Wednesday, August 31, 2005

playlist for procrastinators

ambient wallpaper for the indoor day:

Bar Code 3:53 White Mud Free Way
Nothing Gold Can Stay 0:36 Robert Frost
A Song in the Front Yard 1:01 Gwendolyn Brooks
Paperweight 3:40 Eszter Balint
This Bouquet 2:28 Ani DiFranco
Speaking in Tongues 2:49 Eagles of Death Metal
...and Carrot Rope 3:52 Pavement
A Minha Menina 2:48 Band of Bees
Haiti 4:07 The Arcade Fire
War In Iraq 3:37 George W. Bush Singers
Conservative, Christian, Right-Wing Republican, Straight, White, American Males 3:17 Todd Snider
Absence of God 3:56 Rilo Kiley
Those To Come 4:24 The Shins
A Supermarket in California 2:17 Allen Ginsberg
The Secret 1:08 Denise Levertov
She Moves She 4:41 Four-tet

Monday, August 29, 2005

naked truth

Levy, Ariel. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. Sept. 2005. Free Press. c240p. notes. index. ISBN 0-743249-89-5. $25.

for Library Journal

Female Chauvinist Pigs (FCPs), according to New York magazine columnist Ariel Levy, come in two species: the woman “open to a certain sort of attention” and her foul-mouthed female fan willing and able to objectify “like a man.” Levy rigorously argues that women not only participate in, but also perpetuate, today’s oversexed raunch culture. Levy challenges Christie Hefner, Sheila Nevins, and Jennifer Heftler, for example, as they position their brands—Playboy, HBO, and The Man Show, respectively—as the fun, ironic realization of post-feminist liberation. Community anecdotes abound, with butches and bois in the lesbian community disparaging their femme girlfriends and the straight dupes of the Girls Gone Wild juggernaut flashing for a branded hat. Levy views the drive to pole dance and dress in tiny, glittery swatches of fabric as a fear of being labeled uptight; she suggests the bad rap of early anti-porn feminists like Dworkin and MacKinnon precipitated a reactionary spring into exhibitionism. Insightful interviews in which preteens fail to distinguish between the desire for attention and sexual attraction reinforce Levy’s argument for comprehensive federal sex-ed programs. Recommended for all public libraries.—Elizabeth Kennedy, Oakland, CA

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

love your mothers

Just finished ordering The Kid when I sat down at my kitchen table and read that lesbian mothers are finally assured full parental rights in California. It's a good day.

Afterword on this one: The Kid was a hilarious book. Smart and sensitive, informative, real.

Monday, August 22, 2005

the astroturf riverbeds of puffy amiyumi

Most music videos are a snooze. In an instant, I can blast through the complete list of those I've actually enjoyed: Michael Gondry’s Bjorkish forest romps in Human Behavior and two devilishly clever spectacles directed by Spike Jonze—Fat Boy Slim’s Weapon of Choice with Christopher Walken and the narcotically rewatchable Sabotage for The Beastie Boys.

Well! After so many years, I’ve finally found a new addition to this very brief list: Puffy de Rumba. I discovered it on LinkTV, Music Video Block #161 for the ambitiously interested. A stationary set of Jpop stars gaze into the camera and synchronously swing their left arms (only) as their stock back-up tribe does same. They don't so much sing as dully intone, yet the rhumba makes it hypnotic. Meanwhile, the camera cuts to Jimi Hendrix, who stumbles through a Magic Garden-variety set and eats some glazed-looking, '70s-era, red-capped mushroom. He falls in a Wonka chocolate river. The dewy-eyed pretties discover him waterside. And that's not all. Find it, watch it. You will become problematically attached.

Friday, August 12, 2005

mother of slain soldier crashes bush's 49th vacation

Cindy Sheehan's son died last year in Iraq after unidentified militants attacked his unit with rocket-propelled grenades. Ms. Sheehan apparently hiked into the Prairie Chapel Ranch because she sought an explanation, a specific identification of the "noble cause" for which her son is said to have died. The President proved unable - or unwilling - to provide one. Odd to understand that recognizing her request would send the wrong message.

Crazies who decide they're against the war after all, Bush might attempt to articulate, will come out of the woodwork, hopping barbed wire, digging tunnels, flying in on their home-hammered tinfoil saucers. The strategy, instead of facing up to Sheehan, was to briefly acknowledge her freedom of speech and then hand it all over, have his publicists announce that the best aides could offer was a commitment to "pass her message along to the President." Her message remains the same.

"If he doesn't come out to talk to me in Crawford, I'll follow him to D.C., and I'll camp out on his lawn. I'll go to prison. I don't want to live in a country where people are treated this way ... I want to tell him that the only way to honor my son's sacrifice is to bring the troops home now."

See the full article on Or there's always Salon. Oh, and the 8/12 Hendler post at mojoblog.