This Can't End Well

Drag out the headless-fatty photo file*--a new dating show focusing on "curvy" women and "big" guys, called "More to Love," is in development at FOX! According to the Hollywood Reporter (which ran the story under the headline "FOX orders overweight dating series," as if the show was some kind of mandatory fat-sensitivity exercise), the inspiration for the show came from "the recent ratings success of 'Bachelor' and the popularity of NBC's 'The Biggest Loser,' which [show developer Mike] Darnell credits with shattering an industry assumption that TV viewers only wanted to watch highly attractive people." In an interview with Entertaiment Weekly (which is already billing the show as "The Bachelor" meets "The Biggest Loser," belying the idea that the show's producers won't aim to whittle contestants down to TV size) Darnell's partner Mike Fleiss said the show is about "embracing and loving yourself no matter your shape or size."

Call me a cynic, but I have my doubts that Darnell and his partner, Mike Fleiss, really have the best interests of "average-looking" women at heart. Reality dating shows like "The Bachelor" and "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?"--Fleiss and Darnell's last foray into the reality-dating genre--trade in the currency of humiliation. People don't watch reality dating shows because they identify with the contestants; they watch them to see the contestants brought down to size. The whole point of "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?" was to expose how petty and materialistic women could be; the big "twist" at the end was that the "multimillionaire" wasn't rich at all. (Ha, bitches are shallow, get it?)

My guess is that a show in which "average-looking" women are expected, per usual for dating shows, to parade around in evening gowns, drink champagne in hot tubs, and doll themselves up for "lavish dates," as one web site put it, will play the contestants' looks for laughs, not empathy. I hope I'm wrong.

*See, for example, here and here.

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Question of the Day

When's the last time you had buyer's remorse?

You can translate that literally, as in regretting a purchase, or figuratively, as in regretting a decision, e.g. leaving one job for another, voting for a candidate, moving in with someone...

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Cheney's Eels

Dick Cheney may have left office on January 20, 2009, but according to Seymour Hersh, who was interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air, he left behind some assets that report to him on a regular basis.

GROSS: Is investigating that any different for you as a journalist post-Bush administration than it was during the Bush administration? Are more people coming forward now, now that the president and vice president are no longer in power?

HERSH: You know, that’s a great question because I did think, I had a lot of people that had told me in the last year of Bush, “call me next, next February.” And, so far, even people who are out are still cherry because, you know, not so much Bush, but Cheney really is…he’s really smart.

[...]

GROSS: Are you saying that you think Vice President Cheney is still having a chilling effect on people who might otherwise be coming forward and revealing things to you about what happened in the Bush administration?

HERSH: I’ll make it worse. I think he’s put people left. He’s put people back. They call it a stay behind. It’s sort of an intelligence term of art. When you leave a country and, you know, you’ve driven out the, you know, you’ve lost the war. You leave people behind. It’s a stay behind that you can continue to contacts with, to do sabotage, whatever you want to do. Cheney’s left a stay behind. He’s got people in a lot of agencies that still tell him what’s going on. Particularly in defense, obviously. Also in the NSA, there’s still people that talk to him. He still knows what’s going on. Can he still control policy up to a point? Probably up to a point, a minor point. But he’s still there. He’s still a presence. And again, because of the problems this administration’s having filling jobs, a lot of people who served in the Bush Cheney government, particularly even in the White House people on most sophisticated staffs are still there. You simply can’t get rid of everybody, you may not even want to. Some are professional people. But Cheney is, I would never call it admiration, but, you know, formidable, yeah, this guy. This guy is the real McCoy.
The proper term for people inside an agency who are giving information to outsiders is "mole," but in this case, I'm more of a mind of something else.

Ceti Eel

You remember these little critters from Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan:
The Ceti eel is a burrowing desert animal native to the planet Ceti Alpha V, capable of surviving extremes in its environment. The Ceti eel was the only known native survivor of the orbital shift of Ceti Alpha V following the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI.

Ceti eels incubate their larvae within the plates of their jointed carapace. Upon emergence, the eel larvae can enter the ear of a larger animal, where it wraps itself around the cerebral cortex. This causes the host extreme pain and renders them extremely susceptible to outside suggestion. Over time, as the larva matures, the subject suffers from madness and eventual death.
None of this surprises me. As Mr. Hersh notes, Dick Cheney has been a Washington insider since the Nixon administration, and regardless of who won the election in 2008, he would have had his eels planted in just about every agency.

Of course, the question is why? Why would Mr. Cheney want to still be in control and still want to know who's doing what? You can go all Tin Foil Hat and say he's Dr. Evil or Darth Vader with a megalomaniacal need for Absolute Power over Everything, or you can just chalk it up to the simple fact that he's a control freak. Either way, it's creepy and unethical. In other words, a perfect fit for Dick Cheney.

HT to Melissa.

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UGH!

Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, last seen waxing romantic to the Indiana Family Institute about the special golden precious awesomeness of heterosexual marriage, has been invited to join the White House Faith Council:

The White House has invited recently retired NFL Coach Tony Dungy, whose outspoken Christian faith fueled his 2007 support for a gay marriage ban and has won accolades from evangelical leaders, to join its Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, U.S. News has learned. The invitation is likely to draw praise from conservative evangelical groups and criticism from liberals and gay rights activists.
Ya think?!
Dungy has long been active with evangelical Christian charities like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Prison Crusade Ministry, along with other nonprofit groups, including Big Brothers Big Sisters and the United Way. Leading the Indianapolis Colts in 2007, he became the first black coach to win the Super Bowl.

The White House press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Officials with the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships would not confirm the invitation to Dungy, but his publicist said rumors of the invitation in Washington were true. "I can confirm that Tony was contacted by the advisory council and asked to join," said Todd Starowitz, a publicist at Dungy's book publisher, in an E-mail message this morning. "He has yet to make a decision if he will accept the offer."

The White House is expected to announce the final 10 members of its faith council this week. It had announced 15 members of the council when it unveiled its Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in February.
I'm having trouble finding contact info for the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Drop it in comments if you find it.

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Random YouTubery: It's Shite Being Scottish!

For Iain, who loves this scene (but does not hate the English).


[Transcript below.]
Train pulls away from a platform in remote Scotland, revealing Spud, Tommy, Renton, and Sick Boy.

Sick Boy: Now what?

Tommy: [shrugs] We go for a walk.

Spud: What?!

Tommy: A walk.

Spud: Where?

Tommy: [points toward mountain] There.

Sick Boy: Are you serious?!

Tommy walks away. The other three guys sit down on a platform. Tommy turns and sees them sitting there.

Tommy: Well, what are you waiting for?

Spud: Tommy, this is not natural, man.

Tommy: It's the great outdoors! It's fresh air!

Sick Boy: Look, Tommy, we know you're getting a hard time off Lizzie, but there's really no need to take it out on us.

Tommy: [gestures at beautiful landscape] Doesn't it make you proud to be Scottish?!

Renton: It's shite being Scottish! We're the lowest of the low! The scum of the fucking earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization! Some people hate the English; I don't! They're just wankers! We, on the other hand, are colonized by wankers! Can't even find a decent culture to be colonized by! We're ruled by effete assholes. It's a shite state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and all the fresh air in the world won't make any fucking difference! [swigs booze]

Tommy walks back and they all leave.

Voiceover, Renton: At, or around this time, Spud, Sick Boy, and I made a healthy, informed, democratic decision to get back on heroin as soon as possible. Took about twelve hours.

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Daily Kitteh






Fuzzy feets.

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First Khmer Rouge Trial is Underway

Kaing Guek Eav, aka Comrade Duch, is the first of five Khmer Rouge leaders to face trial for their parts in a genocide that killed millions of people. Interestingly enough, Duch started his testimony off with an apology, asking for forgiveness:

A key Khmer Rouge leader has admitted responsibility for crimes committed during the regime's brutal rule.

Speaking at a UN-backed tribunal in Cambodia, Kaing Guek Eav - also known as Duch - expressed "regretfulness and heartfelt sorrow" for his actions.

Duch is accused of torture, crimes against humanity and premeditated murder for his alleged role in the deaths of more than 10,000 people.

The Khmer Rouge killed two million people in their four years in power.

"May I be permitted to apologise to the survivors of the regime, and also the loved ones of those who died brutally during the regime," Duch told the court.

"I ask not that you forgive me now, but hope you will later."
This is a long time coming, and I'm glad that at least some of these assholes will be forced to face the music.

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The Ladies

Today was my maternal grandmother's birthday. She would have been 86, if she were still alive, but she died over a decade ago now. Still, I remember her birthday every year, for reasons I'm not quite sure I understand—although I think it has something to do with the fact that I shared my birthday with my paternal grandmother, so remembering hers seems only fair.

I really, truly adored both of my grandmothers, who liked one another very much, too. Recently, Mama Shakes scanned some old pictures for me, and I cannot get over how much I love this picture of my two grandmothers together in NYC, which Mama Shakes aptly titled "Fifth Avenue Babes."


My maternal grandmother, Mil, the lifelong New Yorker, is on the left, and my paternal grandmother, Fran, the Hoosier, is on the right. Mil doesn't look too happy there, but she had a great sense of humor, a great grin, and a great laugh. She was cheeky—which you can see here (I made everyone wear stupid things as hats when I was child):


And here's a random bonus picture of me when I was a wee thing laughing myself silly with my Aunt Lil:


I love that picture. Pure joy.

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Quote of The Day

"I heard some top of the hour news and it made me feel uncomfortable. It's about the flooding in Fargo, North Dakota brought on by the melting snowpack and the icepack. [Reading from news item] 'As the Red River threatens to overflow, they're filling in the dikes.' Isn't there a more appropriate word? Do we have to say, I mean, we don't have any dikes here. The 'dykes' are over there...They're filling in the dikes. Couldn't we change that to 'they're filling in the contingencies' or something?...We really need to change that word."Conservative Kingdouche Rush Limbaugh.

[H/T to Shaker Angelos.]

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Beware the cute

For you shall melt into a puddle on the floor.

I am every bit as scrumptiously snuggalicious as I look.

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Numbers of the Day

19. The percentage by which home prices in 20 U.S. cities fell over 2008, "the fastest drop on record, as demand plummeted and foreclosures rose."

41%. The jobless rate in Mendota, California, where "the town's social fabric is tearing at the seams. Alcoholism and crime are on the rise. To save money, some mothers wash and re-use disposable diapers. Unemployed men with nothing to do wander the streets and sit on benches."

$12.8 Trillion. The amount of money the government and Federal Reserve have "spent, lent, or guaranteed," an amount that "approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year, to stem the longest recession since the 1930s."

Zero. The number of shits conservatives not personally affected by the crisis evidently give about the people who are.

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Afghanistan Law Effectively Legalizes Rape

[Trigger warning.]

This is a dreadful turn of events in Afghanistan, and I have yet to find if there has been an official White House response, but it needs immediate action (emphasis mine):

Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai, has signed a law which "legalises" rape, women's groups and the United Nations warn. Critics claim the president helped rush the bill through parliament in a bid to appease Islamic fundamentalists ahead of elections in August.

In a massive blow for women's rights, the new Shia Family Law negates the need for sexual consent between married couples, tacitly approves child marriage and restricts a woman's right to leave the home, according to UN papers seen by The Independent.

"It is one of the worst bills passed by the parliament this century," fumed Shinkai Karokhail, a woman MP who campaigned against the legislation. "It is totally against women's rights. This law makes women more vulnerable."


The law regulates personal matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance and sexual relations among Afghanistan's minority Shia community. "It's about votes," Ms Karokhail added. "Karzai is in a hurry to appease the Shia because the elections are on the way."

…The most controversial parts of the law deal explicitly with sexual relations. Article 132 requires women to obey their husband's sexual demands and stipulates that a man can expect to have sex with his wife at least "once every four nights" when travelling, unless they are ill. The law also gives men preferential inheritance rights, easier access to divorce, and priority in court.

A report by the United Nations Development Fund for Women, Unifem, warned: "Article 132 legalises the rape of a wife by her husband".
In this Telegraph article on the new law, opponents say the legislation, the full text of which has not been made public outside limited parts of Afghanistan's parliament, is "worse than during the Taliban" and reportedly stipulates that "women can only seek work, education or doctor's appointments with their husband's permission."

There's more at the Guardian here, including the depressing revelation that some female politicians are considering the law as passed a minor victory since the original proposal was even worse, and they at least succeeded in changing some details, like raising the minimum marriage age of girls from 9 to 16: "It's not really 100% perfect, but compared to the earlier drafts it's a huge improvement," said MP Shukria Barakzai.

Contact the US State Department and politely request swift action.

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Oh, Dear

From one of the laughable "tea parties," which have to be some of the most crass examples of selfishness that I've ever seen. This is why you always have someone check your work.


Perhaps we can now replace that "Morans" photo; I'm a little bored with that one. Shouldn't these people be going Galt or something?

From, Via.

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Of Course

Since Michelle Obama has stopped being visibly angry, issuing strong opinions, publicly expressing that her husband has flaws, being all pushy with her individualism and shit, and the rest of the stuff that makes me like her immensely, now the rest of the country likes her.

Oh, America. When will you learn to love a strong woman?

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Happy Blogiversary...

...to my friend Driftglass, celebrating four years of trying to prevent the future. Blue Gal's got our present for ya.

Driftglass is one of the very few bloggers I've met out in the meatworld, and what I will say about him is this: He is a very good guy who makes me grin.

*terrorist fist-bumps Drifty*

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So…

…the Obama administration puts up a "A Guide to Getting Through Tough Economic Times," because, as most sentient adults know, financial stressors can create serious strains on individuals, on couples, on entire families—and, as the acting administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Eric Broderick, notes: "By helping people remain resilient, we can help promote the overall recovery of our nation."

And, naturally, the rightwing thinks this is hi-laaaar-ious!

Drudge, who "broke the news" last night features a picture of Mount Rushmore after a rain, in which it appears George Washington is crying, over the headline: "Nanny State: Government website to warn of sadness/crying over economy." Michelle Malkin's post is titled: "The soul-fixer-in-chief is here to dry your tears." Don Surber announces: "We have become a nation of wussies in just one generation." Dr. Helen says: "Apparently, this emotional kit is to help people deal with the stress of the financial crisis. Isn't this kind of like an abusive spouse providing you with tips on how to cope with his or her abuse?"

File Under: Compassionate Conservatism.

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Hope and Change

Americans are feeling it:

The number of Americans who believe that the nation is headed in the right direction has roughly tripled since Barack Obama's election, and the public overwhelmingly blames the excesses of the financial industry, rather than the new president, for turmoil in the economy, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

At this early stage in his presidency, Obama continues to benefit from a broadly held perception that others should bear the bulk of responsibility for the severe economic problems that confront his administration. Americans see plenty of offenders, but only about a quarter blame the president and his team for an economy that's in the ditch.
Hmm. Now it's one thing to say that Obama's not doing the right things, but what sort of slack-jawed morons say that Team Obama are to blame for the economy?
There is now a pronounced divergence between Democratic and Republican perceptions of the economy, a bigger partisan divide than the one that occurred 16 years ago after Bill Clinton took office. In early 1993, people in both parties were about equally likely to see the economy as improving, but now the number of Republicans who say it is souring is more than double that of Democrats.
Oh, right.

Other findings: 42% of Americans say the country is on the right track, which seems pretty low, until you consider that it's the highest percentage to say so in five years "and marks a sharp turnabout from last fall, when as many as nine in 10 said the country was heading in the wrong direction." 66% approve of the job Obama's doing as president, 60% approve of the way he's handling the economic crisis, and 52% approve of the way he's handling the federal budget deficit.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show

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Question of the Day

What was the last encouraging sign (outside the blogosphere) you saw that womanism/feminism is still on the march?

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iGirl: "She Obeys"

[Trigger Warning]





Above is a screencap from iTunes showing an iPhone app by Resistor Productions called iGirl. From the app description (emphasis mine):


iGirl-- She Obeys

Blow her, shake her, touch her and more! Check out the new custom voices.

Have your own virtual girlfriend on your iphone for less than the price of a cup of coffee or a beer, and shake her around!

iGirl combines fun and flirtation to offer users a playful app for entertainment.

The iGirl application consists of a beautiful 3-dimensional female model that can be manipulated by the user to perform various actions, including dancing and speaking.

Shake the iPhone and see how the iGirl reacts.

New animation activated by blowing on your iPhone: the famous Marilyn Monroe pose!

iGirl serves as the perfect virtual companion that you can take with you anywhere.

Got that? Buying a "virtual" girl for less than a cup of coffee and shaking her around is fun and playful. And flirtatious too apparently, though why the company thinks one can have flirtation in a unilateral interaction with a machine is left as an exercise for the reader.

The iTunes user reviews are mixed, and it might be a bit heartening that the vast majority of the reviews are one-star:

But some of those negative reviews pan the app because it's not egregious enough. Here is a sampling of reviews:

“pointless, pathetic, inappropriate for children, and downright sad.”

“U should be allowed to show nudeness. U should be allowed to customize the girl exactly the way you want.”

"This app is so stupid this is not worth the money."

"Waste"

"They made this free for Valentine’s Day. ‘Cuz there’s nothing more romantic than forcing a “girl” to obey your every command."

“she needs to get naky tehe :] but yeah more changeability and interaxtment.”

“I guess you have to be married to fully appreciate this one”

"Needs to be way more revealing there should be a guy that represents you that does stuff with or to the girl."

Aside from the fact that these reviewers seem unaware that we already have words in English for "nudeness" and "interaxtment", we see a good old domineering-wife joke and some pretty creepy fantasies (you should be able to "do stuff to the girl").

I agree with the first review that this app is downright sad and a waste. I hate to see potentially cool features like animations that respond to shaking or blowing on your phone used as yet one more joke that boils down to "heh heh --she can't stop you! Now that's the 'perfect companion', amirite?"

I have seen little analysis of this app, except for a review at Pocket Lint by Verity Burns, who says "the new iGirl app frankly just gives us the creeps" and a review at Bright Hub in which Shane Burley says, "When looking at iGirl it does not take a radical feminist member of the anti-pornography league to see this as a little misogynistic". Well put. But I was very curious about all the references to shaking the iGirl (hence the trigger warning), and I also wanted to hear about the thinking behind this app, so I dug a little deeper.

Below are a review of iGirl from tapcritic dot com and an interview with the lead developer of iGirl. Both videos also appear on Resistor Productions' iGirl app page. I have made partial transcripts, with summaries of the rest, including quotes.








Tapcritic review:
Hi this is Hal9000 from Tap Critic dot com. We’re gonna do a video review today, for probably the most juvenile and awesome application that I have yet come across, called iGirl...I think the logo pretty much says it all....What is it? Basically, it’s a virtual girlfriend. If you want you can use movements to rotate, and get just about any view you want (zooms in on her butt) Oh, we’ll get away from that. Another thing you can do, you can hit a button and she dances on cue, which, none of my real girlfriends ever have, so that makes me happy.
[...]
Let’s move from the chauvinistic bathing suit into, uh, chauvinistic schoolgirl!
[...]
[he then changes the “ethnicity” of the Girl to “Asian”]
[...]
Really the app has no purpose, other than to entertain you and your friends, which is why I love it, because I think it’s hilarious.
[review ends with multiple closeups on the iGirls' dancing butts]

I notice the reviewer directly compares the app to real women he has known and the iGirl comes out ahead. Also, he recognizes the "chauvinistic" aspect of the costumes, and it seems to be a selling point.

Developer interview:

Hal9000: We’re here today with Toby, from Resistor Productions [...] Toby is the developer of [...] iGirl, which I know everyone here at Tap Critic is very addicted to.

Hal: So, How did you get the idea for this application?

Toby: ...We’re a web game company, and we’ve been working on a web MMORPG for about a year now, and we saw this iPhone stuff happening and we’re like , OMG some of these apps are obviously becoming really popular and in terms of resources that it would take to build one, I don’t think it would take a lot. So we decided to make an app, and, we were basically analyzing what was in the top 25, and you have like iBeer, iFart, y’know all these kinds of things, and we were working on a game, and the costs...can be pretty intense, so we said why don’t we start out with a novelty application? And the biggest thing that we saw missing in the top 25 was some kind of like a hot babe, or like, boobs, or something like that. So when we were discussing this—you probably saw that an app called iBoobs got rejected by the app store, which was the app we were working on making at the same time as the other developer. So we...decided to scale it back and just make an iGirl application.

When asked if there was anything they had to take into account when trying to get through the Apple approval process to be accepted on iTunes, Toby says,

When you shook the iPhone, now you’ll notice that her breasts shake a little bit, but it used to be just ridiculous, like, they were like, flopping all over the place, so we just toned—we scaled that back quite a bit for the first release.

And Hal says: It’s a shame...they [Apple] need to open their minds up and realize how ridiculously funny the application is.

Toby: Yeah, y’know I think that was the goal with us, y’know, like you mentioned in your first article, there are probably some basement dwellers out there that really get into this. But our whole goal with this is the whole sort of American Pie thing, it’s not like, serious, adult stuff—you’re not supposed to take it seriously. It’s a big joke, it’s for fun.

Toby: We’re getting a few thousand downloads each day. The reviews are mixed: some people completely get it and they love it, and some people are like “hey, this is a cool app, but you could add some more features to it”.

Then Toby summarizes the updates they plan to make to iGirl. He mentions that a lot of people want the girl to be naked. Toby says “hey, we’re with you, but that’s not gonna happen!” He is planning to add custom voices, where the user can record the iGirl’s verbal responses. Interestingly, he says “you can do it yourself if you want to, but you can actually have your girlfriend go in...you can make completely custom recordings, so the reason why that’s cool is, you can make it as dirty as you want to. Or you can just be funny with it, whatever”

Toby then summarizes the new blow feature, where the user can blow on the phone and the iGirl’s skirt blows up and she has to hold it down, like Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot.

Toby describes a future update which will show every phone that has downloaded iGirl as a “heart” marker on a Google Earth globe and users can zoom in on any iPhone anywhere in the world and see and hear their iGirl.

To this, Hal9000 quips, “I’m glad I can see the iGirl, but not see what the person’s doing, involved with the iGirl, ‘cause that would be a little much for me.”

Toby then goes on to say that they are also considering making the iGirl more like a Tamagotchi. He says, “you can, like feed her Prada bags or whatever, and she’s in a better mood”. He also says the user will be able to “interact with her, and y’know, give her money and whatever”.



There is a lot to unpack in this interview, but I'll just point out a couple of things. First, an app of disembodied boobs was Toby's stated original goal. Apple would not approve disembodied boob apps; the iGirl represents a "scaling back", which Apple obviously approved. So, an app where the user can manipulate, control, shake, put words in the mouth of, and blow the skirt up on an entire woman is more acceptable than a depiction of breasts. Discuss.

Second, I see now that the whole joke of shaking the iGirl to "see how she reacts" boils down to ha ha boobies. They jiggle, get it? And it's hilarious.

This app is "just for fun" and "just a joke". Anyone who doesn't like it just doesn't "get it" and anyone who pervs out on it is a "basement dweller" who is just taking it "too seriously". This last part is an especially interesting bit of denialism. On the one hand, only weirdo "basement dwellers" would take unsavory pleasure in this app; on the other hand, Hal9000 jokes that he doesn't want to see what users are doing "involving" their iGirls, as though he assumes that masturbatory or sadistic interactions are widespread. So which is it?

This app is obviously not a real woman, is just for fun, and has nothing to do with real women. Yet Hal9000 compares her to his real life girlfriends, and Toby thinks it would be neat to "have your girlfriend" record custom statements for your iGirl to make it "as dirty as you want". These reactions blur the lines between real women and iGirls. Moreover, most real women have experienced to some degree or another being treated as though we are interchangeable units of femininity who can be grabbed, moved about, and yes, even shaken at the will of some random dude who doesn't like how we respond to him. So yeah, not so much fun.

Finally, way to turn a tamagotchi into nothing but a threadbare gender stereotype of a gold-digger ("feed" her Prada bags to elevate her mood? Give her money? Seriously?). Yawn.

The hat tip goes to Shaker Kate. Thanks, Kate!

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"The Occasional Wife"

That's the name of a business (actual logo, left) that has sprung up in New Orleans to help busy professionals "do all the things you don't have time to do." According to founder Kay McCaskill-Morrison, quoted in the New Orleans Gambit, the idea of the company came to her when she was helping her divorced male friends organize their homes and take care of their kids; "There's a sense of bringing back the past, when one person took care of all the details," she said.

What are the "details" these "wives" (yes, the company's employees are all women) perform? Oh, just womanly stuff like "tedious tasks," "organizing and streamlining work and personal environments," "car[ing] for and manag[ing] your errands, tasks, and other daily responsibilities," planning kids' parties, shopping, and taking care of "holiday" chores (like buying gifts for your real wife, one presumes).

OK, let's unpackage this, because it's not all bad. Outsourcing chores you don't want to do? Fine, as long as it's nonexploitative and you can afford it. (Or even, in some cases, if you can't: May I introduce you to my army of interns?) Outsourcing chores to someone under the guise of "wifely duties"? Not so fine, especially when those "tedious" chores are things like decorating your Christmas tree or spending time with your kids. So why didn't the women who started this company call it something like "Life Management Consulting" or "Problem Solvers Inc."? Because those arguably more accurate titles don't convey the imagery that "renting a wife" does: The idea that you can buy a woman ("Order as many as you'd like!" the company's web site winks) to do things that you won't do and that your own wife is too uppity to do herself. There are obvious parallels in everything from porn (watching actresses do things no "real-life" woman would) to more mundane fee-for-service systems--many couples I've known have hired a maid because he would never think to clean the house and she resents being expected to.

Of course, "I want a wife" has been a trope in feminist since the 1970s, when Ms. Magazine published a piece with that title by Judy Syfers. The difference is that when Syfers said "I want a wife," her tone was biting, sardonic, biting, and self-aware. ("I want a wife who will not bother me with rambling complaints about a wife's duties. But I want a wife who will listen to me when I feel the need to explain a rather difficult point I have come across in my course of studies.") When the "Occasional Wives" say "You need a wife," they mean, you need a servant who will do the things you don't wish to make time for, for minimal pay ($40 an hour for one "wife," $65 an hour for two), and who will disappear when her services are no longer needed.

H/T Shaker Kelly.

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Number of the Day

~70. The percentage of "the Pentagon's 96 major weapons-buying programs" which were "over budget in 2008 for combined cost growth of $296 billion above original estimates, congressional auditors said in an annual report released on Monday."

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Daily Kitteh



Livsy could have had a V8.

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C. Thomas Howell Wouldn't Pull This Shit

In which I substitute an email conversation between myself, Spudsy, and Deeky about Sacha Baron-Cohen's upcoming film Bruno for an actual post…

Liss: Oh this sounds GREAT. Doesn't sound AT ALL like he's playing on gay stereotypes and trying to justify it with a few scenes that expose people's homophobia. Sigh.

Deeky: You mean like the scene where he sneaks into someone's sleeping bag in the middle of the night?

Liss: That (predatory gay) and the stuff with the baby (recruiting gay). This sounds like more Deathbed Confession Cinema, without even the obvious, hit-you-over-the-head ending.

Honestly, the justification for this film is rooted in a rationale as mendacious (and/or naive) as believing that the most memorable part of a rib dinner is the handiwipe you're given at the end. So NOT.

Spudsy: How do you "challenge homophobia" by "embracing" it? I'm sorry, I have real problems with a straight man making this film.

Liss: Why would you be sorry about that, lol? It's like insanely narcissistic—as if he knows so well what it's like to be gay that he can tease out the subtleties of being a gay man in order to expose homophobia, instead of just playing on it. And, clearly, he doesn't.

Spudsy: Honestly, I'm not all that comfortable with his Borat character either, and I hate "predatory" comedy. Seriously, Alan Funt beat that horse to death a long time ago. Who the fuck is he to "expose homophobia?" Live it, then come talk to me.

Liss: Right. It's like when Gwyneth Paltrow puts on a fat suit for 6 hours then claims she totally understands what it's like to be a fat woman in this culture. Uh huh. Except I don't get to take off my fat ass at the end of the day, so not really the same at all, is it?

What's most irritating about this stuff is that they wouldn't ever give a movie to a real gay man who wanted to "expose homophobia." No, instead it's a straight guy who won't, in his real life, ever suffer any blowback from perpetuating gay stereotypes or fomenting gay hatred.

Meanwhile, he'll insist it's all a joke, it doesn't really perpetuate stereotypes or foment hatred because he's just playing a character, an argument which is predicated on nuanced thinking from the very homophobes who are such ignorant, bigoted rubes that they fell for his shtick in the first place.

Spudsy: Exactly, it's only safe to make a gay-empowering movie if it's a straight guy making it. Not that this is "gay empowering" at all. And like it's really hard to get a big reaction out of someone if you sneak in their tent to supposedly have sex with them. Christ.

Deeky: "Right. It's like when Gwyneth Paltrow puts on a fat suit for 6 hours then claims she totally understands what it's like to be a fat woman in this culture. Uh huh. Except I don't get to take off my fat ass at the end of the day, so not really the same at all, is it?"—Which is, if you remember, the very lesson of Soul Man, starring C. Thomas Howell.

Liss: I'm going to have to go on record at this point suggesting that every Hollywood studio immediately institute the Soul Man, Starring C. Thomas Howell, Rule: If a pitch does not pass the enlightenment threshold set by Soul Man, starring C. Thomas Howell, do not, repeat DO NOT, greenlight the project. It is made of fail.

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Assvertising

I've written before--on a now-defunct blog--about the fact that while male food personalities typically look like this...


Women who are "really into food" have to look like this:


But Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi's new commercial for the Hardee's Western Bacon Thickburger takes the "sexy foodie" trope to a whole new level.

While bow-chicka-wow music plays in the background, we see Lakshmi sitting on her steps, taking out an enormous burger, hiking up her skirt, and downing the sandwich lustily, licking and sucking bits of "sweet, spicy" sauce off her fingers, legs, and the burger itself. (Seriously, Hardee's: Who licks a burger?) In voiceover, she all but moans: "I've tasted just about every flavor imaginable. But there's something about the Western Bacon."


Confidential to Padma: Next time, if the tagline for the product you're hawking is "More Than Just a Piece of Meat," you might consider asking why the scriptwriters are treating you like one.

[Assvertising: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One, Thirty-Two, Thirty-Three, Thirty-Four, Thirty-Five, Thirty-Six, Thirty-Seven, Thirty-Eight, Thirty-Nine, Forty, Forty-One, Forty-Two, Forty-Three, Forty-Four, Forty-Five, Forty-Six, Forty-Seven, Forty-Eight, Forty-Nine.]

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Quote of The Day

"Here's my problem with this, I'm just going to come out and say it. If I have anything to say against Obama it's not because I'm a racist, it's because I don't like what he's doing as President and anybody should be able to feel that way, but what I find now is that if you say anything against him you're called a racist."—Republican actress Angie Harmon.

You know, Harmon's not the first person I've heard to make this complaint. The thing is, I've criticized Obama and/or his policies a good few times already since he's become president, and no one (that I recall) has accused me of racism. So it's not really true that one can't "say anything against him" without being called a racist, so maybe Harmon needs to take a look at the way she's criticizing him and see if there isn't some internalized racism there.

Then again, during the primaries, I was called a racist pretty routinely if I criticized Obama, but it generally wasn't by people of color who were making substantive critiques of my posts and pointing out expressions of unexamined privilege; it was by fauxgressive white dudez who had no other ammunition in their arsenals. So I didn't give a fuck. I certainly didn't feel obliged to make a public announcement insisting I wasn't motivated by racism.

Because I knew I wasn't, and that was good enough.

Just saying.

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Obama's Remarks on Auto Industry



Transcript here.

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Sigh

What in wewereonabreak hell is going on with Jennifer Aniston? Because playing a stalker on 30 Rock, playing a woman desperate to get married in He's Just Not That Into You, and playing a woman desperate to get pregnant whose best friend switches donor sperm with his own in The Baster, a film actively seeking female extras just to humiliate them, just isn't enough collusion with the patriarchy [/Renee], her next film, for which Shaker Eileen saw a trailer this weekend and emailed me a heads-up, is this heap of misogynist shit:


For those who can't view the video, it's a trailer for Management, a film reusing the tiresome plot of a woman trapped between two men who must be the only two men left on the planet, because they are both assholes (though in different ways) and both totally wrong for her, but she is nonetheless struggling to choose between them.

Only this film is extra awesome, because one of the men is wooing her by stalking her—first in her room at the hotel where he works, then at her job, and then by following her to another state where she's moved to be with her equally objectionable boyfriend. None of which prompts a call to police, for the same reason it never does in Hollywood films—because stalking is adorable when men do it.

(As for what it's like when women do it, hold your fire. Spudsy's got a post on that coming up.)

Ben Stiller has played several of these characters, as well as starred in an archetype of the genre, There's Something About Mary, the full title of which, if honest, would be the (victim-blaming) There's Something About Mary That Drives Men to Stalk Her, since Mary (Cameron Diaz) is stalked by no fewer than five men, including Ted (Stiller), Dom (Chris Elliott), Healy (Matt Dillon), Tucker (Lee Evans), and professional football player Brett Favre. Stalking, you see, is a compliment (just like rape). Adorable!

Even when it's not adorable—as in As Good As It Gets when Carol (Helen Hunt) screams at Melvin (Jack Nicholson) for showing up at her apartment, only before eventually falling for him—love will win out in the end.

And even if love doesn't win out in the end—as in Dumb & Dumber when Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) fails to successfully woo Mary (Lauren Holly) after following her across the country—there are no consequences for the creepy stalker. At least in Dumb & Dumber, the tactic wasn't tacitly endorsed, which is more than one can say for most of these films, like the classic "stalk-and-conquest" film The Sure Thing, in which Gib (John Cusack) doesn't get the girl of his wetdreams (Nicollette Sheridan), but instead gets the girl of his dreams (Daphne Zuniga), despite the fact that she has accompanied him on his stalk-trip for another woman—and somehow manages not to feel like a consolation prize.

Off the top of my head, I thought of about dozen more "romantic comedies" in which some element of stalking and/or grave deception (a la Overboard) serve as a key plot device—and I'm sure there are dozens more.

Because people keep making them. Like Jennifer Aniston. Who apparently hasn't been informed, or just doesn't give a shit, that conveying to film audiences the message that stalking is the way to a woman's heart is neither original, nor funny, nor responsible.

Related Reading: The OnionRomantic-Comedy Behavior Gets Real-Life Man Arrested.

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Your Government at Work

In which Representative Mike Doogan (D-Alaska) stalks and tries to expose the identity of an anonymous blogger in retribution for criticism. (He didn't quite succeed, but he came close, and got her first name right. It is, unfortunately, unlikely that the story will end there.)

Disgusting. I honestly don't even have the words to describe how furious this shit makes me. This is borderline if not outright criminal, and Doogan should be asked to resign his seat immediately.

Mudflats' whole post should definitely be read in full, but there's one passage I want to highlight specifically (emphasis mine):

This is an elected State Representative, of my own political party, who has decided that it's not OK for me to control the information about my identity; that it's not OK to express my opinion on my own blog without shouting from the rooftops who I am.

If I were to appear, as many of you have, at a political rally and I were to hold up a sign that expressed my opinion, I don't have to sign my name on the bottom. And if someone wants to come online and read my diary, they are free to do so. And if they want to disagree, that's OK too.

It said in my "About" page that I choose to remain anonymous. I didn't tell anyone why. I might be a state employee. I might not want my children to get grief at school. I might be fleeing from an ex-partner who was abusive and would rather he not know where I am. My family might not want to talk to me anymore. I might alienate my best friend. Maybe I don't feel like having a brick thrown through my window. My spouse might work for the Palin administration. Maybe I'd just rather people not know where I live or where I work. Or none of those things may be true. None of my readers, nor Mike Doogan had any idea what my personal circumstances might be. But that didn't seem to matter.
Part of the reason that I gave up my anonymity was because there were people trying to figure out who I am, and the feeling of being constantly stalked was worse than the fears associated with exposing my identity. It's fucked up that those are progressive bloggers' only choices, all because we hold opinions that people don't like and have the unmitigated temerity to express them.

And there are people who just don't find anything more important than their own "right," which is, in fact, not a right at all, to know the identity of someone who says something they don't like.

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Monday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by Shaxco, makers of the Fertilofag Spunk Baster, disseminating the Radical Gay Agenda for the 21st Century.

Recommended Reading:

Chewing the Fat: An Elephant Disappears.

Archie McPhee: The Eighth Commandment.

Joe My God: Zurich Gets Lesbian Mayor.

Monkeys For Helping: The best picture of Jesus on the telephone you will see today.

Corey Feldman: The truth about Lost Boys 3.

Alex Hannaford, CiF: Jail Guitar Doors.

Cliffie's Notes: "Dracula" Fish Described By Human Science.

AFOTD: Lobot.

Mondo Rick-o: The Things I've Noticed During Jury Duty.

Dog Eat Blog: Art Nouveau in Prague.

Leave your links in comments...

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Assvertising

A bunch of Shaker Ladies have sent me this advert for the Schick Quattro for Women TrimStyle with "bikini trimmer," the in-house working title for which I can only imagine was "Trim Your Bush, Bitchez."


If you can't view the video, there's no real transcript, aside from a description of the product, which is a safety razor with a trimmer at the end of the handle. As various thin white women and one thin black woman pass by unruly bushes (of the plant sort) during their daily activities, and some ethereal music plays in the background, the bushes magically get trimmed into, well, familiar bush (of the non-plant sort) shapes, in possibly the clunkiest, sledgehammery metaphor of all time.

[Assvertising: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One, Thirty-Two, Thirty-Three, Thirty-Four, Thirty-Five, Thirty-Six, Thirty-Seven, Thirty-Eight, Thirty-Nine, Forty, Forty-One, Forty-Two, Forty-Three, Forty-Four, Forty-Five, Forty-Six, Forty-Seven, Forty-Eight.]

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Economic Armageddon: Beyond Thunderdome

Part Wev in an ongoing series...

In case you haven't already heard: "The Obama administration has forced the longtime head of General Motors to resign and said yesterday that it would withhold additional federal aid to the auto industry unless the ailing companies undertake changes they so far have been unwilling or unable to make. ... The White House's insistence that Wagoner step down is an extraordinary intervention of the federal government into the management of a private company."

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

I only wish the administration would start getting this feisty with the financial fucks holding the economy hostage.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Madame's Place

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Read These Now Because We Should All Hit The Decanters

I took a little break because Mister Petulant needed to dry out.* The best way to do that is to Pull a Proust! If you can afford such a luxury, I recommend it. I did finish season one of Forever Knight which seemed more exciting when I watched it in the early 90s. I will watch season two this week. Because the rain finally stopped in my fair land, I spent some time OUTDOORS preparing for plantings. O' to have Martha Stewart perched on my shoulder! Such activities also mean Mister Petulant hit the decanters. I'll dry out next week. HA!

Now to the readings brought to you by Nil Karaibrahimgil. Her new album is fantabulous; her new video also. I wonder if she liked the latest Goldfrapp album. I am oft depressed because my language skills are nil. HA! As you have probably noticed, even the Queen's English escapes me. Oh well... my highball is empty.

Death and Despair:

NC nursing home shooting kills at least 6. (AP)

Brutal slayings in Milton, MA. (Boston Globe)

The Red River recedes. (MN Star-Tribune) During this crisis, where is Michele Bachmann? Fargo isn't her district, but one would think she would be concerned about the citizens of her state. Her House of Representatives website doesn't mention this "natural" crisis nor does her Townhall "blog." Oh, silly me. She has a revolution to organize and a world currency to fight. Stacking sandbags for the citizens of her state in peril is so plebeian. There are SOCIALISTS waging war and that is far more important than fellow Minnesotans with an house underwater or something HUMAN. Any good Rep would at least issue a press release. Press releases are the pinnacle of Representative service. HA! UPDATE: I just woke up and the first thing that popped in my head was: "Fargo is in North Dakota you silly fuck!" Bachmann makes stuff up so can I. Ha!

The House of Representatives have always been the crazy bunch and those "elitist" Senators corrected their flamboyant and misguided notions, but does it seem they all guzzle too hard from the bottle "DRINK ME?" It all sends this boy, with a shuffle, to the decanters. I am more than certain many of our elected officials perform the same shuffle. So, I am in "good" company. HA!

"D.C. socialites and their canine friends took to the runway Saturday night to raise money for the Washington Humane Society." (The Hill)

Hmmmm... GM CEO Rick Wagoner Resigns At Obama's Request.

Emerging from U.S. bankruptcy gets even tougher.

SPIEGEL INTERVIEW WITH THE EMIR OF QATAR: 'We Are Coming to Invest.'

How exciting! CBN's The Brody File heads to Europe (London) to cover the G20. I know my fluttering heart cannot wait for dispatches from the Christian interpretive front. HUZZAH! There is already one. David Brody took to the streets of London to see if Obama could accomplish anything. Bankers are dressing in JEANS (FORFEND) to disguise themselves. Tea with the Queen is another analysis. Editing makes the world go round.

The morning readings are now brought to you by S-Jee's remixes of Mylène Farmer. I am still working on my French. The shuffle to the decanters is more lively with an understandable French soundtrack. Turkish escapes me. S-Jee's remixes are far better than the maxi-single ones.

Since World Pop Music is my specialty these days, Via Gra or Nu Virgos with their "My Emancipation" or "Biologiya" videos are a wonderland for those who enjoy half-naked women expressing themselves. Give me some Botox, Louboutin heels, a cute CBN camera man and I will gladly cover the G20. If I get distracted by TOP SHOP or Brown's, I am sure you will forgive me.

I was distracted by the tunes.

Cut in maternity leave to give fathers more time off. (Times Online)

OH NOES! British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith under pressure over husband's adult film expense claims. (Telegraph) If this were a stateside scandal, the NY Post would proclaim: "S.O.S. Spouse For Raw Meat 3; Cigar not included. " Hell, I bet the NY Times would go with that headline these days. Readership, baby.

Justine Lai fucks the presidents. (Art Fag City) Potentially NSFW.

Did I mention about hitting the decanters? HA!

Dust may settle unanswered questions on Antarctica. I am a big fan of dust. I remember reading or hearing once that "dust" is a sign of aristocracy. HA! Don't dust your books! One more step and you might have a coat-of-arms. HA!

Video: Did anyone participate in the Earth Hour? I forgot about it. Oh yes... Thunder Pig reminds again. I do read the conservative journals of my fair corner of the world. TP told me to leave my lights aflame in defiance. I am an incidental crazy. OOPS! Naming one of my kittens Dagny is a terrible burden. HA!

Speaking of local Asheville beings, someone I find delightful appeared on the local news a bit south from here. Edgy Mama, who proclaims that she would trade her kids for beer, but won't. I would love to see that transaction. Anyhoo, she appeared on local news to chat about this, that, and the other. Edgy Kitten, fix the link. Mister Petulant doesn't work at that address anymore. HA!

The First World War Poetry Archive.

The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Vegetable Garden.

Apartments with Personal Car Elevators.

If anyone gives a fuck about what Geithner or McCain said on Meet The Press, here is the transcript. I never thought I would utter these words, but I miss Tim Russert. Meet the Press is a cannibalized shell with David Gregory as host. If he utters the lines, "But, in reality though..." I might have one of those aneurysms that I fear. Brain damage would be far more interesting than pseudo-gotcha journalism gone amuck. While it was tedious, Russert knew how to make "GOTCHA" entertaining for us liberal sorts. Gregory makes it an expository of boredom and horrid delivery. If you are playing the "gotcha card" at least do it with gusto. When the audience believes that there is a lobotomy needle hovering nearby, "gotcha" seems downright benevolent.

Of course, there is the simple fact, us "simple" citizens are SOOOOOOOOOOO bored with "gotcha" anything an elite effete asks, we cackle.

And, reach for the nearest decanter.

Nite, Kittens. Or good morning. HA!

*Excuse the many errors in this post. Mister Petulant is too busy with World Pop Music to edit. HA! And, overusing HA!

(Cross-posted at Petulant Rumblings)

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Amazing Race Open Thread

I'm afraid I'll be absent from the livethread once again, but here it is.

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In which I disagree with Krugman (o_O)

This has never happened before. I'm shocked. However, I'll try to pull myself together and explain.

In The Market Mystique, Krugman says:
Underlying the glamorous new world of finance was the process of securitization. Loans no longer stayed with the lender. Instead, they were sold on to others, who sliced, diced and puréed individual debts to synthesize new assets. Subprime mortgages, credit card debts, car loans — all went into the financial system’s juicer. Out the other end, supposedly, came sweet-tasting AAA investments. And financial wizards were lavishly rewarded for overseeing the process.

But the wizards were frauds, whether they knew it or not, and their magic turned out to be no more than a collection of cheap stage tricks. Above all, the key promise of securitization — that it would make the financial system more robust by spreading risk more widely — turned out to be a lie. Banks used securitization to increase their risk, not reduce it, and in the process they made the economy more, not less, vulnerable to financial disruption.

... I don’t think this is just a financial panic; I believe that it represents the failure of a whole model of banking[.]


Yes, it represents the failure of a model of banking, but I think Krugman is wrong in saying that securitization -- the process of juicing and producing new investments -- is at fault.

The reason the sweet-tasting AAA investments were sold as such was due to the estimate of risk they carried. Knowing the risk associated with an investment is central to pricing. If there's a big risk that you'll lose your money, you get a higher rate for its use. Supremely complex and secret models were used to assess the supremely complex risks of hundreds of mixed investments. (The secrecy, I think, is a big deal. If they hadn't been secret, specialists outside the industry would have been able to review them and sound warnings.) The models found layers of the juice that were "sweeter" than other layers, assigned low risk to them, and pension funds snapped them up.

But since nobody (except maybe the quants who invented them) understood the models, nobody actually knew how much risk they were taking on. When it started to look like the risk assessments were wrong, all hell broke loose as everyone tried to dump investments that had nobody-knew-how-much loss mixed into them.

Had the securitization been done in an open and reviewable way (I know, laugh all you want), then that process by itself would not have created disaster. What created disaster was obscuring adequate risk assessment. We could get rid of securitization, and wind up in this exact same place when some genius came up with a new way to obfuscate risk.

Obfuscating risk is what needs to be stopped. Not the red herring of securitization. Or not just that red herring.

Keep your eye on the ball for us, Paul! We need you!


Cross-posted to Acid Test. Tags: , , , , ,

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Meet the new baby

Come meet Rosie, who joined our family last night:



Sam has welcomed her into the house, though I'm sure he'll be happier once she's bigger and can really play. She seems to adore him so far. Empress Zoë is supremely unimpressed as cats are wont to be, though not unfriendly--just more like "Wevs. Just leave my stuff alone, pup." Oh, she's a (yellow) labrador, for those wondering.

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Scenes from the Struggle in Post-Feminist America

So I'm watching "At the Movies," and the two Bens are reviewing Monsters vs. Aliens, which they give a pretty good review. Then Ben Mankiewicz from Turner Classic Movies ends his review by saying (approximately), "Not to get too PC, but the main character is a big, powerful woman, which is a good thing to see."

Don't you love that? Just merely commenting positively on a strong female lead risks being "too PC," despite the fact that strong female leads are still so unusual as to be remarkable, which is what warrants the comment in the first place.

In other words, what Mankiewicz was really doing, intentionally or not, was apologizing for publicly noticing that women and girls are still enormously underrepresented in films.

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What's with my car dealer?

I go to the lot and flag down the last salesman they haven't fired yet. He's got nothing to do and races right over. I show him the picture.

"I want this," I say.

super-thin, green, alien-spaceship-looking wheeled vehicle with a sail, which looks like it doubles as a rudder, at the back

"It runs on wind," I point out, "which is about what I can afford right now. But it still looks cool. So, how much?"

He tries to sell me a Chevy Tahoe.


Crossposted to Acid Test. Tags: , ,

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Coastal Fun

This past week my mom came out to visit--and it was spring break. My mom loves lighthouses and so we always go out to the coast to see one when she comes out (as southwest Ohio isn't known for its lighthouses, lol). This time we went out to see one that we attempted a couple years ago but had been closed for renovation then: Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

It was the afternoon but a grey day

Yaquina Head Lighthouse was built during 1872 and 1873; it is the tallest lighthouse on the Oregon coast at 93 feet tall.

The lighthouse was pretty neat but the highlight of this trip were the tide pools.

The tide pools are in the lower left corner.



One of the many beautiful tide pools teeming with life.

What do we see?

Common Sea Star (Pisaster ochraceus)

Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica), closed.

Giant Green Anemones, open.

Mussel shell beds (that you do *not* step on!)

One of the biologists came over to talk to us for a bit about the different sea life living in the pools, which was also pretty neat. It was a great afternoon and wonderful experience!

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