Thursday, November 29, 2007

The music is a bit much

but the message is effective: Who's On The Line by wgaamerica, via Ducky Does TV.

New Additions to the Store!

Let people know how you really feel:


Be proud of who you are:


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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Excitement!



I just opened The Official Steve the Penguin Store at CafePress.com! Featured above is one of the premiere items in the Steve the Penguin collection. It's my favorite shirt so far, but there will be more soon. For now, enjoy the other pieces that are also available:










.

If you see one movie this year,

make it this one:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Who's the third guy again?"



Guess Who Thinks Rape Is Hilarious Now?, by Melissa McEwan at Shakesville, via Feministe.

Maybe this is why I haven't watched a Will Ferrell movie since Talladega Nights.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

How I spent my Thanksgiving plane ride home:



Yes, High School Musical 2 was my inflight entertainment. I was thrilled. I was also probably the only passenger singing along. Who else would be silly enough to stay up watching Zac Efron dance on a tiny beveled television screen?

I still can't believe the flight attendants didn't feed us anything on our five-and-a-half hour flight. Not even a tiny breakfast muffin. My plastic cup of orange juice did not cut it.

Here's what got me through a hefty patch of turbulence:



Corbin Bleu, I've got game. I can show you how I swing, too!
.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"That's some catchy racism!"



The 9 Most Racist Disney Characters, by Ben Joseph at Cracked, via Racialicious.

These old Disney movies are a little bit like your aging Uncle Frank. Honestly, he means well when he points out that Will Smith is "well-spoken." It's just that he, like the assemblage of clips below, dates from a time when people were unfairly characterized by their ethnic background (the acceptable methods are, of course, religion, geography, sexual preference and income) . . .

Commenter trey (and his many like-minded friends) puts us critical-thinkers in our place by pointing out who the real racists are. Emphases mine, typos his:

People like you that can take anything and make it into a racist issue make me sick. Most of these things are just silly and by pointing them out you are being more racist than the person that created them. I think it's racist to say every theif on television should be white because it might offend someone of another ethnicity. It's not like there were only Asian bad guys on chip and dale. There were white ones too but no one ever pointed them out and said they are thieves because they are white. You just said that they were thieves becaise they were Asian. Do you see how your the one being racist? Most of this is just silly like the comment about African Americans not existing in Fantasia. What you would rather Disney leave the racist portion in the movie? You know good and well that you would still be mad. You my friend are racist for pointing out people of different skin colors and talking about their behaviors because of it. You're causing more hurt than help.


Oh trey. If only someone could help people like you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Same problem, different day.


I just had to click on the link on the Defamer home page: Book Report: Teenage Girls Are Seeing Red, on Jezebel.


Last night, there was a reading and party for Red, a collection of essays by teenage girls. So what exactly is going on with teenage girls today? They're pissed! Basically nothing's changed, 'cause we were some angst-y ass teens...


That seems cool, right? Except that every girl and woman featured in the photo gallery on the Jezebel page is white or some kind of light-skinned. Somehow it makes Gossip Girl look like the United Nations. Commenter Newlywed muses:


i guess brown girls don't have any place in pre-pubescent literary works...why isn't there even a token? :(


It's the same sentiment others have expressed during the debut of the book How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time. Well, I can't find them right now, but they were mentioned briefly in the book. Maybe it was in the Summer 2007 issue of Bitch magazine. This halifax_slasher person shares some of my views:


. . . Like all teen magazines, Sassy was forced to provide so-called complementary copy (Ed. note: read this article by Gloria Steinem) for its advertisers, shilling their products in alleged articles. And although Sassy prided itself in getting away from the "bland, blonde" cover models of other teen magazines, its cover models were beautiful skinny girls who were occasionally "ethnic." I suppose in the field of magazines this may seem progressive (considering Cosmo has something like one black cover model every decade or so), but it still teaches us what girls are for . . .


Most the content inside the magazine was also written for, by and about "indie" white people. The magazine wasn't as subversive and rebellious as the editors deluded themselves into believing it was. Similarly, it's great that the book Red is written by teenage girls; but if those girls are all white, and quite possibly all upper-middle class, it's not a progressive movement at all.
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'm still not changing my name.


Buffy the Name-Taker, by Ann at Feministing.

As a fifth anniversary gift to her husband, Freddie Prince, Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar has changed her name to Sarah Michelle Prinze.


"On their anniversary, she showed [Freddie] her new driver's license," the source tells Us. "It was so sweet."

Despite the fact that Gellar Prinze has said she isn't a feminist, I was still pretty surprised by this. Does the concept of giving away your own name as a birthday gift seem a little fucked up to anyone else? It doesn't strike me as weird to change your name of your own accord, even several years into the marriage. But framing it as a "gift" makes it seem like a sacrifice rather than something she wanted to do for herself. Kind of like the difference between "I got a boob job because I wanted one" and "I got a boob job for my husband's birthday."


From the comments section on Defamer, Bufflekins weighs in on this announcement:


If only Reese Witherspoon had changed her name to Reese Phillippe...perhaps it could have changed so very much. Sigh. Oh well, so much poignant history.


String_Bean_Jen sums up my sentiments in the Feministing comments:


My insides always sag a little when I hear about women changing their surnames to their partners' upon marriage. It is practically the only 'choice' confronting women that I remain absolutely rigid on saying no to when it comes to calling one's self a feminist. I think it is a practice that needs to die and I have yet to hear/read a smart, solid argument about why a woman should or would choose to change her surname to her partner's upon marriage (or in this case, 5 years after marriage), even on this fabulous blog/forum.


And another gem from cherylp:

If it was really free choice, maybe the majority of society would acknowledge that I even have a choice... Yes women have a choice. By law. But in fact, the patriarchy places so much pressure on women to make one particular choice...


You are awesome, antigone. If it was truly a choice, wouldn't people choose things at about the same rate? But they don't, suggesting something else is going on.


This reminds me of the argument I've had a bazillion times about marriage with my mother (I'm not keen on participating). By all means, 'technically' I have a choice about that... but then why do 95% of people still do the same thing? I mean, wouldn't it be like 50/50 if it was a real choice?

But I like clams.


From day ten. by pamie at pamie.com.

...Andy Gordon is the person who taught me what a "clam" is. He taught me by pointing out that I'd written one in my first script that was to be produced for television. He pointed it out by shouting it to everyone in the room.

You see, a clam is not a good thing...

I hadn't meant to put a clam in my first script...an Oprah joke during an Oprah-themed episode of television. That's a lot of Oprah jokes! And some of them got pretty clammy. I'd shorthanded a "What happens with Oprah stays with Oprah" joke that I meant to replace and somehow I forgot, and we're at the first table read in the writers' room, and Andy -- who is normally quite jovial and jokey with me, is all squirming and frowning and making these faces like I'm kicking him in the stomach. And we get to this joke and he shouts out as if he can't contain anything anymore, "Jesus Christ, can we do something about this CLAM on page thirty? It makes me want to KILL MYSELF."

~

Anyway, the other day, while rallying at the rally, a few of us started thinking of clams to write on our signs, to show our solidarity with other hack writers. Alex, Jessi, Rafael, Laura, and later Sara, all contributed to these gems.


"Could I BE any more on strike?"
"Note to self: Striking sucks."
"Hello.... strike."
"Strike is the new Job."
"WE WERE ON A STRIKE!"
"What happens on strike, stays on strike."
"And by 'strike,' I mean asking-for-four-more-cents-on-DVD-residuals and by 'Picket' I mean wanting-a-cut-of-the-revenue-on-Internet-downloads-and-new-media." (our demands are a bit wordy.)
"So we're striking? ....Awkward."
"Wassssstriiiiike!"
"We're literally on strike."


Just a few I remember before we depressed ourselves.


But those clams were funny. In that context. Not as actual jokes on TV. I get the funny because of the irony of how trite the jokes are. My humor is an acquired taste, as are the rest of my qualities.

The Day After



I'm currently watching pretty much the scariest movie I could watch, considering the current geopolitical climate. I saw The Day After for the first time during middle school. That was in 1994. During the Clinton administration. There was absolutely nothing to worry about. My classmates and I were watching this movie in our health class thinking about how scary it was back in the 80s to have to worry about the Cold War and nuclear holocaust. And then we moved on to our next class and went about our business.

Even the next year when we had the hurricane, it was bad, but not mushroom cloud bad. Yes, the island did look like a bomb hit it, but we didn't have to worry about breathing the air. Most importantly, in 1995, under the Clinton administration, FEMA was a highly functioning agency. Things got done. People got food, water, blankets.

Amazingly, watching this TV movie about a man-made (emphasis on man) disaster has made me feel better about my dilemmas. I feel patient now. I feel better about my proposed solutions. They aren't the ones I wanted. They aren't the things I planned for. They are what I have to deal with now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm miserable

for many reasons, including the previous post on Windows Vista. Here are some more videos to explain this computer problem of mine:




Thursday, November 15, 2007

Here's the problem:


My old printer stopped working with my new computer. Now other stuff that came embedding in the computer have stopped working as well. I thought it was just me and my computer. No. It's not. It took that guy from Dodgeball and that guy from The Daily Show to make me realize what the problem is:



It's not like I had a choice of operating systems. Windows Vista is what came with the computer. I don't think Windows XP is even offered on new PCs anymore. I would downgrade to Windows XP on my new computer if I could. This is so annoying. I don't care if Bill Gates is helping poor people across the world. Right now, he is making my life miserable.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Either Chinese, or some black dude – who can remember?"


This article has caused quite the controversy on Racialicious and many other blogs. It's a blogoversy. Someone write that down!


The Real Thing
, by Tama Janowitz, New York Times Blog.

My husband Tim and I adopted our daughter Willow, who is now 12, from China when she was 9 months old. We were told by the adoption agency that once the process was complete and the three of us were back home, many people would stop to inquire about our daughter’s Mongolian features or why she did not look like us.

It may be that having a child of a different ethnic background from yourself is more difficult in other parts of the country. And certainly that may lead to problems. But In my neighborhood in Brooklyn I see black women with half-Asian, half-black kids and I see kids with dark skin and blond hair — the mother is white, the father is not. There are Indian fathers and Caucasian mothers with their offspring. There are families with two dads. There are also Hasidic families with ten kids and Muslim women dressed in full burkas who have dressed their daughters the same way.

So here in New York City, we haven’t attracted too much attention.

Well, O.K., sometimes.

It is true when she was a baby, if I took her out on my own, sometimes people did ask me, “Is the father Chinese?” If I said “yes” the usual response was “Good for you!” This puzzled me, so then I just said, “Either Chinese, or some black dude – who can remember?”


Yes, who can remember? Aren't all multiracial-looking babies the products of promiscuity? I know my nephews and nieces are. So are my mixed friends. Their parents obviously had no shame in their game. I'm hilarious!

Here is the passage that most other people are writing about:


A girlfriend who is now on the waiting list for a child from Ethiopia says that the talk of her adoption group is a recently published book in which many Midwestern Asian adoptees now entering their 30s and 40s complain bitterly about being treated as if they did not come from a different cultural background. They feel that this treatment was an attempt to blot out their differences, and because of this, they resent their adoptive parents.

So in a way it is kind of nice to know as a parent of a child, biological or otherwise – whatever you do is going to be wrong. Like I say to Willow: “Well, you know, if you were still in China you would be working in a factory for 14 hours a day with only limited bathroom breaks!”

And she says — as has been said by children since time immemorial — “So what, I don’t care. I would rather do that than be here anyway.”


My favorite response so far comes from Sarah Kim, who reminds me that sharing your story with others is very important, for everyone involved: To Willow Janowitz: You’re not alone….


What made me incredibly sad while reading the post was thinking about the all-too-real pain that the blogger’s daughter, one Willow Janowitz, must be experiencing at being the butt of her high-profile mother’s jokes. Whether or not she has read or will read “The Real Thing” (and whether or not she will read/not read my little blog post here), I would like to say to you, Willow, that you are not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of other adoptees who, like you, have grown up in families where the insatiable need to normalize, to forget, to erase difference drives parents to say such (unintentionally) hurtful things to their children. It is so hard—SO HARD—as a 12-year-old transracially/transnationally adopted child to articulate why we sometimes feel conflicted, confused, and sad. And so sometimes we express this complex whirl of unremembered memories, feelings, and thoughts in reduced phrases—”I hate you.” . . .

So yes, Willow, I agree with your mother in that I do think you should write everything down. Girl, write all of this shit down. So not only can you tell your therapist (there is no shame in therapy!!!), you can tell the other adult adoptees that I hope you will one day meet. Because there are a lot of us. In fact, there is a global community of us. We are out there (even though by reading the NYT one wouldn’t think so), and we have voices, and we support one another. And we would support you . . .

.

It took long enough.


America's war returnees: many troubles but more help, by Gordon Lubold, Christian Science Monitor via Yahoo! News.

Nearly five years into the war in Iraq, the US Army has taken steps to improve the process by which it screens soldiers returning from war.

Many have trouble transitioning from combat dangers to a normal routine at home. But sometimes just identifying the problem is the issue.

The Army has improved its process by adding a second mental-health assessment three to six months after its initial screening, which is completed as soon as a soldier returns from war. This second screening has allowed the Army to unmask troubling trends among its soldiers: a fourfold increase in relationship problems compared with those reported in the first assessment, a surge of major depression among many, and increased alcohol abuse.

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Lost in Translation


For the past week, I have been trying to set up my old printer with my new computer. It has been such a trial, involving phone calls and emails back and forth. But today, after 40 minutes of trial and error with customer representative Rob, my printer finally works with my new computer. Hooray!

At the end of the call, when Rob asked if I had anymore questions, I told him I had one. Since he pronounced his Hs "hey-ch", like Anne Heche, was he from Canada? He said yes, he's from Nova Scotia. But then I worried that he thought I was making fun of him, like the Road Rules Down Under people did to their Canadian roommate who said "a-boot." I was trying to be nice and friendly since he had been so helpful. But sometimes my quirkiness and whimsy can be misunderstood, even by other people who share my nationality. :(

To emphasize my previous laments,



including I'm a normal person., I should share this with everyone!, Agree to Disagree? and Jigaboos & Wannabees, I offer you the following:

Racist Parents Kidnap Daughter and Try to Force Abortion, by Rachel S. at Alas, a blog, via Racialicious and Rachel's Tavern. Emphases mine.


A few days ago I read a story from Rueters (sic) about a couple from Maine, who kidnapped their 19 year old daughter. They forced her into a car, and tried taking her to New York so they could force her to have an abortion. The daughter escaped and called police while she hid in a store in New Hampshire. The parents have been arrested and held on $100,000 bail. After reading the first couple paragraphs of the story, my immediate reaction was, “I wonder if the potential father is black.” However, the initial article reveals very little about the motive. After my initial read, the only motive I could glean was that the parents were mad that the boyfriend was in jail. But, this story didn’t add up to me. So yesterday, one of my students mentioned the story and said that–the kidnapped woman’s boyfriend is a black man, and the daughter told police that racism was a motive in the kidnapping.

Based on my research on interracial relationships, this story actually fits fairly well into the narratives I have seen in many white families where relatives strongly object to interracial relationships. The only thing that surprises me about the story is that the parents attempted to kidnap this woman; the cases I know of personally generally involve less direct coercion. I know of 2 cases (one in my research and one in another sociological study) where parents of a white person in an interracial relationship suggested, encouraged, and promoted abortion to prevent the birth of a biracial child (I am hesitantly using the term biracial because most of the white relatives would say the child is black.). I also know of other cases where people encouraged white mother’s to place a child for adoption because the child’s father was black, and I know of many situations where white families offered bribes and/or withdrew emotional and/or financial support as a way to discourage an interracial relationship or a pregnancy that resulted from such a relationship. In these cases, white relatives feel they are protecting the family’s reputation, and/or they feel that the relative in the interracial relationship is too naive (especially women) to know what she/he is getting into. White relatives who feel this way believe that birth of a biracial child is a permanent marker of an interracial relationship that will hurt their relative’s social standing (white privilege), and to some extent, I’m sure they are right about this. The irony of this is that many white relatives of interracial couples would be the first to say that race doesn’t matter or that whites do not have unearned privileges, but suddenly when it hits close to home, they change their tune . . .


Readers, I'm not saying that you are like the people mentioned in the article. I'm saying that people like that exist and they are plentiful. Therefore, I'm still alone. :(

[Insert tiny violin here.]

For a conflicting twist, the picture above comes from this article:

Not tonight, dear . . . in fact, not ever, by Dr. Pam Spurr at Times Online, via Feministing. Emphases mine.


Having researched my new book, as well as talked to thousands of men and women over the years, I now firmly believe that too many women see the sexual side of their lives as something to be claimed completely and utterly as their own. That’s fine for single women flexing their sexual muscles.

But once they settle into a relationship, many will continue to do so. This doesn’t make sense to me at all – and unfortunately I’m privy to the heartbreak and distress that goes along with this view . . .

At the risk of being called old-fashioned (though I don’t think that old-fashioned should always have negative connotations) and antifeminist, I’d go so far as to say that for both partners sex could be considered a duty, if it is something that one partner knows would make the other happy. Does he really want to go up on the roof to repair a leak on a Sunday afternoon? Does she really want to take out the rubbish in the pouring rain? No, but partners in relationships do such things because they know that it makes the other happy. Sex should be seen in the same light . . .


I can't even enjoy the rarely featured interracial couple in peace; I have worry about my vaginal duties to my nonexistent husband, too.
.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

“Teaching men not to rape”


Politicians and Rape: For Once, Good News, by Jill at Feministe. Emphases mine.

This made my day. Tory leader David Cameron is proposing broad educational and service-based responses to sexual assault:



He pledged longer-term funding for rape crisis centres, to change attitudes towards rape through sex education and announced a Tory review of sentencing.


The government says it has taken action to improve conviction rates.


In a speech at the Conservative Women’s Organisation conference, Mr Cameron said: “Studies have shown that as many as one in two young men believe there are some circumstances when it’s okay to force a woman to have sex.


“To my mind, this is an example of moral collapse.”


He called for “widespread cultural change” and warned that society has become increasingly “sexualised” over the past decade, during which time treating women as sex objects has become viewed as “cool”.


He also called for compulsory sex education in schools to drive home the message that sex without consent is a criminal offence.



. . . Acquaintance rape can be a tricky issue, because “no means no” just doesn’t jibe with all of the other messages that men and women received. The sexual power game puts a lot of women on a tightrope between virgin and whore; there’s pressure to have sex, messages that nice girls say no at least once or twice, imaging of sex as domination, assumptions that women will be the “brakes,” shame in giving an enthusiastic “yes” under certain circumstances. Men see the same thing — and they internalize the idea that “no” might mean “yes,” that women get off on being “ravished” and want men to take complete sexual control, that if a woman is in your bed it means she’s consented to doing pretty much whatever you want, that women exist largely for male pleasure . . .



That's what I'm saying, yo. Women shouldn't be the only ones taking rape prevention classes. It's not like they're raping themselves.

Why should I expect anything less?


Update: Innovative, William Morris Putting Assistants Out On The Streets, from Defamer via The Hollywood Reporter. Emphases mine.

As it turns out, those call-rollers who were told that they'd be sacrificing their overtime pay to help their companies weather the writers strike were the lucky ones, as THR confirms that Innovative Artists has laid off about 10 of its assistants, a move the agency's head says is necessary for the firm's survival while the flow of executive-nourishing commission checks slows to a trickle . . .


"If in my judgment I need to make changes ... (or) cut expense accounts, I'm going to do what every one of my competitors is doing," Innovative owner Scott Harris said. "I need to take measures to survive what could be a very lengthy strike. My priority is to keep this business running." Harris said that he has no plans at this time to lay off any executives but that more assistants will probably be let go.


Oh, Scott Harris. One can only hope that none of the assistants you have harmed in the name of "business" end up being your future boss, a boss that emulates the caring and compassion you have consistently displayed.

Two related articles



Ladies! Meet Available Striking Writers, from today's Defamer via Craigslist.

With a male-to-female ratio nearly as favorable as that of the average nuclear submarine crew, there is perhaps no better place for single women to prowl for companionship than their local WGA picket line . . .


And from the May 9, 2007, issue of Defamer: Hollywood Diversity Shocker: White Guys Still Doing All The Writing, which I grouched about earlier this year.

I knew there was something weird and strangely familiar about all of these strike videos. Okay, so there were three (two and a half?) black men featured in the video above. But they weren't writers. And none of the people speaking from the podium were female. Also, when Dennis Haysbert was on the screen, I kept wondering when he would tell us about Allstate's stand.

I love being told who I am



and what I'm about. Apparently I'm also a white guy. Or at least, that is who is being allowed to speak on "my generation": Millenials on 60 Minutes.

I can't embed their videos because Yahoo! doesn't roll like that. So I posted the YouTube video above from twixters . . . which also seems to be run by a white guy. But I digress. Back to the old people making baseless judgments on me based on my age.

I actually have had this argument in person with someone who is pushing this baloney. Someone who insisted that most people between the ages of 13 and 30 (because I have so much in common with a 13-year-old) are impatient, self-centered, and condescending towards old people. I also read this ridiculous expose in TIME magazine over two years ago: They Just Won't Grow Up. Note the white guy again representing my entire generation.

I suggest these buffoons at TIME and 60 Minutes watch MTV's “True Life: I’m Supporting My Family”, or read a book about the youths, or actually listen to some real people in their 20s talk about how difficult it is to pay back student loans by working a job that pays just over minimum wage in a depressed economy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I Don't Want to Be

any of these losers: AMPTP Dedicated To Feeding Delicious Content To Hungry Screens, from Defamer.





Also, TV Blogs Go Dark in Solidarity with the Writers Guild of America, by Liz at Glowy Box, via Defamer.

On November 13th, this blog and the blogs listed below will be on strike for the day in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America. As fellow writers and as TV fans, we are coming together to express our strong support for the writers and their goals. We believe that when a writer's work makes money for a company, that writer deserves to be paid . . .


You may notice, as TheStarterWife did, that Television Without Pity is conspicuously missing from that list of 17, even though its arguably most famous contributor of yore is a strike captain. As far as I know, the blog, which is now owned by Bravo/NBC Universal/GE/The Sheinhardt Wig Company, has not mentioned the strike once. Last year, before the takeover, I'm pretty sure the strike would have taken up a whole lot of space on the front page, with recappers' hypotheses and Mondo Extra interviews with writers on the front lines. If the TWoP co-founders Tara Ariano and Sarah D. Bunting are really "[maintaining] complete editorial independence, despite now being a tiny division of General Electric", then they are doing a sucky job. Also, the new TV Guide-esque design of the site looks stinky-pooh.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Here is the original:


And here is the terrible upcoming remake:


The original co-stars had an age-differential of nine years. The current co-stars were born twenty years apart. TWENTY. What is that about?

Get Smart
is still one of my favorite shows, and now this abominable new film is ruining it for me. Curse you, Anne Hathaway.

For now, enjoy this original hilarity:


.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"I'm talking about Big Companies, and their Two-Faced Fat Cat Executives."



Because I'm too lazy to write my own Gossip Girl recaps:

"What's with the business formal? Are you being arraigned for something?": Gossip Girl, by Carrie at South Dakota Dark.

You can read my feelings in the comments section that follows.

~

Victor, Victrola, by Jacob at Television Without Pity.


"What if there was this gay serial rapist who accidentally fell in like with his best friend's girlfriend, who was kind of his best actual friend, because they were kind of rapists together, and they got together in the seamiest, creepiest way...but you were cheering them on the whole time, and kind of got teary when they sealed the deal, even though it was presented in weird '90s Nine Inch Nails jumpcuts played against weird '00s emo-punk-rock crap? Like their creepiness cancels each other out and it's kind of...sweet? Like, 'Way to lose your virginity to the gay best friend of your shitty boyfriend'?"

~

‘Gossip Girl’ Exceeds Our Expectations … Again!, from New York Magazine's Daily Intelligencer.


• Okay, so Vanessa sneaks in while Dan and Serena are making out, which brings to bear the question we've been wondering since she first stepped foot through his window. What if he were masturbating?? This is high school, not Clarissa Explains It All; you can't just sneak through a boy's window without warning if you don't want to see some frighteningly awkward hunching maneuvers and a flash of low-grade Internet porn. Minus 5.

• Aha! Only a few minutes later, Vanessa comes in and Dan is looking at porn. Except he's still not masturbating. Not to be vulgar, but in what world would that happen? Minus 5, for willfully and repeatedly ignoring the libido level of a high-school boy. These creatures will hump APPLE PIES, people.


Josh, if you're reading (fingers crossed!), did you write this third one? Because I don't know many bloggers who can work in an effective Clarissa Explains It All reference.

#

My thoughts on this week's 30 Rock:

"A whale is trouble! I have to go." Love love love Al Gore.

"What do you do with the Pop-Tart?!" Ewww. Poor Liz Lemon.

Also, Mr. Pancholy, please get more press so I can link to you in a Joseph Gordon-Levitt manner. You are so funny and talented. You're like a primetime broadcast version of Lloyd.

I didn't realize until right now that David Schwimmer wasn't playing himself. He was playing a previously out of work actor named "Jared." Right.

#

I haven't finished watching The Office yet, but my initial thoughts include these: Jim, everyone likes to have their own special day on their birthday. I know I do. (Winky-wink.) Kate from Jon & Kate + 8 acknowledges this, and she has eight kids who share two birthdays. You only have thirteen employees for an entire year. Plus, party planning is Angela's entire reason for being. Let everyone have their own day and their own cake.

.

"There's No Money To Be Made On The Internet"



Michael Eisner and Jeff Zucker should talk to Oprah:

Oprah Meets YouTube. Who's Bigger?, by James Poniewozik at Tuned In.


Someone evidently informed Oprah Winfrey that there was a medium that she did not yet own a major piece of. And you know what happens when someone tells Oprah that. And so it came to pass that Oprah set up her own YouTube channel.


You'll have to click on the link, because on the Oprah channel, "Embedding [is] disabled by request." Which defeats half the purpose of posting videos on YouTube.
.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My favorite Strike videos today

Found first via Stephanie's Soap Box:

The Office is Closed




Why We Fight



#

Found via pamie.com:

WRITER SPEAKS OUT



#

From Defamer, Defamer Visits The Paramount Picket Line, starring Stanford Blatch and a naturally lovely Rhoda Morgenstern. I can't embed the video, so click on the link.

.

In Rape Today


Eight teen rapists go free after taping their crime, by Jessica at Feministing.

Eight teen boys in Australia were given a slap on the wrist after sexually assaulting a 17 year-old girl, taping the assault, and distributing it as a porn movie.

The girl was filmed performing oral sex on two boys, had her hair set alight, was spat at and urinated on during the incident at a park at Werribee, inMelbourne's outer-west, in June last year.

...A DVD of the attack - which was titled 'C**t the Movie' - was distributed throughout the community, the court heard.


The most poignant comment so far has come from Blitzgal:

You know what stands out the most for me in this case? Six guys in Jena, LA were charged with attempted murder and conspiracy for beating up a guy who was then well enough to go to a school function the same evening. They literally faced decades in prison. Many of them were the same age range as these guys. Just to put it in perspective. Rape simply isn't treated as a serious crime. Period. Bodily assault is treated with more severity.


The problem is that rape is bodily assault. So is setting someone's hair on fire. Rape is not about sexuality. It is about violence and control and humiliation. And in this case, it is about a society that encourages violence against women in particular, and condones depraved, unforgivable behavior by eight individuals who, in a different world, would be justifiably "released."

#

Marital Rape, by Courtney at Feministing.

You all know I have complex feelings about my girl Oprah (evidenced by the title of my book review column), but right now she is doing a great service. I'm watching her show on marital rape and it is both horrifying and such a relief that more national airtime is being devoted to this critical and neglected issue. She just told viewers that 1.5 million American women are raped or sexually abused every year by an intimate partner...


I'm trying to watch the episode now. I get so frustrated and angry when I read these stories and I watch these shows, with these stories of women who stay in relationships with men who abuse them mentally, physically and emotionally. Women who don't recognize the abuse because they married to their abusers. Women who think their wedding vows have deservedly condemned them to a life of misery. Women who put their shattered matrimonial dreams first, and their own well-being last.

There is so much that can be said and has been said on the subjects of rape, sexual assault and abuse. Here are two more sentences:

  • If you have been forced to perform sexual acts against your will, you have been raped.

  • If you have forced someone to perform sexual acts without their consent, you have committed an act of rape.


For a more educated view on the subject, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Dirty Old Women


and a few men too: BWE SLANG: The "Reverse Savage", by Michelle Collins at Best Week Ever, via Stephanie's Soap Box.

The Reverse Savage is a term indicating a child star who was once not that cute, and then grew up to be extremely cute. It derives from the child star Fred Savage, who, as the main character on The Wonder Years, was an extremely crush-worthy youngster with an adorable face. Once grown, however, his youthful features morphed into a sort of unusual adult male face, the result being the man was no longer nearly as adorable, his career dead in the water.

The Reverse Savage describes the opposite effect — a child star who while not necessarily being the cutest kid or young adult, grows up to be extremely successful and attractive.


Ryan Reynolds, Lucas Black, Jake Gyllenhaal, all great examples. Though I must disagree with drreamerr, who chimed in with "Both Ryan Gosling and Joseph Gordon-Levitt." No. Both of them were always cute.

My favorite comment came from Jenn:

I want to be Mrs. George Michael (from Arrested Development, not the gay guy)


Thanks for clearing that up, Jenn. Because the only reason I wouldn't be with the drug-addicted, bathroom-trolling, reckless-driving former front man for Wham! is his gayness. Right. I'm sure Michael Cera rests easier at night knowing that people can tell him apart from the singer due to their divergent sexual orientations.

Yes, that is Jonathan Lipnicki featured above, and he turned out pretty well. Carrie, Stephanie, take a step back: he's 17.

Falling in love all over again

T Style: Men's Fashion Fall 2007, from The New York Times Style Magazine. Thanks, anonymous!



If you all can stop swooning for a moment, there is also a related article: Kid Rock, by Lynn Hirschberg.

During college I started to miss acting. I started auditioning for movies. That’s how I got the part in “Mysterious Skin.”

In that movie, you play a gay hustler. It was a bold decision to take on that role. Were you nervous?

I find it very strange when people say, “How could you make that movie?” I never had any trepidation. When I read the script, I thought the director, Gregg Araki, would want me for another part, the sensitive boy. He said, “No — I want you to be sexy.” I had not heard that a lot. I was always cast as the friend or the nice guy. It’s really great when someone says, “I want you to be the sexy one.”


Yes, it is great. Although no one ever says that to me. :( I would say it to Mr. Gordon-Levitt all the time if I could. :)

It’s interesting that critics consider it riskier from a career standpoint to play a gay hustler than a soldier in an unpopular war, or a psychotic hit man, which you play in your next film, “Killshot.”

As an actor, you have to be open-minded. That’s one of the great aspects of the job. In the real world, people make judgments all the time. But as an actor, you can’t judge. I would rather play someone who is different from me. You can’t be a bigot and be a great actor.


Look at Mr. G-L making sense.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Has Joseph Gordon-Levitt gotten arrested yet?


No More Mr. Nice Guy: LaBeouf Busted For Drunken Walgreens Loitering, and more on the story from The Smoking Gun, via Defamer

Shia LaBeouf, who starred in "Disturbia" and "Transformers," and stars in the upcoming Indiana Jones sequel, was arrested about 2:25 a.m. at the [Walgreens] store at 757 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago police spokesman Marcel Bright said.

A security guard summoned police after LaBeouf refused several commands to leave the store, Bright said.

The guard signed a complaint against the actor, who was cited on a misdemeanor count of trespassing.


Are you still loving The Beef, ladies?

Genius!


Study: Sexist Humor is No Joke, from Live Science via Yahoo!

"We found that, upon exposure to sexist humor, men higher in sexism discriminated against women by allocating larger funding cuts to a women’s organization than they did to other organizations," [Psychologist Thomas Ford of Western Carolina University] said.

"We also found that, in the presence of sexist humor, participants believed the other participants would approve of the funding cuts to women’s organizations," he said. "We believe this shows that humorous disparagement creates the perception of a shared standard of tolerance of discrimination that may guide behavior when people believe others feel the same way."


They could have saved that money and had a conversation with me instead. Or better yet, just give me the money and read my blog. Where is "Western Carolina" anyway?

How would Liz Lemon strike?


Strike Watch: This Week on at 30 Rock, by James Poniewozik at Tuned In. Emphases mine.

"Yeah, to the outside eye, I guess this looks like some pretty lucky people arguing with some very lucky people," Fey said. "We have dream jobs that most people would want to have. That doesn't mean that it's OK for the conglomerates that produce our shows to rip us off." Rip-off, of course, is a subjective term, with the networks and studios arguing that the online distribution of shows--the money from which is the central issue of the strike--is still a financial question mark. Fey, unsurprisingly, doesn't buy it: "These companies clearly smell that the Internet is where their future profits are coming from. If you look at NBC breaking off with iTunes and trying to start their own thing and raise the price, it's because they know this is where the money's going to be."


.

Jon Stewart: Worming his way back into my heart


From Defamer: Jon Stewart Reportedly Offering Two-Week Strike Fund To His Picketing Staffers

"In a show of solidarity with his fellow scribes, the Daily Show host has told his writing staff that he will cover all their salaries for the next two weeks, according to a well-placed source. He has also vowed to do the same for writers on The Colbert Report. A Comedy Central spokesman referred my inquiry about this to Stewart's personal publicist, who has yet to respond.

"Stewart's intention, says the source, is to ensure his writers will face no financial hardship should the strike, which kicked off at 3 a.m. local time, conclude within that timeframe."


In comparison, Defamer brings us this memo from Fox:

"The production you are working on may come to completion, or because your particular skills may no longer be needed, you may not be picked up for another week or day (whichever is applicable) under your deal memo (if applicable). Therefore your work on the production may come to an end. Although we are not required by law to provide this notice, we wanted to give you as much notice as possible so that you can make appropriate arrangements."


Fox just keeps on giving.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

We Can Blame Oprah

for this: The Vajapocalypse, from WatchTheSoup on YouTube.





You can read the New York Times article here: What Did You Call It?, by Stephanie Rosenbloom.

See how the vajajay madness began: Oprah's Va-Jay-Jay.




Can't get enough of this news story? Read the commentary on Feministing: Vaginas are the new black (so long as you don't call them 'vaginas') and The downside of 'vajayjay'.


I knew there had to be a downside of this 'vajayjay' business. And his name is Michael Smerconish. In an article for the Philadelphia Daily News, Smerconish argues that vajayjay is a fabulous word because it makes men more comfortable, but pisses feminists off. (Who knew?)...

I'm not quite sure where Smerconish got the idea that feminists are "vajayjay naysayers," since he fails to mention one feminist who has a problem with the word--but that's beside the point. The fact that this dude thinks that euphemisms for female genitalia should exist in order to make a more man-friendly vag tells me all I need to know.


.

Let's Blame Oprah



Gosh, I’m sorry you don’t feel special anymore, by zuzu at Feministe.

From the “Everything can be blamed on a woman” files: Oprah Winfrey is single-handedly responsible for ruining the marathon.

The piece is an extended, and dishonest, whine about how they let just anybody run marathons nowadays, instead of special, dedicated men who did it for the thrill of competition and the frisson of self-denial — oh, and Americans aren’t winning marathons like they used to, which is Oprah’s fault.


After Oprah won her beef trial, I thought we were done blaming her for the ills of America and the world . And by "we", I do not mean people like me.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Really, ICM?


Strike-Prepping ICM Tells Employees Not To Freak Out When Half Of Their Paycheck Disappears, from Defamer.


Dear Colleagues,

On Friday, November 16th, all employees will receive a paycheck that reflects one week's pay, as opposed to the usual two. This is not a salary reduction. It is simply a change in the timing of when we pay our employees.

We had planned to implement this change to a more customary payroll schedule at the end of December, but with a potential strike on the horizon, implementing this payroll change immediately provides the agency with more financial flexibility.

We know that, for some of you, this may cause some short-term financial challenges, and we wanted to give you as much notice as possible.

Human Resources is available to answer any of your questions.

Thank you,
[redacted]
Human Resources
International Creative Management



My first question would be, "If you don't want to pay me, then why am I still working here?"

#

Also: Really, Fox?

Fox Preparing For Possible Strike By Pissing Off Its Assistants, from Defamer.


Over at Fishbowl LA, a disgruntled employee laments that Fox has decided to cut back on assistant overtime to help lessen the financial burden of a strike while leaving their bosses' expense accounts untouched...



Feel the love, people.

South Carolina: Shooting itself in the foot


Colbert won't appear on SC ballot, by Jim Davenport, AP.

South Carolina Democrats squashed Stephen Colbert's fanciful White House bid on Thursday.

Colbert, who poses as a conservative talk-show host on the Comedy Central cable network, filed to get on the ballot as a Democratic candidate in his native South Carolina. His campaign paid a $2,500 filing fee just before the noon deadline, said state Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler.

However, after about 40 minutes of discussion by top party officials, the executive council voted 13-3 to keep the host of "The Colbert Report" off the ballot.

"He's really trying to use South Carolina Democrats as suckers so he can further a comedy routine," said Waring Howe, a member of the executive council. And Colbert "serves to detract from the serious candidates on the ballot."

But state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter told the committee Colbert could showcase the state "in a way that none of the other candidates on the ballot have been able to do."

"I think you're taking this a little too seriously," she said.



I've never been to South Carolina, and I have no immediate plans to visit. To me, the state is one step up from West Virginia, based on nothing but my ignorance. So when I hear that the top Democratic officials in South Carolina are eliminating the only thing that is giving their primary any attention--positive or otherwise--in a desperately overcrowded election, I must roll my eyes, shake my head and wave my fist in the air. Besides Rudy Giuliani's constant 9/11 mentions and Fred Thompson's unwillingness to express defined interest in actually running for President, this is the dumbest, most self-righteous thing I have heard this month regarding the 2008 election. The month of November just began today, so I'm sure I'll find something to top this by next week.

Every big state, from Michigan to Iowa to Arizona, is trying to make their primary the most important one. But the Stephen Colbert announcement last month brought attention to South Carolina, a state that 1) I did not realize John Edwards was also from until now, and 2) I did not know had a primary at all. If I didn't know these facts, and I've been paying so much attention to this Presidential race and US politics in general, how many other people have become interested in this election, primaries and South Carolina based solely on Mr. Colbert?

As if Stephen Colbert would sully the name of South Carolina Democrats. Those people need to get over themselves.