Of the ten movies you've released so far, ten of them have central characters who are boys or men, or who are anthropomorphized animals or robots or bugs who are voiced by and imagined as boys or men. These movies feature women and girls to varying degrees -- The Incredibles, in particular -- but the story is never "a girl and the things that happen to her," the way it's "a boy and what happens to him."I finally got to see Up last Friday and wowza! I loved everything about it, from the perfect non clichéd talking animals, to elderly fisticuffs, to the imaginative adventure itself, it was pretty perfect. But, sigh, I agree with Ms. Holmes. It needed more Ellie, or even better, Ellie needs her own film - one where she gets to live on and kick selfish old man ass all the while managing to be fitfully funny. Those moments in the beginning of the film where she was featured as a child where so entertaining and made me laugh the hardest. It reminded me of my younger days creeping around my block, notebook in hand, copying down the private rituals of my unsuspecting neighbors, all the while channeling my hero Harriet the Spy. I held on to every one of Ellie's moments so tightly as I watched it, knowing (from previews/reviews) that I wouldn't get to revel in her (my) young spunkiness for long. So I join Ms. Holmes in asking in a my most affable tone, Pixar? Can you give us some Coralines and save your Collettes? And while you're at it, can she be okay with being single? A lot of us are!
And Up...oh, Up has Ellie, who I could have watched forever. Seen only in flashbacks to the main story, Ellie is warm and hilarious, ambitious and fearless, and then gone for most of the movie. She provides the engine for the story, in many ways, but it's an old man and a little boy who actually get to hit the gas.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Fox & Friends' Lingerie Football Romp|
Monday, June 8, 2009
Metric - 9:30 Club, DC - June 18th - So. Effing. Pumped.
Thanks to Nicole for the link!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I met Doctor Tiller in Victoria, British Columbia. He guided me through the process of digoxin injection over a fascinating pregnant-belly model with needles and ultrasound. His hands were warm. He was patient and attentive and described me as a natural in my approach to pumping salve into the umbilical cord and heart of a mock fetus. Never mind that I was simply curious and was not licensed to utilize his fascinating skill and wanted to touch his hands.
He sat next to me in Minneapolis, MN, during a session regarding patient counseling at an annual meeting. During the Q &A, he was offered a spotlight to share his vast insight. He stood statuesque, valiant and jolly and urged us to proceed fearless, with love bountiful in our hearts. When the session concluded, he offered me a few of his precious moments: we shook hands warmly and with energy and I asked with tears welling—who would provide when he no longer provided. He assured me the outcome was faith-full, that others would carry-on.
I rode in the elevator with him during our annual meeting in Portland, OR, in April. He wore his usual leather coat and sense of balance and compassion. He asked me of my evening in the city. Relentless lawsuits, harassment and recent clinic vandalism aside, he was calm. Carrying on.
He was shot point-blank in his church lobby this sun beaming morning. He was ushering and his wife was singing and they killed him in their place of peace.
I’ve had a creeping sense that something terrible would happen. I’ve begun to fear the safety of my clinic as anti-abortion extremists begin to lose their grounding in political clout but I didn’t imagine Dr. Tiller in this sense of doom. He seemed to glide through relentless opposition spiritually unscathed. I imagined him until 100. With years of peace to follow his tireless battle to be subtly, significantly good.
I could only give him these things in my merciless hope for magic: roses from the bishop’s garden, prayers 38-40 in the Bethlehem Chapel by the Way of Peace in the National Cathedral, the sunshine, the drum circle, the half moon.
Oh, Dr. Tiller. I will miss how I adore your daily perseverance, your swift and enlightening presence, your hands. Your eternal and expansive heart.
Thank you for your elegant words, and your purposeful work, Elisabeth. A powerful thank you to every person who works, fights, and lives for reproductive rights and health. You are brave, strong, and empowering. Please don't let any act of domestic terrorism deter your important LEGAL, medical, and ethical work.
Monday, June 1, 2009
People who study right-wing extremism have been worried for months that something like this might happen. In far-right circles, “there’s a sense that America has tipped and has slipped out of control and somebody better do something, with regard to abortion, gay marriage, demographic changes,” says Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.I resent that the citizens of this country have to deal with this. Our elections are fair (though the right played a hand in one that was not), and democratic. Dems and the left sat by for 8 years while a war that we disagreed with was waged in our name. Our hands tied and our mouths taped, we protested peacefully, legally. Now 5 months into a new administration we waited so patiently and fought so hard for, an administration supposedly fueled by hope, this despicable crime is committed and blamed on this change in leadership.
This change is causing our country to slip out of control? But where was the right when Bush was tapping our phones, and passing the Patriot Act? Where were the self identified "pro-lifers" when the Iraq war started killing thousands of innocent victims? And where are they now, 6 years later, as it continues to rage? This portion of the country stood silent for the last 8 years while Bush and co. restricted our freedoms in the name of freedom. But now, mere months have passed since Bush left office, and suddenly we're losing control.
Why? Because our President is black? Because a few more states allow gay marriage (keeping in mind a major state lost that right, and our crazy liberal president still doesn't endorse gay marriage, nor has he made a motion to legalize it federally)? Because immigrants, and foreign born people still live in this country, exactly like they did 6 months ago and the eight years previous to that? (And as a reminder, if you don't descend from Native Americans, you're technically an immigrant too, so leave your high horse at the door.) Nothing since Obama took office is radically different for the right wing. Their lives are the same as they were 6 months ago. The tipping and slipping is all in their heads, perhaps their own fear mongering has finally turned on them.
Please quit trying to justify your flawed reasoning, right wingers. Just say you hate people of color. Say you hate immigrants. Say you hate the GLBT population. Say you hate women. JUST EFFING SAY IT ALREADY. Call it what it is and stop putting it all under the insincere and disgustingly inaccurate headings of "protection," "freedom," and worst of all "love." These are not your ideologies to uphold. They are mine. They are that of my friends, colleagues, relatives, mentors, teachers, and acquaintances. They are the ideals of those who work tirelessly to eradicate violence against women; those who fight to make sure all Americans have access to proper housing, education, food, and health care; those who make sure children are loved, wanted, and properly cared for; those who rally against hatred and inequality in all aspects of life; and those who protect the choice of women and their families when it comes to their reproductive health and safety.
I am working for protection. I am working for freedom. I am working for love. YOU are working to undo everything I and everyone in my life has lived and fought for. And The Daily Beast, with the insight of Brian Levin, predict there is more to come.
Now the economy is far worse, as is the degree to which conservatives find themselves marginalized in national politics. There’s desperation in the air... Levin fears that, as in the 1990s, other attacks could follow. “One thing we know about extremism is that it tends to occur with some seriality,” he says. “This was not only a single assassination. Within the movement, it was a call to arms. Whether or not it’s successful, your guess is as good as mine.”I can tell you it will not be successful. The murder of Dr. George Tiller is not a victory. It is a reminder. It reminds us why our work is so important, and also reminds us that is not easy. But most of all, it reminds us that we must never stop fighting in solidarity.
Friday, May 29, 2009
It is impossible to disentangle the different strands of prejudice; where the psychiatric system is used to persecute people of colour, the justice system or immigration system persecutes people with disabilities, and inhumane systems in general combine to drive people to madness.Read the full article here. As a crisis worker who has seen similar issues played out, let me just add that this problem is exacerbated when intimate partner violence or sexual assault is involved. This triad is unfortunately very common and there are not enough agencies with the appropriate resources available to aid these victims. This is the kind of problem that while not specialized, is treated as such, and I would love to see it addressed by our new administration.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
One of my favorite parts of this album is the last song, it's upbeat, cute, and makes for a good visual. But more importantly, it makes me think Emily Haines (front woman) is really into the online comic, Married To The Sea. Which would be cool, because then we'd have something in common, and when we meet I could tell her I'm from Ohio just like Drew and Natalie who make MTTS, and she'd instantly want to be best friends with me because of my good taste in webcomics and midwestern states. So if you haven't already made the connection between these things, let me elablorate. The last song, Statium Love has lyrics like this:
Wanna make a bet
We'll be neck and neck
Taking off the gloves
Spider Vs Bat
Tiger Vs Rat
Rabbit Vs Dove
Every living thing
Pushed into the ring
Fight it out
To wow the crowd
The full song lyrics are here and you can listen to Statium Love on the site link up top. So the song has a deeper meaning about relationships (of course), but that's all lost on me, because everytime I listen to it, I think of this MTTS comic:
lolz...Moral of this tale? Listen to Metric, and read MTTS so you can wow your friends at parties with your inane cross references.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
A) My couch not fitting through the door, thus it was trashed
- and -
B) Comcast's inability to pull their heads out of their asses long enough to fix the friggin' internet which comes and goes from my apartment like the wind
I choose to blame my major behindness in writing on these main factors. Having to write in a camping chair, bed, or atop a rubbermaid container is as easy as trying to tackle the task in a moving car...no impossible, just incrediably uncomfortable and distracting.
So why don't I stop bitching and instead catch you up on the real haps, eh? My thoughts are just as scattered as my possessions these days, as I try to gather and organize both, take a gander at some pop culture things I found fascinating or infruiating in the last few weeks:
"17 Again" starring Zac Efron and the adorable Matthew Perry (does me thinking Perry is the cuter of the two age me, or make me ambrosial?) looks like your average, my-life-sucks-at-this-age-why-not-try-another-age-via-unnamed-magic fluff movie. But according to community blogger Lauren on Oh No They Didn't it's rotten with sexist absintence only messages. Efron makes impassioned speeches about girls respecting themselves, and preaches that peeps shouldn't sex it up until they are ready to have that baby. Yikes and ewww! Read full post here.
Everyone is still gaga over Star Trek, as they should be, but in the hussle to call it the greatest prequel/summer movie/Star Trek remake everrrrr are we forgetting the women? Melissa over at Women and Hollywood ponders the insignificance of the three main female characters who can be broken down into little more than wife, mother, and girlfriend. Read full post here.
57 Days until Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince...OMFG...the wait is more painful than the Sectumsempra curse. If you haven't seen the full length preview yet, you must now at the official site here. I'm trying to remain cautiously optimistic becuase the last one was so not great, but holy cats, how can I not believe that this looks like the best and most amazing HP yet?! It seems to have everything. I'm surprised how much the preview showed of the end, and gaaaah...drool. I need to stop now.
Here is a super cute article I found in the New Yorker a couple of weeks ago about Amy Poehler and the unique quality she brings to all of her characters, "cockeyed optimism," they call it. If you feel bad from time to time about the lack of females in comedy (like I tend to) read this piece and savor this line: "...you always felt in good hands during a Poehler skit; unlike some of the other performers—the men of recent years come to mind—she never seemed sloppy or on the verge of being downright awful." I feel a triumphent leap in my heart when I read it, I hope you do too.
Now use that power you harnessed by reading that last bit and try not to reach into cyber space with the intention of strangling Dirk Benedict after you get a gander at this piece titled "Starbuck: Lost in Castration" he wrote about Battlestar Galactica. Benedict played Starbuck in the orginal series, and he's back now to say a whole handful of pro-sexism shit and if you don't like it than tough, he's a cigar chomping, ass grabing man, and that's the way of the/his world. It's unbearable that such backwards talk is being bantied around about such a progressive and important show. Get a snifter of this: "There was a time – I know I was there – when men were men, women were women and sometimes a cigar was just a good smoke. But 40 years of feminism have taken their toll. The war against masculinity has been won. Everything has turned into its opposite, so that what was once flirting and smoking is now sexual harassment and criminal. And everyone is more lonely and miserable as a result. " Le Sigh.
Rabbit Write discusses the controversial Oprah episode that encouraged mom's to buy their daughters' vibrators in order to teach them about self stimulation. While I agree with Rabbit that actually buying the vibrator for your kid is over steping bodily autonomy boundries, I will argue that there is nothing unatural to using tools to get the job done. She posts, "...it would seem that masturbation would be a natural and personal discovery. Isn’t that precisely what it should be? Quick fixes won’t help your teenagers develop positive relationships with their bodies. The beauty of healthy sex cannot be taught by an orgasm machine." Au contraire, a vibrator or any other sex toy is not an unnatural quick fix, it's part of the whole fix. And of course these kinds of toys can teach healthy sex. Healthy sex comes when one understands their own body and what makes them feel good. It's important to learn about yourself in many different ways. Besides, orgasm machine? Really, that's the word choice we're going with? Vibrators only vibrate, the user is in control of the speed, penetration, weight of touch, where it goes, and how much interaction it has in the masturbation process. It's not like those fetish sites where the girl is sumissive to some bizarre contraption. Let's not be over dramatic here.
Okay, it's good to get some of those out of my system. Now, back to posting things on a more regular basis...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
If you're not familiar with NOM, check out this fear mongering campaign video where lots of white people (and a few tokens) are terrified of the one thing that will never happen if GLBT people marry: getting their rights trampled and/or infringed on. Gay marriage for these "Left Behind" extras is like a horrifying amalgamation of Voldemort, The Running of the Bulls, and being forced Clockwork-Orange-style to watch "Religulous" with Bill Maher. Seriously, people, right now your worst fear is your kid going to school and learning about civil rights? That's the big problem in your life? It sounds like a little house foreclosure would clear that irrationality up, right quick.
So that is what Miss. California is worried about. And to avoid taking a trip to word vomit village, I'm just gonna direct you to The Superficial, where they took the words outta my mouth:
So, let me get this straight, Jesus is cool with fake tits, morally bankrupt beauty pageants and constant media whoring, but not gay marriage? Huh. I never really pictured JC as a homophobic douchebag from Orange County, but that seems to be the message these days. Keep spreading the Good News, Carrie!Also as I was writing this, Samhita over at Feministing put up a bit about the connection to feminism:
Her blatant homophobia just adds to the already established straight, cis-woman and white standard of beauty necessary for pageants to exist and to perpetuate the illusion of binary genders.Wowie zowie! How apt that I listened to the Lunachicks while showering this morning...
Thursday, April 23, 2009
As if the anticipation of the sixth installment of Harry Potter wasn't already giving me heart palpitations, but OMG , finally finally finally The State is being released on DVD. According to TV Shows on DVD this long overdue release is slated for July 14th (gah! only one day before HP searches for horcruxes!). So now if you missed the sketch comedy show the first time around, and weren't cool enough to buy a few selected episodes on VHS tape, this is your chance to get with it. Do you like Wet Hot American Summer, Stella, and/or Reno 911!? The genius of all of 'em was birthed from The State. Grab your fattest Sharpie and mark your calenders for 7/14/09 so next time I tell you I'm seeing Stella at 6th and I Synagogue you act a little more jealous (I was seriously disapointed when I said I stood a foot from Micheal Showalter and you were like "Who?"). If you can't have Piggy-Shoes that make piggy sounds every time you step down on the heel, than The State DVDs are defintely the next best thing!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Okay so now that you are a twitter user and sort of understand hashtags, it's good to know that there are a couple popular ones that cleverly coincide with days of the week, like #followfriday or #musicmonday. You use the former when you want your followers to follow the hip cats that you're following: "HeyHeyLouisaMay: #followfriday @heartsandstring for pop culture loving feminists." and the latter to share what songs you heart that day: "HeyHeyLouisaMay: #musicmonday "Where your eyes don't go" by They Might Be Giants."
SO in this (new) grand tradition I call on everyone to adorn Wednesdays with a new hashtag phenomenon: #funnywomenwednesday. It takes up a few extra characters, but it's worth it to show your followers, as well as Twitter searchers everywhere, women who are really fucking comical. It could be a shoutout to follow your giggle-inducing gal pal or an amusing actress you like. Also good, a link to some side splitting stand-up, or a blog written by a witty woman. Just highlight the laugh inducing ladies in your life. Everyone needs a reminder that even though Judd Apatow and crew rarely let us have the good lines, we can blithely banter with the best of 'em.
Why is this necessary? Who didn't see "I Love You, Man," and WISH that someone would have given Jamie Pressly more dialogue? And no one is looking forward to "Funny People" more than me, but even with Leslie Mann in a(nother) supporting role it's clear that the funny people helming this film (Seth Rogen, Adam Sandlar, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman) are definitely men. These boys sure know how to spin a humdinger, and I adore 'em for it, but it's clear that they aren't willing to seriously spilt their stage time with us. What's more ridiculous than that? And I don't have to tell you that there is an obnoxious rumor going around town that women aren't funny. There are more Feys, Poehlers, Wiigs, Silvermans, and Presslys out there, let's shine a spotlight on them, at least one day a week. It'd be more attention than they get now.
Not on Twitter? Then spread some love on Facebook, MySpace, or even on your own personal blog. You heard it here first kiddos, April 1st, 2009 kicks off Funny Women Wednesday, and that's no joke.
Once I worked at a Metro Parks exhibit and helped look after a Fennec Fox and it was the greatest time in my life.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Somehow, though, SWG beating up a sex worker didn't make the news in the same way, only trickling out this weekend as a novelty story. All posts about it have so far seemed to be more about Sham Wow and less about how this is a serious violent crime against a woman. Why haven't we heard about this until now? Probably because common views of sex workers are that they as disposable and deserving of the violence that plagues them. Lest we forget the words of serial prostitute killer, Gary Ridgeway, "I picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing. I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught."
Severe? Sure, but reflections of this way of thinking can be seen in something as ubiquitous as the Grand Theft Auto series, during which your male character can rape and kill prostitutes. Do we all actively want or support violence against this population? Of course not, but there is a bigger question here. When it comes to sex workers, do we notice or care when these violent acts happen?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
If you're in Ohio THIS weekend do yourself a favor and see new buckeye breakout sensations Speed Governor (affectionately known as SPD GVNR) play their very first show at the Treehouse in Columbus Saturday night. According to their MySpace page, this eerily similar trio of males fancies their music a mix of indie, rock, and post punk; citing impressive influences like Fugazi, the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr. and the Weakerthans. Is that not enough for you? Well, also at this show you can see, Via Audio, and Bicentennial Bear. What are you waiting for? Roadtrip to Columbus, Get there at 10, by some drinks, and GT RDY T RCK!
When police officers are found to have murdered young black men, they are almost always let off the hook, they do not face life in prison and they are not then hunted and killed. This is not to suggest that the murder of cops is justified, but to ask that we look at it within the context of police brutality and the damage it has wreaked on the black community.
The power that resides in the laps of armed police officers is terrifying. Imagine living in these conditions, in the kind of world where you can be gunned down just for being young, black, male and walking down the street. This story is almost impossible to understand given dominant narratives around race, class, gender and black masculinity. It is considered OK to kill young black men, often violently. We may be outraged, but not nearly as outraged as when cops are killed.
Read the rest here.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Before "Stuff White People Like" Gets Their Snarky Hands On It...Enjoy This Trailer Made Especially for You
B) Loving it with all with the knowledge that it was totally marketed directly to you
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Then our new President Obama creates a first ever Council on Women and Girls led by Obama's senior aid, Valerie Jarrett. Signed into law on International Women's Day March 8th, the council will, according to Jarrett, "examine all the programs at the federal level that touch on women and girls and we're going to work to coordinate and make sure that each of those programs is doing everything that it could do to help support women and girls." So awesome that it's tear inducing:
Now today, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has an excellent piece published in the Washington Times discussing the state of women and girls around the world and highlights the importance of investing in our futures. Here are his main talking points:
It's up to all of us to ensure that this economic crisis does not become a global women's crisis, too. At moments like these in developing countries, women are asked to bear the brunt of the hardship. When food is scarce, economists have found that women and girls are pressured to forgo their share altogether so that men and boys have enough to eat. In the same way, we must now make sure that women workers aren't pushed aside as businesses downsize and that daughters aren't taken out of school as families search for extra incomeI find it so refreshing to hear the political discourse shift from how we should cut the rights of women globally to how to champion them instead. I am always sensitive, however, to how we discuss global women's issues as to not sound like the great western world sweeping down to save the poor eastern women from their backwards society. I think this is a great piece, though. What are your thoughts? Read the entire commentary here.
Thanks to Colin for the link
Sunday, March 15, 2009
This cycle Tyra did not want to wait the usual two or three episodes to make over her edge-less contestants. We could barely settle into Wednesday's episode of America's Next Top Model before we were smacked in the face with a spy theme that was right out of Cheesetown USA. Tyra had totally confidential ("for fierce eyes only") new looks for all the girls, but her fake-a-roo trench coat and fedora coupled with bad Charlie's Angels style video-phone editing made the whole thing look like a big trying-too-hard-for ratings fiasco. Are girls crying at getting their hair cut no longer gimmicky enough to rope in viewers? Well if sheering girls til they sob won't do it, and Tyra's bad Carmen Sandiego impression isn't cutting it either, perhaps Wal-Mart could give a go of it.
Yep, nothing screams high fashion like Wal-Mart, that's why this week's challenge was centered around the Covergirl Wal-Mart Wall. Manufactured in an empty room because there are no Wal-Marts in NYC, some one-named make-up artist stands in front of the wall and chokes out some forced line like this, "At Wal-mart anyone can confidently personalize their own look for less." Leaving out that Wal-Mart has this "unique" ability because they don't give their worker's raises and make them work off the clock. That Covergirl wall is oh-so-affordable because their non-management workers are living thousands of dollars below the US poverty level (according to Wake-Up Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Watch). This is a problem that could be easily fixed by raising the prices on every product half a penny.
And speaking of non-management workers, the majority of them are women! Even though they make up 72 % of Wal-Mart's total workforce, only 33 % of women get to move out from behind the cashier and become management. So glamorous! It's a good thing that Covergirl is so damn cheap because at a whopping $8.23 an hour (that's $13,861 annually folks!) the ladies of Wal-Mart aren't going to see the inside of a Sephora anytime soon. Even those lucky 33% who win a coveted upper management job are still only getting a consolation prize, according to the United Food and Commericial Workers (UFCW) "women in management positions earn nearly $5,000 per year less than men."
The girls squealed and nodded with excitement as the challengers blathered on about Wal-Mart's greatness. For all of the fits the contestants rountinely have about nothing, you'd think one or two of them could speak up about how awful (and très unfashionable) Wal-mart is. Not even the street preacher made a peep. I'm always curious how much this is the producers forcing them to go along (since Wal-Mart is clearly a sponser) or if the contestants would rather rally against a haircut than a jerky corporation. But really, it's the show's responsibility to not cater to such an unethical company. Tyra's crusade for women looks pretty shoddy if she's supporting a company that routinely holds women back. You wanna be on top? Standing on the backs of other women is not the way to get there.
Check out Tyra's Go Go Gadget Editing:
Getting pumped about Wal-Mart:
Related Story: I Wanna Be On Top: Use Your Inner Goddess to Preserve the Purity of Young Girls
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Bush & Co. forced those of us who had previously been taking a responsible role in their reproductive health to step back and make some hard decisions. Utilities or birth control? Groceries or birth control? Books for class or birth control? It was unfair of them to put us in that position and now we will finally be able to regain our financial footing when it comes to our health. As one of the women in the video below says BC isn't just about controlling reproduction. It is often used to help skin conditions, regulate unusual periods, and deescalate the pain that comes with severe cramping (among other things). Supporting BC is an important part of supporting women's health, a nonpartisan issue that should be supported by all.
Employee Free Choice Act Introduced Today! (Expect More Mayor McCheese Sightings in the Near Future)
Mayor McCheese was strutting around in front of the White House yesterday thoughtlessly showing off his dollar sign adorned burlap sack. Not a good idea in the robber-happy District of Columbia, just today a CVS I often frequent on U st (fairly safe) got knocked off at 3'o'clock in the afternoon. Just because that bag isn't full of burgers doesn't mean you'll go unburgled, Mr. Mayor.
Though, only a few feet from this walking sideshow, is this woman with this protest sign leading me to believe that there must be something deeper going on here...
To get to the bottom of this mystery, I've garnered the help of DC union organizer, John Aho, who explains that this is indeed a deep issue. One as deep as the pockets of some of the richest, most anti-union corporations around.
Why are you looking at a picture of people with hamburgers, moneybags and cashiers in the place of their heads?It all started Monday afternoon.
across from both the White House and the Chamber of Commerce, hosted a protest against big business’s opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, which was introduced in congress today. Burger King, Bank of America (despite taking billions in taxpayer dollars) and Walmart are among the companies spending millions of dollars to defeat the bill (hence the silly costumes). Big Business hates the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) because it would mean extra money out of their already bulging pockets, since union workers make more money, and receive better benefits than their non-union counterparts. Lafayette Park, which is
Okay, when he says "silly costumes," I'm pretty certain he means amazing costumes. Though more importantly, unions and their members get a pretty awful rap as gangsters, thieves, or layabouts because there are more stereotypes about them in the mainstream consciousness than facts due to a huge lack of education about labor issues. Really, unions are just fighting against corporations (isn't that what we're all doing?) on behalf of workers. Workers who get screwed out of a health care, a living wage (7 bucks an hour isn't cutting it), and workplace safety (without unions you could get hurt on the job, and then fired for not performing).
The EFCA is important for many reasons, first, it fixes the current broken system of forming unions, and moves to a more level playing field for workers and management. Second, it would allow workers to organize unions without intimidation and harassment from management. The EFCA would ban mandatory anti-union meetings and increase penalties for illegal firing of pro-union workers (which happens more than 25% of the time!). Lastly, it would force companies to bargain with their workers in good faith; and allow workers to choose whether they want their
Unionrecognized through an election or a majority signup process.
Unions also make sure women get the workplace equality (like promotions!) that they deserve - this is especially helpful in traditionally male jobs like carpentry, and construction. In fact, in December a new study called Unions and Upwards Mobility for Women Workers was released with good news for women. It showed that for women, being a member of a union is "on par with having a college education." Pro women? Pro union!
So if you've have ever had a job that you wanted to not be treated like crap at, but you lacked the power to change anything, strap on that hamburger hat and grab your sack 'o' cash because now's the time to start supporting the Employee Free Choice Act.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Of course now that Obama is in office, the still-hard-to-believe-I'm-not-dreaming trend of slowly but surely fixing and reversing all the abuses of power/asshat decision making continues. Obama is looking to overturn this rule, but he needs to hear from you. Please visit the Planned Parenthood website here and sign a petition urging him and the Dept. of Health and Human Services to reverse this unethical intrusion into women bodies and lives.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The high notes of this week are mostly centered around the picking of the girls who will live in the house and becoming familiar with their characters. The notable ones include a Texan street preacher, a wide eyed girl with blood lust, the requisite "plus sized" model that looks like everyone I know, and perhaps Tyra's proudest catch, a burn survivor. Tahlia (the burn survivor) and Kortnie (the "plus sized" model) serve as the shows' underdogs and token characters that Tyra can point to so that the show can't be criticized by the mainstream as only catering to a certain body type or look.
Tyra has already bathed in self righteousness over how Tahlia is strong and needs to be given a chance by ANTM, and while she makes an attempt at comforting Tahlia when she feels othered at the runway competition, Tyra's bemoaning about how the modeling industry will either love Tahlia's scars or hate them just comes off as belittling. Tahila's personality quickly is lost on the show, and she becomes nothing more than her scars. I look forward to learning more about her (as she is one of the nicer contestants), and I hope the producers give us a chance to see her other attributes, interests, and thoughts. That being said, as always with this gray-area series, it is great that this woman has air time to talk about her story, showing viewers that she is talented, and that her burns don't make her ugly. Although, so far she has admitted that the show is making her feel "shame" about her skin and serves as a reminder for how "different" she is. Will this be a train wreck or a growing experience for the audience and the contestant? I'm eager to see how this plays out.
Secondly, the show's photo shoot has a creepy/cute focus on young girls and how they are, according to Tyra, "good girls turned bad." (bolding mine) During the shoot, there is an emphasis on what makes a good girl (pigtails and jax) and a bad girl (torn stockings, smeared make-up, and pregnancy), and Tyra can't help but allude to her talk show which has found that (gasp) "1 out of 5 girls want to be teen moms." This moral panic has, of course, turned into Tyra's personal war against the idea of "innocence and purity being lost." Which we know thanks to The New York Times and Jessica Valenti, founder of Feministing and author of the new book The Purity Myth, is a big fucking scare tatic. Not to mention how this line of thinking only targets and infantilizes girls and women. It is disempowering in refusing to acknowledge our capabilty to make our own choices, and is also slut shaming/victim blaming as it ignores the responsibility of the men needed for the sexing, raping, and baby-making. The Tyra Show website even asks "Why are so many teenaged girls pregnant?!," - we have yet to see the question, "Why are so many teen guys getting girls pregnant?" In the video clip, not one person even thinks to explain girls get pregnant "because guys have unprotected sex with them." Though, that's because, duh, it's mostly the media whoring them up and making 'em unpure. It couldn't be from the lack of safe sex education, no no no. Don't girls know we can see their dirty pillows? Cover up, or you might get preggers. Unless you're on America's Next Top Model, then get nekkid, sexy, and girly for the camera's, but only in the most pure fashionista way. Virgin/Whore Chic is totally in for Spring. Thanks Tyra, the wealth of crazy pants knowledge you bestow is priceless.