Programming Note

Well, I've definitely pushed myself too hard, and now I'm paying for it: I've got some sort of awful flu or cold, which is triggering the autoimmune reaction, i.e. dizziness and numbness and tremors.

I am not used to this new normal yet. And I push myself too hard here, and in my personal life, because I don't want to disappoint anyone. Which is not a good strategy, clearly, because I just make myself sicker.

So, yeah. I was going to take a long weekend for Labor Day anyway, but I'm going to go ahead and take off now, and try to get as much rest as I can.

And instead of promising I'll definitely be back Tuesday, I'll say instead: I will be back Tuesday if I am feeling significantly better, and, if I'm not, I will let you know that I'm taking more time.

I'm so sorry for yet another disruption.

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Open Thread

image of a yurt on a plain with mountains in the distance

Hosted by a yurt.

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker mauzo: "What was the first book (/film/comic/…) you read that explicitly centred a non-white person, and how old were you at the time?"

I had a number of Little Golden Books the main characters of which were non-white girls, but the first book I read at an age where I can recall its having a huge impact on me was Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Eleanor Coerr (1977). I was maybe 7 or 8 when I first read it.

The book, inspired by a real person, tells the story of a Japanese girl, just a baby when the A-bomb was dropped in Hiroshima, who later develops leukemia as a result of her exposure to the radiation. She's told of a myth that says if she can fold a thousand paper cranes, she'll be cured, so she sets to work…

I remember pulling this book off the shelf at the school library; I even remember the simple cover and the first time I opened it and started to read it. It stays with me so powerfully.

It was largely responsible for awakening my curiosity about history and, perhaps more importantly, the realization that my country could do things that hurt other people.

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An Observation

[Content Note: Oppression; dehumanization.]

A funny thing happens every time I write something defending Chris Christie against fat hatred, or Sarah Palin against misogyny, or Dr. Ben Carson against racism, or any conservative from a marginalized population against prejudice and mockery on the basis of their identity.

I get a comment from some self-identified progressive, somewhere, telling me I'm wrong to defend them. That I'm hurting the cause. (What is "the cause," then?) That those conservatives wouldn't defend me in return. (As if I didn't know.)

Now, obviously these dispatches are indicative of a fundamental misunderstanding of how oppression works. This is social justice 101 stuff: Marginalizing people based on their identities only works (so to speak) because it monolithizes entire populations.

The reason fat jokes are used against Chris Christie is because they are shorthand that invokes shitty narratives against all fat people. And thus all fat people are harmed by those jokes used against any of us, because they are designed to demean all of us. Demeaning all of us is what gives those jokes their power.

But, additionally, the comments about how I shouldn't waste my time defending conservatives against bias reflect something rather more horrible than failing to understand the most basic tenets of social justice: The reason I defend anyone against bias is because they are people deserving of the dignity that one is afforded by judging them on their actions and policies, rather than judging them based on their identities.

The suggestion that someone does not deserve that defense because they are conservative necessarily rests in robbing them of their humanity.

Othering each other—progressives vs. conservatives, Blue States vs. Red States, Democrats vs. Republicans—is intrinsic to US politics, underwritten by this intractable two-party system. (Even though many of us don't have beliefs that fit neatly, or at all, into either party.) And that othering inevitably leads to dehumanization.

I resist that. I can see my ideological components as human beings, and I can still disagree with them vehemently on just about everything.

I don't know if I share a single political position in common with Chris Christie, but that doesn't prevent me from seeing him as a human being. Even if it prevents him from seeing me as one. Someone respecting my humanity isn't a prerequisite for my respecting theirs.

I expect more. Of myself.

And I can hold these two thoughts in my head at the same time: Chris Christie is a human being, and Chris Christie is a bully who espouses horrendo nightmare policy.

And yeah, I know he would not afford me the same consideration. But I aspire to do better than Chris Christie, not race him to the bottom.

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Today in Rape Culture on the Radio

[Content Note: Rape culture.]

I spend most of my life not paying a damn bit of attention to what Justin Bieber is doing, which has been working out very well for me! But the teen sensation, who may be 30 years old now for all I know (just kidding he's 21; thanks Wikipedia!) just released the first single off his upcoming album and performed it at the VMAs, and it is SO GROSS.

These are the actual fucking lyrics of this actual fucking song:

What Do You Mean

What do you mean? Oh, oh / When you nod your head yes / But you wanna say no
What do you mean? Hey-ey / When you don't want me to move / But you tell me to go
What do you mean? / Oh, what do you mean?
Said we're running out of time, what do you mean?
Oh, oh, oh, what do you mean? / Better make up your mind / What do you mean?

You're so indecisive of what I'm saying / Tryna catch the beat, make up your heart
Don't know if you're happy or complaining / Don't want for us to end, where do I start?

First you wanna go to the left then you wanna turn right
Wanna argue all day, making love all night
First you're up then you're down and in between
Oh, I really want to know…

What do you mean? Oh, oh / When you nod your head yes / But you wanna say no
What do you mean? Hey-ey / When you don't want me to move / But you tell me to go
What do you mean? / Oh, what do you mean?
Said we're running out of time, what do you mean?
Oh, oh, oh, what do you mean? / Better make up your mind / What do you mean?

You're overprotective when I'm leaving / Trying to compromise but I can't win
You wanna make a point but you keep preaching / You had me from the start, won't let this end

First you wanna go to the left then you wanna turn right
Wanna argue all day, making love all night
First you're up then you're down and in between
Oh, I really want to know…

[Repeat chorus etc.]
Ladies, amirite? Always saying one thing when they really mean another. Who can even be certain what they want? Better just "make love" to them all night, just to be on the safe side!

Rage. Seethe. Boil.

As far as pop songs go, this is yet another in a long pantheon of creepy, consent-hostile bullshit masquerading as a love song. But it's particularly odious to me that this message is being delivered to Bieber's audience disproportionately comprised of girls and young women on the precipice of sexuality, or early in their sexual lives. They will be encountering men who deliberately misconstrue their signals, and their explicitly stated "no"s, and then blame them for being unclear, and you know how women are.

What do they even mean?

This is so profoundly objectionable. I can only imagine it will be as massive a hit as "Blurred Lines," because why the fuck wouldn't it be.

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TV Corner: So You Think You Can Dance

[Content Note: Spoilers for last night's episode of So You Think You Can Dance.]

Sorry I've missed the past couple of weeks, SYTYCD fans! I'm all caught up now, right in time for next week's finale!

I thought last night's episode was good, although I felt it was yet another night where the judges held the dancers responsible for lackluster choreography. I don't know why they're so reluctant to just say "the choreography wasn't great and didn't challenge you enough to live up to your talent." Because it's obvious that's what they mean, but they won't say it to spare the choreographers' feelings—even though that ostensible sensitivity obviously comes at the expense of the dancers' feelings.

I was glad Paula called out the choreographers' uninspired music choice on the final number with Jaja and Virgil, because YES. But even that was far too gentle. Listen, if the judges are going to brag about the choreographers when they get nominated for Emmys, then they should be willing to criticize the choreographers when they fail the dancers.

It also seems like, every season, there's one dancer whose performances get critiques that always make me think, "Were we watching the same performance?" This season, that's Megz. I really loved her routine with Joshua last night, even though the judges were fairly unenthusiastic about it.

Video Description: Megz, a young Latina hip hop dancer, and all-star Joshua, a young black man, perform a hip hop routine choreographed by Christopher Scott and set to "Freedom" by Pharrell Williams.

I also really enjoyed [CN: video autoplays at link] Megz' routine with Hailee.

All the solos were terrific last night, with [CN: videos autoplay at link] Jim's solo and Jaja's solo being particular stand-outs for me. (Jim's solo last week was even better!) And my favorite duo of the night was probably Virgil and all-star Melanie.

Video Description: Virgil, a young black male hiphop dancer, and all-star Melanie, a young white woman, perform a contemporary routine choreographed by Justin Giles and set to "All Is Now Harmed" by Ben Howard.

Were you surprised by the final four? I wasn't surprised that Megz went home, because that pasodoble last week was rough. But I was surprised that Jim went home; I expected Hailee to be sent home. Not that she doesn't deserve to be in the final four! But so does Gaby, who is probably my favorite! It was a tight one for sure, but I was still surprised that Jim went home.

What did you think?

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Boyz II Men: "Motownphilly"

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Good Grief

[Content Note: Classism.]

This is the saddest headline I have ever seen:

screen cap of an article at the National Review featuring an image of Mitt Romney and the headline: 'Still Pining for Mitt: Some GOP Donors Hoping Romney Will Jump in the Race'

OMGLOL. And here is the opening paragraph:
Though this election cycle was supposed to feature the most impressive field of Republican presidential candidates in decades, a handful of the party's major donors and bundlers remain underwhelmed by their options. They are longing for the bad old days, and Mitt Romney is still their man. These holdouts continue to hope that the former Massachusetts governor, who said in January he would not run for a third time, will change his mind. They believe he could dispel the chaos that has reigned over the Republican field for months. Though they gave plenty of money to Romney's presidential campaigns, this year they're keeping their wallets shut, waiting for him to reenter the fray.
Whoooooooooooooooooops your party! Your field of 17 candidates is so stupendously terrible that a guy whose candidacy imploded after he sneered that some people think they're entitled to food now looks like a genius and a saint by comparison.

This would be undilutedly hilarious if it weren't for the terrifying possibility that one of these jokers could be running the country someday.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound standing on the back porch, looking at me intently
Dudley, subtly letting me know he's ready for his dinner last night.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War on agency] Fucking hell: "The U.S. House is likely to vote shortly after the August recess on a bill that would at least temporarily defund Planned Parenthood... It's not clear which proposal will be voted on, exactly when the vote will come, or whether the bill would be attached to other legislation. GOP aides told The Hill that leaders are still weighing their options, but a likely candidate is Rep. Diane Black's (R-TN) bill to halt federal funding to Planned Parenthood for one year while congressional investigations into the organization proceed. ...Some Republicans want to threaten a government shutdown by blocking any spending bills that contain funding for Planned Parenthood, but GOP leadership seems eager to avoid the chaos and controversy the move would provoke." I don't even know what to say anymore.

[CN: Homophobia; video autoplays at first link] Despite the US Supreme Court rejecting an appeal from Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis, who refuses to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Davis continues to refuse to comply with federal law, citing her "religious objections." Fire. This. Person.

[CN: Transphobia; carcerality; sexual assault] At last: "Ashley Diamond, the transgender inmate who sued the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) after being denied a safe environment and medically necessary gender dysphoria treatment, was released today after more than three years in prison, where she was housed with male inmates and sexually assaulted eight times. Diamond, 37, was released from Augusta State Medical Prison just five days after the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed additional documents supporting her motion for preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed in February. The papers, which include sworn statements from multiple transgender inmates, demonstrate that the GDC continues to systematically deny appropriate care to transgender inmates, despite having earlier announced a policy change. 'I'm overjoyed to be with my family again and out of harm's way,' Diamond said. 'Although the systematic abuse and assaults I faced for more than three years have left me emotionally and physically scarred, I'll continue to fight for justice and to shine a light on the gross mistreatment of transgender inmates in Georgia and nationwide.'" Sob.

[CN: Racism; xenophobia] How are we even supposed to deal with this? "A majority of Republican voters, 54 percent, think that President Obama is a Muslim, according to a new survey from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP). Asked whether they thought Obama is a Christian or Muslim or if they were unsure, 32 percent said they were unsure. Fourteen percent said he was a Christian."

[CN: Rape culture; Christian Supremacy] Of course: Michael Seewald, the father-in-law of Josh Duggar's sister, Jessa, has written a piece of fetid bullshit about how Duggar isn't a real Christian (ahem) because of the Ashley Madison cheating stuff. This would hardly be worth mentioning except: "[I]n an earlier post [Seewald] defended the Duggars after Josh's molestation of his sisters was brought to light."

[CN: Rape culture] Drink up, assholes: "Joe Paterno Beer Flying Off Shelves: Pennsylvanians can't get enough of Duquesne Brewing Company's Paterno Legacy Series beer. The brew, which honors late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, hit shelves last week, and the brewery is already preparing for a second run."

I love Serena Williams with ten thousand hearts: "I embrace me, and I love how I look. I love that I'm a full woman and I am strong, and I'm powerful, and I'm beautiful at the same time, and there's nothing wrong like that. It's so important to look at the positives, if I get caught up looking at the negatives it can really bring you down… I don't have time to be brought down, I've got too many things to do. I have Grand Slams to win, I have people to inspire, and that's what I'm here for."

[CN: Racism; disablist language] WHUT: "James Bond author says Idris Elba is 'too street' to play the suave spy." It doesn't take a superspy to decode that communication. Fuck.

[CN: Moving GIF at link] This BBC host is SO EXCITED about seeing a blue whale! And I don't blame him one bit!

[CN: Moving GIFs at link] And finally! "Two Guys Went Fishing But Ended Up Catching Abandoned Kittens." Oh. Mah. Gawd. THE CUTEST!

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Film Corner: The Intern

[Content Note: Ageism; objectification; misogyny; gender essentialism; racism.]

Below, the trailer for a new film from Nancy Meyers called The Intern, starring Robert De Niro as Anne Hathaway's intern, because "senior intern program," obviously. What in the shit is this mess?

A young white dude sits across the desk from a man whose back is to the camera during an interview. He says, "Okay, Benjamin. I'mma ask you one of our more telling questions for all of our interns, so I want you to, like, this is the one to really think about, okay? Where do you see yourself in ten years?" (No human being would ever say that is a telling question. Shut up, this movie. I hate you already!)

Cut to the reveal that the interviewee is ANCIENT OLD GEEZER Robert De Niro, who raises his eyebrows. "When I'm 80," he says. Ho ho oh my aching sides.

In case it isn't abundantly clear, I am being SARCASTIC when I identify Robert De Niro as an ANCIENT OLD GEEZER, because even though that is supposed to be our reaction, even though we are supposed to imagine that this 70-year-old man onscreen, like all 70-year-olds, are useless, doddering human garbage, I am looking at one of the most famous men in the world, who has had a very long and illustrious career, and who is still working and starring in major motion pictures LIKE THIS ONE, so I can't really buy the whole WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING SHOULDN'T YOU BE DEAD premise, even though I am aware that it's just a cynical set-up to create an expectation based on ageist prejudice only to knock it down.


Anne Hathaway is the CEO of a sparkly successful firm that does something in a fancy loft space inhabited by young white and one Indian dude hipsters. They hire De Niro as part of a senior intern program, and Hathaway is dubious. She also hates people who don't blink. De Niro accidentally calls her "sir" and then overblinks! Hahahaha terrific. She'll let him know if she can think of anything for him to do.

Anne Hathaway's tiny daughter thinks it's "hysterical" that De Niro is her intern, because obviously toddlers totally know what an intern is and why it's atypical that an older man is one to a younger woman. That is one sophisticated child!

Despite being an ANCIENT OLD GEEZER, De Niro the Intern is loved by everyone at the office. He advises that you should "dress to impress," and wonders why no one tucks anything in anymore. He also gets a boner while getting a rubdown from "in-house masseuse" (sure) Rene Russo. Gee, I wonder if they'll fall in love! His hipster buds are impressed by his boner, because he is old.

Anne Hathaway and De Niro the Intern are the last people in the office at night. Probably because she WORKS HARD and he is TRYING TO LEARN TECHNOLOGY. They share a pizza and become friends while building his Facebook profile. Aww. He tells her that she's inspiring. Aww.

But oh no! The investors want her out on her ass! They feel like a more seasoned CEO would do better running the company she built! "I mean, give me CEO lessons," she says through tears.


Friendship and business montagery! Looks like maybe this intern fella has some things to teach young missy! PHEW! What luck! I don't know, y'all, but I think the TWIST might be that lots of life experience gives you wisdom rather than rendering you a worthless sack of shit. OMG WHO KNEW!

But it doesn't just stop there! Not only does De Niro the Intern know how to give good advice; he also basically teaches Anne Hathaway how to run her whole life and also teaches all the young hipster dudes how to be men! It turns out that YOUNG PEOPLE are the stupid ones! DID YOU THINK A WOMAN AND HER RADICALLY DIVERSE STAFF WITH ONE INDIAN DUDE COULD RUN A BUSINESS WITHOUT THE OVERSIGHT OF AN OLD WHITE MAN?! Come on. This is AMERICA.

Anne Hathaway stands beside De Niro the Intern at a bar, across from her three main dudes, who never tuck anything in, and says: "Look and learn, boys, because this is what cool is." She gestures at De Niro the Intern. "How, in one generation, have men gone from guys like Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford to—" She cuts herself off and looks at the dudes, who look down at themselves. "Oh boy," says De Niro the Intern.

These guys don't even carry handkerchiefs to hand to ladies when they cry at work. Boo.

Fix it, THE INTERN! Fix all of it!

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Your Progressive Pope

[Content Note: Misogyny; anti-choicery.]

Once again, Pope Francis is getting all the plaudits for his progressivism, because he has said that maybe women who get abortions won't burn in eternal hellfire, if they're really, really sorry about it:

Pope Francis has opened the door for women who have received abortions—an act considered a grave sin by the Catholic church—to be absolved if they express contrition and seek forgiveness from their priest.

"The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented," the pontiff wrote in an extraordinary letter that was released by the Vatican on Tuesday.

...The letter will be seen as further evidence that Francis, the first Latin American pope, is approaching his papacy as a liberal-minded reformer and is seeking to reach out to Catholics who believe the church—and its usually uncompromising attitudes towards abortion, homosexuality and divorce—is out of touch with modern social views.

...In his letter, Francis said a "widespread and insensitive mentality" had led to the loss of proper personal and social sensitivity.

"The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realising the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe that they have no other option," he wrote.
Listen, ladies (and men and nonbinary folks who need abortions, whom Pope Francis will never even acknowledge): It's not your fault. It's all the goddamn feminists and their insensitivity peddling who made you feel like it was okay to get an abortion, but it's not okay—it is a tragedy and you must repent for the extreme harm you've caused.


I get that this is a less terrible view than most other Catholic leaders espouse. But I really wish we could stop pretending that just because it's less terrible that it's progressive. Or "liberal-minded."

There are people who are genuinely progressive about abortion, abortion access, and abortion rights. A dude who says maybe people who get abortions can be forgiven if they're sufficiently repentant about it ain't one of 'em.

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Have You Heard Chris Christie Is Fat?

[Content Note: Fat hatred; bullying.]

I have been covering for a very long time the fat hatred that is routinely wielded against Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, despite the fact that, as is probably quite evident, I am not a fan of his politics, to put it politely.

I challenge fat hatred being directed at Christie out of my own self-interest, and on behalf of other fat people, because fat hatred kills, and because subsituting fat hatred for legitimate policy criticisms is bad politics.

One of the biggest repeat offenders is "Nicest Guy in Show Business" Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show, on whose stage Christie has appeared a number of times. Virtually every time Fallon mentions Christie in his monologue, he makes a fat joke about him. When I was still watching the show, often I would see Fallon make a fat joke and then insist that Christie is a "good sport" about them to his audience.

But Christie has pushed back on Fallon's fat jokes on a number of occasions. During a "Slow Jamming the News" segment, video of which doesn't seem to be available anywhere, Fallon made a fat joke, to which Christie responded: "It hurts. So step off, brother." Fallon replied with yet another fat joke: "Isn't that what your scale says every night?"

Earlier this year, Christie appeared on The Tonight Show, and started out the segment by pushing back on the fat jokes:

Fallon: Thanks for coming on the show!

Christie: Oh sure. [Fallon laughs heartily] I feel like I'm on the show every night. [Christie is referring to the constant monologue jokes; Fallon laughs loudly] I'm tired, man! Oh geez.

Fallon: Thank you so much. No, you're great— You're a good sport.

Christie: Yeah, sure. [rolls his eyes; puts up his hand to create a division between himself and Fallon]

Fallon: And you look great. You look great. You look great.

Christie: Wait a second! If I look great, what the hell with all the jokes every night?!

Fallon: [laughs] What are you talking about?! [crosstalk] No, you do look great. Do you feel good?

Christie: Yeah, sure.

Fallon: I know you're working out.

Christie: Sure.

Fallon: You do?

Christie: Absolutely. [audience laughter; Christie turns to the audience] Stop laughing up there! [huge audience laughter] I got all your names, too! Be careful! [Fallon laughs]

Fallon: I wanna— I gotta thank you for all the material.

Christie: [laughs mirthlessly] As well you should!
The rest of the segment is Fallon introducing Christie to The Tonight Show's new ice cream flavor, and Christie trying it, pretending to refuse to share it with Fallon, and then giving it an over-the-top endorsement as "the greatest ice cream ever," when Fallon accuses him of failing to show sufficient enthusiasm for it.

As much as Christie is a "good sport" about fat jokes being told at his expense every night and being bullied right to his face even as he tries to push back against it, it's because that's the only allowable response from fat people when thin people mock and shame us under the auspices of "jokes." We aren't allowed to be hurt or angry, certainly not on a platform like the stage of The Tonight Show, because then we invite ridicule and hostility for being "too sensitive" and "humorless."

Last night, Fallon again made a fat joke right to Christie's face:

The segment begins with Christie talking about attending the Fourth of July Parade in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, and staying, along with his wife MaryPat and Senator Marco Rubio and his wife Jeanette, at Mitt and Ann Romney's holiday home in the area. He starts an anecdote about how Mitt Romney decided everyone should all go on a boat ride after dinner. The entire anecdote is basically that, during the boat ride, Romney suggested they stop for ice cream, but none of the dudes had any money with them, so Ann Romney says, "Don't worry, would-be Presidents: I have it handled."

But the story gets interrupted halfway through (at 1:20 in the above clip), as Christie says: "[Romney] says, 'Okay, let's go for ice cream!' All right. So we get off the boat, and he turns to me and he goes—" Fallon interrupts him: "First of all, you weren't like 'All right.' You were like 'YAHOOOOO!'" Fallon pumps his fist in the air and bounces in his chair. He looks at Christie with a huge grin, but also, recognizable to any fat person who has ever been in this position, a challenging grin.

Christie gives him a blank look for a second, then gets up and pretends to walk offstage. "Goodnight, everybody!" he says, waving to the audience. He walks toward the curtain, waving and bowing, as though he's going to leave. The band begins to play him off. Fallon laughs and shouts at him to come back. Christie returns, and, as he's sitting back down, Fallon says, "It's a good story! I just want to make sure we're both telling the truth."

Christie says: "I gotta tell you something: If I ever leave public life, you're gonna have to hire two writers just to replace the garbage you say about me." Fallon laughs uproariously. "It's unbelievable," says Christie. He is being a "good sport," playing like it's all a gag, but, well, any of us who have been there know it's not.

This, on a day when the big news story about Chris Christie is that he wants to tag immigrants like FedEx packages. If there is something for which Christie deserves mockery, it's that.

His being fat has fuck-all to do with his loathsome politics. But addressing him on policy takes more work—it's harder to craft a joke about policy than roll out another fat joke—and it keeps Fallon and Christie on an equal playing field, where Christie might get the better of the host.

But a thin guy making fat jokes? Well, he'll always win. That is a game from which Christie can never emerge the victor. At best, he can be a "good sport" about being obliged to play a game he cannot win.

I don't want Chris Christie to be president. But I don't want him to lose like this. Not because he's the object of scorn for being fat.

I want him to lose for the right reason: Because his policies are fundamentally indecent.

And I want Fallon (and everyone else) to knock off the fat jokes because they are fundamentally indecent, too.

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Open Thread

image of a black yak facing the camera in a herd of yaks

Hosted by yaks.

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Question of the Day

Suggested via email by Shaker GoldFishy: "What do you consider to be the ultimate summer movie?"

Dirty Dancing.

(But you knew I was going to say that, didn't you?!)

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The Monday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by fish.

Recommended Reading:

Nerdy Wonka: A Special Tweet of the Day

Rosana: 10 NOLA Groups Truly Doing the Work When the Cameras Aren't On

Libby Anne: [Content Note: Rape apologia] We Are Not All Josh Duggar

Zak: [CN: Racism; objectification; classism] 7 Things About Asian-Americans You'll Never Learn from the Mainstream Media

Colleen: [CN: Spoilers; discussion of illness] In Which I Attempt to Convince the World to Watch All Things Tig Notaro

Esther: You Can Actually Poison Yourself If You Eat Undercooked Beans

Andrea: You Can Buy a Life-Size Body Pillow of David Bowie on Etsy

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!

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The Make-Up Thread

Here is your semi-regular make-up thread, to discuss all things make-up.

Do you have a make-up product you'd recommend? Are you looking for the perfect foundation which has remained frustratingly elusive? Need or want to offer make-up tips? Searching for hypoallergenic products? Want to grouse about how you hate make-up? Want to gush about how you love it?

Whatever you like—have at it!

* * *

image of me on my porch wearing brown eyeshadow, red lipstick, and a brown tanktop
This is me trying not to look as exhausted as all hell.

Just a quick day look: Almay's Intense i-Color for blue eyes and black mascara; Maybelline's Brow Drama in Deep Brown; Neutrogena's Sheer Highlighting Blush; and some sample of an Urban Decay lip gloss I got that doesn't have the color name on it. (Useful!)

I normally don't like lip glosses a whole lot, but this one is pretty decent. I like the feel of it, and it has a bit more staying power than most lip glosses I've tried. (Which, to be honest, isn't a whole lot of them.)

Anyway! What's up with you?

* * *

Please note, as always, that advice should be not be offered to an individual person unless they solicit it. Further: This thread is open to everyone—women, men, genderqueer folks. People who are make-up experts, and people who are make-up newbies. Also, because there is a lot of racist language used in discussions of make-up, and in make-up names, please be aware to avoid turns of phrase that are alienating to women of color, like "nude" or "flesh tone" when referring to a peachy or beige color. I realize some recommended products may have names that use these words, so please be considerate about content noting for white supremacist (and/or Orientalist) product naming.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

[Content Note: There is a strobe-light effect in this video.]

The Bee Gees: "You Should Be Dancing"

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Your Republican Party

[Content Note: Anti-immigrationism; racism.]

Insert eleventy million articles here about how Donald Trump is destroying the Republican Party, despite the fact that his extremist views are totally in line with the other candidates' positions. Here, for example, is Trump's fellow GOP candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at a townhall event in New Hampshire, on August 29, talking about tracking documented immigrants like FedEx packages:

Video Description: Chris Christie stands with a microphone in a room full of people, all of whom appear to be white and most of whom are elderly. Behind him is one of his campaign posters. He walks back and forth as he says: "Do you find it ironic, as I do, that if this morning, let's say, one of you have a child at college. They just left for college, like our daughter Sarah just did, to go back to Notre Dame last week. And, invariably, we will get a call from her in the next week or two, saying, 'Oh I forgot...this.' Fill in the blank, whatever it is. 'And I need it tomorrow!' So, we'll go to FedEx, right? And we'll package it up, and we'll drop that package at FedEx, and you can go online, and, at any moment, FedEx can tell you where that package is. It's on the truck, it's at the station, it's on the airplane, it's back at another station, it's back on the truck, it's at a doorstep. She just signed for it. Yet, we let people come to this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of 'em. We can't— So here's what I'm gonna do as president: I'm gonna ask Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, come work for the government for three months. [laughter] Just come for three months to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people— 'Cuz guess what? Of the eleven million people who are here illegally, forty percent of them didn't come in over the southern border. Forty percent of them came in legally with a visa and overstayed their visa. We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in, and then, when your time is up, whether it's three months or six months or nine months or twelve months, or however long your visa is, then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say, 'Excuse me, thanks for coming, time to go.'"

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First of all, FedEx loses packages. Secondly, the reason, of course, that FedEx knows where most packages are at all times is because they are inanimate objects with trackers embedded on them that are scanned at every point in their short journey.

The only way to accomplish what Christie is suggesting is to treat every documented immigrant like someone on house arrest with an ankle bracelet or some other form of tracker. Or, perhaps, he would like them to wear collars that shock them if they try to pass over the electric fence around enclosures in which he'll retain them during their stay.

Not only is Christie's proposal objectionable just for its sheer dehumanization, but embedded within his narrative is this contemptible idea that most immigrants only come to the United States either with nefarious purposes or because they are desperate for everything the US has to offer them. And, yes, some people come to this country for those reasons. (There are plenty of people born as citizens who have the same objectives.)

But lots and lots of the people who enter this country on visas come as students or employees with specialized skills. Some of them are researchers or doctors or tech developers or teachers, or artists or musicians or actors, or any one of a number of people whose presence in this country is a gift to us.

Many other people come on travel visas and extend the legally allotted stay because they are seeking amnesty. Not because they want to harm people here, but because they want to escape harm in their countries of birth.

And, let me also note, as someone who spent years navigating the tangled web of Escherian nightmares that is the US immigration system, it's extremely easy to fuck something up. Also? You can do your absolute best to keep the ICE informed when you change address, but (I hope you're sitting down for this shocking news) they're not always great at updating their records, even when you, in good faith, try to make sure they know where the fuck you are at all times, because you don't want to miss crucial communications from them.

Maybe before Christie shoots tracking devices into the necks of people who immigrate to the US, he could try securing funding for the ICE for better computers and more staff. Just a thought.

But naturally "the federal government needs more money to do a better job" isn't quite the red meat for which conservatives are slavering. They want to hear all about how terrible these dirty immigrants are and how they try to cheat the system and ruin the country.

On behalf of our family, created via immigration: Fuck off, Chris Christie. And take your disgusting base with you.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Matilda the Fuzzy Sealpoint Cat lying on the arm of the loveseat with her tongue hanging out
I keep telling you: Matilda is the goofiest cat on the planet!

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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