29 January 2010

So much happened this week . . .

Well, this week we lost two great old white guys. Both were authors, both also very important to American culture, each in his own way. Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States, died, leaving a big old gap in the rabble-rouser section. Who will fill his able and subversive shoes?

Then, J. D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey, died at 91. Salinger's death was a bit of a shock to me, somehow despite his advanced age, because for most of my life he was just always there, in the background, being solitary. I think many of us who loved his work were always waiting for him in one way or another, for something, anything to happen. Well, I guess it finally did.

If I could thank Mr. Salinger, I would tell him that reading The Catcher in the Rye changed my life. My father bought me the novel when I was 12 or 13, I think. I had never before read a book whose protagonist was so angst ridden, so much the way I thought I was at the time. Holden seemed to me to be so deeply sad and yet somehow such a keen observer of adult life and phoniness and society that I was bowled over by him. In my mind, Holden was a real person. I still have much of the language of that book in my brain. I still say things like "Sleep tight, ya morons!" to myself when I'm in the right mood. Anyway, I love you, Holden Caulfield, and Phoebe Weatherfield Caulfield. I hope this means that J.D. will finally get to find out where the ducks in Central Park go when the lake is frozen.

25 January 2010

Crisis? What Crisis?

I know I've seen many of these so-called "crisis" pregnancy centers in the various cities in which I have lived. In Baton Rouge they had another name, something like "Pregnancy Help" Center, or something equally innocuous and misleading. But what these centers really do is nothing less than lie to and manipulate young women who may be having difficulty with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.

Truly, these "centers" are nothing but anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-freedom centers. I have always suspected that they use outright bullshit to scare women--and Feministing has put up a video that reveals some of their methods.

Brought to you by the fine folks at NARAL Virginia .

23 January 2010

Bristol, Sarah, and Oprah talk sex!

I still don't get why Bristol Palin even tries to promote abstinence, except that she is perhaps as clueless and as useless as her mother. In this video Oprah skewers (sort of, not enough) the young woman's position on abstinence. I would have been a bit more forceful, but you know. I'm no Oprah. Enjoy!

20 January 2010

"I feel very plastic . . . "

I'm not going to make fun of this woman, because she is so sad and pathetic at this point. Let this be a lesson to us: the pressures to conform to some unbelievable standard of physical perfection lead to this. She actually says "I feel very plastic." Amen.

James Dobson wears a sweater

Well, if they didn't already create enough misery in the world, James Dobson and the merry band of nutjobs at Focus on the Family are trying to spread their lovely message of hate and misogyny by purchasing time to air an anti-choice commercial during the superbowl.

I don't watch the superbowl, or any football festivities, but I know tons of people do watch and LOTS of attention gets paid to the ads. Of course there is freedom of speech and they should be able to buy ad space to promote their fucked up ideology; but I can still hate their guts.

19 January 2010

Wintry beauty . . .

I know I'm mostly new to winter and it's permutations, but still, I have never seen anything like these crystalline formations that are everywhere this morning. So beautiful!

14 January 2010

Charming pro-birth magazine cover!

Have I ever in my life read InTouch Weekly? No, I don't think so. Do I give a flying fuck what they publish? Yes, when the blatantly anti-choice cover features celebrity-faux-politician Sarah Palin and her fecund offspring Bristol.

Considering the omnipresent and annoying obsession with all things celebrity, with women's bodies, and especially with celebrities who manage to reproduce, these magazines are completely valueless. It is no small feat to piss me off and valorize reproduction at the same time. Jeez--get over it! Sarah Palin is slightly more intelligent than a doorknob, and her daughter Bristol is a hypocritical spokesperson for abstinence only education. How'd that work for you, Bristol?

There is a good article at Salon on this very cover. Check it out.

13 January 2010

War Criminals on TV!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show: Exclusive - John Yoo Extended Interview Pt. 1
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Fascinating interview by the ever amazing Jon Stewart. He takes on John Yoo, he of the torture memo fame, with wit, grace and insight. John Yoo is a very slippery interviewee. As far as I'm concerned, he and Dick Cheney (along with George W. Bush) should be prosecuted as war criminals.

11 January 2010

Is it April Fool's Day by any chance?

Sarah Palin is joining Fox News. Really.

The Los Angeles Times has a brief article on this development in the entertainment section!

David Rees has a few pithy remarks on the subject.

My favorite is: What did the ghost of William F. Buckley, Jr. say when he saw Sarah Palin on Fox News? I wish I was still alive, so I could call a press conference and blow my head off.

10 January 2010

6.5 earthquake in Eureka, California

There was a big old earthquake in Eureka yesterday afternoon. Here's a picture from the Los Angeles Times showing some of the damage--this is Eureka Natural Foods.

My sister lives in beautiful Eureka with her four cats and her husband. They're okay, but boy, what a scary thing to experience. According to Berkeley seismologist Richard Allen, this quake occurred on the Mendocino triple junction, which is a meeting of three tectonic plates: North American, Pacific, and Juan de Fuca.

You can also read about the quake at the local paper, my former employer, The Times-Standard.

09 January 2010

Best Daily Show clip EVER

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Even Better Than the Real Thing
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Gumby creator Art Clokey dies:

Gotta love Gumby. I was sad to learn this morning that Gumby's creator, Art Clokey, died in his sleep yesterday. He was 88. Art Clokey also created the very often satirized Christian show Davey and Goliath. I used to watch Davey and Goliath--I loved Goliath!

But truly, Art Clokey, thank you for Gumby and Pokey.

p.s. we should all be lucky enough to die in our sleep.

08 January 2010

Fabulous Lady Gaga medley

I'm not really a fan of Lady Gaga (although I do love her big nose) but here is an amazing medley sung by Yale student Sam Tsui accompanied by his pal KurtHugo Schneider.

Charming and wonderful!

07 January 2010

Marcy Keeton Younger enjoys her vacation.

Marcy and I thoroughly enjoyed our time in Southern California. I think Marcy especially enjoyed trying on this lovely winter santa coat!

Marcy always makes the most of every situation--she is truly a comfort seeking creature, and I do my best to make it so!

Marcy likes to occupy the laps of people she wants to possess: to wit, Marcy in Seth's lap!

06 January 2010

fuck you, japanese whaling ships!

I'm furious with the ongoing bullshit that is the presence of Japanese whaling ships. They are challenged each year by the brave and amazing folks of The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who try to disrupt the inhumane and totally needless hunting of whales each year by the Japanese.

Well, now they've gone too fucking far. Japanese vessel Shonan Maru 2 rammed the Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil in an unprovoked attack. You can read about this at the L. A. Times.

Fuck you and your heinous whaling bullshit. Just stop it.