R.I.P.

Awesome lady Helen Suzman died yesterday at the age of 91.

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Semi-Vintage Stewart

Now that the world’s coolest president elect is about to become the world’s coolest president, should we be worried that John Stewart will become obsolete? My instint tells me he (and I) will have enough to make fun of. Check out this clip from early 2008. Shame-cave…...

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More Obama Drama

So everyone's up in arms about Barack Obama's choice for the person who will give the prayer at the inauguration later this month. He's picked the inspiring-looking, Evangelical, megachurch-leading Rick Warren to bless the ceremony. The logic behind such a choice is obvious; Obama's nodding to the sea of fundies still stockpiling canned peaches and powdered milk after a, Obama win in November convinced them that, yes,...

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Tales from the Tool Box

Vh1's "reality" programming is anything but. Instead, the shows seem to bubble to the surface from the depths of a bottomless cesspool of greed, confusion, humiliation, and fame, manufactured to provoke the worst in people. Seen this way, the shows seem more like cruel anthropological experiments—human soul-testing. Under guises of life-altering, redemption-boot camps, shows like Charm School and From G's to...

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Wailin' Palin

Just. Watch. She still uses the peripatetic itinerant...

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Pelosi Footing

Who knew? Nancy Pelosi and congress have nothing better to do than post silly videos of cats and RickRolling (which is sooo last year). If Newt Gingrich was dead, he'd be rolling in his...

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Staying Abreast

In the latest issue of the New Yorker, Jill Lepore explores the history of breastfeeding in the Western world, and how it is practiced today. What she determines is that more and more women are opting to use breast pumps to extract milk from their breasts in order to feed it to their babies via bottles. In short, she concludes that "we are become [sic] our own wet nurses." The interesting thing about this phenomenon is that...

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Abortion + Doughnuts = Wing-Nuttery

This is an actual press release from actual pro-life group the American Life League. In it, Judie Brown explains how the Krispy Kreme doughnut chain is bad because they used the word choice twice in a promotional statement promising free doughnuts on Inauguration Day. Some conservatives have been watching very closely lately at how words are used and the meanings they are given. Choice means choice. It means a decision that can...

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Feminists and the Feminine Feminists Who Love Them

There has been so much noise made by lady bloggers over this Ms. magazine cover which features Barack Obama ripping open his shirt a la superman to reveal a black t-shirt with the words "This is what a feminist looks like," emblazoned across it. I certainly don't think that some feminists are giving Obama enough credit when it comes to women's issues. Amy Siskind, who writes a blog for The Daily Beast (the word...

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Shaking Things Up

"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works…" -Barack Obama, 2009 inaugural address Jezebel.com compiled a montage of Fox News' coverage of the inauguration. It's pretty fascinating. (I flipped to Fox after Obama's speech. The correspondents in the crowd were holding microphones, but the traditional Fox News logos were not attached to the mics. I...

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iGroan

Let it be known that there is nothing in the world that I covet more than an iPhone. But when the miraculous day comes when I receive my communicative and mechanized manna, I do not want it to do this. Ew. I give this one a big, Nancy Kerrigan "Whyyyy?!?!" (I realize that this comparison could be seen as in poor taste, but when I saw wobble, I felt exactly like she seems to in this video—shocked, bewildered, hurt, and...

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What was silent in the father speaks in the son, until the son the son is silent, in which case the father opens his thin-lipped mouth…

In this video, Clinton is not only artfully self-depricating and astutely observant of a double-standard (if a Republican is ribald, it's a kind of old-boys-club, fraternity thing; when a Democrat does it, he's a scoundrel (which is kind of true in this case, I know)), but he seems, momentarily, genuinely upset and offended. Then he ruins it by telling a stupid joke about dogs and worms. Now that Poppy Bush has about as much...

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Breaking: In Anti-Abortion Ad, Catholics Employ Guilt, Exploit People UPDATE! UPDATED AGAIN!

Implying that by getting that abortion you're cheating yourself out of having potentially powerful and/or successful offspring is manipulative at best. This is an ad put together by the anti-abortion group CatholicVote in which they exploit the president and his late mother, Ann Dunham. Update: President Obama has signed an executive order putting an end to the ban on federal funds for international groups that perform abortions...

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R.I.P.

Author and examiner of the "American small town, Protestant middle class," John Updike died yesterday at 76. His 1984 novel The Witches of Eastwick was criticized by many for its misogynistic undertones. Updike was too smart not to know this ahead of time, which is proof that the novel is satirical. Plus it questions masculinity and explores male homosexuality as much as it plays on patriarchal conceptions of women. I think...

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iGroan 2.0

Recently a friend accosted me about this post in which I expressed displeasure at an iPhone application called Wobble that enables people to manipulate images by pinpointing an area to be distorted in various directions in rapid succession when the phone is shaken, giving the illusion of that point in the photo wobbling. In this case, it was marketed as a way to get scantily clad women's boobies to jiggle. My friend asked me,...

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Dis-Oriented

[If you are not in the mood/ don't have time/ too lazy to read the full post, do yourself a favor and check out the video at the end] Examining human sexuality and the way gender operates in our daily interactions with each other is a theme that can be worked into an interpretation of almost anything, so mostly I feel like I'm cheating when I write posts for this blog. But then, once in a while, something comes up that is just...

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Eight is Enough?

Nadya Suleman, the California woman who recently gave birth to octuplets (conceived by IVF), and mother of six other children including twins (also conceived by IVF), has been put through the ringer by the national press this week since information that she is single, lives with her parents, collects food stamps and social security benefits, and unemployed has become public. Ann Curry ripped her a new one on Dateline NBC, Tim Rutten...

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Sheroes: Salma Hayek

I've never breastfed (on the giving end, I mean, not the receiving end), but there seems to be a lot of hubbub about the practice. In my last post, I quoted Tim Rutten of the LA Times and pointed to what he refers to as a sense of "entitlement" when it comes to modern parents and parents to be. Salma Hayek's actions in Sierra Leone are perhaps the best example of the opposite of what Rutten...

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You Got A Killer Scene There, Manson…

This is approximately what I wore on October 31, 2003 when I dressed up as Shirley Manson. I had seen her in an interview weeks before in which she described the nervous feeling that overwhelmed her in the moments before every performance. Her hand gestures and potty-mouthed description of how her "sphincter" tightened up led me to a feeling of accord with the petite redhead, and I vowed to nail her accent by Halloween. I...

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Salma's Surprise

So, remember my post on Salma Hayek in which she was exaulted to Shero status because she breastfed an orphan in Sierra Leone, overcoming weird parent-child loyalty issues and giving an infant some physical contact much needed in the way of his development? Well, turns out I was wrong about her. The New York Times ran a piece yesterday about celebrity portait artists and the celebrities and rich movie-industry wives who commission...

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I Love Helen Thomas

Even though Bill O'Reilly called her the "Wicked Witch of the East," and Dubya moved her to the back row at press conferences and wouldn't call on her, despite the fact that she has been covering presidents in the white House since nineteen-freaking-sixty, Helen Thomas doesn't let it get her down. She's got that typical "I do what I want, I say what I want," attitude that so many elderly folks have...

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Anti-Rape Devices: Self-Defense or Admissions of Guilt?

This is an image of a product called FemDefense. It is a tampon-sized cylinder of white plastic intended to protect women against rape. FemDefense is intended to work like so: It’s the brainchild of a Swedish woman, and was thought up as a response to numerous rape cases in Sweden that resulted in the perpetrator receiving an inadequate punishment for his crime and the victims left “without appropriate support from the...

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A Whale of a Palin or “There She Blows!” or “The Right Wing of the Day of Judgement” or “Call Me Bobby (even though my real name's Piyush)”

Lest there be any "Lipstick on a pig,"-esque confusion, I fully disclose that I am not making any comparisons between Sarah Palin, her size, and that of a whale's. Any assumptions made about blubbering or blowholes are wholly your own. Sarah Palin refuses to go away, and she continues to thwart anything sensible. On January 14 she filed a lawsuit against the federal government because they have decided to include Cook...

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Women Ecstatic Over Wage Gap. Lower Paycheks Equal Less Food, Smaller Waistlines. Yay!

This chart, which was made to run with an article by Hannah Fairfield, compiled by the Times shows that in every profession in almost every industry at every level of income, shows how women consistently make less than men. The chart is interactive over at the NYT site and can be seen here. In the article, Fairfield says that economists cite discrimination as well as “personal choices” among the reasons why women make less...

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Putting the “Pf” in Pfizer

A team of scientists from the University of Naples Fernando II have made an amazing discovery. The gas responsible fot the unmistakable odor of rotton eggs can, when released into the penis, play a roll in assisting an erection. The doctors hope that the discovery could lead to an alternative to viagra. The stinky hydrogen sulphide, also found in car exaust and human farts, is said to help relax nerve cells in the penis to stimulate...

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Georgia on my Ovaries

{Sen. Ralph T Hudgens, hubba bubba} Georgia Right to Life issued a press release on February 17 which opens with this steadfast decree: "It is apparent from the recent birth of octuplets to a southern California woman, that the fertility industry needs governmental oversight." How that apparition materialized for GRTL escapes me, as they offer no further elucidation of their logic or of why the birth of octuplets means...

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The Anti-Bush

[Sorry, TG. I feel like I might be stepping on your toes with this one. I promise there's some reproductive stuff at the end] Republicans have decided to stop picking on Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and start carping specifically at the president. House Minority Leader John “Best Last Name Ever” Boehner indicated that a “triangulation” of Democratic power players Pelosi and Reid and the President does not...

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Gender Bending with the Swedes

For about a week now, I have been watching this music video directed by Johan Renck on a veritable loop, taking breaks to eat (well, I can and have eaten while watching the video, but I have to get up to get the food to bring it back to my computer), sleep, wait tables, defecate, and write this blog: The video features the song “Pass This On,” from the 2006 album Deep Cuts by Swedish band The Knife. In addition to getting...

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Your Body is a Ramshackle Temple. Get a Boob Job.

Submitted without comment. Note the tasteful Nagel in the...

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Ads for “That Time of the Month”: Europe vs. The States

At first, this ad for o.b. tampons, which was conceived by an all-male, Zurich-based marketing team, seemed gratuitous, distasteful, and disgusting. But then I thought about why I had that reaction, and suddenly, the Swiss seemed refreshingly realistic. Check out some American tampon ads. They are full of cartoon women (can’t bleed), flowing white skirts (unstained), vacationing girlfriends (there are usually three of them, they...

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When a Woman's at the Wheel, Cue the Tense, Cinematic Strings

Check out this Goodyear television ad from 1970. There is scary music. Arrows and numbers fly through the air like so much foreign language! Off-ramps fly by! On-ramps shoot out cars like ping pong balls! Oh Gee! We're at an airport! Planes are like big scary cars with wings! I hope I don't hit one! Maybe they're implying that women are feeble creatures to dote on and constantly worry about or that they are simply bad...

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In the Shadow of the Valley: A Look at Locale and the Local Mindset through the Poetry of Plath

For many reasons, despite her rocky and sad life and background, Sylvia Plath's writing is often read by young, literary minded women in their teens or preteens, and is taken as an awakening, enlightening experience. The Bell Jar is the bible of reclusive, pre-jaded, pre-intellectual brooders, distressed that their peers are concerned with petty and uninteresting minutia and that their parents are unable to understand them. Most...

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Inner Beauty

I've long been interested with the aesthetics of scientific images of times past. The catagorical and meticulous taxonomic illustrations and etchings of plant life and anatomy, especially of the German school, are particularly fascinating. And the imagery that accompanied phrenology is not only visually stimulating, but carries with it a creepy and arcane sense of what medical science once dictated and the primitive,...

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Ads from Hell

I just have one question, Australia: how can a sandwich be...

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