Tuesday, February 19, 2008

lights, camera, action!

1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. Looking them up is cheating, please don't.

Can you guess mine?
1. "I'm ready to quit this dump, I really am. Ray won't let me wear my glasses on stage, then Ian gets pissed because I can't do any of the tricks, I mean I'm only legally blind. I could understand if I wanted to wear my glasses on my tits, but nobody in this dump is looking at my face anyway." Desperately Seeking Susan. Go Kat Go!
3. "Sometimes there's things more important than pit beef."
4. "Have you ever had two people look at you, with complete lust and devotion, through the same pair of eyes?" Being John Malkovich Martine
5. "Look out the window. And doesn't this remind you of when you were in the boat, and then later than night, you were lying, looking up at the ceiling, and the water in your head was not dissimilar from the landscape, and you think to yourself, 'Why is it that the landscape is moving, but the boat is still?'"
6. "Only grown-up men are scared of women."
7. "You know, Mr. Bernstein, if I hadn't been very rich, I might have been a really great man."
8. "Look. They drummed you right outta Hollywood! So ya come crawlin' back to Broadway. Well, Broadway doesn't go for booze and dope."
9. "What's the most you ever lost on a coin toss."
10. "I knew this girl who like had this crazy freak out because she took too many behavioral meds at once and she like ripped off her clothes, and dove into the fountain at Ridgedale Mall and was like, 'Blah I am a Kracken from the sea!'"Juno Kat again

The Unanswered Movies
3. Pecker
5. Dead Man
6. The Sound of Music
7. Citizen Kane
8. Valley of the Dolls
9. No Country for Old Men

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ta Da

Happy V-Day, Singles Awareness Day, Happy "anything but Valentine's" day
Today is a bright, sunny day. Not so damn cold as we've seen in these parts as of late. Tomorrow is the beginning of a long weekend of doing nothing with my lover Harpo. I am hoping it also marks the end of peak flow season for the month. Because when we're not busy doing nothing, I want us to be busy doing it. ha ha.
Anyway, we're going on a secret trip. so, I will not disclose any details for fear that this is the one time Harpo reads my blog.
I'm going to import a list from last year, because I feel the topic is timeless. "Better ways to dedicate your time than with the empty tokens of Valentine's Day"
My suggestions include:
1. name a pinata after an ex-partner. the difference between the pinata and your ex is that there is actually sweetness inside a pinata.
2. for every nice thing you say to a single person, say 5 not-so-nice things to that obnoxious couple ahead of you in line for [insert errand here]. you know who they are: "no i love you more, schmoopy." (or just go out of your way to do something really nice. like when you're buying your local homeless-run newspaper, like i know you were already planning on doing anyway, give them an extra dollar.)
3. fly a kite and/or catch raindrops on your tongue (these are climate-based suggestions).
4. get a foot and/or hand massage. whether you're a man or a woman, your hands and feet work hard and deserve to be treated.
5. replace one green vegetable in your meals with dessert all day, and if you were already planning on eating dessert--double dessert!!
6. just get rid of that box of letters already! (oh, you certainly do know what I'm talking about! ::snap, snap::)
7. part your hair on the opposite side, so you can see how you look to other people.
8. learn the alphabet in a foreign language (or learn the alphabet of your native tongue)
9. try a new food you always thought you would hate, but this time do it pretending you've always thought you'd love it. (this is especially good for people IN relationships to do w/o their significant other. this is good because there isn't anyone there to say "i knew you'd like it!" it can be your little secret).
10. get ridiculously dressed up and go to the grocery store. you'll feel like a celebrity--everyone will stop and look at you.

Just an aside, I parted my hair on the opposite side. I completely forgot it was on my list. Isn't that just a total gas?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I mentioned Vday in my previous post and realized that some people might not be familiar with it. If this is the case, you are on the wrong blog. For the sake of information dissemination here is the run down.

V-Day is an organized response against violence toward women.
V-Day is a vision: We see a world where women live safely and freely.
V-Day is a demand: Rape, incest, battery, genital mutilation and sexual slavery must end now.
V-Day is a spirit: We believe women should spend their lives creating and thriving rather than surviving or recovering from terrible atrocities.
V-Day is a catalyst: By raising money and consciousness, it will unify and strengthen existing anti-violence efforts. Triggering far-reaching awareness, it will lay the groundwork for new educational, protective, and legislative endeavors throughout the world.
V-Day is a process: We will work as long as it takes. We will not stop until the violence stops.
V-Day is a day. We proclaim Valentine's Day as V-Day, to celebrate women and end the violence.

V-Day was born in 1998 as an outgrowth of Eve Ensler's Obie-Award winning play, "The Vagina Monologues." As Eve performed the piece in small towns and large cities all around the world, she saw and heard first hand the destructive personal, social, political and economic consequences violence against women has for many nations.

Hundreds of women told her their stories of rape, incest, domestic battery and genital cutting. It was clear that something widespread and dramatic needed to be done to stop the violence. A group of women in New York joined Eve and founded V-Day . . . a catalyst, a movement, a performance.

V-Day’s mission is simple. It demands that the violence must end. It proclaims Valentine’s Day as V-Day until the violence stops. When all women live in safety, no longer fearing violence or the threat of violence, then V-Day will be known as Victory Over Violence Day.
This year V-Day celebrates it's 10th Anniversary on Feb 14th. It exciting that it is still going strong, but sad under the same token.

Facing Resistance
"The struggle is the change." - Eve Ensler

When Eve Ensler first performed The Vagina Monologues in 1996, the word 'vagina' was met with controversy and discomfort. Radio stations refused to say vagina on air, TV stations ran entire segments on the play without mention of the word and newspapers hid under the safety of abbreviation. Eight years later the word vagina is spoken openly on TV and radio and printed freely in papers and magazines all over the world. At times, however, there remains a degree of controversy surrounding V-Day benefit productions of The Vagina Monologues and they occasionally receive resistance from within the communities and colleges where they are held. This resistance however, in a unique way creates the awareness that V-Day strives for with every production. The mission of V-Day is to end violence against women and girls, to break the silence, to make people aware of the violence that affects one in three women in the US and throughout the world. V-Day benefits that are attacked, whether for religious, social or political reasons and regardless of the outcome succeed in this mission. By generating media coverage and starting a worldwide dialogue, controversy and resistance to the V-Day benefit productions of The Vagina Monologues has proven to be part of the very change V-Day seeks.

Violence against women and girls is widespread - one woman in three will experience violence during her lifetime, most often at the hands of someone she knows.
violence glossary
In order to fully understand the depth, scope and viciousness of violence against women around the world, V-Day has compiled a glossary of the most common faces of violence.
anti-violence resources
Resources for people who are experience violence in their lives, or know someone who is experiencing violence
violence against women statistics
Numerous studies and reports have resulted in equally numerous statistics. Violence against women is a serious problem plaguing the world’s women and girls.

What is your part? V-Action List. You can help end violence against women and girls in your community. Simple concrete steps can change the world.

This goes along with my mission to replace Valentine's as a holiday. Thank goodness for options!

Monday, February 11, 2008

What is...?

What is feminism to me?
Feminism is a commitment to the deconstruction of gendered norms which are produced and are oppressive in function. De Beauvoir echoed this sentiment when she said, “one is not born, but rather becomes a woman.” She challenged the accepted approach of Platonic essentialism, by suggesting that there is no inherent essence of woman; there is only the construction of norms and beliefs which determine her essence. We attach meaning to woman; being the owner of a vagina makes her nurturer, caregiver, other. It is the meaning attached to woman that makes her recognizable as such and treatment is prescribed according to this conscription. Since the ritual of gender is what reifies men and women, feminism needs to be dedicated to the troubling of these rituals.

What is liberal feminism?
Liberal feminism is derived from the philosophy of classical liberalism, which lays emphasis on the idea of individual freedom; we are individuals before we are gendered, classed, etc… Women’s freedom, or equality to men, is accessed through legal reform and is understood in negative terms, to be free from boundaries and obstacles. As a Liberal Feminist, J.S. Mill challenged the “might makes right” notion that designates women as inherently unequal to men. He argued that while women appear to consent to their condition, their lack of protest is just evidence that women have been adequately trained in the art and practice of submission. The arguments Mill made against the subordination of women include a moral argument, the subjection of women is inherently wrong; a modernist argument, subjection looks too similar to a caste system to keep up with the tenets of progress; and a utilitarian argument, holding back half of the population impedes the advancement of civilization. His solution was to remove the obstacles women faced on the road to freedom by granting them the right to vote and opening labor markets and education to female competition.

What is Marxist feminism?
Marxist feminists, such as Kollontai, believed that a person is first a member of a class and women’s equality to men will be achieved through a gender-informed revolution from capitalism to communism. Kollontai was especially concerned with the working woman and her access to motherhood. Propagation is necessary for the livelihood of a nation; it should not be commodified in the form of luxury. She argued that government should fund the move of reproductive labor from to home into the world; which would grant women the freedom of have leisure time. She also believed that child-rearing should be a community event. According to Kollontai, these actions would relieve woman of her triple burden and grant her access to the modern promise of freedom.

What is existential feminism?
Existential feminism is concerned with the dichotomies of self/other, transcendence/immanence, and subject/object. Woman is mythologized in ambiguity as the mantis and the dutiful wife, the virgin and the whore, everything and nothing. According to De Beauvoir, the construction of the woman myth defines and constricts her to the margins; she is the other, the immanent, and the object. De Beauvoir’s undertaking was to dispute the Platonic idea that there is something that is essentially “woman” which determines her destiny, by arguing that instead the treatment woman endures creates the essence that is she. She is not born a woman; it is her existence and the rituals of gender that create her as such. According to De Beauvoir, the world will know when woman is liberated because she will have attained grand stages for transcendence, like man and his Super Bowl.

What to all three have in common?
Liberal, Marxist, and existential feminism are all concerned with securing woman’s right to enjoy the modern promise of freedom. The difference lies in how they define this concept of freedom. As a liberal feminist, J.S. Mill adopted a negative construction of freedom; power is located in the law and state and both need to facilitate the removal of obstacles women face in order to attain freedom. On the other hand, Marxist and existential feminists view freedom in more positive terms; freedom is not found in the absence of obstacles, but instead in the availability of options. For example, Kollontai would argue for “material availability,” or the access to resources. De Beauvoir would prescribe a revolution of cultural mandates, which reify men and women, in order to grant women equal access to the act of transcending immanence, or exceeding essence.

p.s. VDay is hot, but Valentine's day can suck it!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

V-Day Q&A

Q: What are the most common Valentine's Day gifts?

Let's look at Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. West Africa is the number one cocoa producing location in the world. The production of cocoa is a very arduous process. Currently, cocoa-producing nations get paid roughly a dollar per pound. However, cocoa distributors charge around $17/lb. Quite a pricing disparity. This is made more complicated by the IMF's involvement through structural adjustment policies. Both of the top cocoa-producing countries have loans through the IMF. What happens when a country is indebted, is that the IMF examines their economic structure. This usually means subsistence crops meant to feed communities are cut or eliminated. Then funding is cut for social services. This then attracts foreign investment dollars. Great, right? Or wait, maybe not. The money people are making from cocoa production, which is not much, is earmarked to repay loans. There are fewer resources for subsistence and money-making that way. There are few or no social service supports remaining in tact. As well, the money flowing from foreign investments only benefits those dollars' countries of origin. So, while Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana are top-producing nations, they are likely to get stuck in a cycle of extreme poverty with few options. Higglers are beginning to change the bleak economic outlook, but it may not be enough.
So, give the gift of global economic exploitation with chocolates!

Stuffed animals:
Maybe I'm a humbug, but I cannot see a reason to give the gift of a stuffed animal. Anyone care to help me out? They are great for children and babies. They bring great joy to little ones who hopefully bring joy to others. But giving the gift of a stuffed bear to a grown person seems to be consistent with a trend of infantilization. As well as poor use of resources and the global assembly line. If I am going to be guilty of exploiting the labor of underpaid women, I do not want it to be for an animal that gets shoved in the closet to be forgotten forever.
This year give the gift of exploited wage labor. Look at my snuggly stuffed Maquilladora worker!

I happen to be of the school of thought that does not believe every kiss begins with "Kay." Why are we ripping rocks out of the ground for vanity's sake? Mining is one of the planet's leading polluters, and is threatening some of the world's most ecologically fragile regions. The environmental impact from diamond mining is much like any other open pit mine, the problems stem from waste disposal,leeching and ground water pollution. Once vegetation and soil is stripped away, salts, irons and other nutrients are not naturally filtered as water seeps into the ground. This allows organisms, nutrients, plus oil and other machine related waste, to enter ground water. Species and habitat loss would change dramatically from site to site and continent to continent, but would always be present.
This year, give the gift of contaminated drinking water! I only drink coke, anyway.

Above all else, enjoy your consumer holiday! Not doing so would be short-sided.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

it's that time again

...time for me to kick cupid’s ass and rant...

Valentine's how I loathe thee. Let me count the ways:

First, you place emphasis on coupling. We live in a time when, more than ever before, women and men are able to coexist in perfect harmony--without one another! It is less necessary for women to couple as means of becoming economically whole. Fewer women are living as the parasites of men (thank you Simone De Beauvoir). Celebrating a holiday of couples ignores this amazing triumph. So I say boo!

Second, for people who do happily couple, I hate the idea of reserving one day a year to say "I care." Not good enough. If I am ever in a relationship where I look forward to that one special day of the year, I am so outta there!

Third, what is with the notion that the person you are romantic with trumps all other relationships in your life? I do not get it. I think it revolves around the idea that your partner becomes your life. Barf. Could there be a more disempowering notion? I believe I share a portion of my life with others. Granted the portion I share with my lover is more intimate, I cannot say that it is more important. This makes me think of the band Crass. If you have not heard them, you should. They have a song for almost anything you could be pissed off about. Anyway, on the album Penis Envy, there is a song call Smother Love and it says:
"Love don't make the world go round, it holds it right in place, Keeps us thinking love's too pure to see another face...Love's another sterile gift...That keeps us seeing just the one and others not existing." How this behavior can be considered well-rounded and healthy is what I want to know.

Fourth, do we not even realize that we're being suckered into buying empty tokens of expression and bullshit greeting cards? What are diamonds? What do they say? "Sweet-ums, I love you so much that I've gone into debt to exploit the earth of a precious resource and contribute to the stripping of areas in South Africa, all so I could give you this tiny, clear rock!" Spare me and my earth, DAMMIT!!!

Lastly, it's not the end of the world if you don't have plans on this most holy of days. I was at the MAC make-up counter scheduling a session for the release of their newest line. I told the sales person I was free on Feb 14th and she treated me like a leper. So, just because I have nothing going on for lover's day I must be sad and alone? She told me that after I got my make-up done I'd definitely be able to snag a fella. If I'm alone do I have to be unhappy? If I am coupled do I have to make plans on this day? Am I only desirable when I am made up? If I engage in the practice of making up, am I ipso facto heterosexual? The funny thing about this incident is that I quickly made dinner reservations for my boyfriend and myself for that day. How quickly I can conform when made to feel as though I am not performing my gender or sexuality sufficiently.

While this is not a comprehensive list of woes, it is a good start. Feel free to chime in with your reasons for the abolition of this holiday. We're making gains on Indian Killer day, I mean columbus day. Let's let Valentine's know it's not safe either!