28 November 2009

you annoy me . . .

Found another wonderful artist today. Her name is Katie Rowley, and she has a web site and an etsy shop. I love the sarcasm of her captions, and the simplicity of her drawings. Something about her work just makes me smile--and it's also beautiful in a strange kind of way.

Here are two of my favorites: You Annoy Me and Surely You Perform Some Function. Awesome!

27 November 2009

Yes, Sarah Palin is that dumb.

Holy Hell! Who knew that Canadians were so flippin funny! Thanks to The Daily Beast I have now discovered comedian Mary Walsh from the show This Hour Has 22 Minutes. She is hilarious! Love her!

26 November 2009

bad housewife equals hilarity

Timmy knew that if he didn't make eye contact with Adam, The Giant Scary Doll, that Adam would eventually go away!

Found this really great blog this morning called Bad Housewife. She is hilarious and snarky! She also creates wonderful collages using old magazines and images from the past. I love these collages--they're creative, creepy, smart, and funny as hell.

I especially like the subtle subtext of woman as edible object. The collages that depict women and men seem to suggest the longings of men to consume women, and the cultural idea of women altering themselves to be considered desirable. Hmmmmm . . .

From top to bottom: Ice-cream sundae hat, chocolate pudding hat, fruit-cocktail jello hat! Sublime.

25 November 2009

are people really this stupid?

Here are some brief interviews with American "citizens" at a Sarah Palin book signing in Columbus, Ohio. This one is from New Left Media by way of Gin and Tacos.


another reason to love Tim Gunn

This morning the L.A. Times has an interview with Tim Gunn, who is by far the most interesting aspect of Project Runway. Below is a small part of the interview where he talks about wearing fur.

Thank you, Tim Gunn!

I would say if you're going to use fur, you have a responsibility to know its origins . . . there's no reason to kill animals for fur. Wearing fur is like wearing a big sign reading, ''I'm in favor of inflicting cruelty and pain on animals as a fashion statement.'' Unspeakable torture is inflicted on dogs, cats, bunnies, raccoons, foxes, minks and myriad trapped, helpless creatures in the name of fashion -- yes, dogs and cats.

24 November 2009

banned by NBC!

I have my issues with PETA: although I am totally behind their message, sometimes their tactics are sexist. But this commercial is the best. Come on, NBC, show some guts. Nothing like letting people live in denial of the horrors of factory farming. I think everyone should know the origins and truth about their unnecessary carnivosity.

23 November 2009

anti-choicers make a movie about themselves!

Here's the trailer for a new movie about the anti-choice/pro-life (or pro-birth, as I like to call them) movement. This movie is a documentary about the history of this anti-woman frenzy and its "progress" in the 1980s and 1990s. The film is populated by the likes of certified psychotic Randall Terry (Operation Rescue) and Reverend Rob Schenk. I really despise these people.

What I noticed while watching this pitiful trailer is that every single one of the people in it is a white guy. All you see are men--no women at all, no people of color. Hmmm.


little white creatures and zombies!

My lovely sister tells me I am obsessed with vulnerable little white creatures--so I am. Well, today while browsing Etsy I came across this amazing piece of artwork from badbird: zombie rabbits!

I love this as it combines two of my favorites things in the universe--Yay!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This one's for you, Seth, and you, Gini! Love you both!

To give credit where it is due, this is a card from the wonderful site some e-cards. They have lots and lots of funny, mean, and snarky cards for every occasion, and they're free!

Here's another one I particularly like right now.

22 November 2009

new tattoo

I know this is a bit crazy, but I'm obsessed with this image of Eliza from Black Hole and I've decided to get her as my new tattoo. My only question is this: where do I put the tattoo? I've been thinking of my upper arm, but also considering my lower back. Or maybe the inside of my wrist.

What do you think?

20 November 2009

anti-evolution assholes

For some unknown reason, former teen actor Kirk Cameron is now an evangelical zealot, and is spending his time trying to argue against evolution while making Christianity look really bad.

Way to spend your time, Kirk!

17 November 2009

Never "more than my own life . . ."

No, I have to say, just no. I understand devotion to literature, and I understand the love of tattoos, and I understand (I guess) combining the two. But please, people, Twilight Tattoos? The Daily Beast has a photo essay of some Twilight inspired tattoos. Of course people are entitled to get whatever fucking tattoos they wish--but couldn't they be devoted to The Catcher in the Rye or As I Lay Dying or Cruddy or Beloved or anything but Twilight?

I have to say I really like this one tattoo of a big 'ole paragraph from Twilight, even though I don't like the sentiment or ideology that's in the paragraph. It gets me kind of crazy to think of this kind of writing inscribed all over women's (and men's) bodies. Haven't you read the books, people? Why oh why would you re-inscribe these misogynist norms onto your bodies? Why do you want to be Bella? Why would you ever put your fucking boyfriend's life before yours?

I'm sorry, but wake the fuck up. Twilight, New Moon, and whatever the other two are called just make me scream. As much as I enjoyed reading the first three, (still working on number four) despite the truly crappy writing--these novels basically revive the idea that "true love" and "romance" are the reason for living, especially for women.

No! Just no.

15 November 2009

Orphan sucks

It's not often that I say this, since I can usually find something to like in any horror film, but I really disliked Orphan. In fact, I kind of hated it. I kept wanting it to be over, and kept fast forwarding through the stupid talky parts where the annoying parental units were arguing. But then I would feel guilty, thinking perhaps I was missing some dialogue that might redeem this stupid film, and go back and watch whatever I had zipped through. Of course nothing ever redeemed this not at all scary movie--except perhaps the house, which was a beauty of modern design with the most beautiful wood floors I've seen in awhile.

Anyway, Orphan's dumb premise is about a couple whose third child is stillborn, and because they have so much love they just must share it with someone, so they adopt this weird little girl from an orphanage. Esther wears odd little dresses, and also sports ribbons on her neck and her wrists. Of course she immediately starts acting weird and fucking with the other two kids (one who is deaf and adorable, and one who is a stereotypical pre-teen boy).

Here be spoilers if you give a shit! What turns out to be the problem is so dumb and annoying I was almost rooting for Esther to kill all of them. But first, she has to try to get the parents really fighting each other, and the dad thinking the mom is relapsing (alcohol) and stuff like that. First she has to kill a lovely nun, and smash a pigeon to death, and push a snotty little bitch-kid off a playground slide. She deserved it, sort of. But what really gets me is that the dad gets killed near the end, and really, he deserved it too, since he never believed his very intuitive wife. That's what you get, hubby, for doubting her! Also, there is a crappy therapist who doesn't believe wifey either--she should have gotten knifed, too. I was pretty much hoping everyone would be dead by the end.

The truth comes out when it is revealed that Esther is not a nine-year-old little orphan but a 30-something crazy woman from Romania or somewhere who has killed nine people. She has a mysterious metabolic disorder that makes her seem as if she is a little girl, which of course allows her to ingratiate herself into the hearts and lives of hapless baby-hungry parents.

I was so tired of all of this that I was relieved when it was finally over. Esther, you suck.

14 November 2009

fashion, or modern footbinding?

This morning the Los Angeles Times has a story on women and shoes. News? Perhaps not. But it got my attention with these photos!

These shoes are disturbing. I know they're supposed to be extreme for the runway, but really, what on earth are they supposed to be about if not hobbling women? The pair with the sparkles are Alexander McQueen, and I truly hate those. I'm full of hate.

The pair with the heel as fertility symbol (Dior) just say so much to me! Now there's a powerful metaphor for women! What keeps you viable in our culture? Your uterus! What is your true reason for existence? Your ability to reproduce. That is why these shoes say so much--prop yourself up with a symbol that will help you conceive, as well as a pair of shoes so tenuous that you could never run away from anyone trying to tie you to your stove/bassinet/washing machine.

bad descriptions (very bad)

In almost every novel on the copyright page there lies a brief "summary" of the narrative. Recently I've begun to read these so-called summaries to see what they say. I think it's reasonable to assume that these writings will be a good description of at least a semblance of the contents of the book. Not so, I tell you!

Here are a few novels and the fucked up, lame-o, reductive and/or just plain wrong descriptions contained within. These happen to be from my class on adolescent literature.

Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson--summary: A sixteen-year-old Portland, Oregon skateboarder whose parents are going through a difficult divorce, is engulfed by guilt and confusion when he accidentally kills a security guard at a train yard.
Where do I start with this one? No, he is not engulfed by guilt and confusion WHEN he accidentally kills a guard, but AFTER he does so. Stupid.

Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden--summary: Liza puts aside her feelings for Annie after the disaster at school, but eventually she allows love to triumph over the ignorance of people.
This one is the weirdest--what does it mean to say she "puts aside her feelings" ?? I don't think she does, and after the "disaster at school" can only be referring to the ear-piercing incident which is in no way a disaster. This summary makes very little sense and is just plain stupid.

Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You by Peter Cameron--summary: Eighteen-year-old James living in New York City with his older sister and divorced mother struggles to find a direction for his life.
This one is also weird and mostly startlingly reductive.That's all you could come up with for James Sveck, that he is struggling to "find a direction" ?? That makes him sound like a moron. Stupid, and criminal, really, when you consider how lovely and nuanced the character is in this luminous novel.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson--summary: A Traumatic event near the end of summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman year of high school.
Okay, well, I can understand the need for obfuscation on this one so as not to reveal what the trauma is until the reader needs to know, but really, saying this trauma has a "devastating effect" on her freshman year in high school makes it sound like she didn't get to go to prom or something. How about the effect it has on her psyche or her soul or her sense of self? Fuck the freshman year of high school.

Inexcusable by Chris Lynch--summary: High school senior and football player Keir sets out to enjoy himself on graduation night, but when he attempts to comfort a friend whose date has left her stranded, things go terribly wrong.
I'll say they go "terribly wrong" beginning with this summary! Gigi is not Keir's "friend" but the object of his lust/love/obsession, and her date does not "leave her stranded." It can also be argued that Keir does not attempt "to comfort" Gigi but rather himself, which is a nice way of saying he rapes her.

I think the depiction of James Sveck with his face in his hands on the cover of Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You says it all.

13 November 2009

His name was Jason . . .

Today is Friday the 13th, so how can we let the day go by without a little tribute to one of the original low-budget scary movies that actually worked without being stupidly gory like newbie torture porn movies Saw and Hostel?

Here's the original trailer for Friday the 13th. Enjoy.

10 November 2009

I've been sucked into a Black Hole . . .

I've just finished reading what may be the most deeply disturbing and yet truly beautiful graphic novel ever. It is Black Hole by Charles Burns, and this semester it's traumatizing my first year students in our course Gender and Graphic Narrative. We've also read Fun Home by Alison Bechdel as well as Ghost World and Shortcomings, but nothing has gotten quite the reaction that Black Hole has.

I have to say Black Hole is incredible--beautifully drawn, narratively non-linear and provocatively visceral. It tells the story of teenagers growing up in suburban Seattle in the 1970s; and Burns has created a version of the 1970s that includes a "bug" which is transmitted by sexual contact and manifests itself by creating different mutations on each infected person. My class decided that each mutation has significance directly related to that person's adolescent angst. One of my favorites is Eliza, whose mutation is a lovely little tail growing out of her backside. It's quite something.

Karen Cooper, my hero!

Of course, one of my favorite movies of all time is Night of The Living Dead. Perhaps it is my very favorite, and truly it is undeniable that NOTLD is one of the most important films of the twentieth century. It is profoundly significant in so many ways--it set the tone and standard for American zombie movies, it made George Romero famous (eventually), it was a deeply political document and an instrument of social critique. Besides, it's just a fucking awesome movie!

I have always loved Kyra Schon, the young woman who played Karen Cooper in the film. Her dad in life and the movie was Karl Hardman who played Harry Cooper, one of the most hated characters in zombie filmdom. His role was a large part of what makes the movie so memorable. I have a wonderful poster on my office door at school with a very disturbing image of zombified Karen Cooper looking at the camera. It sometimes scares my students!

Today I found her web site. Schon sells some awesome stuff, such as an image trowel (those of you who know the movie know why a trowel is important) and dog tags. She also has an etsy shop! I'm excited that I found her web presence, and I salute her role in zombie and film history. You go, Kyra!

04 November 2009

Atomic Light fixture!

I look at the furniture section on Craigslist every single day. I became addicted to it when I realized how much I love mid-century modern decor. It seems to me that the very quick and savvy shopper can find amazing shit on Craigslist.

But today when I logged on to the site I came across this posting for am "Atomic light fixture" for the amazingly low price of 20 bucks! So of course I drove out to the bland and terrifying suburbs to get it during my break between classes, barely leaving enough time to feed and walk Marcy and get back for my office hours. But here it is! Isn't it fabulous? I love it so much, even though when I first saw it in person it seemed so much bigger than I had imagined. Once I get it installed I will post another picture! Yippee!

03 November 2009

kleenex makes a very good hat

One of my favorite books of all time is Eloise. I love Eloise, and her nutty life at the Plaza Hotel with her turtle Skipperdee and her little dog Weenie. She gets in all kinds of trouble and makes adults very nervous and has a blast all the time. I loved that she was able to get away with so much stuff. I also love her little belly and how her clothes were always in disarray. She is awesomely disheveled.

Kay Thompson wrote these wonderful books and they were illustrated by the incredibly talented Hilary Knight. Knight is fucking artistic genius, and was honored this week at the New York Public Library.

I wish I could have been there.