sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (the beatings will continue...)
Almost everyone has some reason to care about the Olympics. Whether it's the one event that they watch or some record-breaking something or that picture of the Black Power salute in 1968 or they just think some famous athlete is hot. Or they think the opening ceremony was cool/awful/loltastic. Even I am contributing by making this post. I can't avoid it, even with my Olympic content blocker (for some reason it also blocks references to disco).

Non-sports people are frequently apologetic when I bring up the fact that I feel like an alien during times like this. "I'm not interested, except...” It's like the Scumsucking Parasite Wedding, except in that case I at least had the rest of the extreme left on my side. But not so here. Even those who object to the totalitarian measures required for the Olympics to happen get misty-eyed over its ideals.

Fuck that.

Things that make me care about the Olympics:

• The purging of the poor and mentally ill from London.
• Surveillance cameras everywhere.
• The godawful branding (seriously hilarious).
• Rocket launchers on the roofs of apartment buildings.
• Banksy doing Banksy things.

Of course, even if these things were not an issue, I would still be apathetic at best, as the Olympics involves two things I could not possibly give a less of a shit about: sports and nationalism. It's not that I hate sports—I would be loathe to fall into the nerd-vs-jock dichotomy–I just don't care. It's probably how some of my fandom friends feel when I start going on about politics, or vice versa. Or any of you when I talk about home decor. (Or how the people at work feel when I start spouting off about any of my interests.) You just skim over those posts, right? Which is cool. There's always something that someone is Just. Not. Interested. In. It's fine if you're into these things but it's about as interesting as someone reading a calculus textbook out loud.



Nationalism is a different matter. I resent the implication that I'm supposed to "support Team Canada." What, by praying to the Sports God? With my tax dollars? Is this how ordinary Tim Hortons-swilling hosers felt about $1.8 million to buy "Voice of Fire" for the National Art Gallery? Borders are arbitrary and demarcated by violence. I have an opinion on nationalism and it generally involves me making angry faces.

Anyway, it is irritating me profusely that I can no longer easily read the news, or even be in a public space and avoid this stuff. You can't even sit down in a pub these days and not have the TV blasting or people talking loudly about some 'roided out athlete. It's a low-level but persistant irritation that gets worse when I think about how ordinary people's lives are shat-upon to turn London into a playground for rich fucks.

So. How much longer am I going to have to be pissy about this?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (watchmen orly)
So [livejournal.com profile] bcholmes and I went to see The Dark Knight Rises.

Paul Johansson, take note: This is how you make a really good movie with really reprehensible politics.

spoilers! )

ETA: Two more interesting reviews.

The Dark Knight Rises: Class War in the Dystopian Present:

Our first thought on leaving the theatre- what kind of society could produce a big-budget movie with such a completely hopeless message about the future of humanity and the inability of ‘the people’ to govern themselves?


'The Dark Knight' is No Capitalist:

So this is a class struggle all right, but it’s not between Bane’s pseudo-proles and Gotham’s elite with their cop army. That’s a sideshow. The struggle is within the ruling class itself, between the capitalist Daggett and the aristocratic Wayne. Wayne is far more feudalism than finance: heir to a manor complete with fawning manservant, unconcerned with business or money-making, bound by duty and honor even if it makes him a recluse.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (pretty princess party)
So there have been not one, but two Nice Guy posts on The Face. This is rare for me, because my Face list is pretty small. I don't have a lot of relatives and old friends from high school—you know, the people who normally post right-wing shit and racist forwards—so I get in comparatively few flamewars. Generally speaking, my feed is 40% far-left politics, 20% nerd shit, 10% cute animal pictures, 10% reposts from George Takei (I guess that's nerd shit, but it requires a whole other category owing to its frequency), and 20% pictures of people's kids. (I'm at that age where friends are sprogging, so right now it's like a nursery on there. Don't worry, I'm still not going to reproduce.)

Accordingly, it's surprising to see something irritating enough that I need to say something that I know is going to offend the person who said it, but I'm compelled to do so anyway because they were being Wrong on the Internet. And should know better. Lately, that something has been the revival of Nice Guy Talk.

a tired rant, but apparently it needs to be hauled out again )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (stfu by chernobylred)
"I'll pray for you."

(So far okay.)

"Do you believe in...do you, uh, believe?"

(Getting a bit personal here.)

"No."

"Oh. You should."

(Totally. Out. Of. Line. Plus now I have Cher running through my head.)

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by the Committee Against You Getting Punched In Your Smug Face.


Here, have a song to get Cher out of your head.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
I've mentioned before that there is really no reason to harp on the Honourable Wife-Beater's girth when there are so many other reasons to bash him (for those keeping track, he beats his wife, may be abusive to his children, is a dangerous drunk driver, is incapable of doing basic math, hates queers, immigrants, and poor people, uses racist slurs, wants everyone to choke to death on car exhaust, makes rude gestures at six-year-old girls, is a pathological liar, and probably can't read, either. Also he has a stupid face.).

I'm against fat-bashing. Let's critique his policies. Let's criminally charge him for the illegal things that he's done. If we're going to talk about Ford's issues with food, let's talk about how he threatened to cut school breakfast programs for poor kids. But I don't give a shit if he's fat or not.

However, in a desperate saving throw, the Honourable Wife-Beater is publicly going on a diet. If there's one thing the idiot public likes, it's a diet success story—even though in real life, dieters have only a 5% chance of keeping the weight off long-term, so it's not the greatest of all examples to set. This bollocks had even the Star and its commenters wishing him luck.

Well, I don't care if he diets or not—what concerns me is the vocabulary of austerity measures. How do you convince a populace to accept a decrease in its standard of living? Why does anyone but the 1% vote for so-called fiscal conservatives at all, when their policies are so clearly against the interests of most people?

I might be stretching here, but I think there's a connection between economic rhetoric and the jargon of the dieting industry. We are asked to "tighten our belts" in preparation for "lean economic times." Companies and institutions are "scaled back." The idea that starvation is good for our health is invoked with suggestions of "bitter medicine"—accept that you will pay more and get less, because it's for your own good. It's the old Protestant work ethic—we like diets and cutbacks not because they're beneficial, but because suffering gives our lives meaning.

Meanwhile, the Honourable Wife-Beater's policies are anything but healthy. I mentioned the school breakfast programs (which probably won't get cut). How about removing cycling lanes? Closing public pools? Attacking shelters and seniors' homes?

Look, it's great if people want to get in shape. I think obesity is a collective issue, not an individual one, and is best reduced by eliminating corn subsidies and subsidizing healthier crops instead, but whatever floats your boat. But don't expect me to cheer for the Honourable Wife-Beater's health when he is directly and maliciously damaging the health of people who actually matter.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fuck patriarchy)
Oh, is Michfest doing its transphobic routine again? It is?

Copypasta'd from my comment in a locked post:

Womon?!

I mean, there is a metric fuck-ton of stupidity in practically everything out of Michfest's collective mouths these days, but for some reason, bizarre spelling contortions because one is so EDGY never fail to get an eyeroll out of me. Making up words or terms that everyone outside of your little circle either won't get or will laugh at does not make you a more hardcore feminist. It makes you look like a bunch of moronic children who stapled a sign to their treehouse reading "NO TRANS PEEPLE ALOWED."

Go up to any woman, cis or trans, outside of Michfest's corner, and tell them about WBW. You'll get blank looks.

Low-hanging fruit aside, is there any space where trans people can feel wanted without a fight? I mean, my house, I guess. Otherwise, it's pretty much guaranteed that you will have to fight your way in, just like all queer folks have had to fight their way in, like all feminists have had to fight their way in, like every racialized and marginalized group has had to go where some shitheel has told them they don't belong.


I almost wish that I liked earnest folk music and being naked in the mud so that I could boycott this gender essentialist ridiculousness.


While we're on the topic of gender essentialism, interview with the Beer for the Ladiez woman. I still can't get over how funny I find it. It's pink! The logo appears to be Curlz MT typeface. There's a purse and a little black dress on it. Because women like that sort of thing. Did I mention that it's pink? And it is diet and makes you burp less than other beers. I wonder if the proceeds benefit "breast cancer awareness," too.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (iCom by starrypop)
Having now seen it as opposed to reading about it on the intertubes, I have to say that I...kind of like Rihanna's "Man Down." It's pretty catchy and musically interesting as far as pop goes.

But content-wise? It differs mainly from "Janie's Got a Gun" (which was in constant rotation when I was a little younger than my kids are now, and my generation did not grow up to be gun-toting killers for the most part) in that it's written in the voice of the rape survivor herself, who just so happens to be a woman of colour, instead of in the third person sung by a white man. And this, I believe, is the reason why the arbiters of moral propriety are having such a hard time with it, calling for the video to be banned not because it depicts a rape, but because it depicts the woman killing her rapist.

Hmm. Kids these days.


On a totally unrelated note, if you haven't played Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure, you are missing 15 of the most adorable minutes of your life.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (she)
Latest thing that Canadian-owned mining company Barrick Gold is doing to people of Tanzania and Papua New Guinea: raping them. That's not a metaphor, either.

Cracked has some astute analysis of the Twitter revolution.

Want to know how much extra the cops made for beating us all up during the G20? Millions.

Ottawa riot cops who answered a midnight call and raced to make it to Toronto by Sunday morning each billed $2,079.99 for a single day’s work.

Three police officers from the tiny township of Stirling-Rawdon made more than $25,997.66 in overtime pay alone.

One Hamilton cop earned $31,590.27 in six weeks.

My favourite quote is this:

All the officers were paid time and a half, Ford said, because they were called in on days off. He said the more than $2,000 paid to each officer was fair, because when you include travel time “the officers worked 37 hours straight.”

Travel time? The poor dears! If I got paid for travel time, everyone would be up in arms about overpaid teachers. I travel 15 hours a week for work.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (cat teacher)
Say what you like about public schools, ideological and historical underpinnings of, they are kind of useful institutions. They provide a basis of shared knowledge, and they bring together diverse social classes, ethnicities, and cultures. They allow working class parents to, well, work, and ensure that they don't go bankrupt funding their children's basic education. They're not perfect by any means, but in terms of social policy, they're a move in the right direction.

This seems so apparent to me that I'm always shocked when I have to defend the idea that there's such thing as a right to public education, or explain that there are powerful forces attempting to undermine said public education system, and supposed "compromises" like charter/voucher schools are part of that agenda. If more well-off kids are pulled from the public system, if two tiers or more tiers begin to form, then it's always the poorer children who suffer. One sees this all over the States, where the response to failing schools has been increased privatization, attacking the unions, and mass-firing teachers. Amazingly, this has not improved the public education system in the States. Funny that.

It's also a revelation, apparently, that propaganda films like Waiting for Superman* are part of the aforementioned agenda, or may have been funded or promoted by interests for whom the education and welfare of poor children is not actually a high priority. It's not difficult to see the links here—an educated, critically thinking working class is not really in the interests of the ruling class. And the education of rich children—the children of policy makers—will never be in any sort of real danger.

But there's a lot of noise and hand-wringing out there. So it's nice to see articles about the people who are generating this noise. Like—this is totally going to shock you—rich people.

Bill Gates, for example, has been spending quite a bit of money on standardized testing:

The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, which developed the standards, and Achieve Inc., a nonprofit organization coordinating the writing of tests aligned with the standards, have each received millions of dollars.

The Alliance for Excellent Education, another nonprofit organization, was paid $551,000 in 2009 “to grow support for the common core standards initiative,” according to the tax filings. The Fordham Institute got $959,000 to “review common core materials and develop supportive materials.” Scores of newspapers quoted Fordham’s president, Chester E. Finn Jr., praising the standards after their March 2010 release; most, including The New York Times, did not note the Gates connection.


In fact, billionaires seem to be quite active in promoting privatized education:

This rapid expansion of voucher programs is not occurring simply because of some grassroots uprising. A small clique of wealthy individuals and their foundations are pushing these pieces of legislation. The most prominent of these individuals are Dick and Betsy DeVos, the power couple who inherited their fortune from billionaire Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, Sr. In a speech before the Heritage Foundation in 2002, Dick DeVos explained that conservatives should start referring to public schools as "government schools" instead to undermine public support for them. The DeVos family has poured millions of dollars into the school choice movement, launching a variety of front groups, including but not limited to Children First America, the Alliance for School Choice (ASC), Kids Hope USA, and the American Federation for Children (AFC). AF C spent $820,000 -- the seventh-largest single PAC spender during the election -- in Wisconsin during the last election, a huge sum which included $40,000 donations to each of several Republicans who were elected and then proceeded to champion radical voucher legislation. Its clout was strong enough to bring Govs. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Tom Corbett (R-PA) together with former D.C. School Chancellor Michelle Rhee together for a school choice event in Washington, D.C.


Needless to say, the "school choice" movement doesn't even do what it claims to do: raise educational standards. The article I linked to above cites statistics that suggest charter schools don't outperform public schools. This, even though they can cherry-pick students to weed out the very poor, the learning disabled, and English Language Learners. Lots of charter school success stories just so happen to take place in white, affluent communities. In a public school, the right to education for all students is the highest priority—it's incredibly hard to kick a kid out of a school, even when he or she doesn't want to be there, is disruptive, is violent, is failing, and so on. We are obligated to help everyone, and so, yeah, that drags down standardized test scores a bit. That doesn't mean it's not worthwhile, or that we can't sometimes turn a struggling student around. Having that mandate, and that freedom, means that we can help ELL kids write and speak English fluently and help learning disabled kids work around their various challenges, even if they flunk the standardized tests a few times, without fear that if we keep them in our school, teachers will be fired because our average test scores are too low.

But Canadians just can't resist adopting models that have clearly failed in the U.S., so now Toronto is quietly considering bringing in "boutique" schools and even private-public partnerships, a way of quietly undermining public education that looks a bit more palatable to taxpayers. Our public schools are falling apart. There isn't enough money for books or computers. They're closing schools every year. Somehow, though, there's enough money for boys' and girls' academies, sports schools, and vocal music schools?

Thing is, there's an answer to pretty much every educational crisis. Our schools in Ontario never recovered from Harris' cuts in the mid-90s, and, like cuts to welfare, education funding never caught up with the costs. We know what improves education, for both rich and poor kids: smaller class sizes, more resources. It's a simple formula, but there isn't the political will to make it happen, and there are powerful interests hellbent on ensuring that it doesn't.

I feel like I'm stating the obvious here, but otherwise progressive people seem to have a blind spot (and even more so when it comes to wealthy North American philanthropists funding private schools in other countries—who is running those schools, anyway, and what are they teaching the kids there?) where charter schools are concerned, and incapable of asking very basic questions. Who is paying? Who is profiting? If charter schools are so effective, why does Bill Gates need to find AstroTurf organizations to make them palatable to the public? And why, if they aren't so effective, do people want to bring them here?

* Which, I confess, I haven't actually seen. I refuse to give those people money.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (eat flaming death)
I have two doozies for you today.

The first is about Canada and our mines. Canadians like to think of ourselves as peaceful and humanitarian, but we are actually right murderous bastards when it comes down to it. Canada owns 40% of the mining companies in the world, and we are known internationally for horrific human rights abuses and environmental devastation.

In Tanzania, Barrick Gold's operations have prevented locals from making a living, stealing Tanzanian resources to profit a Canadian company. Life-threatening levels of arsenic have been found near the mine; in May 2009, 203 people became ill and 43 people died near one of Barrick Gold's sites. Some of the locals, in a desperate attempt to survive, have been invading the mine to "steal" gold (though it's not really stealing, unless one believes that Canadian gold magically got under Tanzanian soil). So naturally, we had those guys killed.

Apparently because we can't resist pouring salt in a wound, Barrick Gold then banned the families of the victims from holding a memorial at the mine.

If the police decide to use force against us, it is entirely up to them. We will hold a peaceful ceremony,” said Tundu Lissu, a lawyer who has worked on behalf of residents around the North Mara mine and who is an opposition MP in Tanzania’s parliament.

“We will not be intimidated or told how to mourn our dead by the very people who murdered them.”

Despite the ban, a van with a loud speaker still drove through the streets of Tarime inviting townspeople to attend. It was quickly followed by a police truck issuing a warning to residents against taking part in any such activities.


Disgusting. For more information on how we're fucking over people and the environment with our greed, check out Canadian Mining Watch.


Professional misogynist stooge Margaret Wente is at it again! In her latest offering, this blathering maggot has managed to spew forth the most incredible drivel that, I believe, may very well win some sort of award for the most concentrated clusterfuck of virulent racism, sexism, and homophobia ever contained within a single sentence.

The sentence in question is as follows:
Why would a man who’s married to a thoroughbred like Maria Shriver cheat on her with a plump Mexican housekeeper?


Really, you batshit drooling harpy? Really?

It gets worse, too. For some reason, the Chattering Class has decided that any mention of the adulterous Schwarzenegger must also contain a reference to violent rapist Dominique Strauss-Kahn*, and vice versa. And no, not because one questions the likelihood of non-coerced, freely given consent where a rich and powerful man and a racialized, marginalized woman in his employ are concerned.

Wente makes the dubious claim that the case of Strauss-Kahn "is a tragedy of Shakespearean dimension (or, at the very least, the makings of a great novel)." Again, not because a woman in a vulnerable position was brutally assaulted. It's a "tragedy" because of its impact on European politics. Wente feigns sympathy for the women involved, but her focus, and distress, is centered around the fall of great men and how their "follies" are making us all look bad.

Anyway, that's it. I'm all for freedom of speech, but for the love of everyone's sanity, someone take away that woman's laptop.

* Okay, alleged violent rapist.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fuck patriarchy)
Or, how not to be any sort of creepy man on the bus; young men are just as capable of being creepy, though they tend to be creepy to women younger than I am.

1. When you step onto the bus, you frequently have no idea if the person you take a seat beside is in the mood for conversation, and this uncertainty can be very distressing. As a general rule, people taking buses in the outer reaches of Scarberia do so out of necessity, not choice, and you can typically assume that the reason is related to work. You should, therefore, err on the side of acceptance that the person you are sitting beside is tired, harried, and does not want to engage in idle small talk with you.

2. Sometimes, people display physical clues to their level of readiness to engage in idle small talk with complete strangers. A woman who is issuing painful sneezes and whose face is flushed with fever, for example, is probably ill or suffering from severe allergies. She probably felt like staying home from work today but finances or a sense of duty forced her to go anyway. She is probably exhausted and cranky. A smile of sympathy is acceptable under these circumstances.

Other signs are less obvious, but still present. For example, it's hard to tell at a glance whether the woman you take a seat beside spent part of the morning throwing up, and is really hoping that this experience does not repeat itself if she so much as opens her mouth. Or that she has been on the verge of an emotional meltdown for about a week now. Look for a downcast expression, bags under the eyes, or uncombed hair.

3. If a person is reading or has headphones on, he or she probably does not want to make idle conversations with strangers. Unless you are completely awesome, chances are whatever he or she is listening to is more interesting than you are. This goes double if the person beside whom you're sitting is both reading and wearing headphones.

4. If she's reading something by Warren Ellis, you are almost certainly not more awesome and interesting.

5. Remember, women are socially conditioned to smile at strangers. This is not an indication that they want to talk to you.

6. Most people are generally polite and will remove their bags from the seat beside them if it looks like the bus will be crowded. Again, this is common courtesy, rather than an indication that they either want you to sit beside them or engage in idle small talk.

7. If you attempt to speak to your neighbour and she answers you with single words or very short sentences, assume that she is not interested in your conversation. This goes double if, after she has taken out a headphone to hear your question and answer it, she puts the headphone back in and resumes reading.

8. If you persist in conversation and ask her if she is a student, she will likely assume that you are estimating her age at lower than it actually is. If you are visibly much older than her actual age and even older than her perceived age, chances are she is not interested in you as a potential conversation partner, let alone a sexual partner. It's unfortunate that such age discrimination exists, but that's the world we live in, and she doesn't typically make the habit of picking up 20-somethings either.*

9. If she tells you that she's a teacher, your response should probably be along the lines of: "That's nice." "What grade?" or "What subject?" "Maybe you could teach me...everything!" is not an acceptable response.

10. Do not ask a complete stranger where she lives or what stop she is getting off at. This is invasive and stalkerish.

11. If the bus empties and you find yourself sitting across from several empty seats, it is generally considered polite to move to those seats, especially if you see that the woman you are squishing against the window has a bunch of bags piled up on her lap.

12. Don't just sit there and keep staring over her shoulder at what she's reading.

13. If the woman in question keeps a regular work schedule and you have a similar work schedule, chances are you may encounter her several days in a row. There just aren't that many buses in outer Scarberia. If this happens, it can be a potentially awkward situation, especially if she has blown you off the day before. You have several options here:

a) Give her a friendly greeting and take a seat other than the one beside her.
b) Give her a friendly greeting and take a seat beside her, but, understanding that she blew you off the previous day, sit quietly and don't try to engage her in idle small talk.
c) Pretend you have never seen this woman in your life, take a fucking seat, and let her read her goddamned comic in peace.

All of these are acceptable. Sitting down beside her and immediately trying to strike up a conversation, since it is such an exciting coincidence that you have taken the same bus with her two days in a row, is not acceptable.

If you follow these rules, you are almost guaranteed to not creep out people on the bus. Their day, and your sense of yourself as a decent human being, will be improved as a result. Thanks for reading!

* I see you smirking over there and remind you that you hit on me first. ;)
sabotabby: (jetpack)
By now, I'm sure, you have seen the amusing New York Times review of Game of Thrones. If you haven't, do go check it out. It has, I am afraid, quite confused my tiny, fragile ladybrain.

You see, Tool of the Patriarchy Ginia Bellafante makes a number of interesting claims that, while appallingly sexist, run counter to the predominant sexist narratives. Case in point:

While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.


Now, while I have not read A Song of Ice and Fire*, I am pretty sure that it's fantasy. Everybody knows that girls like fantasy and boys like sci-fi. Right? I suppose Bellafante is making an argument that girls do not like any sort of genre fiction at all and should perhaps stick to chick-lit with pink covers and illustrations of shoes.


This is the only genre for me!

I am also, it seems, a literary philistine, as I had never heard of Lorrie Moore and had to look her up. She's mainly a short story writer, apparently.** Do book clubs allow short stories? At any rate, it sounds like Bellafante belongs to a really dull book club. Also, didn't we all read The Hobbit in grade school, or was that just me?

This is deeply confusing to my evolutionarily stunted mind, but it's nowhere near as odd as the claim Bellafante makes right before it:

The imagined historical universe of “Game of Thrones” gives license for unhindered bed-jumping — here sibling intimacy is hardly confined to emotional exchange.

The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise.


If I'm reading this correctly, she is suggesting several things. One also runs counter to the cultural narrative that men are obsessed with sex, visual creatures who must consume pornography by the bucketload, whereas women are only interested in romance novels and, perhaps, written erotica. Very tame written erotica. Well, okay. We only watch telly for the naked men, it seems. This is an odd claim to make when there are far more interesting things to watch online, if you know what I mean. But perhaps the lady is old-fashioned.

The other, even odder suggestion, is that women are really turned on by depictions of incest. I don't find that to be the case, myself, but I suppose that explains the success of Supernatural.

I take this review as a good sign that traditional constructs of masculinity and femininity are, if not disappearing, then reversing poles. I am expected, it seems, to leave behind my traditional womanly domain of fantasy stories with magical lands and ponies in favour of whatever HBO allows in terms of hardcore porn. Neither are actually my thing, but one does inevitably get sick of existing stereotypes and it is refreshing to see a new one emerge.

While we're talking about geek things, io9.com's list of the 10 greatest libertarian sci-fi stories is also quite bollocks. William Morris: one of the great minds of socialism. Ursula K. LeGuin: anarchist all the way through. Robert Anton Wilson: also anarchist if I'm not mistaken. Did everyone just smoke a lot of crack today?

* Go ahead, geeks. Scream at me. I have this aversion to high fantasy that can be overcome only through really engrossing works. You are entirely free to argue that Martin's series is one of those works, but you must support your argument with evidence from the text.

** Members of really dull book clubs: You are entirely free to argue that Moore's books are worth reading. You must, like the geeks above, support your argument with evidence from the text.

† Go on, tell me that I should watch Supernatural. I won't listen to you, but you can certainly try.

SlutWalk!

Apr. 3rd, 2011 05:48 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (march)
I imagine that some of you would like to see SlutWalk photos.

Toronto is pretty cool sometimes, and here's why: A member of our corrupt and rancid police department remarked that I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this, however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized. This, at York University, where rape is tragically common. In response four women organized a massive demonstration to stick it to the cops, the city, and the patriarchy.

slutwalk

more under here )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (gunfight at carnegie hall)
If you're content with the world, what's wrong with you? Here's a round-up of the latest news stories that have gotten me in a righteous fury.

How is Gaddafi still allowed to talk? Seriously, a muzzle is the least of what should happen to him. The protesters are being manipulated by al-Qaeda. The protesters are all on drugs. You know what's probably influencing the protesters? The fact that you're a giant douche. Also, you sound like Bush.

And surprise, Al Jazeera's signal got jammed. Looks like Al Jazeera is on it, at least.

A Gallup poll found that 61% of Americans are against taking away collective bargaining rights. That's good news! The bad news is that FOX, unhappy with this result, reported it a little differently.

In case we needed a reminder that Koch and his Teabagger minions are evil.

I guess you guys heard about the Planned Parenthood thing already. I'm still angry about it, though.

You can rape a woman in Manitoba and get away with it, as long as she's wearing a tube top. Can I get away with punching that judge in the face because his mustache was totally asking for it?

This is kind of funny, actually. The U.S. Army paid for a team of soldiers to lobby Congress. Psychically. I would only ever join an army under two conditions: 1) a clear case of just war, like the Spanish Civil War, and 2) I get to be in psy-ops. The latter is easy money to screw with people's heads, and I do that already, come to think of it.

Mother Jones has a great series of infographics on the wealth gap in America. You should see it.

Finally, if you want to be productive and do something about something, a labour historian at the University of Wisconsin has some suggestions for how to help the workers there.

cut for length )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fuck patriarchy)
Listening to CBC's Sunday Edition on the lack of female writers in magazine publishing. All of the women they're interviewing have interesting and relevant things to say on the subject. For some reason, they felt the need to interview John Macfarlane, editor of the Walrus, who has nothing interesting to say, beyond reminding me of why I never read the Walrus.

For example, he says that when one assigns articles, one wants to be gender-blind (what?) but sometimes it is just more appropriate to assign a certain gender. Like you wouldn't assign a man to write about parenting (double-what?).

I can't believe, in 2011, there are people who say this shit. Though I think this has a lot to do with why the magazine publishing industry is dead in the water and I only read blogs now.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fuck patriarchy)
I tried to take notice of the Penny Arcade thing, but the controversy failed to arouse my passion sufficiently because I never actually found that comic entertaining in the first place. I think I'm just not That Kind of Geek.

This said, I hate neckbeards and rape apologists is cool and deserves a signal boost.

I still don't get Tumblr, though.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fuck patriarchy)
Show us your tits, writ large.

Memo to all concerned: My boobs do not cause earthquakes. Nor are they for your viewing pleasure. They are just boobs. Rather nice ones, but none of anyone's fucking business.

I was about to say: "Where is Twisty Faster when you need her?" But fortunately she's right here, because this whole thing is making me itchy in my second-wave feminist place.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
Show us your tits, writ large.

Memo to all concerned: My boobs do not cause earthquakes. Nor are they for your viewing pleasure. They are just boobs. Rather nice ones, but none of anyone's fucking business.

I was about to say: "Where is Twisty Faster when you need her?" But fortunately she's right here, because this whole thing is making me itchy in my second-wave feminist place.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (silver mt zion)
The following is coloured, of course, by my own musical tastes and latent Canadian patriotism.

I was nodding along to this until she mentioned post-rock as an example of "dude music." Because Sophie Trudeau is definitely the noodlingest member of Godspeed You! Black Emperor/Silver Mt. Zion (as well she should be; as far as I can tell, she's the most musically talented one in the band) and on a macro level, their music reverses the polarity of chick singer/male musicians.

I also don't like the implication that dudely music is an exploration of form over content (i.e., wanking on guitar and singing about nothing important), while lady music is the reverse. I don't like wank for the sake of wank, but one of the things I love about post-rock is that it's really both. The lyrics are absolutely all about the oppressed, while the music is unpredictable and multifaceted.

Anecdotal evidence:




This is not "music that has nothing to offer people who are disenfranchised or oppressed, because it either is totally uninterested in their disenfranchisement/oppression, or actively profits from it," and, video-aside, if you listen to it rather than watch the video, the three female musicians are the ones in the foreground. Also, they're doing something interesting, unlike most, uh, socially conscious music.*

Anyway, I think the phenomenon Silvana talks about is definitely a real thing. It's just that one's taste in music is so highly subjective (at least when we're talking about popular music) that it's nearly impossible to map onto politics. Even if "he has a shit-ton of records, but none are by women" is a pretty good indication that a dude has Issues With Women.

(For the record, I snerked at the mention of Pavement, because for utterly personal reasons, Pavement will always read as a dudely band for me. Also, I have a slight preference for female voices over male, which widens to a huge preference when it comes to, say, opera.)

All this is to ask: Am I the only 30-something feminist who doesn't see what the big deal about Sleater-Kinney is?


* Not that I always need something interesting going on in my music. I'm fine with breathtakingly poetic lyrics and music that just sounds good, or vice versa. But when it's both, I do get really excited. When it's neither, no amount of political solidarity will keep me from mocking it.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
The following is coloured, of course, by my own musical tastes and latent Canadian patriotism.

I was nodding along to this until she mentioned post-rock as an example of "dude music." Because Sophie Trudeau is definitely the noodlingest member of Godspeed You! Black Emperor/Silver Mt. Zion (as well she should be; as far as I can tell, she's the most musically talented one in the band) and on a macro level, their music reverses the polarity of chick singer/male musicians.

I also don't like the implication that dudely music is an exploration of form over content (i.e., wanking on guitar and singing about nothing important), while lady music is the reverse. I don't like wank for the sake of wank, but one of the things I love about post-rock is that it's really both. The lyrics are absolutely all about the oppressed, while the music is unpredictable and multifaceted.

Anecdotal evidence:




This is not "music that has nothing to offer people who are disenfranchised or oppressed, because it either is totally uninterested in their disenfranchisement/oppression, or actively profits from it," and, video-aside, if you listen to it rather than watch the video, the three female musicians are the ones in the foreground. Also, they're doing something interesting, unlike most, uh, socially conscious music.*

Anyway, I think the phenomenon Silvana talks about is definitely a real thing. It's just that one's taste in music is so highly subjective (at least when we're talking about popular music) that it's nearly impossible to map onto politics. Even if "he has a shit-ton of records, but none are by women" is a pretty good indication that a dude has Issues With Women.

(For the record, I snerked at the mention of Pavement, because for utterly personal reasons, Pavement will always read as a dudely band for me. Also, I have a slight preference for female voices over male, which widens to a huge preference when it comes to, say, opera.)

All this is to ask: Am I the only 30-something feminist who doesn't see what the big deal about Sleater-Kinney is?


* Not that I always need something interesting going on in my music. I'm fine with breathtakingly poetic lyrics and music that just sounds good, or vice versa. But when it's both, I do get really excited. When it's neither, no amount of political solidarity will keep me from mocking it.

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