep [the romance] quiet because she doesn’t want it to get around work, but Zac can’t help but brag about his new worldly girlfriend to his friends and family," the source told STEVE THE PENGUIN. "He has watched every one of Bianca's derivative student films in his home. She likes to watch him cook, and Zac loves that because he could never express his culinary side with Vanessa" says the source, who adds that Erin-Dempsey thinks Efron's contractual obligation to The Disney Channel is "adorable."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"I watch my news."

The following videos make me feel simultaneously better and worse about the US of A:


Barbara Boxer on Iraq 07/10/07
, found on YouTube via The Randi Rhodes Show:



Michael Moore on CNN, found on Popoholic via Pajiba. Click on the link.


Presidential Scholars on Democracy Now!
found on YouTube via Lady Aflame:



What Time Is It? Music Video - High School Musical 2 (HQ) found on YouTube via I See Monsters.



Oh, Bill O'Reilly. Who let this man breed?

Bill O'Reilly Flips Out About Senator Barbara Boxer (Part 2):

I would respect Elisha Cuthbert more...


...if she did actual porn. Oh wait.

I Am Pissed the Fuck Off, Dustin's review of Captivity, on Pajiba. An excerpt:


When [Cuthbert's character Jennifer] rebels — when she tries to escape — she’s put in her place by the “man,” like all women should be, I suppose. She’s drugged. Chased with a bone saw in a heating duct. Drugged again. Buried in sand. Drugged again. Made to choose between blowing a hole in her dog with a shotgun or getting shot in the face with it (she chooses the former, and the dog’s guts explode in her face). And, worst of all, she’s made to ingest a smoothie of blended human parts through a funnel. Just for kicks. Sick motherfucking kicks. And, of course, through it all, there are more damsel-in-despair cries than a goddamn Olive Oyl costume party.


I thought I had been grossed out by the idea of "Rider Strong...fucking a gaping sore in a chick’s upper thigh in Cabin Fever." I thought I had said my peace (piece?) on already famous women accepting unnecessarily degrading roles when Jenna Fischer posed kinda naked for Wired magazine. But this atrocity takes the cake. Other people have also shared their views, so I'll let you all do some reading:

The 'Captivity' Premiere Party: A Delightful Evening of Meticulously Planned Outrageousness, from Defamer.

Because imprisonment is so hot. by Vanessa on Feministing.

Remove the Rating for Captivity, by Jill Soloway on The Huffington Post, which includes a letter by Joss Whedon. Yes, the same Joss Whedon. He's pretty cool. I should watch Serenity/Firefly, and those other shows he did. Then he'd have at least one fan. :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I haven't gone to the movies since...


...last December. I saw Unaccompanied Minors. Wow. That is sad. Even though the movie was terrible, I still had fun with my friend. And I didn't realize it was The Breakfast Club in an airport with junior high kids until said friend told me. Clueless. Now that was a movie.

What's sadder than my seeing Unaccompanied Minors is the lack of quality fare on the big screen nowadays. Besides the fifth Harry Potter movie, I haven't been anticipating the release of any other movie this year. I wanted to see Maxed Out after I read about it on Pajiba and heard about it on Air America. Of course it disappeared from the two theaters it was playing at in the LA area before I could go see it. I still haven't seen SiCKO, but I will eventually.

The problem for me is two-fold. One, I can tell from the trailers that most of the movies with the heaviest marketing campaigns are going to suck in some way. Not necessarily in every way, but on some level, they are going to bug me. I don't have $8.50+ to spend on things that I actually need, like vegetables. I sure don't have $8.50+ to spend on thing luxuries that are almost guaranteed to disappoint.

Two, there are almost no movies being made with women. Obviously there are almost no movies written by women or directed by women. That's not such a shocker, although it does make me sick. But there are practically no movies starring women. There was A Mighty Heart, which I wasn't going to see anyway, even if it didn't star Angelina Jolie in blackface. There is Evening, which makes me want to have my period, start menopause, and vomit from the schmaltzy boredom all at the same time. The rest of the movies that have come out this year, and will come out this summer, mainly have girls, emphasis on girls, as scantily-clad love interests with no character arcs or personalities of their own.

My annoyance has been building of the past few months. Arguably, it has been building since the mid-90s, when I learned that the top-billed actresses of the time--Demi Moore and Julia Roberts--only made $12 million dollars for their blockbuster movies, compared to the $20 million the Toms--Cruise and Hanks--were pulling for theirs. That's 60 percent. What a rip. There are a multitude of arguments to be made justifying both, either, or neither salary amounts, but that's not the point of my post today. My point is, for the past 24 hours, my annoyance has come to a head, as a result of reading the following articles:

Live Free or Die Hard / Rush Hour 3, by Jenn at reappropriate.

Feminist of the day: Emma Watson, by Jessica at Feministing.

Live Free or Die Hard + Transformers, by Walter Chaw at Film Freak Central.

They're women, directors and few, by Mary F. Pols, San Jose Mercury News

When I was growing up, I used to go to movies all the time. Now I go to practically none. That is due to many factors, including a decrease in both disposable income and disposable time. But there are also less movies coming out. And hardly any involving women, much less women my age, or my color, or with my personality. I know there are women, nay people, out there who are just like me, who want to see more women of many ages, colors, ethnicities and dispositions on their screens. I don't need to see yet another movie with schlubby guys getting (often younger) girls who are way out of their league. I don't care how "real" Dustin thinks these people are.

I will see Hairspray, though. Amanda Bynes is funny. I can almost forgive her for She's the Man. Though there is something disconcerting about seeing a movie that's based on a musical that's based on a movie that's younger than I am. What's next? Legally Blonde: The Remix with Hayden PaneraBread? The Lion Kings with Dylan and Cole Sprouse? La Lohan in The Little Mermaid who's totally sober now kinda?
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In sadly humorous news, this made me giggle:

Locks of controversy, by Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe, via Racialicious.

...you probably missed word that Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, the second of Brad and Angie's four children (she's from Ethiopia), may have received a drastic haircut and that this haircut was deeply upsetting for certain stargazers with Internet access.

"I think they shaved the poor kid's head cause they have no clue in how to style her hair. I think they should get a professional African braider to braid her hair," wrote Sexycocoa in a post to the black gossip site Media Take Out. On the same site, Akan5 wrote, "I DON'T TRUST THESE PEOPLE AT ALL. Why cut her hair. WHY! IN THIS COUNTRY people always let the girls' hair grow." That's a representative sample of what wound up on various message boards late last month, from Take Out to E! Online, and in people's inboxes, including mine...

...With more and more black chat lines demanding to know why one little black girl's hair isn't fuller, thicker, or at least more moisturized, a "Save Zahara" campaign may not be far behind.

Hee hee! Maybe we can stage a benefit concert at the Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson estate.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Bush Agenda and a Few Feminists


This morning, I was listening to KTLK AM 1150, as I always do. I heard the super cool Elayne Boosler and Merrill Markoe (sitting in for Stephanie Miller) interviewing Antonia Juhasz, author of The Bu$h Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.

The Bu$h Agenda exposes the Bush Administration's use of corporate globalization policy as a weapon of war. Juhasz uncovers the history and key role of U.S. corporations in the creation of the Bush agenda, focusing on Bechtel, Lockheed Martin, Chevron, and Halliburton. Presenting the Iraq War as the most brutal application of the Bush agenda, Juhasz reveals the "oil time-line" driving the war, and how the administration has fundamentally transformed Iraq's economy, locking in sweeping advantages to its corporate allies – including increased access to Iraq's oil. The administration has expanded its target to the whole Middle East through the U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Area. Juhasz brings to sharp focus the dangerous fallacy that the United States can combat terrorism and spread democracy through its so-called "free trade" policies. Extensively researched and highly engaging, The Bu$h Agenda provides informative analysis revealing the hard truths about where the Bush administration and its corporate allies are leading the modern world—AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT.


Ms. Juhasz's tales were enlightening yet depressing. Just like most of the stuff on Air America.

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Onto happier topics. I was perusing Sepia Mutiny today, since I hadn't visited the site in so long, and I found this post by anna: This is what a Feminist looks like.

Exactly 32.5 years ago, a short man with a fearsome moustache stood at a nursery window, tears in his eyes, pride bordering on arrogance spilling forth via his words.

“See her? The one with the huge eyes? That’s my daughter...She was alert, when she was born. She didn’t cry. She…uh…she takes after me. Strong...Look at the other babies…they are oblivious. They’re nothing compared to her.” He had never been so smug...

...When [my father] heard that another young couple had given birth to their own first child a few days before, he elatedly rushed to their home, which was strangely dark and quiet. He had books in his hand, his books, which he was confident he didn’t need any more, since he had studied them so thoroughly (and made his charts and notes). Perhaps this new Father might appreciate them.

Daddy looked at the doorbell and then thought against ringing it.

“Probably, they are sleeping.”

That would explain the lack of light and absence of joyful if not ear-piercing noise. He knocked, carefully.

The door swung open, revealing a man I won’t call “Uncle”, because I have never met him. He looked haggard. My father would later tell me that the house seemed eerie and that he knew something wasn’t right.

“Hello.”

“I heard you and your wife had a baby. Congratulations!”

The man shook his head.

“Babu called and told me, I was very excited for you—“

“For what?” the man responded.

“For…your child? I just had one as well, it’s wonderful!”

The man looked startled.

“Oh, I am so sorry! We would have come to see—we thought you had a daughter, Babychayan didn’t tell us you and Mollykutty had a SON!”

“What are you talking about? I don’t have a son. I have a daughter. Anna. 8 lbs, 22 inches long and already very intelligent,” he boasted.

“So we were both unlucky, then. I am sorry.” He shook his head at my father sadly. “Can I get you a drink?”

“What do you mean…unlucky?” Daddy was sputtering.

“To have daughters! I told my wife over and over, I only wanted one child and it must be a son. We prayed constantly…and this is what our prayers brought.”

“You are UNHAPPY because you have a girl? Is the child healthy?”

“I don’t know…I assume so…”

“You ASSUME?”

“Well, once they told me it was a girl, I left. I was so upset at our misfortune. All I could think of is, how will I tell my parents this?”

“What the hell is wrong with you? You haven’t even seen your own child? Are you sick?”

“I didn’t even go in to the room, I couldn’t. I don’t want to see it. I left them both there, until I decide what to do. Maybe we will send it home.”

“You are a low, ignorant asshole. If your wife and child are healthy, you should be on your knees thanking God.”

“Who are you to call me such a thing?”

“I’d break your bones, but it’s not worth my effort. You fucking asshole.”

The man shoved my father and Daddy roared. After administering one stinging backhand, he angrily made his way back to our home.


I started crying because I was so touched. If only more girls had fathers like this. And like Manny, too:

[My daughter] is in fact becoming a young woman, and ignoring that fact would only make things worse. Accepting her development into a young woman and all that comes with it is the only way to promote a healthy father daughter relationship.


Sorry, ladies (and gentlemen); he's taken. We'll have to find our own progressive guys to father our children.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy Times!



I was updating the "Bianca Likes these Sites" section of my page today, and I found another unrequested link on Lady Aflame, written by cubicalgirl. Ahh! How cool! Feel free to entertain yourself by visiting her blog and the others found to the right of this post. They are now in alphabetical order.

In semi-related news, I have succumb to my conflicted desire to add irwin's blog to the Sites I Like. I read his blog every day, and I regularly leave comments, so obviously something about irwin amuses me. I still feel dirty, though: he writes for Carlos Mencia! (shudder) Here is an example of the good: The Benefits of Explosive Diarrhea. Here are examples of the stuff that makes me roll my eyes: The Lesbian Question and The McFinale of McGrey's McAnatomy.

I wonder how long it will be till I send irwin to Jon Stewart-ville.