I was aware the US police regularly and violently arrest peaceful protesters for fallacious reasons, but I did not realize the extent to which the US police force is being used to brutally intimidate and suppress the Occupy Wall Street movement.
I don’t normally talk about current events here–I try to keep this blog as my shiny escapism place. But the world seems extra insane right now, so here’s an attempt to exorcise some of the thoughts that have been disturbing my sleep lately.( First, something good: is evolutionary psychology finally getting discredited? )
( I feel just a bit sorry for Mark Sanford )
( Michael Jackson WTF )
( I'm really worried that effective health care legislation won't get passed )
( Probably stupid, but my thoughts on yaoi (aka the latest iteration of the warnings debate) )
( Neda Agha Soltan's death )
* This xkcd comic is awesome and totally nails the “nice guy” phenomenon. The wank it’s generated is severely depressing, though. “Women have nearly exclusive control over the nation’s sex supply, and that will never, ever change“???? *headdesk*
* jaydk and kalichan came over to my place on Saturday night for a very fun evening of wine and television. We watched the first episode of The Devil’s Whore, after which jaydk declared that she couldn’t stand to continue watching history be raped in such a blatant manner, so we switched to the first episode of Life on Mars (which kalichan had never seen!) to get the bad taste out of our mouths.
To be honest, I didn’t mind The Devil’s Whore–probably because I’m woefully ignorant about that period of English history, and because I was only watching for John Simm. He had his shirt off for a whole scene, so I got what I wanted out of the deal. :P
* This panel description has me dreading Gallifrey One. I think it might be best if I spend this convention drinking and chatting and avoiding most of the actual programming. >:( Still looking forward to seeing Phil Collinson, though. And hopefully to hearing interesting insights from the various new series writers who are attending.
* I’ve kind of reluctantly gotten into Spooks–I actually went out of my way to watch the season finale as soon as possible. I don’t love the show by any means. It’s pure genre, which makes it incredibly predictable; it never does anything that a spy drama wouldn’t do. But it’s quite a good example of a spy show, which makes it entertaining for what it is. Well, okay, mainly the entertaining thing is the lovely contrasts between Richard Armitage’s pale skin, black hair, and blue eyes. But occasionally he even gets to do some actual acting! And I kind of love the character of Ros–her competence and snark make her one of the more appealing female characters I’ve seen in quite a while.
* I’m re-reading Pawn in Frankincense despite myself. I forgot how funny this one is as it starts off! In fact, I think I forgot almost everything that happens except for the ending, which kind of blew the rest of it out of the water. It’s a totally different experience to read this series for a second time; everything makes so much more sense when you already know what’s going to happen. Dunnett’s style of keeping the reader completely in the dark for 90% of each book (and the series as a whole) is incredibly frustrating, but definitely rewarding if you’re able to put up with it. It also makes re-reading a whole new experience–you can actually appreciate the subtleties instead of just wondering what the hell is going on. It also helps that I’ve got a book of translations with me this time around, so I can figure out what the hell they’re saying when the characters suddenly switch to French or Latin.
* I’m resisting the urge to write a long song-by-song analysis of “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” I know that no one cares about my interpretation of a 35-year-old classic album that I’ve only been listening to for two weeks. Still. It’s all I’ve been thinking about. I haven’t even turned it off at night, because it’ll play in my head if I don’t have it actually playing from my speakers.
* 5years.com is an incredibly helpful website if you suddenly decide to get obsessed with “Ziggy Stardust” 35 years too late. Plus I’m learning all this stuff about glam rock–now I totally get that scene in Life on Mars where Sam meets Marc Bolan!
* I bought this Best of Bowie DVD. It’s all so totally totally awesome for about the first 50 minutes, and then… 1974 happens. Good god. I think maybe I’m a fan of Ziggy Stardust, not of David Bowie?
* I wish I’d gone to the Bowie Ball last weekend. I totally want to go see this all-female Ziggy Stardust cover band in January. And I want to go see this thing at MOMA even though I doubt 1) I can get tickets, 2) that it’s anything I haven’t already seen on the Best of Bowie DVD.
* I finally figured out how to connect my computer to my TV wirelessly. It’s a combination of this and this and it totally works! My TV is a second monitor and I can just drag video files over to it and play them. Now I should probably cancel my cable TV, but I’ve gotten addicted to The Rachel Maddow Show and now I kind of don’t want to give it up. I suppose I could just watch that online too. And I might actually continue catching up on more of those old Doctor/Master episodes now that I don’t have to waste CDs on burning them.
Although I might just watch lots of YouTube clips of young David Bowie instead.
I’m still floating on a high from Obama’s election. I know he won’t be perfect and a few months from now I’ll probably be bitching about mistakes he’s made, but right now I am just going to enjoy the incredible thrill of his election for as long as possible. I honestly didn’t think America would progress this far within my lifetime. And, speaking as a New Yorker, it’s so good to count as a “real American” again.
I watched the whole Indecision ‘08 special at home last night, and… you guys… Stephen Colbert was crying. Have I mentioned how much I adore him?
I’m also really enjoying all these articles about how the GOP is falling apart. My entire life has been dominated by the rise of the Republican party; Reagan was elected two years before I was born. I’ve dreamed of watching them crumble, and now–HA! FINALLY.
I’m also so pleased that several animal rights initiatives passed. California’s Proposition 2 was a huge victory; it requires that farm animals be confined in pens that enable them to turn around and stretch their limbs. While it’s only a small reduction in the horrors of the factory farming industry, this is still a huge step in raising awareness and reducing animal suffering. Massachusetts also voted yes on Question 3, which ends the exploitative greyhound racing industry in that state.
And I’m pleased that several anti-choice initiatives were rejected. Colorado defeated Amendment 48, which would have defined a fertilized egg as a person; South Dakota rejected anti-abortion Measure 11, which was a set-up to a Roe v Wade challenge; and California rejected Proposition 4, which required parental notifications and waiting periods.
Unfortunately my squee at all this good news is severely tempered by the passage of hateful anti-gay measures in California (Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage), Arizona (Proposition 102 to ban gay marriage), Florida (Amendment 2 to ban gay marriage), and Arkansas (Measure 1 to ban gay couples from adopting and being foster parents).
California is the biggest disappointment, since so much effort went into defeating that stupid ban, and the vote was so close. On the plus side, the ACLU, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights are already challenging it in court. And the one thing that really makes me feel better is that the vote was clearly divided by age–younger people voted against it while older people voted for it. Not to be too crude, but at least it’s only a matter of time before the bigots die out. :P
Well, I voted. The nice thing about living in the middle of nowhere: only one person was in line ahead of me. It was nice to get out of there quickly, but I’d kind of been hoping for one of those long lines so I that I could impress my grandnieces and nephews with stories of how long I waited in line to vote for Barack Obama. ;)
SuperVegan’s having an election night party. If you’re in the NYC area and you want to celebrate/commiserate with a bunch of Obama-loving vegetarians, this would be the event for you. Here are the details:
Join SuperVegan in Fort Greene, Brooklyn for our Election Night Party as we keep a watchful eye on the results while downing discounted drink specials like Vegan White Russians, Chocolate Hawaiians, and Joe The Plumber Cocktails and munching on yummy vegan grub at Red Bamboo Brooklyn on Tue, November 4th from 8pm on.
If you are on Facebook, RSVP here.
To accommodate more peeps and after lessons learned from our awesome debate watch party, Red Bamboo Brooklyn’s first floor will serve dinner from 8pm through midnight and the second floor and patio will be cleared of tables for folks to drink and hang out until the wee hours. We’ll also have DJs on the second floor throughout the night!!!
This is where I’ll be tomorrow night, hopefully cheering instead of crying.
* Hillary Rodham Clinton and Cecile Richards (president of Planned Parenthood) on the Bush Administration blocking health care for women. This stuff scares the hell out of me. I mean, I feel pretty safe in NYC because I have so many options, but what if I’m traveling in a more isolated area and something bad happens? What about the women who live in those isolated areas? What if the only clinic they can afford to get to won’t sell birth control pills? What if they get raped and refused emergency contraception to protect a doctor’s “conscience”? What about the woman’s right to make her own medical choices? What about if you don’t want to provide health care, don’t choose a job in the medical profession? (*headdesk*)
Please forward these to anyone you know who thinks that politics doesn’t matter because it doesn’t affect their daily lives or because both parties are “exactly the same.” :P
Palin’s Wasilla To Rape Victims: Bring Your Checkbook. This article has been making the blog rounds, and actually gave me nightmares last night. People, please, vote against this woman. Feminism isn’t about putting one woman in power regardless of how anti-woman her policies are; it’s about making the world a better place for all women.
Big surprise: the Bush administration is pulling more evil anti-women bullshit.
Planned Parenthood has a summary and links, NARAL has a form so you can easily write to your congresspeople, and here’s the New York Times article.
“Federal law already allows doctors and even health-care corporations (hospitals, HMOs, and health plans) to refuse to provide services or make referrals for abortion. The new rule, which deliberately confuses the definitions of contraception and abortion, would cause disarray in law, regulations, and policy, and make it more difficult for women to obtain birth control.”
95% Mike Gravel
94% Dennis Kucinich
80% Chris Dodd
80% John Edwards
80% Barack Obama
79% Joe Biden
78% Hillary Clinton
70% Bill Richardson
37% Rudy Giuliani
31% Ron Paul
22% John McCain
16% Mike Huckabee
16% Mitt Romney
15% Tom Tancredo
6% Fred Thompson
2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz
[Cross-posted to InsaneJournal]
Anyway, Feministing has more on the decision, including a collection of links delving into the issue and a rally today in Union Square.
Click here to donate to Planned Parenthood. I just did. Every little bit helps.
Read the 2008 presidential candidates' reactions to the decision and, for the love of god, vote for one of the sane ones. Seriously, your life or the life of a woman you care about could depend on this.
I'm not interested in debating, just in bitching, so if you want to argue please do so somewhere else.
Happy birthday, 10zlaine! :) We're off to Boston this weekend on a random last-minute trip to see Common Rotation and to hang out since we haven't seen each other since, erm, was it DragonCon? Anyway, should be fun.
And after (three years?), I've finally managed to talk jaydk into seeing Common Rotation with me! They're playing in my neighborhood tonight. Yay! :)
Also, I'm in a good mood, because this Sharpe fic is really freaking funny. And I found it in the Pit of Voles, no less!
The Dark is another one of those horror movies about scary little girls, psychically intuitive mothers, and clueless-but-well-meaning fathers. The "scariest" thing in this movie was a bunch of rampaging suicidal sheep. I'm trying to figure out which is a goofier attempt at horror; these suicidal sheep or the garbage disposal spewing applesauce in In Dreams.
Sean Bean's role was pretty much the same as in Silent Hill, although happily he got more screen time. He looked hot, as usual, but mostly I spent the movie wondering why he's been in so many bad movies.
Fool's Gold was like a tame version of Essex Boys. Sean Bean plays a tough guy criminal who gets in over his head. On the plus side, he loves his kids, and we get some cute scenes of him playing with them. But mostly he's being tough and scary and angry, which he's good at, but it's kind of limiting for such a good actor. He does get some really good scenes near the end, though, when his character starts to realize just how utterly screwed he is. And he's young in this one, which makes him extra-hot, so I enjoyed it for the eye candy. But it's not a very good movie.
South Park last night was awesome. They're having a great season; I haven't seen a single lame episode so far.
Veronica Mars yesterday ... um, what did I ever see in this show? Wallace's plot was directly out of a "cheating is bad, mmmmkay?" after school special. And feminists ... faking rapes ... does not compute ... what the fuck? *sigh*
I've been seeking out Sharpe fic. I find myself gravitating toward slash, even though I'm not really interested in reading anything sexual. I just want good fic, gen even, but slash seems far more likely to be good. I know people are always fighting about how slash is no better than het, but really, at least when I open a slash fic I don't face a 70% chance of running into a Mary Sue within the first four paragraphs.
Slash fic is much more likely to explore a premise that I'm interested in, namely the relationships between the existing characters. I'd much rather read about the powerful emotional connection between Sharpe and Harper (which is canon), and if it happens to get sexual, so what? At least it's exploring something I'm interested in, unlike random Mary Sue fic. Maybe this is because there aren't many interesting canonical female characters. Though I wouldn't mind reading Sharpe/Teresa, if was actual badass Teresa and not lame author-insertion "Teresa."
Not that all the slash is good (not even close); it's just less likely to be bad. In this fandom. In my opinion.
I realize I haven't said anything about the election yet. Obviously I'm delighted (Santorum's gone! Rumsfeld's gone! Democrats got the House! and probably the Senate!) and I'm just praying that the Democrats won't screw it up too quickly. (*fingers crossed*) Yay democracy!
Plus The Colbert Report was to die for last night. Ah, poor Stephen in denial. And you know, anytime he sings the national anthem, it's bound to be a good episode. ;)
Stephen did not disappoint. Plus, he had action figures. I love it when he gets all fanboyish, and I'm not even a LotR fan. ::adores:: If you're not watching The Colbert Report, seriously, you're missing the best thing on television.
Also, John Ashcroft made my skin crawl on The Daily Show last night. Did he seriously just compare the volume of music in the studio to the torture of human beings? Notice he didn't respond to a single thing Jon said, but instead made up and tore down ridiculous straw man arguments in response. I do have respect for Jon Stewart for actual trying to deal with this creep on a human level, but, y'know, ick.
South Park was good last night. All the episodes of this season so far have been great, actually.
It does kind of weird me out that the only shows I'm watching regularly are comedies.