Archive for December, 2008

Two Guys United by Devotion to Porn

Wow you know what? Screw you Wallace Berman and Richard Prince and screw you New York Times.
The headline reads Two Artists United by Devotion to Women, but it should read “Two Run of the Mill Assholes Collect Vintage Porn, Exploit Women’s Images”. Berman apparently is a “Beat guru”, while Prince is running an art show called “She”. Do they support women and women artists? NO… hahahah of course not!
“The exhibition focuses on a common subject where the two artists overlap in odd and unexpected ways: women.”
Get that? Women are the SUBJECT.
Also, apparently it’s news that dickwad artists, whether they are dead Beats or poncey rich New Yorkers, are obsessed with “images of half-clothed women taken from pulp fiction, biker magazines…”
Buried in the article, I thank the article’s author for this:

he is asked whether he has any female friends. He says no. Asked when he thinks a girl becomes a woman, he says it is when she starts baby-sitting.

So, number one, this guy is a jerk. Number two, why is this article news at all? Seriously, “Dumb Guy Glorifies Trashy Porn” is the headline. Glorifies and legitimizes AND makes a career exploiting it. HOW VERY TRANSGRESSIVE! Number three, why is the headline and the framing of the article all about how these are men who are “devoted to women”?
This is really offensive to women in the arts.

From top to bottom, news full of morons

Am I especially ill tempered today or is the news full of jerks and morons? Every single article chaps my hide. They are all jerks. Only the scale is different.
* Horrible make-up artist sues another horrible make-up artist. Good Samaritan? Sure… yet, drunk-ass idiot Samaritans.
* Can any of us even fathom the depths of total asshole Rod Blagojevich? “I will fight, I will fight, I will fight, until I take my last breath.” Did he really just say “lynch mob”? Yes he did.
* Jerks who want to cancel other people’s marriages. Defending marriage by… attacking marriage! They totally hired that Clinton blowjob lawyer. Nice touch.
* Bristol Palin’s boyfriend’s mom arrested on 6 felony counts of drug possession. Classy! Wonder what drug? If that baby gets named “Crystal” then we will know for certain sure.
* One of those guys who got mauled by the escaped tiger gets caught shoplifting from Target. First you tease a tiger so hard it leaps out of its cage and eats your friend. Then you stuff a Wii down your pants and get caught. Then your slimey lawyer blames you stuffing the Wii down your pants on your 182 stitches from the tiger attack. Dude. Learn how to do some real crimes or something.
* The one spot of joy in my day was imagining that asshole Madoff wearing an electronic ankle cuff. Though it would be so much nicer if he were in prison.

12 days of Internet Freedom!

Donate to the Electronic Frontier Foundation! A membership makes a good gift, and you get a nifty tshirt as well. See my awesome “Defend Bloggers’ Rights” tshirt in the header photo? Well that’s an EFF tshirt, and you can have one too if you go right now and fork over some money, then wear it with pride!

Fair Users Empowered
Fair use law protects your ability to use copyrighted material for commentary, criticism, parody, research and beyond. In 2008, EFF took on large and small entities who tried to use copyright to chill speech — from music labels to diamond companies to land developers to tech companies and even psychic Uri Geller — and defended your right to mash-up, remix and create in the modern digital world.

Learn more about this video and support EFF!

Smoking dope with the poets

I started reading Black Beauty to Moomin tonight. I remebered it as a sweet, intense horse book with a few sad parts. My grandma read it to me when I was about 4 years old and I certainly re-read it many times – though not as an adult. I was a little bit in love with Ginger.

Well, wow. So far, it’s kind of scary. Beauty, or “Darkie” as he is called in youth,
given lessons by his mother in how to obey and please a master, and how to be a good horse.

My master often drove me in double harness with my mother, because she was steady and could teach me how to go better than a strange horse. She told me the better I behaved the better I should be treated, and that it was wisest always to do my best to please my master; “but,” said she, “there are a great many kinds of men; there are good thoughtful men like our master, that any horse may be proud to serve; and there are bad, cruel men, who never ought to have a horse or dog to call their own. Besides, there are a great many foolish men, vain, ignorant, and careless, who never trouble themselves to think; these spoil more horses than all, just for want of sense; they don’t mean it, but they do it for all that. I hope you will fall into good hands; but a horse never knows who may buy him, or who may drive him; it is all a chance for us; but still I say, do your best wherever it is, and keep up your good name.


Darkie describes in detail (and with acceptance) the process of being broken in. It’s absolutely chilling.

Do you suppose Anna Sewell was just talking about animal rights, or is she commenting here on women’s status, on slavery, on the status of workers? I was overcome with suspicion. It seems an intensely radical book.

I’m sure she was completely sincere about animal rights but no one could write this book and not be also thinking about people!

Sewell’s Wikipedia entry contained this totally fascinating sentence, about the middle of her life,

While seeking to improve her health at European spas, Sewell encountered various writers, artists, and philosophers, to which her previous background had not exposed her.

That could mean ANYTHING.

I’m going to have to read Dark Horse, a recent biography of Sewell, to find out a little more about her life!

Vital gender under-class lessons from a sabretoothed squirrel

Just like I enjoyed Twilight while noticing its perturbing elements, I can appreciate the fun animation in Ice Age while REALLY hating the sexist cultural referents its humor depends on. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Here, we have a host of assumptions underlying the narrative of the guy squirrel and the girl squirrel. Which we know is a girl squirrel because it’s wearing blue eyeshadow and acts sexually manipulative. (Hint! Little girls! That’s all you need to become a Woman! Start practicing today!)

The guy squirrel possesses the fruits of his labor, which he has rightly earned and which he needs to survive. The girl squirrel uses a combination of sexual manipulation and faked distress to trick the guy into entering an implied contract to share resources based on love and sex. This would not make sense unless we understood and accepted that the girl is unable to get an acorn through her own labor. The girl then screws the guy out of his earnings. He has been a fool! (Little boys, take note! Don’t let this happen to you! It’s just how girls are!) The end.

Let me unpack it a little bit more for you. Women’s efforts and labor doesn’t actually count. If they do anything, or work at anything, or achieve anything, that can be instantly invalidated by saying they stole that tangible success through sex, ie through a transaction with a man trading the only thing women have of value, which is their sexual availability to men. Or, in this case, to goddamned sabre-toothed cartoon man-squirrels. That’s either just the way girl squirrels are because of their essential nature which results in wry romantic comedy hijinks, OR they’re that way because society has denied them the ability to make a living or if they (barely) have it, the actual credit for making that living is denied them and it must have been due to some man in the background who they’re blowing on the casting couch (or the VC board room, or whatever). Therefore, it makes sense to believe, and to base humor that “we all can understand” on the “fact”, the weird, powerful, and false idea, that there is a huge category of women with no legitimate personal interest in any particular subject who are just looking for some powerful man to fuck in order to access (and steal) his power (though how are they stealing it if they are actually exchanging something of value, ie, sex?) These women are looking to sleep with you, the powerful (!?) man to get a tangible benefit because they can’t (legitimately by your standards) benefit from their own labor. Given the slightest opportunity they will turn on you (the man who has earned everything justly, even if it has been by exploiting others’ labor). Unfortunately there is NO woman so powerful and accomplished that this misogynist patriarchal myth cannot discredit. Go ahead and think of one and let me know if you come up with any answers.

I like Twilight!

So far I like the book Twilight just fine! I don’t see what all the fuss is about. The writing isn’t making me itch though everyone I know has been shuddering in horror at its bad writing style. What are they even talking about?! It’s fine! It slid right down like a glass of water last night as I was going to bed!

I like Bella as a heroine. Her parents are divorced, and she moves to live with her dad for a year. She loves to read. She drives a truck. Her dad is nice, but dorky. Her mom writes her anxious emails a million times a day. She decides to write her school paper on misogyny in Shakespeare plays. When a group of guys threaten her on a dark street, she prepares to fight and thinks of how she’ll drive their noses back into their brains with the heel of her hand. In her new school, she finds herself suddenly popular with boys, but she doesn’t really want to date any of them. She gets along with people, but feels a bit depressed and alienated. She likes to cook for her dad and doesn’t make a big deal out of what she wears. She’s embarrassed at her physical clumsiness to the point where she won’t go climbing around on rocks at the beach or go to a school dance. She describes her own process of decision making in a charming way.

I’m at the point in the book where she’s just started to be obsessed with Edward. He saved her from a car crash, he’s mysterious, he’s really sexy, and he keeps being alternately swoony and standoffish to her. Then, her dad’s friend’s son from the reservation tells her that the Cullens are vampires. This makes Bella’s slight crush much worse… “He’s not human, he’s something MORE”. She’s the kind of girl who falls in love with aliens!

So far, standard high school romance book, with a perfectly likeable heroine, and a slightly jerky but sexy vampire high school boy.