Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cute Overload FAIL

Today is full of fail, I suppose.

I find cute animal pics to be highly therapeutic, given the topics I read / blog about.  So you can imagine my disappointment / disgust / disbelief etc. when I visited Cute Overload and found this lovely comparison:

(Each dog pic is followed by a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt).

Are you fucking kidding me?  Yeah, the jowly puppy is cute, and it's wrinkles do resemble those of a crumpled towel.  What's not okay?  Comparing a jowly puppy to a famous woman.  Why?  Because women who don't meet society's shitty standards of beauty are often referred to as dogs, so making such a callous comparison is insulting and sexist.  One commenter asked "When someone says a bulldog looks like Winston Churchill, do people get all upset?"

My guess, probably not; but then again there isn't a long sexist history of comparing men to dogs.  So no, it's not the same at all, and yes, we have a legitimate right to be angry.

At least this is one instance I won't have to tell you all to stay out of that post's comments, because the majority are actually denouncing this comparison.

Fuck.  I'm angry again still.

Hollywood FAIL

The list of actors crying out in a plea to free Roman Polanski (a.k.a fugitive child rapist) is continuing to grow.  The lesson of course being that if you're a famous director with enough money and influential friends, you can go around drugging and raping children without consequence.  Or at the very least, a lot of people will support you, despite the fact that you're a disgusting piece of shit.

And it speaks volumes of the people crying out in defense.  Well, like it or not, people whose work we admire are also capable of being complete assholes.  That admirable work does not negate the crimes that person committed.

And it's the same song we've heard before.  Bottom line is the man drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl.  That this crime took place more than 30 years ago is completely irrelevant.  That the victim does not wish to pursue this does not mean that Roman Polanski gets a free fucking pass.  And that anyone is even supporting this vile man just because he's directed a few decent movies is such a fucking leap of logic that I find this whole ugly thing utterly depressing.

Roman Polanski committed a horrendous crime, and if we at all cared about his victim (and other victims of rape which are overlooked or blamed every fucking day) then we shouldn't be defending him.

I recently read a post over at The Curvature that makes an excellent point (in discussing the rape of Mackenzie Phillips by her father, John Phillips), but I think it's relevant in this case too:

All survivors experience backlash by going public — that backlash is only going to grow tenfold when the abuser is famous. It’s this backlash that makes coming forward so difficult, but also so significant. People don’t like to hear that their heroes can also be rapists, and that rapists can also be heroes. People don’t like to hear that rapists can have separate qualities worth admiring, can have talent, and depth, and people who love them. People don’t want to hear anything about rapists that doesn’t involve them being evil, slimy, instantly identifiable monsters, who have absolutely no worth or humanity. People don’t want to hear it because it makes rape easier to ignore, deny, forget, and believe could never happen to them, could never be committed by someone they know.
That is precisely why people need to hear it.
John Phillips was a very talented singer and songwriter. He’s a little bit of a 60s icon. And he was also apparently a rapist. Most people are currently unable to hold these things simultaneously in their minds. This is evidenced by all that is up above. And rape apologism and denialism aren’t going to stop until, among other things, they (and we) learn how to.
This is all just an utter shit-pile of fail.

Here are more links on Polankski:

Polanski: The Defend-a-thon

Her Reasons Are Not Yours

puzzle activity time!

Michigan woman "violating law" for baby-sitting neighbors' children

I just found this article: State to mom: Stop baby-sitting neighbors' kids.

IRVING TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Each day before the school bus comes to pick up the neighborhood's children, Lisa Snyder did a favor for three of her fellow moms, welcoming their children into her home for about an hour before they left for school.
Regulators who oversee child care, however, don't see it as charity. Days after the start of the new school year, Snyder received a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services warning her that if she continued, she'd be violating a law aimed at the operators of unlicensed day care centers.
"I was freaked out. I was blown away," she said. "I got on the phone immediately, called my husband, then I called all the girls" — that is, the mothers whose kids she watches — "every one of them."
Snyder's predicament has led to a debate in Michigan about whether a law that says no one may care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are licensed day-care providers needs to be changed. It also has irked parents who say they depend on such friendly offers to help them balance work and family.
It's all really stupid.  Women are expected to be good mothers, and provide for the family.  In most families, both spouses must work in order to pay the bills and still have money for food.  That doesn't leave a whole lot left over for childcare, and often the help of friends and neighbors is crucial to families.  This help (that has no monetary gain) should not require a fucking license.

Let's all think of this story the next time some anti-choicer wants to force women to have children, and not help with maternity and childcare once that child is born.  Fuck.  I'm pissed.

This will make it better:

Fuzz Therapy (Guest Fuzz)

Brought to you by MommyGrandeur:

Here we see the ever so helpful Rascal, taking a snooze while Mommy- and DaddyGrandeur unpack at their new house.

MommyGrandeur says the evil death-look is his not happy reaction to her disturbing his nappy-time.  Careful of those fangs peaking out, Mommy.

He gets his own pillow?  What the hell, Mom?  When I was in college I didn't even have my own room to come home to!

And just for good measure, here's MommyGrandeur's weenie, Precious.  Love the ears, weenie! 

Happy Wednesday everyone!  And submit your own fuzz.  Or else. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I really should just stop watching's probably not good being angry all the time.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Filthy note

I've been meaning to post, but I'm having one of those lethargic weeks again, and I just don't feel like it.  I have difficulty sleeping too, so when the exhaustion catches up to me I find it hard to motivate myself.  Which kind of sucks, because I have a lot I should be working on (including but not exclusive to wedding planning), but every now and then I just need to take a step back.

Because of my laziness, you get a bonus fuzz therapy (well, sort of bonus, since I posted this pic already, but it gives me giggles, so there).

This was taken last year during the summer, when I had had enough of all the fur in my house.  Plus Princess is not pleasant to groom--(I should make a video sometime--we'll be a youtube sensation!)--so I took the easy way out by paying some lady to shave her.  But since she's 17 now, I didn't really want to stress her out, so I just suck it up and groom her myself.  I do miss the response I get when I ask the groomer "How was she?"  It usually involves some sort of death look.  Once I had one groomer yell at me about my evil cat while she brandished her bleeding hand at me and wailing about how she hopes it doesn't get infected, whereupon I pointed out to her that when I dropped her off I suggested using a muzzle.  Not my fault she doesn't know how to listen.  And after the way she man-handled my cat back into the carrier, I was glad Princess bit her--hell, I thought I was going to bite her myself before I left. 

Time for a nap on the couch.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Want: Buddha-shaped pears

Yeah, I want this:
Chinese farmer Gao Xianzhang has managed, after several years of trial and error, to grow pears in the shape of Buddha. The Zen like pears, sold for about US$8 each are grown inside plastic moulds at his orchard in northern China.
I don't know if I could bring myself to eat it, though.

God dammit--is there no low our sexism won't stoop to?

First: *headdesk*

Second: what the fucking hell???  Are there no bounds to our sexism that even breast cancer awareness becomes a fetishized striptease for the heterosexual male gaze???

While I'm all about promoting awareness for breast cancer, I don't think reducing women to their "boobies" accomplishes very much.  Because what this really achieves is telling women saving our boobies is for teh menz.  We have to protect these luscious beauties, so men will stare at us when we bounce them around!  And don't forget ladiez: street harassment is totally a compliment!  Ugh.

There's also another issue I have with this video: what exactly is this saying to women who have survived breast cancer?  What about women who have had to have mastectomies to survive breast cancer?  As if we needed another god damn affirmation that the entirety of our femininity and womanhood is what's stuffed in our bras.  Protecting and familiarizing ourselves with our bodies is one thing--it's entirely another to do those things within the parameters of the male gaze--I don't need men drooling about my breasts for me to suddenly be filled with a desire to "save them."  Fuck this ad.

H/T: Feministing 


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fuzz Therapy

That's right.  It's Wednesday, so here's your fuzz.

That's my pretty Princess rolling around on the floor.  She often does this as soon as I get in the door.  Then she'll stop, make sure I'm looking, and proceed with the rolling.  It's irresistible. 

And here we see my fiance playing his favorite game: poke the fluffy kitty (while wearing mis-matched socks).  The Princess doesn't like to be touched.

And here's your bonus fuzz (minus the fuzz):

That's my Whoopi, hunkering down for the coming winter.  I think I have the only grumpy turtle in the world.  I mean, every other turtle ever looks happy.  Even when I bribe her with worms, she still looks pissed.  I wonder if this is a learned trait?

If you're sick of looking at Princess, then I suggest you send me something else.  Or...else.

A discussion with grandma

So I've decided to vent a little more on the "bad" side of my family, previously discussed here.

On my last visit with my dad and grandparents, I sat in the living room with my grandmother discussing my blog, telling her some of the more colorful criticisms I've gotten recently.  I told her that I've been told a number of times that I'm just an angry bitter person.

"Well," my grandma began, "are you angry?"

I smiled at her.  I knew this was going toward a lecture from her, and I'm old enough now to know I'd better head her off; piss her off before she can piss me off.  It's a game my brother and I have grown rather fond of over the years, particularly him since he has to live there. 

"I didn't say they were wrong.  I just think that it's funny that 200+ posts can be reduced to 'you're just an angry feminist.'  But yeah, I am angry.  I'm angry because as a woman I have less rights than a man.  Women are still fighting for equal rights and equal pay.  I'm angry because we're supposedly so post-racial, when you can look everywhere and see that racism hasn't gone anywhere at all.  I'm angry because rich, white, Christian men are not just telling me what I can and can't do with my body, but have put laws in place so that I do not have my own choice.  I'm angry because those same men are keeping marginalized groups of people from equal rights, and have undeserved privilege that they cling to.  I am angry because I have a hell of a lot to be angry about."

She proceeded to ignorantly tell me how she thinks "black people have more rights than we do," and she doesn't "believe in gay marriage," but she's supposedly open-minded because she says "It's not something I would choose, but it's okay if other people choose to be gay," and asked me "why write about things you can't change?"

I headed off each of her "arguments" with a lecture of my own.  I laughed at her accusation that black people supposedly have more rights than her, a white woman, and expressed this to her, citing the over representation of POC in prisons, the lack of opportunities, the study after study that illustrates job discrimination, etc.

I told her that she can "not believe" in gay marriage all she wants, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, that it's not a right that everyone is entitled to.  Sexuality is not chosen--people can't control who they are attracted to.  I told her how if someone's partner is ill in the hospital, unless they're married they have no legal right to be with that partner.  And there are other rights associated with marriage that homosexual people are not legally entitled to because the law doesn't recognize their union.  I asked her how is this fair?

I told her that transgender people are not "sick" as she eloquently put it, and I lectured her on her cisgendered privilege, and on identity, and it's not for her or anyone else to tell someone how they can identify. 

And I write because staying silent is too easy.  I try my best to be an ally to other groups which I am not part of, and I try my best to write about feminism and women's rights because those things directly affect me.  I'm only one voice, but I'm adding it to the collectivity of other voices, because the more of us calling out discrimination, the more likely change will happen.  How can we expect change if we say nothing?

When I was done, she had nothing to say.  I've never seen that woman be quiet ever.  I had won.

Less than five minutes later, my grandpa came in, and she was yelling at him.  Telling him he was stupid, and she hated him, and to eat his dinner and shut up.  And I remember thinking again about marriage: she and my grandpa have been married more than 50 years.  They've slept in separate beds longer than I've been alive.  Before my grandpa's accident, he would yell back.  My memories of my grandparents are punctuated with the incessant fights and apparent disgust for one another.  I've only heard them say they love one another once in my life.  On their 50th wedding anniversary my grandmother admitted the only reason she didn't divorce him was because she didn't feel like filling out the paperwork. 

Reflecting on this, I wonder how this woman has the audacity to cling to her privilege, and to sit there and tell me she doesn't believe in gay marriage, when her marriage is...ugly.  She would rather deny others a right that she's taken for granted.  She would deny marriage to two people that actually love each other because her views have become distorted. 

And this ignorant hypocrisy is exactly what we've all been speaking against.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wait, what?

Oh, that's what I thought: all things evil are super possessive.  That's why they're evil, I guess.

I do love that "feminist's" follows "gangster's" on that list.  Totally awesome.

Bonus lol: did they seriously list emo's [sic] and sport's nut's [sic]?  Here's my response:

H / T Deeky from Shakesville

Monday, September 21, 2009

Today in big surprises

Teen Birth Rates Higher in Highly Religious States.

Huh.  Apparently telling teens to wait and discouraging the use of contraception does little to deter teen pregnancy.  Go figure.

I guess I'm just okay with making Jesus cry with my pre-marital sex. 

H / T: Feministing

Wisconsin man tackles robber

Via Shakesville:

I just had to repost this.  It took place in West Allis, WI, which is about 10 minutes from here.  While I don't feel much pride for a state I've only lived in a year and a half, I still have that sense of proximity, and can't contain the subsequent "Woo!"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Yeah, so the all day sampling of beer turned out to be a not so great idea.  Who knew, right?  Anyway, here's some links.

Melissa at Shakesville discusses Kanye's behavior much more eloquently than I was planning to.

Sady at Tigerbeatdown writes about a Seth MacFarlane interview.  I'm at the point now where I'm about done with Family Guy; yeah, it's due to the rape jokes.  Sady also has a great post about Micheal Moore's tendency to incite ignorant rage, which of course doesn't accomplish anything.

This was so awesome I had to link to it: Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work. 

And at Racialicious: Jon and Kate Plus Race

I'm going to lay on my couch and play video games now.  Happy Sunday!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Random late-night drunk post

Yeah, it's one of those nights.  Or days. I've been drunk since 3pm, thanks to the Great Lakes Brewfest.  Luckily I wasn't scheduled to work today.

It was a good day though, since my fiance and I spent the day sampling beers.  And we got free glasses out of it to add to our collection, so yay!  Sadly, I can't remember which beers I actually liked since I frequented so many booths in four hours.  I think I'm going to break down and buy my Baudelaire beer shirt though, since, well, it's Baudelaire (if you're new here, look at the banner--that's the creepy dude staring at you), and it's a beer quote.

The night is still young, though, so we'll be staying up late watching Lost (we recently discovered it on hulu--and of course, we're hooked). 

Hope everyone else is having an equally awesome Saturday night!  Cheers!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Filthy movie reviews: 9


I saw 9 a few days ago, and meant to do at least a quick write-up of it.  So here you go.  (Yeah, I'm going the lazy route because I'm, well...lazy). 

The Good
The artwork.  OMFG the artwork!  If ever there was animated eye-candy, the visuals in this movie was it. The whole movie was like one moving painting.  The ragdolls themselves were so richly designed in such detail and texture that they seemed real.  I think my favorite was in the opening credits where the scientist was assembling 9, stitching him together; one of my favorite hobbies is sewing, so I really appreciated the scene.  There's something poetic in using sewing as a metaphor for creation.  

The voice of Elijah Wood.  Need I say more?  Yeah, I do: Sarah Connelly as the voice of 7.  Totally awesome.

The machines were made of organic and inorganic materials--I loved this.  I love the combination of metal and bone, the combination of nature and machine.

7 is the token badass lady ragdoll.  She is even more interesting when it's revealed that all of the ragdolls were created by the scientist who we saw creating 9, and all of them are made of pieces of his soul (he died right after he put the last bit of his soul into 9).  Apparently that dude had at least a little badass lady in him after all.  I sort of also read 3 and 4 to be gendered feminine, but I wonder if other people thought this too?  Something about their adorable librarian nerdiness made me think "ladies."  Maybe because I can totally relate.  My fiance said he thought they were male (he used the word "default."  We'll be having a discussion about that later--ha!). It's sort of anyone's guess, I suppose, since 3 and 4 didn't speak, and all the ragdolls look about the same (the real gender-cue for 7 being her voice, and also that she wore earrings--but she does run around with a bird skull as a helmet!).  Thankfully the makers of the movie didn't do that stupid thing where female characters are gendered by the fact that they have eyelashes--(uh, like men don't?)--since all their eyes are like binocular pieces. 

The Bad
The plot--or lack of.  "OMG the humans created machines, and they can't control them.  Oh, they're all dead now.  Oops.  Should've known better, I guess."  Seriously though, aren't we sick of this plot-line?  The whole time I was hoping for more development.  I mean, I can suspend my belief for a lot of things, but the over-used plot of rogue machinery, is well, played out. It was quite predictable by the end.

It felt very...rushed.  The opening credits shows us 9's creation, then he's awake, and suddenly he's bent on saving 2, then inexplicably puts the medallion thingy in a slot and wakes up the really bad machine that makes other machines, and then he has to destroy goes on--but not for very long.  It felt like only a day and a half passed for 9 since his awakening, to the end of the movie when the machine is destroyed.  To me, that didn't feel like adequate time had passed to give 9 the believable amount of motivation.  And it certainly didn't seem like enough time had passed for there to be as strong a bond between 9 and 7 as what was in the movie.  Oh look they just met, and they're like in ragdoll love now, or something...  It seemed 9 was going through the motions because, well, someone had to.  And 7 is tough, but not tough enough, I guess, since everything was reliant on 9's actions / deductions.  I think it also bothered me since 9 is essentially the youngest ragdoll, the others being in existence before all the humans were dead, and yet it was 9 that had the most motivation to do, well, anything..


If nothing else, it's certainly a beautiful artistic movie, though elements of it were sadly lacking.  While searching for images, I stumbled upon the short film that inspired the movie via this site, and thought I'd share it.  It's only about 9 minutes (ha), but one can easily see the elements that appeared in the feature-length film.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fuzz Therapy

I was hoping to get this up this morning, but then I woke up late, and I was dragging my feet, and so you all had to suffer by getting your Fuzz Therapy late.  I'm grumpy.  Deal with it.

Here we got a Princess caught in mid-stretchiness.  Ugh, damn her cute pink toes. 

I love the Popeye-esque face-cleaning in this one.  Catching her in any sort of pose is really tricky, since as soon as I pick up the camera, she looks at me, or leaves the room.  I have become a skilled ambush-photographer to obtain fuzzy pics.

Which reminds me--since there's only so many poses I can capture of Princess, send me your fuzzy pics now!!

Most adorable thing ever

I just had to share this video with you all.  The look on this dude's face is priceless.

Monday, September 14, 2009

On elder abuse

So, this is me sort of asking for advice.

As some of you know, last week I took off to Michigan for a few days to check out the wedding places.  I think I spent a total of 3 hours with my actual family, a friend of mine being kind enough to let me stay with her--and for good reason.  Staying even those 3 hours was an intolerable excursion through dysfunction. 

First, some quick family background: my mom divorced my dad over seventeen years ago.  Since they split up, he's been living at his parents' house.  He's essentially waiting for my grandparents to die; his logic is "Why should I buy a house.  My parents will be dead soon."  Yeah, you've been saying that longer than I've been alive. 

Now, my dad is from a family of alcoholics.  I have vivid memories of my grandma and grandpa bringing beer in the car with them when they drove me and my little brother anywhere--the console is apparently a suitable cooler.  I can count on one hand how often I've interacted with my dad when he was sober.  Those are precious few times where I found him to be an actual "dad." 

Other than alcoholism, that side of my family also has anger issues, which is probably worsened by the alcohol addiction.  There have been times where I didn't even realize how the situation suddenly changed from a laughing visit to a vicious verbal assault on one or more family members.  I remember one time my dad was searching for his keys while my brother, grandma, grandpa, and I waited on the cold dark porch (my dad being too drunk to figure out which key he needed).  My grandma told my dad to hurry up, and suddenly everyone was screaming.  We got in the house, and the fight didn't cease.  I remember being upset and scared, and finally hiding under a table in the basement laundry room. 

My grandmother had to stop drinking a few years back after her stroke, and since then her drastic mood swings seem to have intensified.  Two years ago, my grandpa took a nasty fall down the basement steps, and cracked his head open on the stone floor at the bottom.  Since then he's been in and out of the hospital for various treatments and surgeries, and he's spent intermittent amounts of time recovering in nursing homes.  My dad now has an excuse to remain living in his parents' basement--to take care of them in their old age. 

Now, the only person that does any housework is my brother, and he does the minimum, since it shouldn't fall to him, which makes my dad's excuse pitiable, at best.  The house is in serious neglect.  No one has dusted or vacuumed in years.  When the cats get sick, the vomit is ignored.  I know I hurt my grandma's feelings when I refuse to eat or sleep there, but it's honestly disgusting, and I have asthma--just sitting in that house causes me to wheeze.  Anyone who's ever experienced chronic breathing problems will know where I'm coming from.  Not being able to breathe is one of my most frightening nightmares.  My dad is able-bodied, and supposedly living there to take care of his ailing parents, yet he really doesn't do anything.

Anyway, the atmosphere of that house is one of hate and constant verbal abuse.  They can all put on a show to outsiders, but close friends and family have seen them at their worst.  My grandmother has always seemed to hate my grandpa, but that seems to have intensified after she's had to give up drinking, and even more so now that my grandpa has special needs.  No one has anything nice to say to anyone else.  It seems like all they know is fighting, and insulting one another.  And they don't think anything is wrong with this.  To them, it's the norm to live in constant discord. 

This last time I was at their house, I was only able to talk to my grandpa for about five minutes before my grandma interrupted him.  He spends most of his day hiding out in the garage--he's made a sort of refuge out there, complete with a tv and all his old movies.  Because as soon as he comes in, my grandmother attacks him.  About everything.  He's walking too slowly, or too quickly.  He's breathing too loudly, or coughing too much.  I heard recently that he was taking too long in the bathroom, and my grandma was apparently so incensed that when he opened the door she took his walker from him and threw it down the hallway. 

When I was visiting, my grandpa came in for dinner, and my grandma dropped the plate in front of him.  He didn't utter a single word.  It looked like a scene from a prison movie.  It was heartbreaking to watch him.  I spoke to him, and he seemed reluctant to talk--or even do so loudly enough for my grandma to overhear.  He mustered up the guts to ask my grandma for a pickle.  It took her ten minutes to calm down.  It was awful to witness. 

But the worst goes on when I'm not there.  My friends and relatives who go over to help him out are worried my grandma might hit him, if she's not already.  Friends take care of his infusions because they're afraid she'll get impatient and hurt him.  She rips him apart daily, calling him names, and as soon as he leaves the room she puts on this "poor me, I love my husband so much--I don't know what I'd do if something happened to him" act.  It's disgusting. 

One family member told me that she was worried about my grandpa's well-being.  He once whispered to her that he wished he was dead, and it's small wonder.  People can only take so much verbal abuse before it starts to sink in, before that person starts to feel less than.  And this is what my grandpa is living with every day.  I was talking with friends and family (beyond the immediate family) and we're all convinced that my grandma must suffer from some type of mood disorder, but she doesn't trust doctors, and won't take her medicine. 

I came home crying on Saturday.  I was so upset with how my grandpa is being treated--no one should have to feel like that.  And my dad, proving more and more useless as he refuses to set the beer can down, won't say anything.  Not that it would do anything anyway, since they're all time-bombs. But I felt so helpless.  And it's so bad my grandpa doesn't even want to be alive.  So what can be done?  Family and friends wish they can do something for my grandpa, but they also don't know what can be done to help.  Surely there are ways to report elder abuse, even if it is verbal, and even if it is from the victim's spouse, right?

If anyone has any thoughts, I'd love to read them.  I'll be looking into elder abuse, and how one can report it, but if anyone has any experience or advice, it's all welcome.  

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lazy Sunday

I'm all caught up on sleep, but still have to have my Sunday laziness.  So here's your link roundup for this week:

I've already said that misogyny is not exclusive to rap, and over at Adventures of a Young Feminist there's an excellent post about thinly veiled misogyny in Theory of a Deadman lyrics.

EvilSlutClique has a post over at SexGenderBody which is hilariously informative: The Handjob Makes a Comeback.  Who knew?

piecesofstring discusses the utter fail regarding the lack of media coverage on the alleged assault of Tila Tequila.  That's okay.  Football's more important, right?

Over at The Pursuit of Harpyness, there's a great takedown of that irritating abstinence commercial that essentially leaves us with the question "Wait, what?"

Renee over at Womanist Musings discusses Caster Semenya's terrible public outing on being intersexed.

And Monica over at Transgriot reminds us that it's her America too.  Seriously, enough with the "good ol' days" bullshit already...

If you have links to share, share em. 

Dead bodies having sex...oh nooooeeesss!

Some of you may already know about Body Worlds, the exhibition of cadavers that combines science and art to educate people on human anatomy.  These cadavers are preserved in a process known as "plastination."

Body Worlds has come under scrutiny before, the exhibitions being deemed controversial.  While fascinating, there are some exhibits that cannot help but make the viewer uncomfortable.  I remember when I went to see Body Worlds here in Milwaukee last summer with my fiance.  He's a med student, so of course he liked the science aspects, and I loved the artistic aspects.

I saw each preserved and posed cadaver as a sculpture.  But of course one cannot help but remember that each of these objects was once a living person, and this fact was never more obvious than the exhibit featuring a plastinated female body with its pregnant belly exposed, showing the preserved fetus inside.  A kind plaque informed us that the woman died in a car accident.  I couldn't help but think that that woman was too young, and she and her baby were related to someone.  I was caught, because while the sculpture was undoubtedly fascinating, frozen in a lithe pose, fetus curled inside the open uterus, I thought the exhibit was unavoidably insensitive.

But I think that's the point.  Body Worlds exhibits bodies in poses, which effectively bares our humanity as it is tied to our actual naked anatomy.

The new exhibit will have cadavers in various sex positions to serve as a starting point of the life cycle.  This, of course, has incited more controversy.  The purpose is to show the raw function of sex as it pertains to conception, and is not meant to imitate pornography:

"It's not my intention to show certain sexual poses. My goal is really to show the anatomy and the function," Body Worlds creative director Whalley told Reuters in an interview, adding the sex exhibition may open next year.
Body Worlds exhibitions, visited by 27 million people across the world, have been criticized for presenting entire corpses, stripped of skin to reveal the muscles and organs underneath, in lifelike and often theatrical positions.
Von Hagens has already triggered uproar with a new exhibit which shows just two copulating corpses.
German politicians called the current "Cycle of Life" show charting conception to old age "revolting" and "unacceptable" when it showed in Berlin earlier this year because it included copulating cadavers.
There are those critics who find this exhibit to be disgusting because it inextricably links death and sex.  I'm the first to always point out that intention is inconsequential since it doesn't always equal how an audience will receive it, and this situation is no different.  Many critics have stated that this is disrespectful to the dead, but we're not dealing with the dead in a traditional sense.  And let's not forget that these bodies are obtained through willing donations--the exhibits are not the results of grave robbing.  I feel that we should respect the right of an individual's autonomy over their own body, even in death, and am not sure that this violates that.

I'm all about art that pushes boundaries, but I'm interested in what other people think.  I'm not made uncomfortable by sex, and dead body sculptures in sex poses doesn't offend me.  In fact, I sort of wish they'd make exhibits with bodies having sex beyond the parameters of conception since most sex isn't for that purpose.  And there's more than just straight sex.  So what do you all think?  Awesome?  Disrespectful?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Information on body donation can be found here.  And the FAQs page here.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Quick update

So I got back home about 20 minutes ago, and just wanted to let everyone know regular updates are to resume tomorrow.  I was hoping to write something more substantial tonight, but after 7 hours in the car, I am too exhausted, so I'm just going to collapse on my couch and hang out with my fiance until I can't keep my eyes open (which doesn't feel like it will be long). 

Good news though: I picked my wedding site and reception hall, and it's almost finalized.  I'll give you more details when I have them, but hopefully I won't have to take off to Michigan again for some time.

Have a happy Saturday night!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

RIP Hannah

So I just found out that MommyGrandeur's weenie dog, Hannah, passed away earlier tonight.  Mommy and DaddyGrandeur adopted her when she was 11, having immediately fallen in love with her.  She was Daddy's girl, and was always on his lap.

Having lost a number of pets (read: fuzzy family members) myself, I am truly sorry for the loss of this dog, but she had a good long life, and was loved, and she will be missed.


Rest in peace, Hanners.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Go figure: "Family values" Michael Duvall brags about having affairs with lobbyists

Now, I can't say I'm surprised, since many douchebags preaching "family values" get caught cheating on their spouses, but this is pretty fucking low.  The women he had affairs with were lobbyists (uh, conflict of interest anyone?).  And, as this commenter pointed out, he was bragging about his sexual conquests at work, and despite efforts by his listeners to change the subject, Duvall would keep talking.  So not only did this asshole cheat on his wife with lobbyists (uh, yeah, that's bad), but he was talking about it at work, thus creating a hostile environment by making those around him uncomfortable.  Workplace sexual harassment, okay?

He has since resigned:

I am deeply saddened that my inappropriate comments have become a major distraction for my colleagues in the Assembly, who are working hard on the very serious problems facing our state. I have come to the conclusion that it would not be fair to my family, my constituents or to my friends on both sides of the aisle to remain in office. Therefore, I have decided to resign my office, effective immediately, so that the Assembly can get back to work.
Good.  You're a douchebag.  I hope your wife divorces your dumb ass.

Filthy news--I'm leaving tomorrow

Just wanted to let everyone know what's up.   I know I took a vacation last month, but this isn't really a vacation: I'm driving back to Michigan for a few days to plan my wedding.  Just so we're clear, I don't get into all that princess fairy-tale stuff, and I hate planning things, so this will probably not be enjoyable to me.  Plus the 7-hour drive won't help matters.

While I may have internet access at some point, I'm not counting on it, so comments will be published as soon as possible given the limited access I plan on having.  I thought about turning off the comments moderation while I'm gone, but since I might not be able to monitor the comments, I'd rather not give the trolls a field-day (just so we're all aware, I get a fair number of troll comments that never get published, and I'd hate to give these people another platform to preach their bigotry). 

I'm leaving tomorrow morning and will be back Saturday or Sunday (it really depends on whether I'm up for the extra day of dealing with that side of the family, so we'll see).  I'm really excited about the place I'm going to visit, so hopefully it looks as good in person, and then I can really get the planning going.  I'm trying to be very disciplined about planning this thing, since I've been known to procrastinate (in school I was the good kind of procrastinator though, since I would wait to the last minute, and still get A's on the essays and assignments).  I'll share some details with you all when I get back.  I also plan on taking a few pictures, since my fiance's schedule will not allow him to go on this trip with me--that's okay though.  No sense in us both being subjected to my family's...uh...issues (my brother excluded, of course).

This will be the last hiatus for awhile, given that I don't like being away from my fiance or grumpy pets for too long.  Part of me does get excited, being back in my home state, but it doesn't really feel like home without my fiance there. 

Fuzz Therapy

Some of you may be wondering, "What is 'Fuzz Therapy'?"  Well, it's simple really.  When you have one of those days where you're just tired, fed up, irritated--whatever, and the only cure is a doze of fuzzy-goodness, then that is called Fuzz Therapy.  In the original method, the idea is to approach a fuzzy creature, and place your face in it's soft fuzziness until the bad day seems to float away.  Below, I've included a pic of myself indulging in this therapy:
Of course, if you're allergic to kitties, as I am, it's recommended that you not stick your face in a kitty's fluff more than once or twice a week.  Unless you really really need to.
As not-nice as my Princess is, she's generally tolerant of me using her as a pillow.  She usually lifts her head in a momentary "what the fuck do you think you're doing?" look, and then lays back down when she realizes I'm not going to groom her or clip her nails.
The best part is laying your head on her when she's already all cozy and warm.
Don't forget, you can submit your own fuzzy friend to Fuzz Therapy.  See Submission Guidelines.

When gender is enforced

Not only was Caster Semenya subjected to gender testing, now she's had a makeover.

Because people find a strong athletic woman somehow threatening if she's somehow too masculine, an 18-year-old woman has been subjected to testing to prove her gender (the idea of which I can't get my head around, since gender is an identity), and has just had a makeover done in an attempt to perform the femininity she's been accused of lacking.  Question: how the fuck does this woman wearing lipstick and jewelry affect her running?

As Ariel says on Feministing:
Athleticism is stereotyped as a strictly male trait. The public's discomfort with female masculinity led to the expectation that as a woman, Semenya must compensate for her threatening athleticism with femininity.
"You" magazine simply changed Semenya to fit the dichotomy. And at the end of the day, women must express femininity as seen on a magazine cover to gain true acceptance.
Ugh.  I just can't believe we're subjecting a young woman to this.  It's fucking ridiculous.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I seriously couldn't think of a better title.

Above is a poster from a German AIDs awareness group, which professes "AIDs is a mass murderer."

Due to sleep deprivation, I've written this post in the form of my thought process:

  • What the hell?
  • Is that Hitler?
  • Oh, it's about AIDs.
  • Wait, it's about AIDs?
  • Oh, cuz both Hitler and AIDs are mass murderers.
  • But...he's not murdering in the poster. He's having sex. And looking at us. Creepily.
  • Is this a warning to women?
  • Who is that lady?
  • Okay, I think I got it. Have sex with Hitler = you get AIDs.
  • What?
While I'm all about raising awareness about important issues, and educating people on having safe sex, but I'm not sure what shocking / shaming people accomplishes. Oh, there's also a graphic video (you've been warned).

So far, I'm only seeing women having sex with terrible dictators as a metaphor for contracting AIDs, and can't help but see this as more slut-shaming (woman making bad choices, and is apparently into the sex with that evil evil man--dirty slut!). And what does this say to those people with HIV and AIDs?

I certainly get why it would be problematic to show posters of Hitler and Stalin actually mass murdering people, but why didn't it occur to those behind this campaign that images of women having sex with mass murderers acting as a metaphor for contracting AIDs is also problematic?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lazy Sunday: I fly a kite edition

Provided the wind is nice today, I'll be flying my kite again. You can't tell when the kite is really high, but there's a wizard riding a dragon on it. When it gets high, it just looks like a giant moth or something. There's this old guy with a really fancy kite that totally owns my little cheapy, but oh well--it's about having fun right?

As usual, I got a few links for you to enjoy.

First up, Renee at Womanist Musings discusses Chris Brown's Larry King appearance, and examines the continuing victim-blaming. Also, in a moving post about the true cost of a cigarette, Renee discusses child exploitation and labor. These children not only face health risks from inhaling the tobacco, but also risks of being sexually and physically assaulted by their supervisors.

There's a post over at the hasarder diaries that breaks down a Cosmo article which blames women for being raped. The writer of said Cosmo article discusses the "gray" areas of rape, despite that it's just more victim-blaming. The author of the post does a great job breaking it down.

piecesofstring has a post up at SexGenderBody (woo!) about a comic (comic included in the link) which shames women for breast-feeding in public. The kicker? The comic is written by a lady. It's pretty disgusting, actually, since the author of the comic refers to breasts as "veiny fleshbags," and then compares breastfeeding to pulling off her own shirt so her boyfriend can suck on her breasts. we still can't separate breasts from sexual objects at all. But there's a difference between a boyfriend sucking on a breast, and nourishing a baby! Just go read the post.

And Mustang Bobby over at Shakesville has a quick post on brainwashing, in a sort of response to the bullshit accusations Obama is getting for telling children learning is important.

Feel free to share your links in the comments. I'm always up for new reading material. Have a great holiday weekend, US peeps. I'm going to go fly my kite again.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gender, sexuality, and objectification in Lil Wayne's 2009 performance of "Lollipop"

This post examines the live performance of "Lollipop" from the 2009 "America's Most Wanted" tour. I think it's safe to say that the above video and this post are NSFW. The lyrics are explicit.

Please note that yes, I identify as a feminist, and as such will not tolerate "you can't be feminist and like rap music," for two reasons: 1). my feminism is not negated by my support or patronage of a genre of music in which I have no control, and 2). sexism and misogyny are not exclusive to the rap genre (I notice when I say I like rock music, no one says "omg but you're a feminist!" to which I can't help but think there's a touch of racism in there, which is also not to be tolerated). That said, enjoy the post.

I wrote a post yesterday discussing the Lil Wayne concert I went to Wednesday night, and in it I briefly touch on Lil Wayne's use of women in the show, and I wanted to delve further into presentations of gender in the performance, specifically in the performance of the hit "Lollipop."

Before I get to it though, you should all know that I love love love this song. I love how the words sound, I love the beat--and in this performance especially with the electric guitars. It's a wonderful work. I start this out with praise only because oftentimes people mistake my discussion of gender presentations as negative criticism, rather than what it is: pointing out what is right in front of you.

What's interesting about this song, is that it tends to objectify both men and women. In the beginning of the song, we hear "I say he so sweet make her wanna lick the rapper. So I let her lick the rapper." This makes him the passive object, one which is sexually desired by women. Yet he's still the one in control. The men (the band members, DJ 45, and Lil Wayne) embody the aggressive masculine objects--dressed in tight-fitting tanks, the men display their bodies as masculine objects for the women (both onstage and offstage), and also for the homosocial gaze as a display for other males (onstage and offstage). The men exude typical rock-hard hypermasculinity, which tends to go hand in hand in regards to rap and hip-hop.

But the women serve as typical feminine objects throughout, both in the performance and in the lyrics. A couple lines focus on parts of the women's bodies, such as "ass" and "pussy." In several instances we have "bring that ass back," and of course there's mention of her "lovely lady lumps," which pretty much covers all bases. The lyrics of lollipop reduce women to their parts, and this is even evident in the performance of the song. True enough, the women are, not surprisingly, dressed in tight-fitting, revealing clothing, accentuating the typical lady assets: legs, breasts, and ass. In one song of the concert, Nicki Minaj was fully clothed, but in a skin-tight leather outfit that appeared painted on.

And then we have the lyrics and the performance simultaneously objectifying the women, where Lil Wayne sings "I'ma hit it hit it like I can't miss," while thrusting against Shanell from behind. In the background, we see the pole-dancers (all women, as this is understood to be a feminine sexual dance), which add to the whole rapper sex party image. A number of times during the concert, women dancers would come on stage to grope Lil Wayne, sometimes kneeling on either side of him to pull on his belt in a suggestive manner. The lesson? Lil Wayne has droves of sexy women at his disposal, illustrating his masculinity through the command of female bodies.

While the women's expression of sexuality is their own business, it is still evident that it is not a personal expression, but rather an expression that is for the heterosexual male gaze, uplifting Lil Wayne's own expression of masculinity in such a way that it completely overshadows the women's obvious talent as singers and dancers beyond the scope of their sexual parts.


Adorable gay marriage ad

And of course, it's spot on:

Nancy Pelosi is so badass

Says our illustrious Speaker of the House:

“President Obama has said that a public option will keep the insurance companies honest. If someone has a better idea for promoting competition and reducing health care costs, they should put it on the table,” Pelosi said. “But for the past month, opponents of health insurance reform have demonstrated that they are afraid of the facts. They have only offered distortions, distractions and misrepresentations to try to kill this historic legislation.”

“A bill without a strong public option will not pass the House,” Pelosi said. “Eliminating the public option would be a major victory for the insurance companies who have rationed care, increased premiums and denied coverage.”

Totally awesome.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

oh man it was so fucking awesome!

So, my fiance and I went to a Lil Wayne concert last night. I saw him in Detroit last xmas, and I must say, this one was even more awesome. Lil Wayne is a great live performer, and once again, he didn't disappoint. I did feel bad, though, having to cheer for Milwaukee. I sort of felt like a traitor--ha.

I decided at the previous Wayne concert that I much preferred the environment of rap concerts to rock concerts. I've come out of rock concerts bruised and pissed. I used to go to rock shows simply to enjoy the music and support the bands I loved, but I would spend the entire time dodging drunk assholes punching each other, moshing in a frenzy of intentional violence.

There's little diversity at rock shows. Generally speaking, the crowds are comprised primarily of white people. Who don't dance. At all. And I enjoy dancing to live music. But when you're in the minority of white girl dancing to rock music, men and other women look at you like you're the rock show slut, even if you're dressed in jeans and the band's t-shirt (not that slut-shaming is okay in any sense).

That said, I love rap shows because everyone is dancing. Even my fiance in his no-rhythm dance which only can be described as a "wiggle" (don't worry; we're going to fix that before the wedding, I swear). The crowd is diverse, everyone has gathered to have an awesome time, and everyone is dancing and having fun and cheering and loving the music.

As much as I adore Lil Wayne's shows (after all, they are entertaining--the music, the lighting, the pyrotechnics), I still find the objectification of women cringe-worthy. The women were certainly beautiful and talented singers and dancers, and I do not judge them for their participation in the show, but I find their use in the show was only to further Wayne's image as a highly sexualized man. The women were sexual in every aspect of the performance, the performance being a strip-tease of sorts, complete with pole-dancing.

"Lollipop" was the worst in terms of female objectification. At the risk of sounding prudish, one part of the song featured Wayne thrusting against Shanell from behind, flames roaring up in time with each thrust. It sort of diminished Shanell's obvious talent, being used as nothing more than a sexual object for Lil Wayne to act upon.

So I have a love / hate sort of relationship with Lil Wayne and his music. "Lollipop" is one of my favorite songs in terms of the beat, and the sounds of words, but the performance of it is a soft-core porn of sorts (which wasn't surprising, given that the lyrics are pretty explicit). My biggest problem was how the women's talent was overshadowed by their sexual performances, and how their bodies were objectified.

All in all though, it was a good night out.

Update: I have a follow-up post here. The video that was included here has been moved to the follow-up post, since it directly relates to the discussion.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

61 year old man slaps a toddler for crying

Yeah, I wish I was making this up:

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – Police say a 61-year-old man annoyed with a crying 2-year-old girl at a Walmart slapped the child several times after warning the toddler's mother to keep her quiet.

A police report says after the stranger hit the girl at least four times, he said: "See, I told you I would shut her up."

Roger Stephens of Stone Mountain is charged with felony cruelty to children. It was unclear if he had an attorney and a telephone call to his home Wednesday was unanswered.

Authorities say the girl and her mother were shopping Monday when the toddler began crying. The police report says Stephens approached the mother and said, "If you don't shut that baby up, I will shut her up for you."

Authorities say after Stephens slapped the girl, she began screaming. [reproduced in full]

Look, I work retail. Which means I'm exposed to hundreds of screaming children every day (don't even get me started on what goes on during the holidays). I hear all sorts of cries, from babies squalling, to bratty children incensed because their parents had the audacity to deny them a toy or piece of candy. I get to the point where when I hear a child screaming, I head for some other part of the store just to get away from the noise for a minute.

But seriously, this man had no right to touch another person's child. No amount of irritation gives him the right to assault a child. His actions have no merit--I don't care what that child was crying about, I don't care how awful the mother seems to be (personally, I think ignoring the crying is best, seeing as most of the time the child is using that to get a reaction--any reaction--and for the parent to respond in a manner that will silence the child (even if that means giving it what it wants) accomplishes nothing except that the child will continue to act out)). It's not up to this man to parent someone else's kid, and he had no business laying a hand to the child, especially not repeatedly.

Fuzz Therapy

Here it is, your weekly fuzz therapy.

I love to touch her cute pink toes--this usually results in her mood changing immediately from relaxed to KILL. I'm quick though--most of the times I can steal a poke before she can swat at me.

I know how to appease her though--a fresh catnip leaf usually does the trick. After it sets in , she gets all hyper and tears through the apartment for no apparent reason. And then I have to remind myself that she's 86 in cat years. And then I picture my great-grandma, who was about that age when she passed, racing around like that. And then I laugh.

Hope everyone's week is going well. I'm super excited: the fiance and I are going to see Lil Wayne tonight (I saw him this last xmas in Detroit, so I'm excited to see him again in the same year). I'll probably be blogging about the experience later this week.

Submit your own fuzzy friend to be featured on Fuzz Therapy

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

it's for "her"; says so right on the can!

Yeah, so I first noticed this monstrosity on a shelf at the store I work at, in the upper corner of the energy drinks section--a tiny pink stain on the wall that is the manly energy drink.

Because my vagina means I'm totally intimidated by those other manly drinks, with names like "Rockstar" and "Monster," there's now "her." Yes, "her."

My lady-brain knows it's for me, since it's got that helpful feminine pronoun right on the can. And it's pink! Because we all know women are incapable of purchasing products unless they're pink. And we're all so stupid being constantly choked by our vaginas and ovaries and whatnot, that unless they spell it out ("hey, it's for HER") we're just not going to fucking get it.

On a side note, I have to say I'm a little freaked out by the "her" website's tabs: "her home," "about her," "locate her," "buy her"--what the fuck???

Wishing to learn how this (stalker-invoking) lady energy drink differs from it's manlier counterparts, I read this:

her, or Healthy. Energy. Revitalizer is the first active lifestyle energy drink with women in mind. her Energy provides our consumers with a fresh, clean, and great tasting alternative to the other energy drinks out there on the market. Unlike other energy drinks, her will not make you “crash” or give you the “jitters”. The her formula is designed to give you just the boost you need without over doing it.

her’s sleek and stylish can is reflective of our consumers. her is geared towards women who are on the go with active lifestyles while maintaining that fun and flirty image.

her is based in Hollywood, California and is a favorite among the Hollywood elite, however it remains ideal for any and all consumers.

(Oh yeah, and every instance of "her" is written in pink. Gross.)

Thanks for spelling it out for us--again.

"her" is not like other energy drinks ( makes the same claims...). And let's observe the "sleek and stylish" can--minus that obnoxious color, it's the same size and shape as other energy drink cans.

Oh, it's reflective of your consumers? You mean those airbrushed white ladies up there bouncing around and drinking "her" in their panties? Got it.

"Fun and flirty image"???? Do I really have to go there?

Hollywood elite, eh? Well, that's mighty generous of you to have it available for us unimportant peons. I'm guessing your "any and all consumers" is similar to that "all men created equal" thing, right? I gotcha.

Just another example of how fucking clueless people are when it comes to marketing things for women. Morons.

Only pretty women should be murdered in a jealous rage, apparently

I'm continually astounded by how easily we judge women's bodies, and I'm even more astounded that women judge other women. This is a terrible cycle in which we've all engaged in, at least once in our lives. Women's bodies are continually put on display, mostly for the heterosexual male gaze, but women see these images too. They're everywhere. We've gotten to the point where men don't even need to police women's bodies anymore, because we do it ourselves.

I overheard a conversation earlier today in the break room at work. One woman was reading an article from People about the murder of Jasmine Fiore. What she said caused me to stop reading my book and listen in: "You know, she wasn't even that pretty."

So...only "pretty" women get to be obsessed over, murdered in a jealous rage, dismembered, and discarded in a dumpster? A woman's life was taken, and we're discussing her looks? Why even say she's not that pretty? Is this to imply she wasn't worth the effort of murdering? That Jenkins could have found someone "hotter" to kill?

From there, the conversation turned to how much plastic surgery she's had done, as if this is the issue here. While I cannot say I agree when women decide to take extreme measures in order to conform to some ideal of beauty, I do understand that this can certainly be attributed to the type of culture in which we're drowning. Women's bodies are continually available for visual consumption, and those who do not fit this ideal are viciously criticized and judged. Often, it's overwhelming for women to deal with, and even the worst options are considered and taken.

So part of me empathizes with women who decide to have plastic surgery. But how is this relevant in the wake of Fiore's murder? The woman was dismembered, and only identified by the serial numbers on her breast implants.

And it's not about a woman's looks: it's about a man's disillusioned sense of entitlement to control a woman, and when he realized he had no control, he killed her.

This illustrates how callously we view the death of a woman. A life has been taken, and all we can discuss is her looks? This is utterly disrespectful, judgmental, and diminishing, and further exemplifies how a woman's only as valuable as she is beautiful.

And the media frames this as a crime of passion, which is utter bullshit since it's just another form of victim-blaming ("well, he only killed her because he was jealous she was texting an ex").

It should be noted that after this conversation, another woman noted that if she "were Jon [of Jon and Kate] I would have punched her by now."

To say I'm anything but deeply disturbed that violence against women is so acceptable in our society that we can make light of it, and even rationalize it ("that bitch is asking for it") is an understatement.

And I'm continually disheartened that women's lives apparently mean so little.


Finally, a wacky foreigner that is an American!

Jen over at Disgrasian blogs about the above image:

Meet "Mr. James," new face of a McDonald's ad campaign in Japan. Mr. James is a Wacky Foreigner in Japan who speaks broken Japanese, wears the archetypal nerd uniform of glasses, a short-sleeved shirt with a tie, and ill-fitting khaki pants, has bad teeth, and--we're only guessing here--is probably someone who's never gotten laid. Sound familiar?
In Jen's post, she also discusses how some Americans are all offended by Mr. James, saying it would be inappropriate if we invoked the stereotypical Asian foreigner in ads. Except, uh, we have. Repeatedly.

My first reaction to Mr. James was to laugh. Seriously, I laughed in a manner I can only describe as triumphant--not for me, but for what Jen refers to as "karma." Despite being "post-racial" (note my use of ironic scare quotes), the U.S. is obsessed with race, and t.v. shows, movies, and ads are rampant with stereotypical non-white behavior. Need I remind you of the Chicago Lake Liquors ads? And Asians are typically portrayed with excessive wackiness.

So yeah, when I saw this Mr. James, I laughed because it's nice to see the tables turned on this sort of thing.

But I also have the luxury of not being offended, and as I think about why, I am reminded of another Macon D post (sorry, but his posts totally apply to this--just bear with me):
Why is it that such words as “honky” and “cracker” lack the bite of “nigger,” or “wetback,” or “gook”? Why is it that as I typed that last sentence, I was tempted to censor the latter words (with such euphemisms as “the n-word” or “the g-word”), but not the former? We never say “the h-word” for “honky,” and if we ever do say or write “the c-word,” the word we’re referring to is not “cracker.”
For one thing, American English contains far more negative words for non-white people than it does for white people (notice how, by the end of the skit, Richard Pryor’s character runs out of anti-white slurs). More importantly, non-white people tend to have a stronger memory of the legally sanctioned abuse and violence that used to accompany non-white slurs, and sometimes still do. [view video at the above link].
It's easy for me as a white person to shrug off these things--because I haven't had to endure the brunt of systemic racism my entire life.

Also, I might have found some lady-privilege after all--Mr. James doesn't offend me because I'm not a man. His doofish whiteness seems quite reminiscent of our own home-grown portrayals of doofy white men:

I do have to admit, though: Mr. James is certainly a lot less creepy than Ronald McDonald. But only by a little.

H/T: Racialicious

Tracy Clark-Flory on Chris Brown's Larry King appearance

This was such a great article about Chris Brown's upcoming Larry King appearance, that I had to share it in full (links in the article are all in the original posting):

Half a year after brutalizing his then-girlfriend -- by hitting, choking, biting and threatening to kill her -- Chris Brown is still following the script of domestic abusers everywhere. He loves her, he really does, it was totally unlike him and he promises to never ever do it again. That's the tune the R&B crooner sings in a clip from his pre-taped interview for "Larry King Live," which airs in full this Wednesday at 9 p.m.

The 30-second teaser, which you will find below, doesn't reveal the full extent of Brown's feelings about the attack, but what we are shown can be summed up like so: "It's just like, wow." Softballer Larry King asks: "When you hear about all the things the police reports say you did, what do you think of that?" Brown, clad in a boyish baby blue sweater and bow tie, looking ready for his first day of kindergarten, replies: "I just look at it like, wow. I'm in shock, because first of all that's not who I am as a person and that’s not who I promise I want to be. When I look at the police reports or hear about the police reports, I don't know what to think. I just don't know what to think. It's just, like, wow." On an identical note, CNN reports that in a clip not yet released Brown addresses the widely circulated image of a bruised and battered Rihanna: “When I look at it now, it’s just like, wow, like, I can’t -- I can’t believe that -- that actually happened.” He also says he doesn't remember "doing it," as King so indirectly puts it.

As with his scripted apology, Brown dances around what he did. It's this unspecified thing he can't remember doing -- despite having confessed to it. This all serves to distance him from the image of Rihanna's battered face, which has been burned into our collective pop consciousness. Not only does he not remember unleashing such rage upon his ex-girlfriend, but he can't even believe he did that, you know, thing that he did. The message is that he's a nice boy, a good boy and not an abuser. Never mind that abusers are so often nice boys, good boys -- when they aren't abusing. Let's not forget that he was involved in two prior domestic violence incidents with Rihanna.

CNN also reports that in as-yet-unseen footage, he announces that he still loves Rihanna. The declaration of love, the shock at being overtaken by such uncharacteristic rage and the promise to never do it again -- it's straight out of a domestic violence PSA. The only difference here is that he's telling this to us, the American public, the fans he's trying to win back, instead of his lover. I can only hope -- for his sake and that of his worshipful young fans -- that the full interview reveals Brown as being ready and willing to confront in uncensored detail what he did and begin to work at truly healing himself.

You can view the original posting of this article here.

Oh, and there's this, where he states he does remember the attack.

Is anyone else sick of his excuses?

He is trying to distance himself from this incident by talking about how he can't believe what happened, as if he had no control over the situation. It happened. He is thus removing the agency from this incident, accepting responsibility while simultaneously taking a step back.

Congratulations, Chris Brown--you're just like every other abuser; and you're still a douchebag. Your bow-tie notwithstanding.

H/T: Feministing