Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wallowing in my Mediocrity or my way of apologizing

I've managed to piss off a lot of people lately due to incoherent tirades on various topics. I think the following link will be helpful in understanding the rants that appear in this blog: Required Reading from The Angry Black Woman blog. Those writers are much more eloquent than I am. They still manage to offend...but more intelligently. The required reading list just also explains a lot in regards to my feelings about race and gender.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A reminder for those of us with too little time

A Time to Talk
by Robert Frost

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.


io9: Found Footage: Y Not Two Last Men?:

Photobucket A popular theme in science fiction films is a future (or hidden or extra terrestrial or Amazonian) world in which men have been eradicated* and women have formed their own lesbianic society. Usually what happens in these films is that a man or group of men who act as our main protagonists, wander into these worlds and in the end, couple up with some woman/women and everyone learns that the sexes really do need each other.

Hahaha. I'm just joking. What really happens is that the men teach the women that yes, women need men. I've managed to find a few of these films entertaining despite their sexism, because they were just silly. I think Queen of Outer Space is the only film that left a horrendously bad taste in my mouth. Today, however, perhaps it is the fact that I am in the middle of reading Second Sex and io9 posted the above clip that has me in such a tizzy.

You see, I am not offended by the proposition that men and women need each other. No, that's fine. I'm a red-blooded heterosexual woman. I love men. I'd hate not having men around. It's just the fact that men feel the need to tell us that we need them which is slightly offensive. Men (I am now using this term to refer to the patriarchal and misogynistic variety of the male homo sapiens) have always understood that they need women:

  1. Women provide sexual pleasure (for heterosexual men, who make up the majority of the male population)
  2. Women are necessary for reproduction
  3. Women take care of children and handle other domestic chores that are unappealing to many men

If men did not need women, they would have eradicated us. But instead they have enslaved us. As our societies have changed, men's superior strength has become less and less of an evolutionary advantage. As woman began seeking equality, man got scared at the threat to his supremacy. If woman no longer needs man for protection and science and cloning can make reproduction possible without man, then woman can survive without man.

I leave you with a quote from Second Sex:

In truth women have never set up female values in opposition to male values; it is man who, desirous of maintaining masculine prerogatives, has invented that divergence. Men have presumed to create a feminine domain - the kingdom of life, of immanence - only in order to lock women therein.

Ok, I lied. One more thought before I go: Can anyone tell me of any movies in which the opposite is true? In which there is but one woman left?

Movies of Note:


*In some cases, there are men around for breeding purposes.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Literature Killed the Radio Show?

Photobucket7th Son recently was brought to my attention by the sci-fi blog, io9. 7th Son is basically an audio book series by J. C. Hutchins which he released via podcast and which is now scheduled to be published in 2009.

So, the plot sounds amazing. I encourage you to go to the site and read about it. I even listened to the first few minutes of the first book and was immediately intrigued. The problem? After those first exciting minutes, my mind started to wander. You could blame it on the current state of our society, the need for every part of us to be stimulated, the death of radio at the hands of video...and you'd be partially right. I couldn't just sit and listen because my eyes would wander and my hands would wander causing my mind to traipse right along behind them. But it's not a film version of this story I am longing for. No, so much gets lost in film translations. I want the book. I want to hold the pages in my hands and get lost in looking at the print. I want my imagination to run wild, creating my own images of what the author is describing.

Perhaps it is the fact that I am a visual person which makes me less interested in audio-prose. I can handle books-on-tape or a radio show when I'm in a car...but that's the only time and place. Are there still people who sit at home and listen to radio shows? What do the 40,000 listeners of 7th Son do while they are listening?

Monday, May 12, 2008

A politician by any other name is just as sleazy

Can We Do That?

[At a Thurston Moore solo show]
Girl in front of crowd: Thurston, who are you going to vote for?
Thurston Moore: The black dude or the chick. ... Actually, fuck 'em all.

--Knitting Factory

via Overheard in New York, May 12, 2008

On Cookies

I believe that the emotional benefits of eating a delicious cookie far outweigh any nutritional deficiencies said cookie might have.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Acting Out

I created a Facebook profile for a friend of mine this previous evening. While not the first time I've made a Facebook page for someone else, it is the first time I've done so without the person over my shoulder, without me giving over the reigns of the page immediately; it's the first time when I've felt as if I were pretending to be someone else. And I feel that my fascination with that thought gives birth to the notion that perhaps with a different set of skills, I would be an actor.

But isn't this why I write? So that I can create the lives I want to live? I invent characters so that they can make choices that I can't and/or won't make. I get to travel the world, meet all sorts of people, get married, fly planes, be a samurai, play baseball, run marathons, paint masterpieces, understand mathematics...without ever having to be anyone other than myself. I can sit at my computer, caress the keys, and experience entire worlds that would otherwise be well out of my grasp.


If I had the language of a food critic or a beer connoisseur, I could describe to you with a uniform set of words what it is that makes drinking a Guinness so amazing. Perhaps if I had any sort of understanding of science or psychology I could discuss the proteins and hormones involved in the enjoyment I receive from putting the pint glass to my lips and pouring the dark liquid into my mouth. But I am not adequately equipped to do this, so suffice it to say, Guinness can make a dark day bright again.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Making the most of it

If Platitudes Won't Sway Me, Nothing Will
Guy #1: Well, they do say life's short, gotta make the most of it.
Guy #2: I am pretty positive life is the longest thing I am ever going to do. And I am not going into that strip club, okay?

via Overheard Everywhere, May 8, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ramble, ramble, mumble, mumble

Sometimes I am thinking of a word but I can not think of the word itself, its letters or syllables, but merely its definition and its implications and so I ramble and ramble, go on and on spouting minutes (hours?) of thoughts that all add up to one word.

"What I'm Trying to Say" by Stars

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tower of Babel

This painting is hanging in my office. It is one of my favorites:

Tower of Babel

Further reading:

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Just a thought

Perhaps growing up is learning when it is okay to eat ice cream for breakfast.

I believe in dreaming

The Uses of Poetry
by William Carlos Williams

I've fond anticipation of a day
O'erfilled with pure diversion presently,
For I must read a lady poesy
The while we glide by many a leafy bay,

Hid deep in rushes, where at random play
The glossy black winged May-flies, or whence flee
Hush-throated nestlings in alarm,
Whom we have idly frighted with our boat's long sway.

For, lest o'ersaddened by such woes as spring
To rural peace from our meek onward trend,
What else more fit? We'll draw the latch-string

And close the door of sense; then satiate wend,
On poesy's transforming giant wing,
To worlds afar whose fruits all anguish mend.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Live a Life of No Regrets

"Gerry, I'm a woman! We don't say what we WANT! But we reserve the right to get pissed off if we don't get it. That's what makes us so fascinating! And not a little bit scary."
-Lydia in Sliding Doors


I have a problem with Grand Theft Auto, not because I believe that it will turn children violent. No, it might inspire violence in someone who is already a powder keg, but that sort of potential would likely be ignited by some other source, anyway. My problem with Grand Theft Auto is that it reveals the part of ourselves which would wish away the moral codes by which we live. It shows that somewhere inside of us, we would like to live a consequence free life, steal cars without remorse, beat people without regret, degrade women without regard...It shows that no matter how dearly we value our social codes, or how much we respect justice, somewhere we think life might be more fun without these rules, more liberating without God himself.

Eye of the Beholder

PhotobucketI like to think that I have a pretty perverted mind, but I must admit that I saw nothing scandalous in the already over-discussed Annie Liebovitz-shot Vanity Fair photos of tween sensation, Miley Cyrus. To me, she looks like a young teen who's just woken up. That's how many of my friends looked first thing in the morning, ten years ago. Granted, pajamas were worn when with company, and the lips were not quite so rosy...

Perhaps the scandal is a result of people lashing out about what is in their own minds? Is this simply another side effect of of our culture's obsession with sex? We see "sexiness" all of the time and instead of dealing with the unhealthy aspects, the reactionaries rebel against the human body itself. ("What is so offensive about Janet Jackson's nipple?" is a question I can't get a straight answer to. I can't understand how a child would be traumatised by the sight of one human breast on a television set.)

Further reading:

Pretty Unconvinced

Pretty in PinkI only recently learned that John Hughes originally intended for Andie to end up with Duckie at the end of Pretty in Pink. In fact, the ending had to be reshot with Andie and Blane together after the test audiences responded very negatively to the Andie/Duckie pairing.

"They wanted her to get the cute guy," Hughes says rather disgustedly during a featurette in the "Everything's Duckie Edition" of the DVD. While he eventually wrote the ending in a way that would satisfy him and all of his "critics," it is clear that he still wishes Duckie got the girl.Molly Ringwald is the one person who feels the way I feel about the situation: Andie and Duckie did not belong together.

(Ringwald admits that when Robert Downey, Jr. was being offered the role of Duckie, the eventual romance made sense. She, as a woman, found him attractive, and he could play the sort of guy for whom Andie would eventually fall.)

Now, don't misunderstand me: Duckie is quite a catch. He's adorable, well dressed, loyal, and thoughtful. But he is also insecure, immature, and obsessive. Andie is a girl who has everyone's eye because there is something special about her; she has the potential to eventually supercede her financial status, to overcome the limitations of her life and truly make something of herself. She is special. And this potential is too big for a relationship with Duckie. They would never be equals. This is not because Duckie isn't smart or because he also doesn't have potential, but because he worships her so humbly, that he could never provide the mental stimulation or emotional challenge that would be required to make an equal and balanced romantic relationship.

Hughes calls the film a fairy tale when discussing his resignation to the fact that Blane would get the girl. It is also a fairy tale to believe that Andie would ever be truly happy with Duckie without wondering, "What if?" In fact, I think only a man could come up with the idea of Duckie and Andy together. (See any Judd Apatow movie. Don't get me wrong; I think most of his protagonists are hot, but only a man could come up with a revisionist romantic comedy in which the goofy, immature guy gets the really hot chick. A woman would say, "I want it all or nothing. I want a guy who's goofy and mature or I want to be alone.")

Some Kind of WonderfulHughes finally got the ending he wanted with Some Kind of Wonderful. Why was this ending more palatable for audiences? Because the genders are switched. The regular girl helps her regular guy friend woo the rich, popular girl, and in the end, the regular guy realizes that he should be with his best friend. Why is even this slightly more palatable to me?

  1. Because the girl knew all along that she wanted the guy and girls know these things before guys do. To paraphrase Ringwald, "If there's no spark, you can't just force a spark at the last minute." There's visible sexual tension between the two protagonists of Some Kind of Wonderful throughout the entire film. In Pretty in Pink, there is no plausible sexual tension between Duckie and Andie, save the attraction Duckie feels for her.
  2. While Keith is rather dull compared to Watts, they are more evenly matched. She pines for him rather pathetically, sure...but when she gets overwhelmed by her pain, her lashing out isn't quite as whiney as Duckey's.

Maybe audiences felt this too? Or maybe not. Some Kind of Wonderful does not resonate as strongly today as Pretty in Pink.