Saturday, December 31, 2005

an unusual practice for me.

i am not usually in the habit of quoting song lyrics on this blog. in fact, i don't believe that i ever have. my general position on it is, no one really cares and just skims over them with their eyes anyway. i still feel that way, but i am breaking this self-imposed ban today because this seems to be the only thing running through my head as midnight approaches:

it's been a
long december
and there's reason to believe
maybe this year will be
better than the last.

i can't remember
all the times
i tried to tell myself
to hold on to these moments
as they pass.

love and luck to all of you in the new year. thanks for reading for the past four months - i've got twelve more in store, so don't go too far.

Friday, December 30, 2005

two for one.

friday cat blogging PLUS a late wednesday one-liner thrown in for free, just because i like you.

this is what CatCat and i will be doing for most of the day:

of course, this is what she does most every day.

and your one-liner, courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Guy on cell: Number one: I'm going back to Brooklyn now. Number two: I can't fucking stand you and I never want to see you again. Number three: Call me.

--8th & Mercer

pseudo sick day.

i am in my pajamas and wrapped up in a blanket as i write this. i am also not at work as i write this. (you would think the former would indicate the latter, but my office has a very lax dress code.) this all worked out very well for me, actually, as we have today off as a holiday (nonprofitland gives you a "new year's eve day" as well as a "new year's day" holiday, probably to make up for the fact that you then have no paid holidays until memorial day) but if we didn't have it off, i would be home sick regardless. so, it's not that i'm pseudo-sick, it's that what is a holiday for everyone else at my office is a sick day for me. but i don't have to use up a sick day for it. ha.

re-reading the above paragraph, the fact that i am high on cold medicine is really quite evident.

perhaps i will post some medicated ramblings later. for now, though, i need to turn on the game show network or something. ah yes, mind-numbing television seen through half-asleep eyelids. heavenly.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

this just in.

friendster is addictive.

why did it take me a year and a half to figure this out? i signed up back in grad school and promptly forgot about it, until i got a random friendster email yesterday. with this being The Week that Time Forgot here in nonprofitland, i figured i'd kill some time and check it out.

holy crap, there are a lot of people that i know on friendster! people that i knew in college. people that i knew in high school. people that i used to date. people that i used to hate. people that i still hate. people that i hardly know, but am slightly obsessed with regardless.

it's very interesting, and yet slightly disconcerting at the same time. i don't know if it's the time of year, since usually around new year's eve you find yourself looking forward, not backward. i am trying to be good about looking forward, about using the new year as a catalyst (however stereotypical!) for potential change in my life. and yet here i am, three days before that new year arrives, poring over pictures of people with whom i haven't spoken in years, or people i have no real desire to ever speak to again. there's something very contradictory there. and yet i can't stop! so many strange, dust-covered memories to dig out, so many forgotten moments and character traits and facial expressions to resurrect.

what are these people to me now? and what am i to them? this little website has suddenly wiped away miles and arguments and years. it could be entirely irrelevant, or it could be crucial. i haven't decided yet.

but i keep clicking away, fascinated.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

strange bedfellows.

it's an interesting day when twisty links to the manolo. can you imagine a dinner conversation between those two? i would possibly pay money to witness it.

and speaking of the manolo, he's going to give me nightmares with this post. ugh.

i need a tissue.

seriously, does anybody have one? there are none in my office, and i need one in a bad way. i have some kind of freak winter allergies that are rendering me useless. i say "freak winter allergies" because it doesn't feel like a cold - it feels more like the entire inside of my face and ears are one big itch. oh, and my throat too, can't forget that.

is that a cold? bird flu? impetigo? what's wrong with me??

anyway, i hope that you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. i am back in chicago after five lovely days in the land of my birth, a.k.a. massachusetts. a small amount of time was spent in "live free or die" new hampshire, mainly for their lack of sales tax two days before christmas. BoyCat and i pulled into a mall parking lot and saw this giant black truck with about five of those obnoxious ribbon stickers (support the troops! support america! support god! support me!) lined up above his "live free or die" new hampshire license plate. and he was indeed living free, as he had apparently been in such a rush that he couldn't be bothered to only take up one parking space instead of three. it was like he had just careened into the parking lot, decided to stop at some indiscriminate point, and leapt out of the truck like it was on fire to run into Michael's Arts and Craft Store.

i love new hampshire.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

back to the homeland.

well. after i leave the office today, BoyCat and i will be heading to the pseudo-cats-in-laws house, and then tomorrow morning we fly out to massachusetts.

i am happy about this. i am happy to have a few days off, i am happy to not have to walk around in the freezing cold (well, it maybe be freezing cold there, but it's suburbia, so there will be cars!), i am happy to drink wine and sit on the couch with my feet up and admire my family's christmas tree. i am happy to shop in new hampshire, where there is no sales tax. i am happy to see old friends. i am happy to be in a place where no one makes fun of me for tacking an "r" onto the end of the word "saw." yes, i am happy.

i may post some dispatches from new england, i may not. if it ends up being the latter, well then, happy holidays everyone!

you know what i'm going to say.

but i honestly can't even talk about it. i can't even link to it, because the sight of the headlines makes me borderline homicidal.

and his hair, his beautiful hair...what will become of it? such a tragedy.

fucking steinbrenner. fucking idiot sox organization.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

a potentially enlightening post.

nothing better than a meme for those evenings, such as this one, when your brain feels like a bowl of oatmeal. for the half dozen readers that don't know me in real life, this could be informative. for the rest of you, well - let me know if i get anything wrong. this one was lifted from Ornithology for Beginners:

A is for Age: 25. a young'un. wet behind the ears. just fell off the turnip truck over here.
B is for Booze: there's not much that i won't drink. in my short time on earth (as noted above), the only two drinks that i've learned to refuse at all costs are shots of tequila and irish car bombs.
C is for Career: writing lots of stuff at nonprofitland.
D is for Dad’s name: DadCat.
E is for Essential items to bring to a party: money for a cab home.
F is for Favorite song or music: if i had to pick one song as my favorite song ever, it's "A Long December" by Counting Crows. there is no arguing with me about this, so don't even try.
G is for Goof-off thing to do: watch E! and Vh1.
H is for Hometown: catville, massachusetts (yeah, i'm not telling that one either).
I is for Instrument you play: none. i played trumpet for a year in the sixth grade. not well, though.
J is for Jam or Jelly you like: i'm not really a jelly fan in general. it's a texture thing. if a food has a texture that weirds me out - too gelatinous, too grainy, etc - i can't eat it. thus, my refusal to eat sour cream or any other white gelatinous substance.
K is for Kids: bearing one? no. the idea of pregnancy literally turns my stomach. raising one? i'll consider it, vaguely, for a minute, in about 10 years.
L is for Living arrangement: sharing a north side apartment with BoyCat and CatCat.
M is for Mom’s name: MomCat.
N is for Name of best friend: i don't have a best friend in the traditional sense. BoyCat is my best friend, and SisterCat is my best friend, and i have a few other great friends who i often refer to as my best friends. so i can't pick just one.
O is for Overnight stay in a hospital: never.
P is for Phobias: how much time do you have? flying. bridges. strangers. wicker furniture. (just kidding about the last one. sort of.)
Q is for Quote you like: "brevity is the soul of lingerie." - dorothy parker (i've got dp on the brain today, after finding this meme's origin site!)
R is for Relationship that lasted longest: the one that i'm in right now.
S is for Siblings: just one. SisterCat. and believe me, one is enough - we've got our hands full with each other!
T is for Texas, ever been?: no, and i don't plan on it. SisterCat has a theory that all really weird things happen in texas. obviously that can't really be true, but when you read the papers, you can start to think it might be.
U is for Unique trait: SisterCat and i recently developed a new freckle in the exact same spot on our bodies.
V if for Vegetable you love: spinach.
W is for Worst trait: mild paranoia over just about everything.
X is for X-rays you’ve had: none. kinda remarkable.
Y is for Yummy food you make: i make good baked ziti florentine. that's about it!
Z is for Zodiac sign: Leo

apparently, jets fans can't hold their liquor.

and that means they ruin all the fun for the rest of us. and by the rest of us, i mean the always-well-behaved pats fans.

i eagerly await Toast's response to this indignity.

my statement, for the record, is this: hahahahahahaha!

someone had to say it.

thank you, debbie stoller, for putting words to the deep sensation of disgust that i feel whenever i am faced with that grease stain on the pop-culture pan, adam corolla.

"Adam Corolla, with his perpetual show-me-your-tits sneer, giant Pez-like teeth, and dude-fro that make him resemble a Brady brother missing link. Adam Corolla, so much of whose schtick involves discussing what does or does not make a woman sexually attractive. Hey Adam, people who live in ass houses shouldn't throw stones. If there was a woman as unattractive as Adam Corolla on television, she'd probably be the first on his list of people to ridicule. But of course, there would never be a woman as unattractive as Adam Corolla on television, because unattractive women aren't allowed on TV. And if, by some miracle, there was an unattractive woman on TV, she'd be playing 'the unattractive woman.' She certainly wouldn't be given her own late-night talk show, let alone two TV shows at the same time."

you know, back in the day when he was on loveline with dr. drew, i found him merely annoying- like a hangnail, or a tiny little fly that keeps bobbing around just outside your line of vision. and then the man show debuted, and my hatred offically began. the man show, jesus christ. news flash - every show is the man show! get off it already!

you know what, i'm not even going to expend my energy on this right now. i could spend three hours pontificating about why both adam corolla and jimmy kimmel should be locked in a closet for the rest of their earthly lives, but i won't.

but seriously, what is sarah silverman thinking??

Monday, December 19, 2005

fun with science textbooks.

if you haven't seen these yet, check 'em out (it's safe for work, no worries - unless you work for Intelligent Design International, or some similar enterprise). my favorite sticker is the fourth one down on the left hand side.

hat tip to The Chemist, for reminding me that these existed.

a downside of renting.

this morning, i got in the shower and discovered icicles on my bathroom window. on the inside. mmmmhmmm, that's right. a thin layer of frost on the whole window, and tiny little icicles hanging off the metal lip at the bottom of the window.

this could be because the window is made of frosted plastic, and there is no storm window in between it and the elements. that, plus the fact that it was below zero last night. i imagine i should call my landlord about this, no? they are usually pretty good about fixing things when they break, and i think that ice on the inside of a window could potentially constitute "broken." at least, it does in my book.

oh, and dawson wore a vest to the school dance in this morning's episode. a green button down shirt, and a big brown vest. and this was when he had the big floppy hair, too. i'll tell you, it was splendid to behold.

it almost made up for the fact that i nearly got hypothermia in the shower.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

more mind-bending fun from the Yahoo News page.

i tried to get a screen shot of the Yahoo homepage just now, because it is blowing my mind. but apparently the laptop's print screen function is not in the mood to, you know, function, so i'll have to recreate it for you. the only really relevant portion of the homepage is the news section, where the following two headlines hold the top two slots:

Bush Asserts U.S. Is Winning Iraq War
Analysis: Bush Drops Rosy Iraq Scenarios


and if that weren't enough to knock my brain sideways, lovie smith pulled kyle orton in the third quarter, while the bears were winning 6-3, and put in rex grossman. where did this come from? what's going on?? now, i am happy about rex's potential return as much as the next gal, but putting him in during the third quarter, while we're winning? what's the rationale? granted, we're up 16-3 now, and rex is doing well, but i think it's kinda suspect. kyle orton has worked hard to keep this team in the hunt all season, and while he hasn't been spectacular, he's done the job. is it fair to pull him? i don't really think so.

i have much thinking to do this evening, in order to sort all of this out. unfortunately, the boondocks is on, so it'll have to wait another half hour.

Friday, December 16, 2005

friday cat blogging, alien edition.

this was taken the day that we brought her home from the shelter, all skinny and pathetic looking. she seriously looks like the cat from outer space here.

poor thing. but believe me, she is much fatter than this now. i have evidence, which i will share...on a different friday.

i can't take this kind of insult so early in the morning.

so around 8:00 this morning, i turn on the tv and find a Dawson's Creek re-run. the pilot episode, no less! so of course i must watch. i'm just eating my Special K, watching a teen soap, having a grand old time. and then. there is a scene where dawson rides up to joey on his bike, and he's wearing a backwards baseball hat. an ugly hat, too, like this khaki brown color with a faded navy blue bill. this is not bothering me so much until he reaches over to hug joey, and from the angle of the shot i see that it's a yankees hat.

oh. no. you. didn't.

i sat there going, "is that a fucking yankees hat?? no, it is not. no way. it is!! it's a fucking yankees hat!! are you fucking kidding me!!!" my cat bolted from the living room in fear, and i sat there muttering to myself all the way into commercial break.

this show is set in capeside, massachusetts. even though capeside is not a real place, if it were, it would be in the heart of red sox nation. how in the world did something like this happen? who allowed for such an affront?

i feel like i need to find out who the wardrobe director was for this particular episode. then i need to hire a private detective to track down this person, and then i will go to their home or place of employment. when i find them, i'll say, "are you so-and-so, wardrobe director for the pilot episode of Dawson's Creek?" and they will say, "yes." and then i will cuff them upside the head.

a fucking yankees hat. seriously.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

viva twisty.

twisty, our favorite patriarchy blamer currently in the process of kicking cancer in the ass, has still managed to find time to kick patriarchy in the ass on a regular basis. her recent post on "culture" is a brilliant specimen of spot-on analysis and beautifully rude wit. two excerpts, if i may:

Culture, despite the hallucinations of those who yearn for a simpler, gentler time, isn’t static and cannot be sustained unchanged. People...who wish to mummify it for its own sake, presumably against the ravages of feminism or the homo agenda or the swarthy Muslims or global homogeneity, are suffering from nostalgia and delusion and xenophobia.

this is something that most people, myself included, can often forget. when you are as immersed in something as we all are in culture, it can seem almost pre-ordained, like it's supposed to be this way. but it's not. it's going to continue to shift and change, slowly but surely, and we need to recognize that. the wingnuts and fundies are especially loathe to allow for such recognition, because it demolishes their central argument, which is that "we need to keep things the way they are (or the way they were), or else we're all going to hell in a handbasket!" thus, gay marriage is the end of cilivization as we know it. well hey, imagine that - it is the end of civilization as we know it, and that's not really a bad thing!

Here are some other examples of culture-worship that really chap my hide....what about when you’re in a bar and you hear some dumb white American dude declaim in a Chicago accent, by way of revealing something deeply significant about himself, "well, you know, I’m one-sixteenth Cherokee." What the fuck difference does that make? You’re still an asshole! Or, "well, you know I’m Irish." Hello, dumb American dude! You’re not Irish! The closest you’ve ever gotten to Ireland is a box of Lucky Charms! And big whoop about Ireland anyway! You can get a Guinness in South Austin! The erstwhile geographical location of your remote ancestors is not a measure of your character!

thank you. this is much more concise than i was.

wednesday (ok, thursday) one-liner.

a little late, but still courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Woman on cell: All right, I'm at her sperm donor's barbershop now so I'll have to call you back.

--Boerum Hill

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

awesomeness of the day.

on a google search of madonna feminism, i am the eighth result. not eightieth - eighth.


of course, tomorrow i could be eightieth, as google is an inscrutable mystery wrapped in an enigma. but today, eighth!

search away, college kids writing finals papers!

an expert to the rescue.

please hop over and check out Shakespeare's Sister for a comprehensive smackdown of the study referenced in the post below.

i can only relate second-hand snark about it, but she knows her stuff.

thoughts on women and children. not the store, the demographic categories.

i fear the permanent loss of my critical faculties. the lack of interesting, incisive posts around here as of late has already been addressed, but i feel as though i need to let you know that i still suck, and i'm not sure when the suckitude will end. i do wish that i could blog more freely about nonprofitland, as that is what is taking up the lion's share of my mental energy lately, but i really shouldn't. i am only semi-anonymous out here in the ether, and any web ninja worth his or her salt could easily discover my identity. so, this will have to suffice for an update: tomorrow is going to be a day here, and i'm tired just thinking about it.

ok, moving on. a few things i've come across traipsing around the blogosphere are worth sharing*:

1) Baby, Mix Me a Drink is hands down the funniest thing i've seen available for purchase in, oh, at least 48 hours. hey, it's the holidays, what can i say. whether or not you are a parent, if you can't laugh at this in some way, then you need to take a time-out yourselves and ruminate on how you managed to eradicate your entire sense of humor. sadly, i know a few people who should give that little exercise a try.

2) a reproductive study out of Norway "found that while miscarriage was associated with 'more mental distress in the six months after the loss of a baby,' abortion 'had a much longer lasting negative effect,' including residual feelings of guilt and anxiety." i really can't sum up a feminist reaction any better than amanda did: "After we shamed them relentlessly, for some reason, they felt shame."

so, one funny ha-ha, one funny people-are-so-dumb-you-have-to-laugh.

*hat tip to Broadsheet on both counts.

Monday, December 12, 2005

your semi-shocking pseudo-revelation of the day.

Oprah, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune:

She recently told her producers to not "even say those words [makeover show] to me anymore. I won't do it, not even for a number," she adds, referring to the high ratings those shows inevitably get. "Because if you could fix things with a haircut and a new wardrobe, we'd all be fixed. And we have to be part of the real awakening of women or we are part of the oppression of them. On every show."

i fell halfway out of my chair after i read this. literally.

now if only Oprah and i could come to an agreement on what the "real awakening of women" constitutes, i could start watching her show with something akin to conscience. but one never knows...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

christmas in the Cat household.

intrepidly documented by BoyCat.

an advertising observation.

so, did you ever notice that in those home alarm system ads on TV, there's never a man in the house at the time of the attempted break-in? it's always a mother figure and one or two children, ususally girls.

i'm not surprised by this at all. it makes sense, really - they're trying to appeal to women by having them imagine a scenario when they're home alone (whether that be almost every night if they're single or a single mom, or just every once in a while when their husband is away if they're married). they're also trying to appeal to husbands by making them imagine a scenario when their wife and children might be home alone. ADT and the like certainly don't want to emasculate a man by implying that he can't protect his family when he is home.

and that's what i find kinda funny about it - if there were a man in the house every night, would there be no need for the ADT system? will a baseball bat next to the man's side of the bed and every guy's inner ninja do the trick? because obviously that's not the reality of how these alarm systems are used. they're programmed every night, regardless of whether daddy is home or "away on business" (or wherever he is at 3:00 am on a friday night sometimes). and you know what? i'm sure men get as much peace of mind going to sleep with the alarm on as women do. the problem is, they're not really allowed to admit it. so they are conspicuously absent in the advertisments.

the ADT ad i saw the other day was particularly interesting, though, in that at the end of the ad, after mom and her daughter had foiled the scary burglar in the middle of the night with their nifty ADT system, there was a daytime shot of the woman and her daughter sitting on the front steps with a man who was obviously the father figure. now that i haven't seen before - he just shows up the next morning, in time to complete the happy family scene above the ADT logo. i wanted to say, "oh yeah, where were you last night, you delinquent? 'staying late at the office?' you deadbeat. go fuck your secretary or something, ADT has this covered."

and who knows - maybe that's the reaction they were going for.

Friday, December 09, 2005

friday cat blogging, Damn The Man! edition.

BoyCat and i find amusement in the strangest things. like putting a tie on CatCat and taking her picture.

she had a long week.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

it's carnival time again.

the newest Carnival of Feminists is up at The Happy Feminist, and i highly recommend checking it out. of particular interest to me is the response to Linda Hirshman's Alternet article on stay-at-home feminists. though i haven't read the article myself, the reactions from bloggers that i hold in high esteem have been well-written and thought-provoking. Bitch Ph.D.'s My Married Radical Feminist Manifesto is particularly interesting (hey, what manifesto isn't interesting in some way or another? it's a manifesto!). i'm going to excerpt one small part of it, and then go on a small tangent from Dr. B's larger point. humor me.

To begin with, don't, for god's sake, change your name when you marry. What are the arguments for changing your name? "It's easier?" "It will make us more a family?" "It will be better for the children?" Do you not realize that already, even before your marriage begins, you are conceding that making things "easy," making the two of you "a family," worrying about "the children" is your job, not his? If having the same last name makes such a big difference to the two of you, let him change his damn name.

to this proclamation i offer a rousing round of cat applause. nay, a cat standing ovation. i know many of you have a rotten tomato in hand already, but you know what? go ahead and throw it. i always try to be very civil and reasonable when it comes to the Great Name Debate, being generally respectful and non-judgemental of people's personal choices. but dammit, sometimes i get tired of all the explanations and the exemptions and the nuanced reasonings, and i just want to scream...well, something exactly like this.

amanda at Pandagon also made a very important point about the Great Name Debate and patriarchy a little while back:

...this post is to beseech my fellow feminists who made an un-feminist choice to change your name, please just own that choice and quit making excuses. It's seriously okay. Woman is not an island unto herself. And frankly, if we start blaming ourselves and other women for making choices that help them get by in the patriarchy instead of blaming the patriarchy for putting women in these situations in the first place, we come very close to agreeing to the conservo-bullshit that there's no such thing as oppression, just inferior people. With that in mind, please quit making these arguments excusing name-changing, because they are kind of embarrassing...

this is why, even though i have a pretty staunch opinion on the naming issue, i refuse to out-and-out condemn women who make choices that i myself would not make. it's the fault of the patriarchy that women are forced to sit around and agonize over this choice, and that men (by and large) don't really have to give it a second thought. i mean really, can you picture a group of men sitting around a table drinking coffee, moaning about how "i really want to take her name, but...i just don't know!"

i hate the fact that we're still going around and around on this issue, that 94% of women still choose to participate in a patriarchal holdout and take their husband's name (for whatever reason), and that ultimately this still divides women against each other more than anything else. but just because we recognize the ultimate underpinning of the whole debate is partriarchy itself, that doesn't mean that we can ignore the fact that the choices we make are also cultural statements.

now, speaking of owning un-feminist choices, the o.c. is on.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

wonders never cease.

so the other day, a sign on belmont made me do a bit of a double take. luckily, i had my digital camera in my bag, and so i can share the experience with you fine folks.

now, personally, i've always thought that even once was a bit suspect. but three times in one day? that's one powerful parish priest.

or perhaps this is just david copperfield's new venue?

your wednesday one-liner.

and it's a head scratcher, courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Guy: Dude, why is it diet soda but light beer?

--Fordham Law School cafeteria

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


apologies for being m.i.a. yesterday. nonprofitland has come loose from its moorings, and is rapidly spiraling towards the ninth level of hell (way past limbo, if that even exists anymore). i would tell you more, but that would be foolish, so i won't. suffice to say, some dominos have definitely started to fall around here.

as an example of how mentally wiped out i am, i mis-spelled the post title "dareind" the first time i typed it. that's not even close to correct. that could short-circuit spellcheck, people.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

brad pitt seriously needs to fire his publicist. or get a lobotomy. or both.

ok, i know i'm on a bit of a pop culture kick, but how can i not post about this little gem buried at the bottom of the tribune home page:

Brad Pitt Seeks to Adopt Angelina Jolie's Kids

i'm sorry, what? what? in case you haven't been paying attention to your own life, brad, you haven't even acknowledged your relationship with your potential adoptees' mother. but apparently narrative inconsistencies like that don't bother america's former golden boy.

lest you think i'm kidding, or that the tribune has suddenly begun reporting rumor as fact:

Brad Pitt is seeking to become the adoptive father of Angelina Jolie's children, the actor's publicist announced. A legal petition seeking to change the names of the children to Zahara Jolie-Pitt and Maddox Jolie-Pitt was filed Friday in Los Angeles, publicist Cindy Guagenti said Friday in a written statement to The Associated Press.

i really didn't think brad could bungle the PR around his relationship with angelina to a greater degree. i was wrong. as if we weren't rooting for jen enough already...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

camille, please. go take a long walk off of a short pier.

pulling up salon during my lunch hour yesterday, i was greeted with a headlining article by none other than that eternal scourge upon feminism, camille paglia.

i cannot stand camille paglia. there are hardly words to express the rage that she inspires within me. she is hands down one of the most pretentious, strident, egomaniacal writers in existence. perhaps what i find most maddening about her is that while 95% of the time i disagree with her theories and conclusions anyway, her rampant egotism is so odious that even the 5% of the time when i might possibly agree with something that she says, i refuse to do so on principle alone.

but of course, i read her articles anyway.

this one, Dancing as Fast as She Can, was about madonna's new album: why camille doesn't like it, why camille is always right about such things, and why camille knows better than madonna what madonna should be doing. i'm not even going to bother picking apart the whole article - that would be a heartbreaking waste of 12-14 hours of my life. there is one thing that i'd like to point out, though.

camille's big schtick is being a "sex-positive" feminist and gleefully poking holes in any feminist theory with which she disagrees. her book, "sexual personae," was big in the early 90s, and she built a career on being contrarian and "edgy." camille is very proud of herself about this, as she feels like history has vindicated her proclamations about sex-positive feminism being the truth and the way. in this salon article, she crows:

When I wrote in my polemical 1990 New York Times op-ed that "Madonna is the future of feminism," there were squawks of disbelief on all sides -- but that is exactly what came to pass over the next decade.

hmmmm. ok. though i think this thesis is ripe for shredding on a number of different levels, let's be charitable and say that it actually is true - madonna portended a revolution in feminist thinking that allowed for visible and viable female sexuality. if that is so, well then camille, we have a big problem, because that vibrant, risque sexuality for which you worshipped madonna long ago seems to have suddenly become less appealing to you with the passage of fifteen years, a husband, and two children:

Even allowing for the fact that she must strenuously maintain her hipness for a busy husband 10 years her junior, Madonna is starting to morph into the mature Joan Crawford of "Torch Song," still ferociously dancing but with her fascist willpower signaled by brute, staring eyes and fixed jawline. In cannibalizing her disco diva days, Madonna runs the risk of turning into a pasty powdered crumpet like the aging Bette Davis in "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"

seems to me like camille didn't think her little theory through. if you want to celebrate madonna's feminism as the future - all spectacle and no substance, and founded on the ability of the attractive female form to generate interest and attention - well, this is the end result. because guess what? madonna wasn't going to stay 24 (or even 34) forever. and how was she going to continue to play that sexual power game when she reached an age at which society no longer considered her "sexual"? madonna made a career out of putting herself on display, and hiding her business acumen in order to further her image in the way that would make her more money. seem circular? it was. and madonna is reaching a point where that modus operandi is no longer workable.

camille doesn't seem to recognize the irony of her recent complaints against madonna. there seems to be a bit of cognitive dissonance here, which is a shame- with camille being the most brilliant feminist mind to ever put pen to paper in the 20th century and all, you think she'd be able to see a theoretical loophole a mile away. but since she doesn't, i'm happy to hang her with it.

Friday, December 02, 2005

friday cat blogging, slightly drunk edition.

ok, back from the nonprofitland holiday party, slightly drunk (don't worry, BoyCat drove), and ready to post some CatCat pictures. i figured in the spirit of holiday drunkenness, i would take a few pictures right now and post them - it's almost like real time, but not quite.

the above picture is of CatCat ignoring my pleas for her to smile at the camera, and licking her tail instead.

this is CatCat crawling under the coffee table, after attempting to lick the camera lens repeatedly. doesn't she look tough?

ok, that concludes our semi-drunken edition of friday cat blogging. now i'm off to enjoy the rest of my night. i think there's a half empty bottle of belvedere around here somewhere...

well, this makes me feel much better.

this is the kind of mainstream reporting that makes me want to stick my head in an oven. in a front page Yahoo story titled Alito Assures Specter on Abortion Views , the intro says (now read this carefully):

"Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, who expressed strong opposition to abortion rights two decades ago, pledged Friday that his personal views on the subject 'would not be a factor' in his rulings, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Alito had told him in a private meeting that 'with respect to his personal views on a woman's right to choose ... that is not a matter to be considered in the deliberation on a constitutional issue of a woman's right to choose. The judicial role is entirely different.'"

three short paragraphs later, we see:

"In one, a sort of job application, Alito wrote in 1985 that he did not believe abortion rights were provided by the Constitution." (emphasis mine)

if a judge is supposed to be involved in "the deliberation on a constitutional issue of a woman's right to choose," and the judge in question doesn't believe that the constitution protects abortion, isn't that still kind of an issue? of what, pray tell, is that supposed to "assure" us? that you don't just personally oppose abortion, but that you think the constitution disapproves of it as well?

a recommendation.

per my post from a few days ago , you all know how i like picking apart The Pop Culture. Funnily enough, my fabulous and estimable friend Jayne has taken up that torch and is running with it on her brand new blog:

Critical Fluff

so go. gorge yourself on her wit and wisdom. it'll make you feel better about all that vh1 you've been watching lately.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

rock. and. roll.

when i heard the news that blondie was being inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame, i thought hey, i have to light my debbie harry worship candle. granted, i'm three days late, but i finally got around to it.

the picture is blurry because well, it's a candle, and you can't take a picture of a candle with the flash on, now can you? i don't think debbie harry would have approved of that kind of harsh lighting.

my offering.

what follows is my humble offering for blog against racism day, the brainchild of chris clarke at Creek Running North.

sitting down to write this, i realized that i wasn’t exactly sure how to “blog against racism.” i’m excited that chris initiated the project, and i look forward to reading all of the posts that it will generate, but i don’t exactly know how to tackle the topic myself. So, instead of trying to go all grad-school theoretical on you (which would of course just kinda bore you anyway – “race is a social construct? *smacks forehead* you’re kidding me!”), i thought i’d relay an experience from my own life that made me think about race and my place in the proverbial mix.

as background, i consider my childhood, teenage years, and college years as pretty average for a suburban white girl learning about, and reacting to, racism. my family was open-minded and didn’t advocate any racist thinking, and i went to a fair-to-middlingly diverse high school. after a few years at umass, i had been introduced to a ton of theories and information about racism (and sexism, and classism, and...) – the class i took on the history of the civil rights movement with a militant ex-Black Panther was probably the best 3 credits of my college career. in sum, by the time i was a senior in college, i think i was generally enlightened about how racism functioned in this country, and was committed to monitoring my own internalized racism and critiquing external racism when i saw it.

in the second semester of my senior year, i started dating a guy who was a first generation American – his parents were both from the Dominican Republic. actually, his father moved back there after his parents divorced, so he spent a fair amount of time there as well as in new england. pretty early on in our involvement, he invited me to a party at Drew House at Amherst College. Drew House is one of the theme houses on Amherst’s campus, and it’s devoted to African and African-American culture. They were having a big end-of-year party, with all the requisite drinking and dancing, so we went.

i really had no qualms about going – i like to drink and i like to dance, and i’d never been to anything at Amherst, so i was happy to go. i guess the first funny point about how race factors into a white person’s life is the luxury of how little we have to consider it, until it smacks us upside the head. for me, i was smacked upside the head when we walked into Drew House – dark and smoky, dj playing, and about a hundred people crammed in the living room dancing – and after about 30 seconds realized i was one of maybe half a dozen white people there.

this was a pretty unique experience for me. i had grown up conscious of race, but never been faced with it unavoidably – again, a benefit of my skin color. the situation didn’t bother me – abe didn’t make an issue of it, and i didn’t feel the need to. but it was a really eye-opening experience for me to be on the receiving end of some askance looks – looks that questioned, often without malice or hostility, but questioned nonetheless, what exactly i was doing there. i gained a greater appreciation for the visceral reality of what it might be like for a non-white person to inhabit a space surrounded by white people.

i say that i gained a greater appreciation for what it might be like, because i can never fully understand what it is like. i could have been the only white person in Drew House that night, and my experience still would not be the same as that of the only black person at an all-white party. that’s how racism works. it’s not just a phenomenon that happens between two individuals, or amongst a group of people – it’s a social structure that alters the very nature of all interactions. i think i acquired some sympathy for the experience of being vulnerably different that night, but not an empathy for the experience of being black, or asian, or latino. that i can never have.

i’ve had a few more moments, especially since moving to Chicago, where i realize that i’m the only white person there. i always try to be conscious of those moments, how they make me feel. i also try to be conscious of how rare they are, even in a city as diverse as this one. it’s a privilege for me to not have to feel that split second of conspicuous difference, one of many privileges i possess as a white person that i often don’t even fully realize that i have. i try to keep realizing it.

god, i love the catholic church.

via Yahoo: Pope may abolish concept of limbo

tell me, how exactly does one abolish a concept?

"concept, be gone!"

"out, damned concept!"

"concept, i command thee...cease and desist in your existence."

wheeeeee, omnipotence is fun! oh but wait, i thought only god was omnipotent. oh but wait, the pope is a divine conduit to god, therefore he's kinda omnipotent too. he's like, an omnipotence representative. that sounds cool, i think i'd like to be pope.

oh but wait...