but right now I don’t feel happy or hopeful. I feel very confused, because I log in to Facebook and someone has commented ‘Yes for Obama, yes on 8! I’m happy’. Somehow Obama’s victory and gay marriage bans are related for people?
To everyone today reveling in last night’s presidential victory — congratulations! To everyone who may feel tempted to tell me that this ban is a temporary setback, give me a week or two. Believe me, all I want is to get to that hopeful place where Sudy and Joan find themselves today.
Sometimes celebrities creep me out.
As if politicians’ empty platitudes weren’t alienating enough, I get to watch ScarJo recite some of them with her face set to its ‘intense’ setting. And I am not even touching will.i.am. May I remind you that this is the man responsible for the song ‘Let’s Get Retarded’?
Okay, it’s only fair for somebody to make a gross Clinton video now so I can ridicule that too.
Ponder, if you will, one parathetical aside from the NYTimes review of There Will Be Blood:
(Like most of the finest American directors working now, Mr. Anderson makes little on-screen time for women.)
That sentence; the film itself; the fact that I now work in a traditionally male-dominated field whose goals for growth and models for success are based on the lifestyles of ambitious unattached men; and while we’re at it, the total eager anticipation of every mainstream, hell, alternative, you-name-it media outlet eager for some sort of Hillary vs Obama deathmatch; blame them for what’s coming.
All you motherfuckers: get ready.
My response is forthcoming, Ms. Amazon… but in the meantime…
‘Tis the season, so consider this a special Christmas dedication to the motto ‘But — let’s just support each other!’ and all the damn fools on the Internet who believe in that shit like Santa Claus. (See Sudy’s video for clarification on how that ‘support’ turns out, if you’re not clear.)
*[Please go here if the above video is slow to load/shitty quality.]
Friends, I’d like to refer you to this story by Eirann Lorsung, a writer I’ve just discovered. It’s gorgeous and unusual writing, which always makes me cozy on chilly days. (It’s chilly bordering on downright cold in Southern California, I swear.)
I’d also like to respond briefly to a post BA wrote awhile back — it’s a very late response in blog time! Sorry Ms Amazon!
Glamour ( I just quoted Glamour on this blog help us all) has this survey and it shows up every three or four months in the other magazines as well , touting the ” sexual standards /Shocking thing 78.6 percent of women/ what’s totally normal”And it bothers me because once again something very intimate and personal is being normalizedFirst of it presents sexuality as this great mystery that needs to be unraveled by public vote. Not to mention it concentrates on doing so in a manner that emphasizes you not being ” out of the norm” No seriously it’s called the do’s and don’ts of sex.
I had a visitor this past weekend and by chance she left the January issue of Glamour here at my place. The rest of the world may already know that the mag has a regular “Am I normal?” feature — this month’s was commitment, with a helpful “Normal by the numbers” section. Are you a woman? Are you 26? Are you married? Well, good, you’re normal! What’s so devious about this kind of feature — whether we’re talking about normalcy in sexual behavior or in attitudes about commitment — is that it pretends to comfort its readers, to take out the mystery, as you’ve said so well, to explain exactly what’s really going on. What it in fact does, of course, is feed into expectations that often make Hot Sex/Real Commitment seem even more alien, particularly for all of us whose personal expectations aren’t set to the same “normal” setting. For example, in this same article we are told that “33% of women say they wouldn’t want to commit to a man who isn’t good in bed.” I sincerely hope that Glamour included in their poll non-hetero/polyamorous women, because otherwise my question would be: That’s it?! 67% of straight women are fine with bad sex for eternity? So the real secret of the article is that bad sex is normal and a reality if you, the straight pro-commitment woman, want a long-term relationship (trip to Tiffany’s not included)? So you asked me:
Petit explain this to me, what the heck is with everyone ratcheting DOWN the stakes. Self care sexual care big fucking deal
It’s a fairly basic tactic of those in power to downplay any issues that might lead to change in the status quo, as well as co-opt the tactics of people trying to make change happen. So let’s pretend to downplay sex, let’s pretend it’s not a big deal that STD stats in the US are rising so quickly as to set records (because safe sex seems to be much more of a mystery than “What ‘Good Sex’ Means to A Guy”), let’s limit our scope to presumably white and absolutely middle-class experiences of sex and meanwhile let’s always remind our readers of the real goals of apparently carefree sexual adventures — to catch a man! So it’s not that we’re not worth seriousness, per se. It’s just that our serious attention should be paid, not to sex, but to (heteronormative) commitment– and sex is just a means to that most important end. This is actually demonstrated quite obviously in another story in the January issue, “One man’s New Year’s resolution: I promise to have sex every day.” Daily sex will strengthen your commitment! And not only that, but on the last day of the experiment (second day in a row with no sex in six weeks!):
“No sex again tonight,” she said, resting her head on my shoulder. “I still feel rough.”"I don’t understand,” I said. “Did we overdo it?”"No, not at all,” Jane replied, a smile slowly creeping across her face. “I’m pregnant. That’s what happens when you have sex every day.”
People, I can’t make this shit up!
So, Dear BA, I hope you write back — and are faux epistolaries like faux fur hoods, because I am so over that — and would you say more about the idea of sexual care feeds into the idea of self-care? Because I think there’s a lot more to say about the Young “Normal” Woman’s Guide to the Mystery of Sex and Romance hiding in how those two concepts overlap.Also can you come out west with your machete? Because the fucking traveling noose parade is harassing port workers in my new hometown.
I’ve been in San Diego the last few weeks for work and, coincidentally, for the wildfires. While there was no damage to the city proper I did have a day or two of driving around in perpetual sunset, watching ash fall onto my car — and, back inside, nervously tracking the fires’ progress on interactive maps like this one. That’s when I accidentally came across this story:
Six undocumented Mexican immigrants were arrested today by U.S. Border Patrol agents at Qualcomm Stadium, after a report that they were stealing food and water meant for evacuees, according to spokesman Damon Foreman.
San Diego police responded to a call about alleged theft from the evacuation center and encountered six people in a van who didn’t speak English and didn’t have California driver’s licenses, Foreman said. The police officers called the Border Patrol, who arrived at the stadium and made the arrests, he said. Foreman said the immigrants admitted they were Mexican citizens and that they were stealing.
From another story:
Officers called U.S. Border Patrol agents, who arrived at the stadium and made the arrests. The six thieves admitted that they were indeed illegal immigrants from Mexico taking advantage of a devastating situation.
Authorities say evacuees at Qualcomm Stadium told police they noticed a group of people loading supplies onto a truck and driving away. San Diego Police Spokeswoman Monica Munoz says witnesses saw the group return three times to pick up supplies.
Munoz: What they were doing was taking those supplies and selling them so what we did was detain those individuals and spoke to them and they told us they were undocumented and what exactly they were doing so we turned them over to the Border Patrol.
Munoz says four of the eight people taken into custody were released. She said she did not know where the group resold the items, nor to whom.
I encountered this attitude myself last week at one evacuation site. A woman asked me if I knew places donating parrot food, and, in almost the same breath, began a tirade on the audacity of ‘some homeless people stealing our supplies!’
Ah yes, San Diego really rallied together to help people in need. Well. Except for, you know, those people.
UPDATE: Cheers to BFP (see her post here)for pointing me towards several posts on the treatment of immigrants during the fires by Latina Lista, including a request for aid for displaced farm workers, who apparently aren’t enjoying the surpluses I encountered around the county. Nezua also has more.
UPDATE THE 2nd: The San Diego Immigrants Right Consortium, with the ACLU and Justice Overcoming Boundaries of San Diego County, has put together a report, Firestorm (pdf file), in response to
hundreds of reports of civil liberties, civil rights, and human rights abuses. These include undocumented immigrants and homeless evacuees denied emergency services and shelter because they could not provide the proper identity documents; an extended family with three children arrested and deported for taking more donated goods than someone thought reasonable; a young Filipino volunteer evicted from the stadium for helping evacuees carry donated goods to their vehicles; and a number of journalists denied access to relief operations or otherwise precluded from doing their jobs.
Check it out.
Well friends, I’m about two weeks away from moving to my new home and starting my new blog, Adventures in Cohabitation and Avoiding Car Accidents on the 405 Freeway. No, not really.
But now that I’m out of my tropical isolation (and just in time, apparently) (also: Flossie? For reals? Does this mean I can put in a request for Hurricane Unicorn Sunshine?)… anyway, here I am again, and I’d like to tell you a story. A story that proves conclusively that some people are born evil.
Scene: Amtrak Train #43, the Keystone, from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.
petitpoussin, young woman looking forward to a nostalgia-laden eight hours trundling through the Pennsylvania countryside.
A—–*, three-year-old girl, spawn of Satan.
Crying woman, mother of Satan’s spawn, possible estranged wife of Satan.
petit: [listens to iPod] [inner monologue] Ah, Pennsylvania, those gently rolling hills, the trees with the leaves that are green, the… blah blah blah who am I kidding. Wow, the new Feist album is so cute, I hope a lot of jerks don’t start liking it because then when I go to her concert it will be full of spoiled brats singing along too loud, like that time I saw Fiona Apple for my birthday a couple of years ago. [sings, with voice which will someday bring fame and fortune, in the form of a cash prize at a karaoke contest] Take it slow, take it easy on me — WHAT THE HELL IS THAT NOISE?
A—–: BLEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH WEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH AAAAAAAAAAACKHHHHHHHH.
[Linda Blair-in-Exorcist sounds continue... for FOUR HOURS, or until Altoona, whichever comes first. Interspersed is the following:]
Crying woman: [cries]
A——: Mommy, why are you crying?
Crying woman: [cries] Because you hit me and it hurts.
A——: [evil laugh, eerily similar to Chucky from Child's Play]: HEH-HEH-HEH-HEH-HEH BLLEAAAAAAAAAAH MEEAAAAAAAAAH WEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.
[Time passes, incredibly, painfully slowly.]
Crying woman: [cries, restrains A----- on train seat] You have to be still, you’re bothering the other people on this train and acting like a brat.
A—–: [sobs in Linda Blair voice] Mommy, I don’t want to be a brat! I want to be good! I WANT TO BE GOOD MOMMY!
[Crying woman lets A----- up after being hypnotized by its raspy, foreboding voice. Suddenly a thwack is heard.]
Crying woman: OW!
[Time passes, in the way I imagine kidney stones 'pass'.]
Crying woman: [cries] A—–, this is it, this is really it, you’re going back to your father.
A—–: Mommy, who is my father?
Crying woman: [silent]
A—–: [jubilant] I don’t have a father! [in singsong] I don’t have a father, I don’t have a father! HEH-HEH-HEH-HEH-HEH.
petit: [with dawning look of horror] [still inner monologue, obvs]: Oh no, oh no. It can’t be true! Someone shave her head and look for a birthmark! Get me a priest! Or holy water! Or ….garlic? Fuck. All these years preparing for the zombie apocalypse… who knew Omen was the film to watch carefully? Wait, what’s that sound? Is someone reciting a mass backwards? I can’t die when the last thing I ate was a bag of Doritos! I can’t die in Central Pennsylvania!
Crying woman: [cries] Please stop. Oh please, please stop.
I really wish I was exaggerating folks, I really, really do. In the meantime, I am never taking that freaking train again. The World Famous Horseshoe Curve can kiss my ass. I am not risking possession for that shit.
*No I will NOT write her name, because she will grow up, find me and kill me by feeding me to her Rottweiler.
It is currently 2:29am HST. I have been sick with some throat/flu thing for the last three days and have been sleeping like a koala trying to fight it off. Why am I awake at this late hour? On a worknight? The story begins yesterday…
Last night, I woke up to a strange motor-like sound, zapping around my bedroom, interrupted by the occasional thwack. As the sleep wore off, I mused that the sound reminded me, strangely, of my basement bedroom in my last apartment. Fully awake, I realized why I knew the sound, with growing horror: IT’S A FUCKING GIANT FLYING COCKROACH!!
I turned on the lights, by which time it had strategically hidden itself (one shudders to imagine where). For over an hour I sat in fear, waiting for the creature to make its attack. It never did. Finally, I was able to doze off again, praying for the daylight hours.
Fast-forward to tonight, about 32 minutes ago (it is now 2:32am HST). Again with the giant death motor sound. As soon as it senses I’m awake, it wastes no time, motherfucking DIVE-BOMBING me while I lie helpless in my bed. I scream the scream of imminent death, turn on the light, and watch with horror as it crawls ALL OVER MY BED, then rushes my head again in a second attack. After that, for several minutes, its whereabouts are unknown, as I run to the living room, call my mother, and yell incoherently. My mother makes well-meaning, but ultimately useless suggestions like ‘kill it’, ‘throw a towel over it to trap it’, ‘wake up your roommates and beg for help’. She does not understand that this is no bug; this is a highly trained assassin, sent by the ghosts of the legions of roaches killed in the aforementioned last apartment.
As I am still sick, exhausted, and up way past my bedtime on any Monday, I tiptoe down the hall back to my room, where I have left the door open in a vain hope that perhaps, after all, the little fucker was just trying to get free. I see a member of the Giant Flying Cockroach species crawling around a foot and a half from my bedroom door. Could it be that easy? I run into my room and slam the door, heart pounding. Continue Reading Vom, vom, vom….
These videos have nothing to do with each other, but I need to share them with you immediately.
First, Uncomplicatedly sent me a link to this gem from my future home state of California. It’s horse racing, on a horse track and everything — but with women. Women in bikinis! Look out, wet t-shirt contests and mud wrestling; this is objectification for the 21st century.
Next up, this is from a couple of months ago… but I, like most of us, have a fascination with child movie stars. They’re like aliens! Especially Dakota Fanning, who is clearly a 47-year-old stuck in a tween’s body. So I must say thank you, SNL, for ‘The Dakota Fanning Show’.
Bonus: Drew Barrymore — a FORMER CHILD STAR — playing that girl from Little Miss Sunshine! That’s about as deep as I get on a Monday, I don’t know about you.
I’ve been thinking: why is it so hard to take the step into action? This morning, after reading through my inbox, I found one reason:because we are encouraged not to take that step, sometimes by the very organizations that work to support our goals. As I munched on my daily bagel the size of my head, I opened an email from Planned Parenthood that doubtless many of you also received: ‘Don’t mourn. Organize!’ ‘Exactly!’ was my first thought, followed by ‘Oh, fuck off’.
“What can I do?” That’s the question I’ve heard over and over again in the days since the U.S. Supreme Court’s dangerous decision.
My answer: “Don’t mourn. Organize.” It’s time for each of us to recognize that elections have consequences. If Bush hadn’t won, there would be no abortion ban … no Justice Roberts … no Justice Alito. That’s why it’s time for you to throw yourself wholeheartedly into making sure the Supreme Court’s disastrous 2007 decision results in a remarkable showing of pro-choice political power in 2008.
Donate now to help the Planned Parenthood Action Fund organize a sustained display of pro-choice political energy.
Never again can we let members of Congress use their votes to appease anti-choice extremists. Never again can we let U.S. senators pretend they believe a Supreme Court nominee’s empty promises. So here’s what we’re doing:
- We’re using the same organizing, media, and campaigning skills that helped us defeat the South Dakota abortion ban in the 2006 elections to challenge state legislators who are working feverishly to push through statewide abortion bans in places like Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.
- We’re pressing Congress for an immediate vote on the Freedom of Choice Act — legislation that would make it illegal for states to impose a reckless state-by-state patchwork of dangerous restrictions on a woman’s right to choose.
- And we’re organizing volunteers for the most massive voter outreach, voter education, and voter contact operation the pro-choice community has ever seen.
Here’s what I want to do. I want to organize. I want to connect with other women who live in my area to organize community based health education, including a comprehensive resource guide, and transportation to needed services (including Planned Parenthood, which is a two-hour drive from Hilo).I want to follow Paula Rojas’ example and work with the community to open a cooperative-run daycare. I want to create a sustainable women’s health fund.
Now tell me, Cecile Richards, how do I get all that started? How do I build community awareness so that we can decide collectively which projects are needed right now? (Because ultimately it could have nothing to do with women’s health… it could have to do with the ice epidemic, or affordable housing; maybe those issues need to be addressed first). This is what I mean, the first step. How can I find my community’s leaders and ask for their advice support? By giving you money? You are not the only one who can organize a voter education campaign. You cannot claim ‘ownership’ of defeating the South Dakota abortion ban. That was not Planned Parenthood. That was people.
Don’t put your hand out and tell me I’m helping. Teach me. Teach us.