Archive for February, 2007

Blog Against Sexism Day


… is coming up! March 8, 2007, International Women’s Day, I’ll be participating in an effort to affirm women’s rights and stamp out sexism. Learn more here. Please, spread the word, and sign up here.

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Thinking Blog Awards

thinkingbloggerpf8.jpg Wow, I am very honoured to announce that Aspazia of Mad Melancholic Feminista has chosen me as one of her Thinking Blogger Awards this morning. I’m most pleased and flattered, since Aspazia is a philosophy professor! Thanks so much, Aspazia!

The idea is to name 5 blogs that make you think. Here are the rules for participation:

1.  If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2.  Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3.  Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

So without further ado, here are my choices:

1. The Freeslave – MaxJulian writes on race, and he is relentless in examining the Matrix of white supremacy wherever he finds it to operate. Max has pushed me to go beyond my comfort zone of intellectualizing progressive politics and shone a light on the limits of my own understanding of race from my personal epistemological standpoint, and I thank him from my heart for that.

2. Renegade Evolution – RE is a sex trade worker, and she firmly believes, and argues convincingly, that she is fully autonomous in her choice to make her living this way. In fact, she argues that she has a right to do what she wants with her body, and well, I can’t exactly argue with that. Renegade speaks to the possibility of autonomy even within a profession most would agree upholds patriarchy. RE definitely makes me think.

3. Women of Color Blog – Brownfemipower is, I think, one of the best writers in the blogosphere. She presents a powerful radical woman of colour feminist perspective, and quite frankly, I find her work very inspiring. She seeks to give voice to women that white feminism has forgotten, appropriated, expoloited, and paternalized. She is awesome.

4 . Persephone’s Box – Sage is one of my very favourite bloggers. She often has a unique perspective, I think, and her blog is so well-written. She writes about all kinds of feminist issues, from ecofeminism to being a mom to abortion to pornography, on philosophy, and also about her own life, and manages to be a pretty cool chick while doing so. Also, I have the feeling we’d be great friends if we lived in the same city. 🙂

5. Queer Dewd Formerly Known as (Bitch|Lab) – I’ve been reading this blog since Queer Dewd was Bitch|Lab – a transformation that took place just a couple short months ago in response to a particularly nasty feminist blogwar that really had me feeling ashamed to call myself a feminist for a while there. QD writes on all kinds of stuff, including sexuality, gender, sex-positive feminism, postmodernism, and to top it all off, her banner rocks.

Gee, I really wish it wasn’t a 5-blog limit. I suppose I could simply break the rules and extend my choices, but that could take the whole day. Suffice it to say that there are lots of other bloggers out there who continually inspire me and shape my political consciousness. Most of them can be found in the sidebar links!

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a kiss is just a kiss

so, around here, there’s been some pretty rampant homophobia happening. A couple weekends ago, Cape Breton fiddler Ashley MacIsaac married his boyfriend, onstage at his ECMA performance (that’s East Coast Music Awards to you) here in Halifax. And the next day, one of the local newspapers, The Daily News, ran a story on the event, with this picture on the front cover.


(Photo: Ryan Taplin; Ashley’s the shorter one)

Now, myself, I didn’t really even give it a second glance. But all kinds of hate-filled messages started popping up on the paper’s message board, and several haters also wrote letters to the editor, saying things like the picture was disgusting, made them want to vomit, that they objected to the guys “deepthroating” one another, that they didn’t know how to talk to their kids about the picture and tried to hide it from them, and that the picture was practically soft-corn pornography. Most of them, while expressing these words of hate, were careful to temper their language with that common phrase, “I don’t have anything against gays, but…”

Lots of folks wrote in to condemn those letter writers and support gay rights to marry and to have their lives represented in the media, which was heartening. But that phrase has haunted me. “I don’t have anything against gays, but…” I mean, it’s a blatent lie! It’s so obvious to everyone that these people do in fact have something against gay people, that this phrase does absolutely nothing to conceal their true intention, which is to protest queer equality. Do they really think that saying this will actually make anyone believe them? Or is it just cursory now in our politically correct world to at least make an effort to appear as though you think everything is hunky dorey? Has political correctness simply pushed hatred deeper underground, made us package it in pretty phrases that denote passive acceptance, but really do nothing but point a big fat flashing neon arrow at the fact that we are contradicting ourselves?

Let’s just do ourselves a favour, and eliminate this ridiculously contradictory statement from our vocabularies, and stop trying to couch what we say in equality rhetoric. If you truly don’t have anything against gays, or any other kind of social group, then chances are, you won’t be objecting.

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can someone tell me…

…where does the snot come from? I mean, I know it comes from my sinuses, which seem like endless caverns by the way, but seriously – How is it possible that I blow my nose to the point of rattling my brain in my skull, and then 10 minutes later, I have to do it all over again? What is the purpose of all that snot, anyway? Why is it produced, and why so GD much of it? Is there a way to stop it? I’m so sick of all the snot! My nose is so tender and irritated and chapped! And I feel guilty about all the tissue I’m using – I’m sure it’s a whole tree by now!

sorry to be so gross.

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Oscar picks

Well, I haven’t had a chance to see most of the Oscar films this year, unfortunately for me. A couple years ago, my friend and I went to see all of the Oscar movies we could cram into a week (I think it was something like 8), and then had an Oscar party at her place. It was really fun, and we thought we were sure who was going to win, but neither of us was right on all our categories – there were some surprises that year.

Anyway, in the spirit of Oscar, here are my picks/best educated guesses for tomorrow night’s show (don’t worry, I won’t bore you with all the technical categories, just the big ones):

Best Actor – The Nominees are:

  • Leonardo di Caprio – Blood Diamond
  • Ryan Gosling – Half Nelson
  • Peter O’Toole – Venus
  • Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness
  • Forrest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland

blooddiamond_dicapriol.jpgMy pick: Leonardo di Caprio. This is the only movie I’ve seen in this category, but I think this makes the most sense in Oscar-land. Leo’s been nominated a couple of times before and lost, most recently for the Aviator a couple years back, which he kind of should’ve won for instead of Jamie Foxx IMO. So, I’m guessing that maybe this year, he’ll take it. But I could be wrong. My second pick is Forrest Whitaker, ’cause everyone says he was amazing in this role. Who I’d like to see win: Ryan Gosling, because I love him!
Best Actress: The Nominees are:

  • Penelope Cruz – Volver
  • Judi Dench – Notes on a Scandal
  • Helen Mirren – The Queen
  • Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada
  • Kate Winslet – Little Children

queen.jpgMy pick: Helen Mirren. I didn’t see this one yet, either, but my god, this woman is totally on a roll this year with this movie. And it’s about time she got recognized for her work, she’s an incredibly sophisticated actress. Judi Dench and Meryl Streep already have their fair share of Oscars, and the other two actresses, while both great, were both in those movies that the Academy nominates just because they want to pretend they care about independent film. My second pick is Penelope Cruz, jsut because you never know. Who I’d like to see win: Penelope Cruz. Go Latina!

Best Supporting Actor – the Nominees are:

  • Alan Arkin – Little Miss Sunshine
  • Jackie Earle Haley – Little Children
  • Djimon Hounsou – Blood Diamond
  • Eddie Murphy – Dreamgirls
  • Mark Wahlberg – The Departed

blooddiamond_hounsoud.jpgMy pick: Djimon Hounsou, because he totally deserves it. He was amazing in this movie, the Academy is into political movies lately, and I think he deserves this recognition. He is so talented. My second pick is Mark Wahlberg, because he kind of stole the show in The Departed. Who I’d like to see win: Djimon Hounsou.

Best Supporting Actress – The Nominees are:

  • Adriana Barrazza – Babel
  • Cate Blanchett – Notes on a Scandal
  • Abigail Bresslin – Little Miss Sunshine
  • Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls
  • Rinko Kikuchi – Babel

2249899.jpgMy pick: Jennifer Hudson. This one’s tough, because most of these women are little-known actresses. Cate just won in this category a couple years back for The Aviator, so I don’t know if they’re going to be ready to show her the money again this quickly. The little one from Mis Sunshine was adorable, but I don’t think she’ll take it. My second pick is Adriana Barrazza. Who I’d like to see win: Rinko Kikuchi.

Best Director – the Nominees are:

  • Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Babel
  • Martin Scorsese – The Departed
  • Clint Eastwood – Letters from Iwo Jima
  • Stephen Frears – The Queen
  • Paul Greengrass – United 93

departed.jpg My pick: Martin Scorsese. He’s been nominated about 8 times now and hasn’t won a single Oscar yet. He always seems to lose to actors turned directors. And while he is up against Clint AGAIN this year (lost to him two years ago (Clint: Million Dollar Baby, Martin: The Aviator), and also in the early 90s (Clint: Unforgiven, Martin: Goodfellas), poor guy!), but this year, Martin is taking it home. My second pick is Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, because I liked what he did with Babel. Who I’d like to see win: Martin Scorsese.

Best Picture – the Nominees are:

  • Babel
  • The Departed
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Letters from Iwo Jima
  • The Queen

babel.jpgMy pick: Babel. It just makes sense, and carries on the tradition of Crash from last year – political movie about race and culture colliding. Simple. My second pick is The Departed, because it really was just so good. What I’d like to see win: Little Miss Sunshine, because it made me laugh out loud the whole time. It’s very dear to my heart, that little movie.

marieantoinette.jpgSo there you have it. On a final note, I think that the Costume Design category is going to be a really tight race this year, all the costumes were just so beautifully done for the films that are nominated. (My pick is Marie Antoinette, for the record.)

Tomorrow, we shall see if I’m right on any of these! Please feel free to make your own Oscar predictions in the comment section, and do join me back here on Monday to discuss the outcomes!

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I’m sick. It’s my throat, mostly, feels like it’s closing in it’s so swollen and inflamed. My voice kind of sounds like Kathleen Turner right now – husky, breathy, about an octave deeper than normal. This is the second nasty cold I’ve had since the new year.

Yesterday, I left my job. I was laid off, because my schedule with school wasn’t jiving with the kind of schedule my employers wanted me to keep. Never mind that I was promised it wouldn’t be an issue when I was hired, or that in 5 weeks, I’m finished classes and can work whenever they want. I’m disappointed to lose the job, because it paid quite well, and I hate broken promises. But otherwise, I’m happy not to be working there anymore – it was too weird for me. (For those of you who don’t know, I worked at a plastic surgery clinic as a skin care specialist.)

I’m grateful I was able to work there for the time I did – it helped me pay off some bills, and pay for my undergrad without going into major debt. I learned a heck of a lot about plastic surgery, which was a major conflict for me politically in some ways. I met some really nice people, and I got a whole ton of free skin care while I was there.

What’s interesting to me is that I’ve recently become attached to the idea that we attract into our life exactly what we are putting out – whether we are consciously aware of it or not. If you’ve seen the movie The Secret, this is exactly what I’m talking about (it was recently on Oprah, twice in a week). We’re attracting everything into our lives, through our thoughts and energy. Even things we think are “bad” experiences, which is a bit tough to wrap your head around at first, but really becomes empowering when you realize that you also have the ability to change it.

Anyway, for me, my new unemployed state is perfect evidence of the Secret working in my life. For a long, long time now, I have not wanted to work in the beauty industry any more. It has been years that I’ve been feeling restless and unhappy with my job, and I kept on trying to just find a different job to make it better. And for many months, I have also been wishing that I didn’t have to work, that I could just be a full-time student. I’ve been dragging my ass to work, wishing I could be at home working on schoolwork, or at the library, or in a specific class that I couldn’t take because I had to worry about my work schedule.

So, because I’ve been feeling this way, I have attracted it into my life. Now, I can concentrate on schoolwork full time without having to worry about working all those hours. My wish has come true! And, I also now have the chance to get out of the industry that I have been unhappy in for so long. And what’s best of all, is that I’m not really all that upset about losing my job (anymore, at first I was, until I remembered the Secret). I know I’ve created this experience, so how can I be upset? I wanted this all along, and the universe answered me.

Interesting, huh?

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Malcolm X

000.jpgOne of my favourite visionary leaders, Malcolm X, was assassinated on this day in 1965. Malcolm X was a hero, a truly brilliant man whose life and work is an inspiration to me. If he had lived, he would be 81 this year. Here is one of my favourite Malcolm X quotes:
“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.”

I’m grateful the world had Malcolm X for as long as it did, at the time that it did. We needed his message, we still need his message. Long live the memory of Malcolm X!

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You know, I just can’t help it, I love a Woody Allen movie. I enjoy him, his movies, his scripts, everything except his real life weirdo relationship with his ex’s daughter to whom he was like a father. What a creep.

Anyway, I do like his movies, and see them when I can, and Scoop didn’t let me down. It was bright and witty and clever and well-acted. Scarlett Johansson was great, I think she’s actually a pretty good little actress.  And Hugh Jackman is always a delight to watch, when he’s actually acting and not covered in fake fur sideburns and being a super-mutant.

Anyway, Scoop made me feel happy, enough not to tear it apart with feminist critique, so I thought I’d send it along to you with my recommendation. If you don’t like Woody Allen, don’t rent it. If you do, then do!

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Garden State

I saw Garden State last week, and it’s taken me a week to pin down why I really really hated it, and why my feminist spidey senses were tingling like crazy when I watched it. As usual, Beware of Spoilers if you haven’t seen it and want to and care about it being a relative surprise.

So, I do love Scrubs, mainly because of Zach Braff. And I had been meaning to see Garden State for a while now. But somehow I must have known I wouldn’t like it.

The whole movie is about Zach Braff. His character is screwed up, he hasn’t been home in 10 years, his father the psychiatrist has him all doped up on medication, he’s an actor who had one great role, and his mother has died. So he goes home for the funeral and falls in with old schoolmates who are pretty much losers. But he meets this girl, Natalie Portman. She’s charming and adorable and lovely, and he falls in love with her. And the movie becomes Zach Braff using people, but especially Natalie Portman, to figure out his life.

Natalie Portman is really wonderful. She’s the best thing about jsut about every movie she’s in, and I love her. Here, she was wasted against the backdrop of Zach Braff’s moping blankness as his character tried to get his shit together. And so here it is: This movie represented for me how everything is always about the guy. About his shit, about his fucked-up-ness, about how important he is, about his career, about his family, his movie, his screenplay, his favourite music, him him him. And this movie was just a big pile of masturbatory self-congratulation. Zach Braff made a movie about men using women to “find themselves.” And in the end, I felt bad for Natalie Portman. Not just the character, who was stuck with Zach Braff’s character. But for Natalie Portman. This movie was a disservice to her talent.

So, it sucked. That’s the bottom line. And I kind of think that without the soundtrack, the movie would have been truly exposed for the junk-heap that it truly is.

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pretty much

This is pretty much how I feel most days (from my favourite doodler, Paige Pooler of Eyes Wide Apart):

crowdedcrowded by Paige Pooler

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