but for the record, the first Tragedy-with-a-capital-T, the first in-the-newspapers, talked-about-everywhere, immediately-scorched-a-permanent-place-in-our-national-consciousness tragedy that i remember being really aware of, remember hearing about (from my fifth grade teacher) and, then, remember getting frankly kind of obsessed with, as much as a fifth grader can get obsessed with a national tragedy, which is to say i read all the (many) time magazine articles, and all the articles in other news outlets i found talking about it, at a time when i basically didn’t read news at all (and thank god i was not yet the internet addict i am now because that would have ended fucking poorly for me) - that was columbine. i never did get around to seeing bowling for columbine, and that book about it that came out last year, i still haven’t managed to decide whether i want to read it or not, because on the one hand the ghost of that morbid fascination i had with it as a kid still lingers, and on the other hand is that a thing i really want to feed and indulge or is that a thing i want to pretend isn’t there until it really isn’t anymore, you know?
but it is definitely still there, beacuse i think about columbine first, pot second every 4/20, because that’s the first thing 4/20 meant to me - that’s actually how i learned about the pot thing, because time magazine pointed out that the shooting happened on 4/20, which is the pot day (and - how’s this for my creepy side combining with my freakish memory for weird details - i remember also that the school’s daily news broadcast that day displayed the date numerically, not written out that they usually did), and which, by the way, is also hitler’s birthday, which is another thing i remember from time magazine articles about columbine.
and it’s probably a good thing i’ve never gotten stoned on 4/20, because there’s at least a 50% chance i’d wind up babbling about columbine, which no one wants to hear in that kind of situation, or ever, really. not to mention, this is one of the things about myself that creeps me out the most.
I am reading Dave Cullen’s book Columbine right now, and it is brilliant. And I didn’t even recognize that it was the anniversary, because I glossed right over it thinking about the right-wing violence of the Clinton years and the right-wing rhetoric now.
But yeah, I have a fascination with that event too. I mean first off I was a teenage Goth girl at the time it happened and though I was out of high school I remember the Goths all trying to distance themselves from those kids (and turns out they never were spooky kids in the first place). And also I had boys I was friends with that never hurt anyone but it wasn’t that big a stretch for my imagination to see them crossing that line.
If you haven’t read the book, it’s wonderful. Terrifying, but wonderful.
First of all I don’t hate Sarah Palin. I dislike her greatly, she’s like a hang nail, annoyingly in the way. Sarah Palin reminds me of the girl in high school who was on the fringes of the popularity and in her juinor year happened to get asked out by the star quarterback. And is now riding that new popularity all the way through senior year, (yet everyone knows she only became that popular because she went all the way…twice.)
I think apart of every American female embodies a popular girl, at times that is dying to come out and play for a little bit; when you get pulled over for a speeding ticket or don’t want to pay for drinks at the bar. But most of us let her sit in her tomb eternally the homecoming queen. Not Sarah Palin…
How else can she get away with phrases she so happily likes to open up the tea party rallies with; she went from the student council secretary to the head of the yearbook committee and head cheerleader. She has her press pass, pom poms, leather jacket and new hairdo and boy is she using ALL of them.
Apart of me wonders. When all the lights are off, the cameras have stopped recording, the blackberry is on silent and the she’s logged off of Facebook. What does Sarah Palin see in the mirror when she takes off her makeup before going to bed? Does she see the woman who declared ‘death panels’, ‘Africa was a country’, and ‘hopey-changey’;does she see a woman who is changing the United States for the better and represents the ‘Real American Woman’. The one that can fish, hunt and wear those knee length boots, who is just giving a voice to the ‘common man’.
Yet I think she sees a well paid spokeswoman, after all sex does sell and we all know about the GOP’s and their almost obsession with ‘eye candy.’ The more I read, watch and observe the more curious I am if she’s forgotten the Alaskan women that came before her; the ones who had survived for years hunting, fishing, making a home and rearing children. The media doesn’t talk about it, but I noticed right away the lack of the real Alaskan people she was supposed to be representing. And who was this ‘common man’ that she kept bringing up? Aren’t we all the ‘common man’? But I guess she can talk all that shit, being high class in a small town, just like popularity in high school, you’re only ever concerned about the people in your small group. Sarah, yeah its cute now, but I have a question to ask you: What happens when you have to deal with real problems and other people in the world that aren’t in your bubble?
“Many (most?) of them know that they will use only a tiny fraction of what they do in college ever in their lives, but they have to pay their tuition and do their bare-minimum C-level work and get their degree in something unrelated to what they want to do because the job they want requires a college degree—any college degree—because that is one way we enforce class distinctions here in America. (And some of those students know that, in order to get the job they want, they will have to go on to get a Master’s degree that is only nominally related to their career, or take an internship in New York or Washington DC that will consist of fetching people’s lunches and stapling things, even though the only thing that will prove is that they have the resources to get an advanced degree or spend a summer living in an absurdly expensive city doing unpaid work. College: 5% learning, 95% proving your comfortably-middle-class credentials.)”—
A new commercial for Lane Bryant’s new lingerie line, Cacique, has been censored by Fox and ABC, both of which eventually agreed to air the commercial only in the final moments of “Dancing with the Star” and “American Idol” – Fox agreeing only after Lane Bryant threatened to pull the ad buy.
One of the networks even claimed that the woman in Lane Bryant’s commercial has “too much cleavage.” It’s a lingerie commercial. Isn’t cleavage the point? And why are Victoria’s Secret models allowed to have cleavage but plus-size models aren’t?
So. This immediately made me think of the story I read somewhere, that even though Breakfast at Tiffany's was written essentially for Marilyn Monroe, the filmmakers who adapted it cast Audrey Hepburn because if Marilyn was the star it would be immediately obvious that Holly Golightly was a call girl. But Audrey was “classy.”
Which is just one of the reasons that the movie annoys the shit out of me but I love the novella, but that’s another story. But it reminds me of the fact that there’s more than just one step in the characterization—and hierarchy—of women’s bodies.
There’s skinny, which is both shown as desirable by high fashion and also regularly mocked as anorexic by people, some well-intentioned, who want to promote a more healthy ideal. There’s thin, the ideal, which we are all supposed to aspire to. Audrey Hepburn. Classy. Then there’s curvy, muscular, and fat.
Once you slip into “fat” territory, most of society considers you completely unsexual. Which is what this piece here was referring to—fat women aren’t allowed to be sexy on television! Which is certainly true, but plus-size models are rarely more than a size 12 or 14.
Instead, I think the trap they’re falling into here is the trap of the curvy girl whose body is ALWAYS sexual. Large breasts? COVER THOSE THINGS UP! How dare you wear a low-necked shirt or god forbid you leave the bra at home. The fabulous m_leblanc noted on Twitter yesterday:
As a possessor of great cleavage I greatly resent cultural imperative that I must wear only high-necked garments. Eff that.
It’s true. And forget about the big butt. Let’s just not even go there, shall we? leblanc commented, in the same day, on the Lane Bryant commercial:
The censoring of the Lane Bryant lingerie ads reminds me of how many girls (including me) got labeled sluts for having big boobs.
Marilyn’s body was sex. Audrey was classy. Marilyn was a slut who got what she deserved.
I don’t have much in common with Marilyn Monroe besides a body type. One that with steady exercise and a decent diet gets toned fairly easily but always remains curvy, the boobs the first thing into the room and the ass the thing that holds attention when I walk away. Eat badly for a month or so, though, and slack on the running/pushups/whatever, and I can easily fall off the scale from sexy to fat, which then renders you unnoticable. From “she should cover up!” to “ew, why is she wearing that?”
Too much cleavage. Yep, been there. Also had my bra status commented on one too many times by people whose business it was absolutely none of, while thinner girls next to me blithely trotted around in tube tops and short shorts.
I had fights with my ex over my clothes constantly, in which I tried to explain to him how fucked up it was that my body was presumed to be sexual, my summer spaghetti-strap tank top available for comment, my shorts slutty. These are universal female problems, to be sure. But there’s a special place in catcall-and-bitchy-comment hell for the girl whose body is just a little bit unruly. (Just a little bit, of course.)
And this is fucked up for so many reasons. Fucked up that Lane Bryant can’t advertise its bras but Victoria’s Secret can, even if their ads both only showcase a tiny bit of the body types their stores actually cater to. Fucked up that we’ve got a bunch of categories to stick women’s bodies in, and fucked up that we decide one is sexual and one is not. That one is classy and one should cover up. That one can take a character who goes on dates for powder room money and sleeps most of the day (and a male character who is GAY) and make her “classy” and have a happy love story made out of it, and the other would immediately telegraph that OMG of course she was sleeping with all those men and ew what a slut and no wonder she couldn’t get a decent guy. Because LOOK at her.
“I have chosen to drop the labels all together. If you ask, I am pro-gender equality…and racial equality. I am anti-oppression. I believe in justice for ALL. And I think the way to get there may be through mini-movements, as much as big movements.”—
I think I’m going to join her in the label-dropping. To paraphrase Dr. Maya Angelou, a belief is not an idyllic state but something one becomes through the practice of living. I think the rhetoric of identity politics led to this idea that certain identities are inherently moral one. By claiming them—feminist, womanist, vegan, environmentalist, you-name-it—we are, therefore, above reproach, let alone rebuke.
yeah, I like the bell hooks statement (that I’m gonna paraphrase because I have no idea where my book is at the moment) that we should talk about advocating feminism rather than being a feminist. lately I’m just tired of moralism, y’all.
40% believed that “Playboy” should be in libraries
23% thought “Playgirl” should
22% believed that libraries should have condom dispensers in their bathrooms
20% had “done it” in the library
91% had read “The Joy of Sex”
34% lost their virginity before age 18
4% were still virgins
20% believed that sex without love is bad sex
Only 1% had sex more than 7 times per week
50% had sex 1-2 times per week
30% had 2-5 partners in their lifetime
4% had more than 50
78% of female librarians felt they had been sexually harassed by a patron
7% of male librarians did
38% of the respondents classified their sex life as a “romance”; 31% as a fantasy; 22% as a comedy, and 9% as a tragedy.
When asked to pick the Shakespearean title that best described their first sexual encounter, 28% chose Comedy of Errors; 23% chose Midsummer’s Night Dream; 22% chose Much Ado About Nothing; 21% chose All’s Well That Ends Well; and 6% chose Rape of Lucrece.
I’m sure Rie has seen this. But I had to reblog it also for the “Shakespeare” question. I mean, there are so many good ones! Love’s Labour’s Lost! Two Gentlemen of Verona! (ha) The Tempest! My personal favorite, of course, would be As You Like It. And I’m sure there are some people from the past who would choose The Taming Of the Shrew…
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”—(via fuckyeahhappy) (via lyfelicity) (via abeautifulsystem) (via iluhhjew) (via ma-salaama) (via guerrillamamamedicine)
I’m feeling nostalgic. Agnostic Front takes me back to 15 years old with liberty spiked hair and belts covered in metal. Owing to my love of hardcore punk, I avoid anything they made beyond the late 90s (reformed after a breakup and took on more of a Hatebreed-esque sound), but the early stuff is quintessential American hardcore punk.