Tuesday, December 9, 2008

word play=funny; play about gender performance and race=uncertain.

I just watched the first season of 30 Rock. It has actually made me bust out in a full on LOL. I think it's only been for jokes that are about words, though. Such as the Rural Juror part (the main actress-character stars in a movie called the Rural Juror, but no one in the office can understand her because those words are so stupid. Especially when said next to eachother. Rurrr Jurr is what it sounds like. Hilarious!) and the fake Barbara Walters part with silly words.
And youtube has made it possible for posting:

This bit had me in stitches, I tell you. Even days after I watched it.

Here's my however:
I get that Tina Fey's character is supposed to be super-frumpy and not at all glamorous, which I absolutely appreciate. But I don't appreciate that she's all eats-5-donuts and just loves to eat and omg-where's-the-hot-dog-stand and you-ate-my-blood-donor-cookie-geez. Oh, and she's f'ing teeny-tiny. I find this obnoxious. I think Bitch magazine had an article about this phenomenon a couple years ago actually. I think their article was about how the media love to show pictures of models stuffing their faces to show that hey-this hot lady likes to stuff her face with pizza! She's not afraid to eat! That's great! And that is great - to an extent. What's great is the eating part. Not so much the size 2 part. Not so much the message that eating junk food is awesome unless it turns you into a hippo-you-lazy-fatso.
I don't necessarily think that Tina Fey's character is doing that, exactly, but that's part of it.
She's supposed to be someone who can't perform femininity very successfully. And people say inappropriate things to her all the time about it. And that's what's supposed to be funny. I think that the audience is supposed to be laughing with her character (even though she's often not laughing - more like eye-rolling) instead of laughing with the other people throwing insults. But the thing that bugs me is that I just wish A) that she would actually be performing femininity less-successfully than she is and/or B) that her character would be more feisty about the insults. I realize that this is just a sitcom, but I wish it were smarter.
Secondly, there is an episode with Wayne Brady staring as a romantic interest of Tina Fey's character, but it turns out that he is super boring and nerdy (in a boring way) when they actually go on a date, so she breaks it off. Okay. I'm just going to give you a second to think about what happens next. Go ahead. Guess. (first clue: Wayne Brady is a Black actor) (second clue: White lady wants to break off date with Black man.)
If you guessed that he accused her of ending it because he's Black, you're right!!! I know! So unpredictable! And it's funny because black people always play the race card when everyone knows that the situation isn't even racist!
Is there an emoticon that can express my lack of enthusiasm? : |
Lessons learned: Women can still be hot even if they aren't dumb and petty (like normal women) and awesome if they like donuts (but aren't like those lazy, unhealthy fat ladies). Black people imagine racism. Oh, and word games really are funny.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Prop 8: The Musical

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

I heard this on NPR last night, and then watched it today (thanks Meridith!). It's pretty great. I enjoyed that they normalized gay marriage so nicely. First appealing to the fundies' bible argument, and then arguing that gay marriage is good for capitalism, too. Great argument for exactly why gay marriage isn't a radical move (exactly like hetero-marriage) at all, even if that wasn't the central message of the piece.

Speaking of marriage, this post was up at Racialicious (although originally posted elsewhere) about the state of marriage for Black women. Instead of framing the question in a 'what-is-wrong-with-the-black-community' way, the question of "do Black women even want to get married?" is proposed (punny!). I like it.

Speaking of all-things-great, I just went into the Women's Resource Center for the first time in years, and A) one of my students works there and B) they have an awesome lending library. My office-mate picked up Beyond Beats and Rhymes from there earlier this week. After I turn in my exams, I'm going to go check out (punny again!) what other DVDs they offer.

Oh, and an update from my last crab-ass blog from a couple days ago: Joy Cardin had a guest on today from the Freedom From Religion Foundation who apparently put a plaque up near the state capitol's Christmas tree about the separation of church and state. I only caught the last part, but still there were callers complaining that "no one can celebrate Christmas anymore..." But at least the guest was awesome and responded that their claims were ridiculous.

I'm excited for wine tonight!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

i am soooo crabby.

This is what I woke up to listen to:
For Program On: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 6:00 AM
Is there really a War Against Christmas? Joy Cardin's guest, after six, says there is... and we lose a lot when we celebrate a generic holiday at Christmas time. Guest: Tom Piatak (PIE-uh-tack), Contributing Editor, Chronicles Magazine. His piece on the War Against Christmas appears in the December edition.
Okay. Here we go.
1. You have got to be fucking kidding me. You are seriously up in arms about schools not having their students sing Christmas carols? Can you not sing them at home? Or in church? Does everything you do need to be validated in public spaces?
2. You're going to call it a war when there is an actual war going on? How fucking insulting.
3. Is it about Christ or not? Because I'm getting mixed messages. I keep hearing about how we need to keep Christ in Christmas, but then I hear that people, regardless of their religious beliefs, often still celebrate Christmas. If you want to keep it religious, then No. You cannot have public dollars funding this crap. If you want to get rid of the Christ, then that's another story. Which do you little bastards want?
4. If what you're concerned about is the "true spirit" of Christmas (and by this I mean Jesus, even though the actual date has more to do with the solstice than any virgin birth), it seems to me that the most effective method would be to limit this celebration to those who really believe in it, as opposed to wanting everyone of all religious faiths to celebrate it and taint it with shit like mindless consumerism. But what do I know?

This is what I catch on TV when I watch stupid morning programs:

1. Did you see the look on your 17 OTHER kids' faces when you basically told them that you would have even less time for them?
2. Totally cool, man. I know that there is a limit on the number of offspring one can have in China because of overpopulation, but you're doing it for god, so that makes it okay. And that thing about the environment and how American's eat up the world's resources at a mindblowingly disproportionate rate? Whatevs. It's for god.
3. Your name is f'ing Jim Bob? Could you be more cliche?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

as long as you're listening to things...

This is a short piece on Weekend America that I just heard. Imagine if Axl Rose was sending song lyrics to his editor. Hilarious! You can either listen (it's short - only a few minutes) or read the transcript here. I recommend listening so you can hear the song intertwined with the editor's notes.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Do you know what this word is?

I just listened to the most recent episode of Addicted to Race and it was amazing, as usual. A few things were brought up in this that I tried to make a mental note of, but because I didn't do it right away, my list has dwindled to only couple ideas. One was a new word that they used that was not aware of. And I can't figure out how to spell it. "Curiarchy"? I'm going to need to scour Racialicious to find their use of it so I can investigate further. The way that they described what it meant was something along the lines of the ways that marginalized groups hold onto an aspect of themselves that isn't marginalized. (i'm probably butchering this definition, but this is how I understood it as I was listening). They used the example of Black people who are homophobes. They used other examples, too, but that's the only one I can remember at the moment. Anyhoo, this word sounds like an amazing tool to frame the complexities of hierarchies. I'll updates this if/when i figure it out.
Another word they brought up that I was really only introduced to in my Social Psych class is "heuristic." Basically this is kind of like a "schema". Since i know how to spell this word and am able to look it up, I'll do that, instead of just guessing... Okay - technically it's the "availability heuristic" and here's the definition from wikipedia:

The availability heuristic is a phenomenon (which can result in a cognitive bias) in which people base their prediction of the frequency of an event or the proportion within a population based on how easily an example can be brought to mind.

Simply stated, where an anecdote ("I know a Chinese guy who...") is used to "prove" an entire proposition or to support a bias, the availability heuristic is in play.

This word was brought up when speaking about Michelle Obama, and how the fact that she is in the White House (well, soon anyway) looking the way she does (from skin color to the way she wears her hair) will bring about a new heuristic for people when they think about what a Black woman looks like or can be. I believe that the guest on ATR attributed this point to Michele Wallace. (I remember we sold a book or 2 of hers at BV. Also, wikipedia just told me that she's the daughter of Faith Ringgold, which leaves me with Hot Topic in my head.) I remember thinking that the concept of an availability heuristic was really useful, but this was the first time I've heard it used so well. It's similar to stereotype, but without the baggage that "stereotype" conjures up.

If you've got an hour to do something like washing dishes, i highly recommend listening to this one. So smart.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

things i'm really thankful for (in outline form)

I. Public Media
---A. NPR
-----1. This American Life
--------a. Ira Glass's femininity
--------b. David Sedaris's rendition of Billie Holiday (it's on right now)
--------c. Sarah Vowell
--------d. Phil Collins
-----2. WPR
--------a. Joy Cardin
--------b. Kathleen Dunn
--------c. A Way With Words (aka A Way With Nerds)
--------d. Calling All Pets
--------e. All afternoon news programs
---B. PBS
-----1. Frontline (see also III)

II. My Family
---A. Immediate blood relatives
-----1. For being smart and political.
--------a. And for raising me to be politically-minded.
-----2. For making it possible to look forward to holidays.
---B. Dathan
-----1. For secret languages.
-----2. For being on the same page almost always
-----3. For the trust and honesty
-----4. For the silliness.
---C. PPC
-----1. For keeping me sane
-----2. For keeping me self-confident
--------a. I wouldn't have gone to grad school without friends that made me feel smart. I'm not kidding. Thank you.
---D. Charlie
-----1. Soft ears, specifically
-----2. Ongoing relationship with donut

III. Internet
---A. For information so easily accessible
---B. For allowing me to watch TV
-----1. Like The Office
-----2. And Frontline
---C. Blogs
-----1. To read
-----2. And write
---D. Email
-----1. To avoid phonecalls
-----2. To be able to converse with Kelly almost as much as I would if she lived here (minus wine)

IV. School
---A. Carrie Costello
-----1. Her avatar research is amazing which put her at the top of this list despite me not really knowing her
---B. Theory
---C. My awesome cohort
---D. Amazing students
-----1. For making up for the dumbasses.
---E. The Amy-Train
---F. For the rad classes I'll be taking next semester
-----1. (Statistics is excluded from this thank-you)

V. Coffee
---A. For waking me up
---B. For being sold in shops that allow me to study in public
-----1. So that I don't get distracted every 2 minutes
-----2. For allowing me to study with Shereen, Meridith, and Drew
---C. For being offered in "Mild" or "Strong" at many places
-----1. And actually being mild when you say you are

VI. Knowing how to drive stick shift
---A. Because last year at this time I was super stressed out about it.

VII. Obama
---A. Intelligent discussion of race that it has sparked (but no thanks for the people who are going to say racism doesn't exist now)
---B. The Jeremiah Wright "scandal" that really got me thinking about how f'ing racist this country really is
---C. For putting someone as rad and smart as Michelle Obama in the spotlight and the whitehouse.
---D. For running a good campaign
---E. For winning the election

VIII. Bulk Bins
---A. For rice
---B. And Nutritional Yeast

IX. Broader Vocabulary Co-op
---A. For trying to keep it alive.

X. Weekends
---A. Even if they do mean studying

Friday, November 21, 2008

this will cheer you up after watching the turkey thing.

wtf? (turkey slaughter edition)

What the shit. Is she a parody of herself? How can you already be so closely associated with animal death, and then conduct this TV interview, you know, in front of a turkey slaughter. She is a fucking idiot.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm starting to see why academics are criticized for being out of touch.

Earlier this afternoon I had a marathon venting session with someone in my cohort about my Methods class. There was certainly overlap in our grievances, but my beef is perhaps more personal in nature. I'm going to try and figure it out.

We have our research proposals due in just under 2 weeks. In last night's class, we were going over our research questions. Now this prof (from here on out he will be referred to a "this dude." in a snotty way) is very politically-minded. And from the beginning of the semester I've given him the benefit of the doubt because we both want to fight The Man. Because he has made many comments in class about his politics, I assumed that talking to him about my research would be smooth and probably beneficial. He is well versed regarding race issues, he once wanted us to brainstorm ways that corporations keep employees just happy enough to refrain from revolting, you know. The kinds of things that make me trust that a person is on the same page.

I'm not one that expects that everyone is an avid blog reader as I, but I guess I did expect him to be a little knowledgeable about feminism (or at least be aware of the ongoing conversation within progressive movements). Mostly because he acted like he was. He tells me about how racist feminists of the past are. I concur, yes, that is a huge criticism of 1st and 2nd Wave feminist movements and that's great that I'll be studying this. Then, there he is, lecturing me about how racism has taken on different forms since the civil rights movement. Okay, maybe I think that's obvious that third wave feminists aren't throwing around the N-word or saying that white folks are superior, but maybe he is just trying to get me to see that there racism takes different forms. Then he starts talking about how people today strive to be "color-blind" - wait. Does he think it's 1998? Because the third wave feminist community that I see today does not subscribe to this notion. Now, I'm not saying that the 3rd Wave community doesn't have race issues to work out, but using "color-blind" rhetoric? No. Not to be dismissive, and I'm sure a whole lot of people still do use this "logic," but active, progressive communities do not condone it. Again, I'm not saying that these progressive communities that are made up mostly of white folk don't have race issues. I am saying that the forms of racism are even less clear cut than this researcher found in the 1990s. I try to tell him that no, being "color-blind" is not regarded as a valid method to avoid being racist according to feminists. I don't think he believes me.

Yesterday, while I'm discussing this with my group, I'm saying something about how I will need to really work to find the racism within feminist blogs because it's not going to be obvious in a progressive movement (especially to me as a white woman). This dude then pipes in and says
"is feminism really progressive?" WTF.

Then later, when I'm describing my plan to the class, he wonders, "I think you'll have a problem defining 'third wave feminist' in your research." I tell him that no, I will not at all have that problem. A classmate clarifies that the waves are mostly generational. "Really?" asked this dude with a skeptical look. UGH.

Give it a fucking rest dude. How f'ing obvious do i need to make it that I know a lot about feminism. You clearly do not. That is fine. But quit acting like I'm unaware. BALLS.

(sidenote: at the beginning of the semester there were some students that hadn't settled on the classes they wanted to enroll in. on the first day, a Black woman named Dana was in our class. She was getting her PhD in Urban Studies. She didn't come after the first day. A couple weeks later, a different Black woman came to class. She said that she had just registered. He said,"no, you were here the first day." She said "No, I just added." I think we all know what happened there. I'm not saying that was a racist thing to do. We remember people based on their most obvious features, and race is a big one. But to argue with her about whether or not she had been there the first day??? To be completely oblivious to the fact that he might be mistaken in an embarrassing way? Good job, dude. Good f'ing job.)

Okay. Something else.
I had my meeting today with SalOC (The professor that teaches the Social Psych lecture that I TA for - Sal O.C. is her nickname). This week's chapter is on persuasion or something. She'd like us to bring in some ads for the students to look at to decide what kind type of persuasion is being used (her wording is probably different than my ranty-brain is able to recollect at the moment). She asks me (and the other TA) if we have any magazines that we could cut up for ads. I'm thinking in my head, the only ads I ever see in Bitch are for vibrators, and that's probably not what she's looking for. Then she says: do either of you subscribe to anything like Good Housekeeping? Good Fucking Housekeeping?! Are you fucking kidding me?

Okay. So why are these things such a big deal? Aside from me possibly getting defensive about someone who clearly doesn't understand feminist movements, and me expecting that I'll be asking in-depth questions in my research and this dude just wants to stop me at every turn to clarify the most surface level BS, I think I'm pissed that he thinks he's so much f'ing smarter than the amazing people doing tons of intelligent work outside of academia.

And SalOC and her f'ing Good Housekeeping magazine question? (to be fair, she also suggested Glamour) What f'ing Soc grad student is going to enjoy a magazine like Good Housekeeping enough that start up a subscription?

I realize that was a crazy rant. I'm sure I'll have more to say on the issue as the semester draws to an end. I will say that for the record, my Theory prof is the bee's knees and isn't douchey at all. And I will end this post with saying that I'm f'ing thrilled that I am officially signed up to get my Women's Studies graduate certificate, in addition to the Soc masters. Women's Studies: please do not let me down.

Monday, November 17, 2008

i'm still figuring this out

I think I changed the settings now so that anyone can comment without being registered. That said, don't feel obligated to comment, but I thought you might want to when I post some Target Women vids or something. Or some Ill Doctrine vlogs. That's right. vlogs.

To go further, if we're friends and I emailed you about this new page, please don't feel obligated to even read anything. I know that not everyone once had an office job that led to blog-addiction.

(side note: it's snowing sideways! ick! it's the type of snow that sucks to walk in! shit better not accumulate!)

Okay that is it. Byebye.

Roast's coffee is extra caffeinated

Yep. I'm still caffeinated from the coffee I drank at Roast around 9am. I'm hoping not to crash soon. A few things on my mind today:

1. My students are beginning to annoy the hell out of me. I'm making a list of things I need to remember to tell them at the beginning of the semester so I can avoid some of the things that are driving me bananas. But does it really help to say don't come late every single day? (okay, I guess I will actually have to implement downgrading or not accepting assignments after the first 5 minutes) But what about: don't yell my name when you see I've entered the lecture hall and keep yelling it until I find you? If you miss the exam, you should probably contact the Prof, ohidunno, sometime that day or at least that week? If I tell you that your concerned face that, yes, even though you added the class late, you can still get a C or a B if you do everything, you should probably not miss all discussion sections thereafter? Or, if you are not planning on doing any work during the entire semester, make sure you drop the class so you aren't paying for an F. Ballllllls.

2. Finally reading about qualitative methods in my Methods class. Finally it's awesome. I wrote down two questions as I was reading (1: What if people answer dishonestly because they don't want to admit their true feelings to themselves? And 2: What is the "true" feeling? Is it what they tell their bestie? Or what they tell most people?) and both of these things were addressed within the text pages later! All this coming from the same text that critiques feminist, anti-racist, and queer theorist researchers by stating that they are not "value-neutral," as if others are. At least I'm getting something out of it.

3. I'm going to Florida in January with my mom. I'm driving her down so she can have her car, and might try to stay a week or two before flying back to Milwaukee. This means I need someone to stay at the Casa de Tennegoe to take care of the pup. What can't that little dude take care of himself yet? How many times do we have to go over where the food is, where the back door is, and where he should walk daily before he can do this himself? I think he's just lazy.

Time to hit up the library.

Friday, November 14, 2008

thanks, keith.

This is pretty great, for something that is going to be watched by a good portion of people who voted yes on Prop 8 in California. Grab a kleenex if you're feeling emotional.

another one bites the dust.

i just received the email from BV that they will be closing. i'm not sure how i feel about it. i'm not terribly surprised because, yes, the economy is in a sad state. (in fact, WMSE had to end its pledge drive before making their goal this fall, which i don't believe has ever been the case). The email included a small blurb about how one of their local ad reps went on and on to them about how she was spending all her money at chain stores' online stores without thinking twice about how shitty that is when talking to a local business that has given you their ad dollars while trying to stay afloat. Although i haven't been involved in Broad's business for over a year, i still completely understand that feeling of frustration with people who just don't understand what it means to support local businesses. i know that my business partners at the time and i talked about this a lot. What a slap in the face it feels like to not be supported by a community you think you're a part of. I'm not sure i would have understood a feeling like that if i hadn't been directly involved.
So. Milwaukee's second feminist bookstore bites the dust.
i'm not going to say i'm not a little peeved that the new(er) owners didn't take our advice regarding becoming a non-profit or advancing online sales. Or that it looks like the website hasn't been updated at all. Or that the last time i tried to go to an event, the store was still closed when i got there at the time posted. We couldn't do it either, but that's why we sold it.
I also know that that's the nature of trying to run a business when it doesn't make any money. i know that it's a huge pain in the ass to try to find volunteers to run the place because you can't be there all the time. And a million other reasons.
Sorry to the feminists and others who did support the store. Not sorry to feminists that didn't at all. Put your money where your mouth is.
I'll post some happy things here, too. I swear.
(also, I sometimes capitalize my 'I's, but sometimes i don't. it doesn't mean anything. It probably has more to do with whether or not I just wrote something for a class or something on f'ing facebook.)