Monday, April 28, 2008
Second, as a early childcare provider, I felt obliged to link to this article. It is yet one more reason that childcare settings and playdates are a good thing for children. It appears as if children who are in these situations where thy are exposed to a lot of other germs and infections are then better prepared to deal with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). ALL is the most prevalent form of childhood leukemia and just being around a lot of other children seems to cut the rate of children getting it by 30%. This is awesome and amazing. Just FYI.
This is a very adult picture that probably never should have been taken, but even if it was taken and you really wanted to make sure your reputation would stay in tact than you should not have Ok'd the publication of this photo. Also, most magazines do not want to get sued so they cover their asses pretty well and the layout and article was probably sent to either Cyrus, her father or some representative of Miley Cyrus to peruse, so now saying that they were unaware of what was in the article and that they regret it. It is now too little, too late.
There is obviously a problem with society when the type of questions that could be asked and the photographs that could be taken were asked and were taken. We need to stop hyper-sexualizing our celebrities especially our teen celebrities, but I guess this is just a pipe dream for me at this point.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Now as I am sure you know if you have read this blog before, I am definitely not on the side of abstinence-only education. It is obviously not working and as said above it ignores the facts, kids are having sex. I would also venture that most sensible people would also add that we do not want kids to have sex, teenage pregnancy is an epidemic in this country and that statistic that I started with about the high number of teenage girls who are contracting STDs is saddening. But the real point of this post is going to be that there is something missing in the idea of abstinence only education and possibly other forms of sex ed that we are now using in our schools, they pretend that all of this happens in a vacuum. Abstinence only education may work if that was the only information that children are getting, but it is not. As I have talked about here and here children are receiving messages about sex and affection constantly and long before they get to high school or junior high when sex ed would usually be taught. They see their favorite celebrities pregnant i.e. Jamie Lynn Spears, they see mommy and daddy sleep the same bed and kiss or share affection, hell they share affection with their parents and relatives in the form of kissing and hugging. And as I have talked, at times children get into situations which might be inappropriate for their age such as kissing each other or laying on top of each other. So they are getting the message that sharing affection with someone you love is a good thing and so it only seems to make sense, to me, that sex becomes that ultimate sharing of affection. As preschoolers that I work with, they may not think of sex as the natural progression, but it doesn't take long for peers to start to "educate" each other about sex. I would reasonably say that in under five years this peer education is fully in effect so then they have a long time of thinking about sex and how to get to that ultimate goal.
Sure teenagers are not prepared for the consequences of sex and are not even thinking about it, but in the same way that misogyny and racism are deeply ingrained in our society so is the concept that sex is a good thing and that you should be having sex when you can. But with abstinence-only education we send mixed signals, we say that sex is ok within a loving relationship, marriage, but not before and yet all of the messages that we see in the media say that sex is fine anytime. Now, I am not coming down on the media here, although they are also at fault as well, but really as a society we need to educate our children better to understand and be able to process that sex is a big responsibility. I would never say you should wait till marriage, as that would be hypocritical of me, but I do say that we should encourage teenagers to be in more long term relationships and to be careful who they have sex with. I would also say that we need to educate teenagers on how to be safe with sex, that birth control pills should not be the only form of protection you are using and that the pullout method is just plain stupid and not effective. We need to take this on as a society and not rely just on the parents or the education system to do everything, this needs to be a joint effort of everyone involved from parents and educators to the media. Finally I would argue that we need to start a lot earlier with teaching children. We need to start to teach them when they are still young about their bodies and use proper names. We need to allow them to ask us as parents about sex and be open that children may have questions. I believe that once sex is no longer is such a mystery and that it is not forbidden to even ask questions, we may actually see the rates of teen pregnancy drop.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
This is the way this campaign will now start to go, I predict (going out on a limb ain't I). The state and local parties will start the mud flinging and maybe McCain will object at least in the media, but behind the scenes he will encourage them to do this. It allows him to keep his hands clean and yet the mud is still flung. This also allows for the national Republican party to do some negative campaigning, but again really leave it up to the local level especially in states like those in the South, which aren't really friendly to the Democrats anyway. This campaign is really going to get nasty and it is going to get nasty quick from the Republicans. Whether it is the first women candidate or the first African-American candidate, they will go either sexist or racist, but it is coming and when it does, it is going to be totally and utterly disgusting. I am so sick of American politics right now, but I guess until the revolution comes and we overthrow the current system, I will just have to find ways to keep fighting within the current system.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!! And some of his plays performed or at least discussed by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, enjoy. I figured the bard would enjoy some laughs on his birthday.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Now I appreciate that there are people in this world who do not have the time or space for a dog and in my place currently, I may be one of them that does not truly have the space for a bigger dog like I have, but really if you do not have the time or space than fine, but rent-a-dog is a horrible idea. Dogs are animals that want love and affection. They are pack animals, so they like to be able to run with the same pack. Now most dogs will accept new people and even possibly new animals into the pack with some work, but always shifting packs is a bad idea. These are not commodities or possessions to be traded and given away. This is like having a rental child. You do not have a child just to take them to the playground, just like you do not have a dog just to take them on walks. You have animals and children for the camaraderie and affection that you can share. You also accept a dog into your home and you have to be responsible for their needs and not just four times a month, every day. There are too many dogs that need homes and now some people just do not want the responsibility, so they rent a dog. If you really do not have the room or time to take care of a dog in your home, than volunteer at a shelter once or twice a month or four times a month. There are plenty of animals at shelters that need your love and affection too.
And besides the point, you do not have a dog for the walks, cleaning up their excrement is not my idea of fun. You have a dog to play with them and to enjoy having a companion. This is another sign of the coming apocalypse and the decline into pure materialism in this country and now abroad.
Your Score: Saffron
You scored 75% intoxication, 25% hotness, 75% complexity, and 50% craziness!
You are Saffron!
Those other spices have nothing on you! You're warm, smart, and you make people feel really good (and with no side-effects!). You can be difficult to get to know and require a lot of those who try, but you're so totally worth it. *Sigh*
|Link: The Which Spice Are You Test written by jodiesattva on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
View My Profile(jodiesattva)
But while I was on YouTube, I did find this song. I know it is a cover by James McMurty, but it is a great song and I really like this version by Shawn Mullins.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
The section on apples focuses of the myth and the actual man of Johnny Appleseed and the growth of apples as the frontier of the US was opened up. As a history person, it was interesting to see how one man was able to create a growth of a crop that had great value and that was spread with the settlers pretty much as they pushed the boundary of the "wilderness". Now the reason they grew the apples was to make cider, mostly of the alcoholic variety and not as a fruit to be eaten, which then leads to the kinds of apples they were growing. It is also interesting for me as I love hard cider, but apples as a fruit to be eaten that are sweet are a relatively new idea dating back to only the prohibition era. So as the types and tastes of the apples that were desired changed so did the types of apples that were grown, which led to the consolidation of types of apples from many to only a few. It was interesting and sad to see the ways in which as Americans we wanted only a limited kind of apples, those that were big and sweet, we have limited the types of apples that are grown and hence have cut off some of the variation in apples.
The section on Tulips was the hardest for me to enjoy. On one hand the Dutch Tulipmania was interesting, but the depth in which he looks at the pollination of flowers was a bit much for me. I am just not as interested in plants that serve as purely measures of beauty and are more esthetic than practical, I guess.
The next section of Marijuana was again interesting to me. Although I am not really a pot smoker and have only smoked pot a handful of times, it was interesting to see how a plant that had no intrinsic purpose other than as a way to make rope has become one that is used for recreational purposes much more often. The cannabis plant starts out as mainly used for the strength of the hemp fibers to make rope in America as the type that would allow for intoxication will not grow well in our climate except in limited areas. As the types of cannabis that exist are combined we find that we can create a plant that will grow in a wider variety of climates that will also allow for the same intoxicating effects. This section also highlighted another problem with the War on Drugs, when the federal government started to really crack down on marijuana in the mid-1980s and hence marijuana growers were forced to go underground more than they were and were forced to create better and stronger plants to withstand the forced growth in basically indoor greenhouses, they created a stronger and more potent intoxicant. Hence the War on Drugs which was supposed to lessen these drugs only made them stronger as man started to learn to create stronger plants. There was also increased hybridization of the pot plants to make them more suited to growing smaller and producing more of the parts that we want to get high. This also drives up the price of pot and we create more growers not less. So maybe banning pot was not such a great idea, huh.
The fourth section was on potatoes. This section, in many ways, focused on the increased involvement of corporations, specifically Monsanto, in the growing and manipulation of plants to create what we as humans want. Pollan is able to get some NewLeaf potato plants from Monsanto that are supposed to be genetically altered so that the potato bugs cannot eat them or at least they die when they try to eat the potato plant. He wants then to see if they do truly work as a natural pesticide and also to see if he can see or taste a difference in these potatoes over the other potatoes in his garden. In combination with this experiment, he meets with several farmers who grow potatoes, two of the farmers used the NewLeaf and the other one was an organic farmer. The farmers who were using the genetically altered plants were interesting, one of the farmers grew the altered plants for corporate America who wants these perfect potatoes for their french fires and other products, but never fed them to his family; his own garden is purely organic. And he says that most of the farmers he knows, do not eat their own products either. Another of the farmers, used the genetically altered products regularly and even fed them to Pollan in a potato salad. But when he was challenged about how the corporations were affecting his farm, he did say that the corporations were creating another noose around his neck even with a Monsanto representative sitting at the table with them. Of course the organic farmer was a great proponent of the organic farming and pointed out all of the positives of organic farming, As to the NewLeaf potatoes that Pollan had planted, he said that they looked fine, but by the end of the book, he couldn't eat them. He didn't feel comfortable with them as there is no way of knowing how the splicing of genetics to create a natural pesticide would affect his own self after eating them. He noted that he knew that it was very possible that he and many others had eaten the NewLeaf potatoes at a McDonalds or any other fast food restaurant even though McDonalds did end up saying they would not buy the NewLeaf potatoes after much pressure was put on them, but for a while they were using these potatoes. He even thought of taking them to a community pot luck, but then would have felt guilty if he did not tell everyone that the potatoes were genetically altered and then who would want to eat, knowingly, genetically altered food.
Overall, it is an interesting book in the view of how humans and plants interact. The reader sees how much that human desire creates an impetus for us to alter plants to fit our needs. We select plants that are the biggest, the prettiest, the sweetest, the most intoxicating and the most profitable. We alter the plants to fit what we want from them. Sure, up till the most current times we were not altering the genetics of plants, we were only utilizing the mutations that nature had created, but then we did propagate these mutations and continue to grow only the ones that we liked thus limiting the diversity in nature. But with the beginning of Gregor Mendel and his pea plants (thank you high school biology) we began to alter plant genetics, we began to play with nature and make it into what we, as humans, thought it should be. Pollan seems to argue that plants change and evolve to suit us as well as bees and birds because we are as important to their survival as any other animal. He may be somewhat true in this assertion, we do ensure that some plants live, we do ensure that some plant's genetics continue on, but the key here is SOME. Bees do not look at flowers and pick the flower that is the prettiest, they do not decide to cross the red flower with the white flower to make a pink flower, they are attracted to something different. The relationship between the bee and the plant is symbiotic. I am not as convinced that the relationship between humans and plants is nearly as equal when taken in the general. We do not advance a whole species of plants, just the ones that please us. One final point, Pollan seems to indicate that there is some order, in his opinion, to the evolution of plants to attract humans, where as I see the evolution of plants as random combinations of mutations in which some work and some don't.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
So what can we do to encourage more girls to play the guitar and drums and more boys to play the flute and violin? Just that, we can encourage them to learn about and try all kinds of instruments. We can expose them to famous and accomplished musicians that break these gender stereotypes. And we can start these practices at a young age. I know in the preschool center I work at, we have music and the music teacher is amazing with the amount of different instruments that he brings in. We had an electric guitar this week, we have had all kinds of percussion instruments from snare drums to hand drums to singing bowls. We see instruments from around the world and all kinds of instruments the kids may not have seen before. But the most important part is that the kids get to play with all of these instruments. They get to bang on the drums and "play"the singing bowls. And I will tell you what, it is one of the coolest things I have ever seen watching four and five year olds strap on an electric guitar and rock out. He even had an effects pedal so that the kids could make the guitar louder and fuzzier. They had fun and they got to experience another musical instrument. Does this mean that they all will become musicians? Probably not, but what it does mean is that maybe, just maybe when it is time for them to pick an instrument, at least one of those girls will think back on the fun they had playing an electric guitar and decide that they want to learn how to really play one.
NOTE: All of this is coming from someone who has not a musical bone in his body. I played viola and clarinet when I was younger and never really liked it all that much. I just do not have the talent for music, but I want to see every child that does have an interest in music be able to pursue whatever instrument they want and to see the gender stereotypes around everything including musical instruments broken down.
And for good measure two artists that break these stereotypes.
Melissa Etheridge- I'm the only one
James Galway- Lord of the Rings Suite
Turns out I did know James Galway, I just didn't know it. He did the music for the recent Lord of the Rings movies.
Monday, April 14, 2008
After having watched and really like the movie, Smoke Signals, which I talked about here, I found out that the movie was based upon a book of short stories by Alexie called The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. I read this book and really liked it, I thought I had reviewed it, but I can't find it on this site so I guess not. Anyway, so I then got another of his short stories, Ten Little Indians. Whereas Loner Ranger... takes place pretty much totally on a Spokane Indian reservation outside of Seattle, Ten Little Indians takes place totally off a reservation, but still contains stories about Spokane Indians. Many of the stories take place in and around Seattle. Each story discusses life for Indians especially Spokane Indians in the modern world. The struggles of being an Indian, where you are viewed as basically having to be a representative of all Indians. And all Indians are supposed to have this mystical, pantheistic connection to the world. They are not supposed to have needs and wants, they are all supposed to be a shaman of some sort. These stories are about the reality of living up to being in a minority in your world. There are funny stories, sad stories, and angry stories. The characters are everything from a lawyer to a young woman who is in college and is trying to find her identity to a homeless man. Alexie amazed me as each time I read a story, it was vastly different from the story prior or even any other story in the book. I have found that many authors that I have read who have done short stories, tend to have a similar vantage point, they are male or female in all of the stories, but Alexie has stories from the perspective of both genders, although there may be more stories from a male perspective, but as a male this is probably a more comfortable writing style for him. But all of the stories are in a first person narrative, you never seem to know more than the characters themselves and so you are taking the journey along with the characters. Each story is heartfelt and interesting. I do not rad enough short stories and so this book was a great way for me to really get hooked into that genre. If you are looking for a book that will allow you to see life from another perspective, that of a Spokane Indian and want to laugh, cry and become angry at times as you read, than get this book and enjoy.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Funny Games has a very simple plot, it is the story of a middle-class family who are held hostage and tortured by two young men. Yep, that is whole plot, it is complex in its simplicity. As you watch the film, you kind of know how it will end and you can predict much of the action, but that is not the point of this film. This film, according to the director, is about the portrayal of violence in the media. We watch a family get tortured and yet we never actually see them shot, stabbed or hit with a golf club and yet all of these things happen. We hear their screams and we see the after affects of the violence, but the actual violence is not on screen. As an audience we are also accomplices in this violence, because we never see the actual violence, we cannot act purely as voyeur. We are like the husband or wife when the other is being tortured, we are there and we hear what is happening, but of course we do not actually want to see the violence. We do not want to watch our significant other get stabbed. We are also implicated in the movie as one of the actors, throughout the movie, looks directly into the camera and talks to us in the audience. We are asked our opinion on the violence, at one point he even asks us if it has been enough and in anticipation of our reply, he answers, "We're not up to feature film length yet. You want a real ending with plausible plot development." We are not able to see this film as merely a movie, it is more about us and our perceptions of the acceptability of violence in the media, or at least that is how I saw it. So, do I recommend this film? Yes and no, I think it is an incredibly powerful film and the direction, acting and writing are outstanding, but it is also not for the faint of heart. This is not what has now become called horror porn, where we are watching gore for the sake of gore, we are watching a film about violence with no reason at all.
As an additional note, there are two versions of this film. The original, which is the one I just saw, from 1997 and is in Austrian and the new American version. The American version is supposed to be a shot-by-shot remake of the original and from the trailer I found, it appears to be very much the same film, but with different actors and in English. The director is also the same for both versions, Michael Haneke. Even the lake house where the action takes place appears to be the same set. I am curious to see the American version because Naomi Watts, Tim Roth and Michael Pitt are in it, but I am not sure as it is the same movie, if it will be as powerful the second time as it is the first time.
The only other issue that I have with this article is that it explicitly says that apparently only women think that reading is important. It states that men are not typically readers and "rare is the guy who’d throw a pretty girl out of bed for revealing her imperfect taste in books". Now there are a few men quoted in the article that profess that they do like brainy women, but the article does seem a bit tilted toward women and their issues with men who just aren't as smart as them.
Hmmmm so apparently men are shallow beings who don't read. I guess that means, my brother, my dad, all of the men on both sides of my family and so many other men that I know, must not be real men as we do like to read. This again is one stereotype we need to end right here and right now. This means w also need to encourage and work with our boys to grow to love reading. We cannot create a society of educated people without raising them to love reading, both boys and girls. I mean look what happens to our country when we allow a non-reader to run the country, we go to hell in a hand basket. I know I am preaching to the choir in this post, but I still wanted to put this out there. Also, since I am preaching to the choir, if you have not done so yet, please go to this website and email your Congress-people and let them know that they have to save the very important Reading is Fundamental program. This program provides free books to school kids across the country for them to take home and learn to enjoy. In my experience in public schools, this is the only way some kids get to have books in their homes and for all kids there is no such thing as too many books in a home.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I have not done one of these, cooking dinner posts so I decided tonight was the night to do one. I had pizza tonight, mmmmmmmm pizza. I have been making my own pizza for a while now as it is cheaper to make it myself than to get it delivered or go get it and it is better too. At first I was just buying dough at Trader Joes and then making it here, they sell dough for $1 for one pizza. I found this to be really good, really cheap dough that was still raw dough so it was easy to freeze and then make into whatever shape I wanted. I also could use this dough to make calzones with tomato sauce and cheese and then whatever I wanted to put into it, ricotta, spinach, veggie pepperoni, whatever I felt like at the time. So then I figured I would make my own dough, I mean how hard can it be and I had already started to make my own bread, but just started that. It is super easy to make, but then the best part was that Sir Robin did a whole post on pizza and I was able to use his pizza rdough recipe which makes four pizzas for me and so I can make one and then freeze the rest till I want to make pizza again, which is like weekly. So tonights was just a plain cheese pizza, no frills, just real quick and easy.
Pizza dough with sauce. I wanted a lot of sauce tonight, I am not sure why. Sometimes I use a lot of sauce and sometimes very little.
Now it has cheese and in it goes to the oven.
Here it is done. It might have been a bit over cooked and as you can see, it got stuck to the pizza stone and so tore a bit. But it was really good.
So now you may be wondering why I even brought this up, other than the obvious, I learned something new today and wanted to share it, which is also true. But I also see this as another example of when women who did not need or have a man for sexual pleasure had to be labeled. There had to be something wrong with them, I mean within a patriarchal society does not every women need a man for sex? Now the patriarchy also says that women do not have individual sexual needs so using a broomstick or another dildo makes no sense within the patriarchy. Women should not want or need anything other than a man between her legs, right. So again, a man walks past the house of a women who is alone, widowed or having never been married, she has a broomstick or something else between her legs and she is happy, ahhh she must be a witch. No women should be happy without a man, right. This is again, the patriarchy or in this case possibly one man deciding she must be a witch purely because she has no husband. I hadn't really gotten this far in my thought until I started typing, but then how many "witches" that were burned were either lesbians or never married? These women had to be witches, they did not need a man. The whole idea of saying they were able to cast a spell on you is just ludicrous, medicine was very primitive at this point, so it was very common for a "doctor" to be using the same potions and plants that a witch used, the difference, she was a woman. This leads me to my favorite Monty Python scene ever, the witch scene in Search for the Holy Grail.
So other than that being a fucking funny clip, it also makes my point perfectly. She was a witch and how did they know, because she looked like a witch. Well, they added the hat, the clothes and the nose. So now, she still looks like a witch, huh. Oh and she cast a spell, but he "got bettah". The reality, ok so this is not real, but still... is that she probably didn't have a husband and/or had rebuked some man's interest in her, so she must be a witch, what other kind of women would not want a man? I know there are probably a thousand other ways to come to the same conclusion about the "witches" and the patriarchy, but isn't the addition of the reasoning why the broomstick is associated with witches just an interesting twist.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
To give you a bit of a background on my mother because this is important to my whole point, I would consider my mother to a first generation feminist, at least as I understand it. She has always been a strong female, she has always made of point of talking to my brother and I about the fact that men and women are equal which was reflected in my growing up and my parent's house. I can remember at one point, my mother making a point that we do not objectify women or their bodies in their house and that this was not acceptable behavior with my parents. This grew out of her seeing the album cover for a CD with a scantily clad women on the front. Now the fact that this was for a female rapper, which she had no way of knowing, did not change the fact that she and my father did not feel as though this was material that was appropriate for me. She did not ban me from listening to the music or censor me in any way, but this point was still made. This varies from other topics where I had teachers who felt that my brother or I were reading books that were not appropriate for us, Tom Clancy nnovels in my case and Bram Stroker's Dracula in my brother's case, both comments made by the same fifth grade teacher. My parents stuck up for mine and my brother's rights to read what we wanted to read. So when she told me that an album cover was not appropriate it stuck with me. Yeah I didn't totally understand at that point, but I did start to not make sure that albums that I thought they would not like, I covered more. This does not change the fact that I still listened to them, but I was more conscious of what I was listening to.
Fast forward to the present, well about mid-June to July when I started to blog read on a very regular basis and not just read some idiot my brother was friends with who did mostly self serving, egotistical fluff pieces most of the time. I started to read many writers who were women and were strong feminists. Sure, I was conscious of feminism and the desire of equal rights for men and women, but here I was reading more impassioned ideals. I was reading about the ways in which the patriarchy hurts not only women, but also men. I was reading about the subtle ways in which we have been so conditioned to not even realize that the patriarchy is still very strong. I guess I knew we still live in a very patriarchical society, but it took more than that for me to wipe the haze away from my eyes. It took people saying look at this advertisement, look at this comment, look at this whole notion of life and what it means and see how fucked up it really is. How much we hurt ourselves as fellow humans when we value one gender over another. And it was like a cloud lifting, I began to see the world around me in such a different way. Now it took a while for this to happen and I am still struggling to fight my own biases and misogyny, but I am fighting and I am noticing how my actions and the actions of those around me do affect the whole world. I am beginning to see that we still have a long way to go in fighting to truly create a society that is free from sexism, along with racism and all of the other -isms that we humans like to use to label others.
But I have to say though, that I struggle to consider myself a feminist, truly. I read on a blog (I don't honestly remember which one and it could have been on several) the whole idea that as a man it is hard to define yourself as a feminist. I am uncomfortable with this label for me. First, I generally dislike labels anyway, but this one I really struggle with. I find as a man, the world is still tilted in my favor. I find that I still have many of the advantages and that in many cases, I don't realize till it is too late that I have gained an advantage purely because I am a white male. I do not have the same fears when I am walking down a street late at night as I have heard women express, now part of this is that usually if I am out, I have Logan with me or I am in a very familiar area, but still... I don't have to think about the fact that those who have been in power, and hopefully this will change this year, have looked like me. I don't have to deal with society judging my worth based upon my looks, my weight or the size of my clothing. I am allowed to grow older and have wrinkles and even have my hair turn gray, although I am losing mine, but this is still more acceptable in men than women. I never have to deal with someone blaming my bad mood on hormones or "that time of the month."
And the biggest issue and the one that I guess I think about most is that I never have to worry about my reproductive rights. As a male, I am encouraged to reproduce and there is no negative stereotype attributed if I have had a lot of sexual partners, which I haven't, but still. I also can never get pregnant and so i do not have to worry about whether I would have an abortion or not. Now this does not absolve me of any responsibility, in fact I think, it means I have more responsibility. As I have to be able to be responsible for my own actions and not cause my partner to feel as though she has to make this decision. I would be there for my partner, but I have felt for a while now that as a male, my job in this debate is to help to support my partner. It is not my body hence I cannot and should not tell you what you can and cannot do with it. This is why I am pro-choice. I am male and so I have NO right to tell you that you cannot make this choice. The whole idea of pro-life as a male makes absolutely no sense to me. How can any man ever tell any women what she can do with her body? Now I would agree that no person, male or female, has the right to tell someone what to do with your body, but as a female at least you have the same "plumbing" and so have some idea, as a male I have no idea and cannot even begin to understand. So, am I a feminist? NO. But I consider myself on the same side.
Here is possibly one of the greatest math videos I have ever seen and the kid in the video makes it.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Marilyn Manson- Sweet Dreams
Hell, I didn't know that Marilyn Manson had done this song and for one of the great really bad movie spoofs that has been made recently. But it was mentioned last night so I found it and now had to post it.
Marilyn Manson- Tainted Love
Oh yeah and one more for good luck, this song has been an earwig for like a week now.
Marcy Playground-Sex and Candy
Monday, April 7, 2008
Bug is an incredibly interesting film about paranoia and what it does to people. I am still not sure what I think about this film over all. The film is based upon an off-broadway play by the same name that was written by Tracy Letts who also wrote the screenplay for this movie. The entire film takes place, basically, in a hotel room. Ashley Judd plays Agnes, an emotionally scarred and battered women. Harry Connick, Jr. plays her abusive ex-husband who has recently gotten out of jail and is still emotionally and physically abusing her throughout the movie. Finally, Michael Shannon plays Peter, a paranoid schizophrenic, who meets and eventually befriends Agnes. Most of the movie the only two people shown are Agnes and Peter. We see Agnes descend along with Peter into his paranoia of the invasion of bugs into his body and their hotel room. This is an amazing performance by both actors. I was amazed at how believable both Judd and Shannon are as two people who at first glance appear to be stable individuals and even ones who are creating a realtionship which will help both of them. We then watch them fall apart both physically and mentally and descend into a destructive spiral that consumes both of them. Harry Connick, Jr. performance as the abusive boyfriend is also amazing. He is not on the screen that much, but he does help to feed much of Agnes's paranoia and when he is on the screen, he is an intense and overpowering man. Although, we only see him hit Agnes once, we see that he still has much of an emotional hold on her. This is an awesome film about paranoia and two people's descent into their own private hell.
But I'm a Cheerleader is a 180 degree change from Bug. This film is a comedy about a young girl, Meagan played by Natasha Lyonne, whose parents think she is a lesbian so they send her to a "deprogramming" camp to get rid of her homosexual tendencies. Cathy Moriarty plays the camp director along with an out-of-drag RuPaul Charles as her male counterpart that helps the gay boys to get over their tendencies. This film is hilarious and makes me wonder if these deprogramming camps really do seem this incompetent. I am sure the real thing is much more religiously based and the whole Jesus can heal me thing, which in the movie is missing, thanks be to the Spaghetti Monster. But it does seem to be slightly contrary to take a bunch of hormonal homosexual teens and then put them into a same-sex camp bunk with no real supervision. I am sure this is totally opposite of what happens in real life, but in the movie this creates very funny consequences. There are also some great scenes of perpetuating the gender stereotypes like all the girls are taught to do is clean, while the boys are taught football, to chop wood and to work on cars. Sure the characters are all a bit stereotypically gay, but that is part of the whole cheesy appeal of this movie. There is also some great cameos by Richard Moll and Wesley Mann as a gay couple who are trying to provide the teens as an alternative to the deprogramming, basically being themselves and accepting their own sexuality. This is another of those really funny movies that I am not sure everyone has seen and yet, I think everyone should see, yes even those fundamentalists. May be they would realize that their delusions of trying to change a person are stupid and we should learn to just accept ourselves and those around us for the person they are.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Yet again the mentally ill get fucked over by a private company. And we claim to be the best country in the world, I am calling bullshit!
Now on the other end of the spectrum, Peter Sagal, host of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me on NPR, has a commentary about the misogyny of the new movie Horton Hears a Who. I have not seen the movie, but according to him the movie changes the book significantly in not so good ways. The mayor of Whoville now has 96 daughters and 1 son and guess which one of his children has to save the world? Yep, you guessed it, the son. As Sagal asks and I would agree, why can't any of these 96 girls save the world? Why does the hero in movies have to be just that, a hero, why can we not have a heroine? As Sagal puts it, "And while we're at it, how come a girl doesn't get to blow up the Death Star! Or send ET home? Or defeat Captain Hook! Or Destroy the Ring of Power!" Yeah, why? And furthermore when there is a heroine and the only one I can think of is Lara Croft, why does she have to be so scantily clad, now I have nothing against seeing Angelina Jolie scantily clad, but really it is not necessary for the movie. She is a fucking adventurer and explorer, and she wears nothing, this makes no sense. The new Indiana Jones movie is coming out soon and yet Harrison Ford is always dressed in these films. You do not see him running around with no shirt on and in a thong, as much as I am sure there are members of the population that would enjoy that, we do not subject our male action heroes to such stupidity. As I think about this further, the only female action character that I can think of that is tough and is not totally undressed the whole time is, Tank Girl. How many people have seen this movie? (Heather, put your hand down, I know you have.) But it is such a great movie based upon a British underground feminist comic book that starts Lori Petty and Naomi Watts and yet no one has seen it. So we need more female action stars that can dress the part, that do not need to be scantily clothed just for us to watch them and we need more commercials that show that this whole dividing work along gender lines is stupid and not beneficial to either women or men.
Now onto my other point about this debate, Clinton has already agreed to this debate, while Obama is not sure this debate would work into his schedule. He has said that he had proposed a debate before April 22nd, but that Clinton declined that timing. I am tired of the little fights between the two of them. I want them to just agree to handle this like adults and point out their weaknesses, but stop the attacks on each other and start to attack McCain more. So what does this have to do with a debate? Well, maybe if they had a debate, they could point out these differences and stop firing at each other from afar.
I know that in many ways this debate does not make total sense, there are only a few states left to hold primaries and for each campaign actually making campaign stops may serve their purposes better than having a nationally televised debate in which only a few states' voters would really have a vested interest, but if this is to be the presidential candidate for our party, shouldn't we all want to see them make their stands more known and to explain their differences? Also, isn't this a good venue in which both of them can point out all of McCain's faults and he has many, so stop the stalling already and have the damn debate. Oh yeah and please let us commoners have a chance to get tickets to see the show.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
As everyone know, I have the biggest crush on Rachel Maddow, I mean who doesn't, but she pwns Joe Scarborough here and so how can I not love her more than here.