Monday, October 31, 2005

(post removed...)

i mean, really.
who cares about michael jackson?


sometimes it's hard being so right: bush's new scotus pick

it begins - again.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

What's a Modern Girl to Do? - New York Times

if you can stand it.

why am i totally not feeling conflicted about being a feminist?

[updated: this article has flown all over the place and it even made the dinner conversation tonight with a couple of girlfriends. it's a more important piece than that lame 'ivy league girls give work the finger' article but it's still slightly problematic.

i don't have a quarrel with dowd's view on pop culture. the sexual codes floating around out there are regressive; we have a generation of young women who don't know the first thing about feminist history or their connection to it; we have a whole slew of men who are still infantilized, much to the chagrin of a small segment of the female population who would like, yes, a partner in life, not another child. we've heard of the man-child, the kids who are still living at home, the women who think the view of the 50s is nifty. the failure of the 'have it all' lifestyle, blah blah. i have no doubt about any of these things.

i have a problem with her main thesis: "Little did I realize that the feminist revolution would have the unexpected consequence of intensifying the confusion between the sexes, leaving women in a tangle of dependence and independence as they entered the 21st century." for dowd, the problem isn't patriarchy but feminism. the backlash against feminism has nothing to do with the phallocentric nature of our institutions, the way that masculine power is disseminated and replicated in our culture, or even the basic inability of the general male population to fucking evolve. no, the bloom is off feminism's rose because feminism itself rubbed it off with its own hand.

for dowd, the reason women are so confused and men are still so maddeningly retro is because women have changed the rules, don't know the rules, or ignore the rules, or haven't. in her analysis, this dance of the sexes is our burden to shoulder; it's our maze to navigate. men just get to passively respond to what's put in front of them and their position is never really problematized.

the editor of maxim gets to thoughtfully furrow his brow and muse of his surprise "to find that a lot of women would want to be somehow validated as a Maxim girl type, that they'd like to be thought of as hot and would like their boyfriends to take pictures of them or make comments about them that mirror the Maxim representation of a woman, the Pamela Anderson sort of brand. That, to me, is kind of extraordinary."

um, yeah, how fucking extraordinary! as if this extraordinary thing just freaking happened! it's not as if this desire to be validated as a walking vagina with fake breasts just accidentally became the norm! not only are ed's ideas left standing there, blinking dumbly at us, the ideas behind his ideas are completely accepted as 'accident.'

there is no accident. the big white elephant in dowd's piece is masculinity. the crisis in masculinity, the narrative of masculinity, the blankness of masculinity. behind all her examples of courtship, beauty, ambition, pop culture, she posits women as the cause of all this topsi-turviness. i don't buy it. it's the hollow core of patriarchy and its empty codes of masculinity that are the culprit here. maxim's choice to replicate a type of fraternity boy masculinity, or a bill maher's decision to voice masculine desire for a woman to 'shut up', creates a cultural atmosphere that requires a woman to acquiesce to a shallow and fragile childish ego. that is, if she wants masculine attention.

let's face it; this is dowd's real question - why aren't i the object of the masculine gaze? waah waah.

her writing is so fucking heterosexist.

i'd like to rewrite her thesis:
Little did I realize that the idea that women are people would have the unexpected consequence of confusing men, leaving them in a tangle of dependence and shallow bravado as they entered the 21st century.]

Friday, October 28, 2005 - Commentary on Popular and Political Cultures - Commentary on Popular and Political Cultures

when i get home, i'm adding it to the blogroll.
smart, feminist, and pop culture-y.

it's not sexy...

but it's interesting, and that's what matters since this is all about ME.

For Blacks, a Dream in Decline - New York Times

i don't know much about unions/organizing so i'd be interested in knowing (mark) what other people think...

i guess i'm confused: are african americans leaving unions or are jobs getting rid of african americans, thus emptying unions of african americans? or some weird combo of them both?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

so let's see...

the sox have won the series.
someone in the shrub administration is about to (finally) get spanked.
harriet miers is off the short list (this is a yay/boo kind of thing. yay she's off; boo someone more awful is next.)
george takei and sheryl swoops have come out.

with all this commotion and topsy turviness, i can either crawl under the big pile of laundry on my bed and go to sleep or i can spin around in circles, giddy with the absurdity of it all.

i'd rather spin, thank you.
things to do while in chicago:
see purlie
check out my doppelganger
go to the sox parade (heh)
get a massage
ignore the fact that no one i know is throwing a halloween party.

poor harriet: wrong (straw) man for the job

Now that the burden of this woman has been lifted from the administration, how much you wanna bet a man, a very scary man – even scarier than poor mediocre harriet – will pop up and get the post, thus unifying the right, terrifying the left and basically screwing all of Creation in the process?

Hm? Any takers? Any?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


i will not deny my class bias or envy.

"It's all about six degrees of separation for black folks. Beautiful, smart, happening black folks."

for anyone who never knew the meaning of the word, this is bougie.

enough of politics; now let's talk poop

Orange Tangerine: Wow, that's a lot of repression

orange is a woman after my own heart and her readership! naughty, all of them. over at her place there's discussions about sammiches, boobs, poops and why interracial babies will eventually rule the world.

(bwah ha ha ha! rise up blasiatinos! rise up!)

Wal-Mart Memo: eat the poor!

Wal-Mart Memo Suggests Ways to Cut Employee Benefit Costs - New York Times

there are so many things wrong with wal mart in this article, it's boggling.

while acknowledging that a significant part of their workforce makes so little money they're still on public assistance, wal-mart still wants to find ways to squeeze their benefits; acknowledging that their workforce is probably among the unhealthiest (diabetes, obesity, poor nutrition), they still want to cut benefits; acknowledging productivity is flat they figure the solution is to find a way to push out senior workers, though there's no indication that younger or newer workers would be any more productive. acknowledging their internal culture is fucked up, do they or their consultants recommend changing that culture?

no, they just want to find ways to make poor and unhealthy people work harder for less.

what a truly fucked up company wal-mart is.

news flash: goose and gander not pals

Senators in G.O.P. Voice New Doubt on Court Choice - New York Times:

Senator Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican in the political middle of his party, said he needed 'to get a better feel for her intellectual capacity and judicial philosophy, core competence issues.'

don't know about you but i think this is hilarious.
they're in a dither about meirs' intellectual capacity and core competence (how corp speak) and we have the president we have. i guess it's all ok to elect a truly mediocre man to the highest office in the land but it's not ok to put a mediocre woman on the supreme court.

not that i'm a fan of meirs and her problematic willingness to ban abortion for all women unless we're bleeding out somewhere. but i find it interesting that she's getting the grilling from the GOP based on skills when this administration is full of puddingheads who couldn't string together a coherent plan or skill set if a gun was held to their heads and their testicles were on fire.

sexism? naaah. couldn't be.

fascinating: diary of a wife

i honestly can't remember how i came across this blog.

it's an older salon blog but it's a really interesting conversation about marriage, sex with a littl ebit of advice column thrown in. the main readership is male and it's fascinating to read their responses to what a woman thinks. i've been reading it for the past two nights and i can totally see patterns of my parents' marriage in her posts.

anyway, you should check it out. it's like a marriage/sex manual written by someone's cool mom.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

niice: olsen twins of the white nationalists

via feckless, the all-american story of two cute kids just trying to catch a break in this rough and tumble world - you know, in that 'kill all the black people' kind of way.

aren't they adorable?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Asking the Wrong Questions: 4 Popular Misconceptions About Pride and Prejudice

i seem to be obssessed with austen.

here is abigail nussbaum discussing popular misconceptions of pride & prejudice. (just in case any of prof L-'s students are still hanging around...)
and i still have no idea what i'm going to submit to that contest...grrr.

oh, blah.

the sox won game two of the series tonight. yay.
the bears beat the ravens, whoever they are. again, yay.

i spent the whole weekend nesting, recovering from the week and the big fundraiser. roomie hung out with T- and i tried to write a little bit. when that failed, i ate a whole pint of ice cream and started reading the chronicles of narnia. when one's sex/love life is as barren as mine at the moment, you need to stuff every nook and cranny with as much distraction as possible.

political news usually gets me excited but right now there's nothing grabbing my gullet. the world of men is increasingly distasteful; they've created these games that are eating them, and us, alive and i'm exhausted by it all. the playground pendulum of What Goes Around slowly swings back our way and some rather nasty people could go to jail; if we're lucky they all get dropped into the black hole of Irrelevance.

i should write. i have a nov 11 deadline for a contest and i got nothing. nothing! sex or writing, sex or writing. which has the chance of hitting first?

Friday, October 21, 2005

ding's back! (huge fundraiser a smashing success!)

now that roomie is getting more sleep, she's chipper in the morning and - let's just say it's crazy-making. (i say that with love, roomie, i do!) but i only sound bitter because her morning chipperness interrupted a really good, inappropriate dream i had of B- the ex-boy.

why was it good? just have to know B-.
why was it inappropriate? any hot dream wherein your father makes an unexpected appearance is totally inappropriate. totally. inappropriate.

the moratorium i've declared on B- is becoming more difficult to maintain as the weather gets colder. why the fuck am i doing this to myself?

oh right. STANDARDS.

Monday, October 17, 2005

roomie on the train

roomie's anal aperture was ravaged this morning on the blue line.

let's all send our sympathetic to poor traumatized roomie.

american girl dolls: lesbianic abortion-getters

once again, some people need to get a grip: Groups Threaten to Boycott American Girl - Yahoo! News

why do these people want to boycott american girl?
because Girls Inc. happens to believe that women are people, too.

i don't particularly care about american girl dolls. i think dolls are creepy and the whole cult around the store is weird - not to mention their whole take on history is patently ahistorical. but i think social convervatives are becoming increasingly nuts.

it's a good thing that women make medical and moral decisions for themselves.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Fallen Fruit: uh, hands off my fruit, man.

Fallen Fruit

theoretically, i'm down with this. theoretically.

practically, i have an issue. being from LA i know that a lot of the neighborhoods where fruit trees live are on the south and eastside of town, the older parts - neighborhoods like my father's, echo park, macarthur park, silverlake, east la, arlington, the neighborhoods bordering downtown la. these are mostly communities of color. or, they used to be.

gentrification is changing a lot of rules in urban neighborhoods but i know that my father's neighbor would not look kindly on some crunchy granola guy putting his hand up and taking a banana from the tree that grows on his front yard and happens to overhang the sidewalk. he has a machete and isn't afraid to use it.

when i was in hawaii with my family my sister and i walked down the street and pick up all the fallen mangos. we'd sit on the red dirt curbs and eat until our stomachs bulged and our faces were sticky with juice. mom would look at us and say, "that's the filipina coming out." but we'd pick fruit that had already fallen. when the neighbors saw us (and everyone had a huge mango tree) they'd bring out sacks for us and beg us to take what we wanted; no one could eat it all, there was so much.

before you take someone's fruit, shouldn't you ask?

Friday, October 14, 2005

black people to george bush: you stank!

i love this:

from a statistical level, it's a theoretical possibility that with the possible exception of Condoleeza Rice and Michael Steele, not a single black person in the United States of America approves of George W. Bush.


original article here

Thursday, October 13, 2005

why working with a bunch of women is good

we can cry at the office.

in fact, when i worked at my other firm (where there were only two men) tears were a natural part of the business day. when projects were overwhelming, when meetings got touchy, when a consultant was contemplating a career change - i'd see any number of women in my boss' office tearing up over a box of kleenex. (it was usually related to stress...)

tears were ok. when our boss told us she was buying out her partner, when we launched our new identity, when i told my boss i didn't like it there anymore, when we had our staff retreats - tears. there were tears at other firms too: when i made one particularly awful manager cry, when another manager made my office mate cry, when i got fired for making my manager cry - tears then, too. (not from me. i was too angry to cry.)

there was a time in this country that tears were a sign of sensibility; they were the indicators of finer feelings. but now they're just taken for being a wuss. or - not being a MAN.

are tears a sign of weakness? tears are a sign you're fucking human. if you don't cry, you're a robot and you're about to have a stroke or a heart attack.

are there appropriate places to cry? yes. office politics being what they are, i don't like crying in front of people i don't trust. i'm not too down with open displays of emotion, so i like the idea of finding an empty office or conference room and letting it out there. so much more discreet.

tears can also be strategic. i *know* i bought myself some time and just avoided getting fired from a job because i cried. in front of another woman, no less. stoicism and the 'i'm tough' thing can get you so far. sometimes you need to break down and sob a little.

how sad is it that women have to stifle a normal reaction to stress just to satisfy someone's fucked up notion of 'work'?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

guilty late night pleasure

so, thanks to my roomie, we have hbo and every sunday night we have ditched the desperate housewives and have embraced the people of rome. she has her favorite and i have mine.

i love him: Honorable, severe, unforgiving, pitiless; dour and pragmatic, with a tendency towards self-laceration.

he has all the charm of a hemorrhoid, doesn't he?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

reality raises its hoary head: budget cuts hit the poor

Liberal Hopes Ebb in Post-Storm Poverty Debate - New York Times

suspending all the swooning and mooning over EofDM, let's take a short break to think about what's going on in this post-apocalyptic storm time: our administration, over-extended because of the war(s) waged abroad, bad tax policies and other economic miscues, now sees fit to slash even further funding for those programs that poor people (the people we hadn't really thought about until now) who need it to survive.

here's a partial list of programs on the chopping block:

Medicaid: the last-resort health insurance program for the very poor
Medicare: the health care safety net for the elderly and the disabled
Agriculture programs (that include food stamps)
Student loans
Tightening requirements for the Earned Income Tax Credit
Housing assistance
Education and training programs
Safe and Drug-free schools programs
School lunches for poor children
Minority Business Development Agency
AIDS research

disproportionately, these programs affect women and their families (which include elderly parents, extended families, children).

conservatives say that the latest storms have shown how these programs don't 'work'. they say that now is the perfect time to get rid of them. debatable. is it the programs don't work or that these programs are only as strong as the infrastructure that supports them?

regardless, if these programs are whittled even further, then what are the odds the growing population of desperately poor will be helped?

Monday, October 10, 2005

more about the moustache on my latest inappropriate lust-object - News - Eagles Of Death Metal Frontman Gushes About 'Amazingly Sexy' LP, Own Moustache

i think i must have this cd. i will try to ignore the worrisome thing about being a republican activist. but i think i need to have it.

(roomie - josh homme is in the band, too! squee!)

Friday, October 07, 2005

dude! haven't i been saying this very same thing?!

Jessa Crispin Worries For Keira Knightley

i have. i've been saying the very same thing - bronte over austen! bronte over austen!
but i guess people actually listen to bookslut...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

tomkat: gack.


proving that the Big Fundraiser has sucked all serious thought out my brain, i'm posting about the alien pupae poor little katie holmes is carrying. a moment of silence for her so-over career.



Abortion Might Outgrow Its Need for Roe v. Wade - New York Times

this may be so, but i'd still rather have the legal right to make health/reproductive decisions without worrying about how to get my hands on misoprostol.


have no idea who this band is, but he's kind of yummy.
thanks, sid.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

opting out: one more time

When Louise Story's piece ran in the Sep 20 NYT about droves of Ivy League women opting out of careers to be stay at home moms, it nagged me. (kinda how lisa belkin's crappy article pissed me off in 2003).

Nothing in it jibed with recent numbers I'd read about working women, and the glaring class/race holes in it were obvious.

It seems I wasn't the only one bothered by it. Below are a group of links about women and work that are useful and tell a good story about what needs to happen to make work work for women - and not just the privileged ones. (thanks, feministing)

Original Opt Out NYT articles:
Louise Story (2005)
Lisa Belkin (2003)

Linda Basch, et al, Alternet
Katha Pollit, The Nation
Jack Shafer, Slate

(the alternet article is my favorite.)

VAWA: call senators today!

VAWA expires today. VAWA (and the awful Managers Amendment) passed the House last week but it expires today.

We need everyone to call their Senators as soon as possible and urge them to bring VAWA to the floor IMMEDIATELY.

Please call both of your Senators and tell them:

Your name and the city and state you are calling from.
Please ask the Senator to bring the Violence Against Women Act of 2005, S. 1197, to the floor TODAY.
If you have time, tell them why it is important for your community that VAWA be reauthorized.

For contact information for your Senators, visit or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Never called your Senator before? No worries:

When you call your Senator, your call will be answered by a receptionist. Tell him or her that you would like to leave a message for the Senator. The receptionist will take down your message.

If you called or faxed your representatives last week -- THANK YOU. Our calls were heard and have gotten us to the place we are now. But your Senators need to hear from us again. This is our opportunity to make VAWA happen!

For more information, please contact Allison Randall at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, 202-554-3436 or

Monday, October 03, 2005


there's really almost nothing better than joining the girls for a complete dorkfest at serenity. (i desperately want to be like zoe but everyone forced me to admit that i'm more suited to more, uh, sedentary pursuits. companion, anyone?) we're two weeks out from Big Fundraising Event at work so this week is going to be rather light blogging. and a really inappropriate glimpse of a rather large penis while watching rome last night made me have a disturbing dream about B- this morning.

(they really should warn you that a large uncircumsized penis is about to make an appearance in a scene. really. we had to stop and rewind, we were so startled. ahem.)