Monday, August 28, 2006

no wonder the good die young

while we were waiting for our flight to minneapolis, me and the girls caught up. it was my turn and i sighed over my snack wrap and said, 'being good is boring.'

and it's true. i've had about the goodest summer EVER and i'm libidinally bored out of my mind.
nothing has happened this entire summer and i'm pissed.

the highlight of my day saturday was the church garden picnic, which was really good, and then the walk i took down to the dvd store. lame.

(though not as lame as 'matchpoint'. watching rhys-davies and scarlett johannsen pretend to be thinking, scheming adults was so painful i had to do laundry to distract myself.)

why can't being good have the same frisson as being slightly naughty?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

about 5 years ago i lost my mother. it was devastating.

and now, my best friend/roomie has lost hers. it's also devastating.
i'll be taking the next few days off to be with her and some of our friends who are flying out to join A- and her family for the services.

each parental loss i and my friends experience tells us how finite family is; our friends become our family.

Monday, August 14, 2006

look out iron john: the Brawny Academy

what. the. hell.
maybe i was tired, or bored, but i watched all 4 episodes and laughed my ass off.

Brawny Academy

(who cares that it's a total marketing ploy? it's men in the woods with the Brawny Man, learning to be 'sensitive'! snort.)

Friday, August 11, 2006

How To Become An Ally (Part 1)

i wanted to keep the joe francis link up at the top for a while but when i read this post from changeseeker i had to give it up.

THIS is the one post everyone should read about 'race', the construction of 'race', privilege and how a little hard work needs to be done. she breaks down the system of race in a way that a sociologist can - and that it comes from a white woman is doubly powerful to me.

but her post also prompts something for brown folk to consider. when we look at race, whiteness and blackness as a system and not as a personal thing, then i think that frees us. because 'blackness' is a construct, too. we are caught up in this system of racial oppression - not just as victims but also as people who have internalized these lessons. it's what makes it easy for us to call another brown person the n-word; it's what makes it easy for us to erect even taller walls of us/them within our own community.

what kind of liberation could we face if we, too, vowed to not participate in the maintenance of a racist system of oppression?

anyway, you must read it. she's working on a second part and i can't wait.

Why Am I Not Surprised?: For White Folks: How To Become An Ally (Part 1)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

rather proud of this one

it's my alter-ego, ChurchGal, on joe francis, those soldiers accused of raping/killing a 14 yr old girl in iraq and what they have in common.

Monday, August 07, 2006

the guy behind 'girls gone wild': nutbag freak

the la times piece on joe francis is great.

talk about holding up a skeevy mirror to a guy who has a lot of influence in shaping young male sexual identity:

In short, Francis wants to insinuate himself and his view of the world into the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the vacations you take and the entertainment—filmed and glossy—that you consume. He sees "Girls Gone Wild" as the ultimate lifestyle brand. "Sex sells everything," he says. "It drives every buying decision . . . I hate to get too deep and philosophical here, but only the guys with the greatest sexual appetites are the ones who are the most driven and most successful."
if that's the case, and after reading this profile, you'll hope a flaming meteorite lands on joe and all that's left is a crater. his vision of the world is one that turns every woman into a pink hole.

why is it always women pointing out the total scary inappropriateness of guys like this? why aren't men the first to hold up the mirror and say, Dude - you're fucked in the head and have a serious problem with women.

follow the links in the feministing piece for more discussion and analysis.

[update: here is another really fascinating take on the times piece which says that hoffman is a bad reporter for doing it. read to the end when he wonders what kind of world we live in that a pig like francis won't get clocked by a woman he's just assaulted? i say that it's a world where women are afraid of the bastards who hurt them. the same kind of world where we force a rape victim to watch a videotape of her own gangbang and the kind of world that allows a man to make money coercing barely legal drunk girls to have sex with him and his crew.]

dude, wake the fuck up.

(note: let's not forget this is also the joe francis who was in court last year because some guy broke in his house and made him say/do something 'sexually humiliating' with a dildo. i remember writing that if anyone deserved a big bite of karma it was him. let's hope this expose is just the beginning.)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

making it work - your way

it's sunday afternoon, a rare day that i've been able to enjoy without 'running errands' or otherwise being outside in some heatwave.

i've stumbled across two articles today in the 'paper' that are sort of like bookends to one another; one looks at the declining number of men without college educations marrying and the other looks at women, with educations, entering financial services and what they encounter - as well as the adjustments some firms are having to make because of them:

Facing Middle Age With No Degree, and No Wife - New York Times

Wall Street's Women Face A Fork in the Road - New York Times

what's interesting to me about both these articles is how they avoid the tone of a fake 'crisis' (unlike the Times' previous shoddy Opt Out articles, which one of these is a tonic for) and they show how the idea of what's 'traditional' is changing because people (men and women alike) are saying up front 'this isn't working for me.' and their rejection is saying something about the way our worlds, social and corporate worlds, are organized.

when looking at the low trends of young women entering financial services it's offered that 'Generation Y cares less about money if it comes at too high a price, ...throwing a wrench into Wall Street’s past assurance that it could demand cultlike devotion from employees in return for fatter paychecks than any other profession.' instead, younger men and women (even those who'd like to return) are demanding something less insane than working around the clock to the detriment of their personal/family lives.

and the guys featured in the marriage piece - they seem ok with their status, whatever their reasons for remaining single (financial stbility, fear of divorce, can't commit.) to the pressure of marriage, the effort and expense of it - they're saying no. while the article makes a lot of the stats showing how the pool of available women has shrunk for these men, their own personal stories tell a different story - they just don't want to marry. it's working for them.

of course it makes me think what things will look like down the line when most folk in my generation will be living as roommates, unmarried and pretty happy about it. it'll be unlike life as we've known it (or heard about from our parents and grandparents).

that'll be sort of interesting.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

i had lunch with an intern and two other brown girls yesterday from my office. the poor little intern had no clue how to go about grad school, finding a job - totally lost.

we were talking about how she needs to create a network for herself and i found myself saying, 'you need to widen your circle of friends. and it wouldn't be a bad idea to make sure one of them is white. some white folk can be very helpful.'

'i don't know any white people.'
'you need to. at least one.'
'really. but find a good brown mentor, too. you'll need both. cover all your bases.'

the other two women nodded. 'we didn't think this was important when we graduated college, but after working for a while, yes. ding is right. you need a white friend. at least one.'
'but why?'

i said, 'first, it's always good to be friends with everyone, but it's especially good to have a bridge to white folk. it's about strategy. i've grown up around white people; i've always had white friends. but it was still an eye-opener to see how white guys i worked with made connections, met one another, promoted one another, got up that ladder. they're bold, assertive, they do their homework and they think ahead. i learned a lot observing them and my roommate's way of thinking about work and management has actually helped me. our friends and family back in the neighborhood - they're about safety. as long as you find a good job, baby, you'll do ok. nice advice, but not really gonna help you be anything more than safe. you need someone to show you how to get your foot in the door and keep it there until you get what you need. white folk know how to do that.'

(the white guys at the table next to us fell silent.)

the other two brown girls nodded.
one of them said, ' my dad worked his way up the ladder to a senior executive position at the post office. he has a great job but all he wanted was for me to get a good job at the post office. i didn't want to work for the post office.'

i said, 'and my mom wanted me to get my teacher's certification and be a high school teacher back in california. she thought grad school was risky.'

the intern asked, 'does everyone know about this?'
'well, you won't find it in a black MBA book, but we think it's useful.'