Sunday, September 25, 2011

What if the Tea Party Was Black?

I am totally fascinated with this rap song, which asks listeners to consider what a black Tea Party would look like.
I like that this song questions how white people are given far more leeway when it comes to their behavior. They are allowed to make militant speeches or express anger without it being stereotyped as angry or dangerous.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mother and Baby Giraffe

This is possible the cutest picture featuring giraffes I have ever seen. The Memphis Zoo is super lucky.

Charts and Graphs

Found this great bit from How I Met Your Mother featuring Marshall's graphs and charts. I know lots of people who organize their life this way (myself sometimes included.) I really love that he ranked U.S. Presidents by how dirty they sound. That strikes me as a surprisingly good party game.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Report Cards

There's this great little story today about a man who saved a small group of report cards from the Manhattan Trade School for Girls and the stories he discovered there. This is such a great moment of an amateur historian working with a primary source. I love that he contacted the families and gave them information they might not otherwise have.
That said, I'm not sure if I want my future family members seeing my report cards. Mostly they are decent, but if there are the kinds of notes that these have, then really, even I don't want to know.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Seperate and Unequal

So, a few days ago I wrote about how I didn't think men were obsolete/less important. And thankfully, someone agrees with me. Sort of. Christina Hoff Sommers talks about how men are more likely to run for political office, are more likely to win Nobel prizes, get patents, etc. But then she makes all kind of assumptions about gender that make me want to gag. She assumes men are by nature, more violent. She talks about their economic power as if it was their right and as if capitalism were okay. Oh, and she assumes there's nothing wrong with the military. She basically says that women are separate but equal, even though she should know better than that. And honestly, some of her claims make me feel like she isn't really talking about the original article that touched off all this debate in the first place.
All of this is so frustrating. The obsolete question seems like the wrong framework to even be dealing with this issue. We need to celebrate gains (especially for queer women, women of color, disabled women, etc.) and acknowledge all the work that needs to be done. Men are not inherently anything; it's all cultural, so they can't be obsolete; the only thing obsolete is the way some of them have been raised.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal

So Hanna Rosin's article last year called "The End of Men" was just this totally talked about piece. And it poses some interesting theories, which I found myself revisiting when I read this interview with her.
I'd like to start off by saying that I find no use for men. By this I mean I find no use for the stereotypical bro/vague jerk that most men are. The only men I like are men who act like women and certain flavors of gentlemen. Otherwise, they just a waste. One of the problems I have with this article is its broad category of men. Even my categories are too broad for generalization, so this one is too.
At one point in the article, there's discussion of how men are nowhere near as successful as women, but there still people's boyfriends. And I find this troublesome because I don't want a deadbeat, and frankly, I don't think that should be heterosexual women's one option: someone useless. I'd rather be alone. I'd rather be with someone with goals, even if those goals exist outside of a capitalist framework of valuable work.
I also dislike the assumption that men are somehow going to have less cultural or political power just because they're losing other power. I suspect that male-centrism will probably hold on pretty tight, and there will unfortunately be plenty of women who, with false conscienceness, will let them. And you know, just because women are making money doesn't mean they are controlling it. Women's labor has been more prevalent for a much longer time than Rosin is talking about, but it hasn't been paid. Also, thinking of it within a framework of capitalism is misleading anyway, since everyone within a capitalist system is inherently oppressed.

Jane Austen's Bad Girls

So I read this really interesting little discussion of Jane Austen's bad girls. What struck me about these articles is that often Jane Austen's bad girls are bad for pursuing sex outside of marriage, which automatically makes them bad (and, you'll notice, are always punished for, both by society and by the men who sleep with them.) And, really, that's something I honestly can't get behind.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Paul Simon on 9/11

So yesterday was 9/11. I was planning on avoiding the whole thing, because so much of the politics of it (using it as an excuse to destroy civil liberties, etc.) strikes me as insulting to the victims and their families. They deserve more than just a means to an end.
But yesterday I found myself up in the morning so I watched some of it with my Mom. One of my favorite parts was the below video.

I love Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" which might have been more appropriate, but this clip was great too.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Magic School Bus!

I found this great video of The Magic School Bus online. (Apparently all of the episodes are on YouTube.) I actually remember watching this as a young girl. I totally wanted to have field trips this cool.
What I didn't remember was how delightful the individual kids were. I'd kind of like to know what happened to them post-Miz Frizzle's class.
Speaking of Mis Frizzle: I had no idea that Lily Tomlin did her voice. I guess that explains why I love her so much. I kind of want to see a life action version of this show, with Alex Kingston in the teacher role.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Notes of the Death Penalty

So I spent the morning reading up on the death penalty. I read this story about a young man who may have confessed to a crime he might not have committed. I couldn't believe some of the details of this story: a man killed his possibly cheating wife, stuffed her in a car and then drove around to show people. I can't believe people say there is gender equality when things like this happen.
And then I read up on what John Paul Stevens, the former Supreme Court justice, thinks about the death penalty in reference to a particular book on the subject. There were lots of good facts in here too. Michigan (!) apparently made the revolutionary decision to outlaw the death penalty for everything except treason in 1846. And then after that, they decided that the state had to wait fifteen years before killing someone. And that 130 people have been set free (mostly from DNA evidence) since 1973.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Following the Bible Literally

I found this really interesting woman who is following the Bible literally, or a literally as possible. What got my attention first about this woman, Evans, is that she is writing about gender issues and not motherhood, which I am sort of sick of reading about. That she can think critically about religion intrigues me further.
Following the Bible literally would be both easy and hard for me:
Dressing modesty Generally not a problem for me, but it does make shopping hard. Also, defining modest is kind of a problem. Would this include covering my head, because, if so, I've been failing on that one for a long time.
Submitting to my husband Something I don't have, but submitting to my father would be impossible. Ironically, he would totally disapprove of this project.
Removing myself while menstruating I have friends who would probably love to follow this rule since they basically end up doing it anyway. I would hate this, especially since this doesn't seem to affect my life anywhere near the way it affects others.
Growing my hair out Got this one covered: I hate getting my hair done. Please, I would love an excuse.
Staying silent in churches I dislike that women have to do this, but at the same time, I hate people who talk in church. Church is a time to talk to God; it's the one time of the week most people do it so seriously, they can actually make an effort to not carry on about what someone is wearing.
...Actually, that was not as bad as I thought it would be. The other general rules of the Bible (swearing, honoring elders, staying away from blended fabric) would be harder for me.

Something Wicked Comes This Way

I really need to stop shopping online for books, because I am constantly finding new things I want to read (and also, not getting any real reading done.) For example, I really want to take a look at Wicked Plants based on a interview and review that said it was particularly gory.
Also, Freud did cocaine?