Seems like every woman you try to save ends up dead… or deeply resentful. Maybe you should retire. – Catwoman in Batman Returns (1992)
The Dark Knight, perhaps the most anticipated of 2008’s summer blockbusters, opened on July 18 and had the biggest opening weekend in movie history, earning more than $155M. The DVD is slated to be released December 9, just in time for the Christmas rush. Even if you haven’t seen the film [spoilers spoilers spoilers to come] though, its commercials set the scene: Christian Bale’s troubled and arrogant Bruce Wayne against Heath Ledger’s even more troubled and arrogant Joker. While I found myself absorbed and troubled by a complicated look at the mythology of heroes and manhood, as well as a great summer action flick, I had to ask: Where’s Catwoman? Where’s the reality check on the Gender Trope Parade of our comic book blockbusters? Continue Reading Gender, troubled (Bat vs Cat)…
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.
BFP’s at it again over at La Chola, thinking she can backdoor-bully me into reading Harry Potter by putting some doofus wizard named Dumbledore up against The Bestest Wizard in the History of Time AKA Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. How embarrassing for her. Stop by, weigh in and check out petit “hoffa” poussin in action.
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.
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….
Lately I’ve been suffering from some ennui with the blogosphere, brought on mainly by the smug, self-sufficient indignation that descends and derails so quickly and so totally on many discussions. See, for example, the unfortunate turn of the discussion on sex work over at Sylvia’s which totally overshadowed the original post… although looking again, the conversation does sort of prove her point on how tangled and often inseparable our neat and tidy categories of oppression are from one another.
I have enough forced, sterile discussion in my life working a desk job, I don’t need it in my extracurrriculars. So I’ve been off reading about trees and some damn good poetry, and watching zombie movies, and thinking things over with myself, whose internal censor can often be bought off with some well-timed tasty bribes (ahi jerky… it’s the snack of the future).
And of course, as these things go, I keep bumping into reminders of the reasons I got into blogging in the first place (besides being starved for good conversation). Continue Reading Politics, ethics, and the zombie apocalypse…
So my rag sister gave me a little nudge and I realized that, although she is wrong about so many things when it comes to the question of Hot or Not, this time her priorities are in order. There is a dilemma that must be resolved, once and for all, one way or the other, if only so I can sleep at night. And I don’t care what y’all say, this is a tough one.
Or the Divine Miss M?
Like all difficult decisions, this one will require careful consideration. More to ponder after the cut…
Continue Reading Radical Hot Off: The Gyllenhaal Effect…
My Rag Sister is tryina tell me Bell Biv Devoe is better than NKOTB. Donnie Wahlberg is crying. Get over there and dry Donnie’s tears!
This post is about Hollywood’s approach to the midlife crisis, although some of you might not be wrong if you think it’s my love letter to a mid-90s action film called Speed.
Thirteen years later, this film is still a trashy joy, much like another Keanu Reeves film and Sunday evening favorite of mine, The Devil’s Advocate. But while that film takes the inevitable and easy route and features Al Pacino as Satan, Speed stays a little closer to the ground with its villain: a disgruntled retired police officer living in Los Angeles.
Continue Reading Planes, trains and automobiles… and a cheap gold watch…
Over the past few months, I’ve found my recreational reading and viewing taking a decidedly masculine tone. It started when I took up Thomas Pynchon’s masterpiece/neverending story, Gravity’s Rainbow. It continued with several evenings over a few months spent viewing spaghetti westerns, thus building a close, personal relationship with that famous Man With No Name, Clint Eastwood.
While completing my graduate work, which focused in part on feminist and gender studies’ critiques of literature, I was often urged to do some work on masculinity, because, you know, it’s so hott right now. Naturally my response was to roll my eyes at the drunk gentleman making this intelligent point — who of course by now was singing the praises of D.H. Lawrence — and mosey on back to the bar.
Well, time passes, and now that nobody’s trying to recenter the conversation around himself at a party, I’d like to look at how masculinity shows up in the work I’ve read and watched recently. Like traditional femininity in most cases, on closer inspection the masculinity of these cultural placeholders is a cheap thrill, manifested in objects of violence and desolation. Going further, though, the book and films (particularly The Outlaw Josey Wales) acknowledge the masculine role is ultimately untenable, despite its allure and seemingly valued position.
[Warning: spoilers all over the place.]
Continue Reading Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy….