Saturday, July 02, 2011

Another Rich People Are Assholes Post

Add this to the file containing the trash can shaped outdoor fireplace for the rich jerk who wants to get his (aesthetically and aromatically pleasing) warm on in traditional homeless fashion.

Now, a club for rich people who want to smash shit. No really, that's all it is. Pay a(n undisclosed) membership fee, choose the item of your vexation, get picked up in a limo, dress in fancy smash-stuff attire, and break shit.

Now I'm not going to begrudge someone getting their smash on. I do it to every "gift" (read object d'obligation) sent by a certain stalker. But I'm smashing tacky porcelain spoon rests, not grand fucking pianos. The waste alone is breath taking.

ETA I knew this idea wasn't original. It's part of the plot of The Last Word.

Movie Reviews!!! Hanna! Finally!

It. Was. Made. Of. Win.

I could stop there. But, I am wordy. There may be spoilers.

Hanna is, despite the modern trappings, a good, old-fashioned fairy tale along the lines of most orphan quest stories. There's the tragically dead mother, the wicked step-mother (Cate Blanchett), the well-intentioned but somewhat inept father figure (Eric Bana) and the normal-ish adoptive family that gives the hero of the story a peek at how the rest of the world lives.

It also has some pretty fight scenes (oh fight porn, how do I love thee) and an evil government program. What it doesn't have is a view of any of the female characters as sexy props. There was no "she's sexy evil" or "she's sexy prodigy" or "she's sexy lit professor". I found myself holding my breath, waiting for the busting cleavage/ slow-motion / gunshot scene (you've seen Angelina do this in every action flick she's been in) and it never came. The women in the show weren't asexual either. The road tripping,lit-professing, middle-aged mom (played by Olivia Williams!) has sex, embarrassing to her teenage daughter, but basic matrimonial sex. And Hanna has a couple of sweet teenage moments. But it's all bleedingly normal and not pornified, meant to show the character's humanity and not their breast implants. (Actually we don't see anything but a rocking camper with the mom's scene).

Joe Wright, I am officially on board as a fan. I liked Atonement. You're version of Pride and Prejudice, while not Colin Firth wet-shirt awesome, was a nice way to spend an afternoon. But Hanna is incredible. Well done, sir.

They should market more products for women this way

Really. The side effects are interesting.

h/t to Renee

When there's blood on the streets

buy property, is the saying.

Or if you're a completely amoral investment group*, put your money in the four horsemen (war, famine, pestilence and plague).

Kleptocrats be betting on our demise. Fuckers.

Note also that it is giant monoculture farming that turns long-held family farms into "subsistence" farmers at best and unemployed city-dwellers who no longer own their own means of production at worst.

* is there any other kind of investment group? They're all economic vampires, even the "good" ones.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Polite Canadians! Ha!

Moxy Fruvous, Canada's knock off version of They Might Be Giants (I jest, I jest. Not really.) sings about kicking ass. Literally.

Military Contractors Now With Even More Evil!

$350 a month to live in a shipping container in Iraq, work 12 hour days 7 days a week, and get raped by your boss.

Gross. Just fucking disgusting. Though I can't say I am surprised.

h/t to Feminist Philosophers

Link Farming! Vitamin V! Imperialist Holidays!

It's the cusp of the most patriotic of days here in the old USofA. Ugh. I'd be happier spending the weekend in another country (July 4th getting drunk in the alley behind the Pantheon was pretty damn awesome) but I have lovely friends and a hot boyfriend and a kick ass kid and vodka tonic makings. So (as a lovely friend once put it) let's all celebrate Happy Inter-dependance Day!!!!

Sasha says "Fuck you" to uber-privileged feminists who say fuck you to low income women (full disclaimer, I briefly flirted the the New Agenda idea during the primary bull-shit, but there was a better choice than Palin in the election. Namely Cynthia McKinney, who I didn't have to contort or subvert my beliefs to vote for).

Today marks the start of a mass hunger strike at California's Pelican Bay prison over solitary confinement. Yes, we are still using that abysmal tactic. Yes it's still torture. And it's just as bad when it's inflicted on (mostly) men of color as it is when it's inflicted on Bradley Manning.

s.e. smith has a great post up at Tiger Beatdown on austerity in Greece vs. California. Part of me wonders if the urban planners of yesteryear specifically eliminated the town square from American life so that there would be less opportunity for mass protest. We don't have a Tahrir Square here.

Social psychology is pretty damn cool, yo! Try reading these blogs for fun and entertainment. You Are Not So Smart and Tools for Changing the World

It's Canada Day! Go give a Canadian a hard time about their lying meat. Canadian bacon- it's really just ham. (Don't really give Renee a hard time, she's awesome.)

Now, since it is officially afternoon, I can drink a refreshing vodka tonic without being an alcoholic (though what is my excuse for drinking mimosas with brunch?)

Lenin to women: cease your infernal girlish prattle.

The following gem was mined from my choice of in-flight entertainment, “Socialism: A Very Short Introduction” by Michael Newman*. It concerns an exchange between V.I. Lenin and Clara Zetkin, who was in charge of the Communist International Women’s Secretariat.

[S]oon after the Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin admonished [Zetkin] for encouraging women members of the Communist Party to discuss sexual matters, rather than the fact that the ‘first state of proletarian dictatorship is battling with the counter-revolutionaries of the whole world.’ He thus told her, ‘I could not believe my ears’ when informed that ‘at the evenings arranged for reading and discussion with working women, sex and marriage problems came first.’

No matter what the movement, guess who gets to take a number and stand in the back of the line? You got it. If you answer "What have our male comrades ever done for us?" with "diddly fucking squat," you win a coupon for your own liberation redeemable after the apocalypse.

To a man, they never get it. The vanishingly few who do (Arthur Silber comes to mind) have experienced marginalization, often in several dimensions, and have generalized from that experience, rather than concluding that Oppressions Can Be Ranked and Mine Comes First. The rest will bully, badger, nag, and blame you, but never treat your political aspirations as anything more than a girlish fit of pique.


The book in question: Socialism: A Very Short Introduction

Please allow me to introduce myself

as the newest Elizabitch of wealth and fame. As the mission of this blog is to provide a platform for Elizabeths to bitch, I should fit right in. I will bring you occasional updates on French politics as well as whatever brilliant insight strays into my mental crosshairs.

I am 48, white and have a son. My newest marriage is to my oldest friend. Politically I have been reverting to a feral leftist state; since 2008 I have made myself unwelcome in respectable liberal circles. I live in Paris (which is far less glamourous than it sounds, as evidenced by the pool of piss outside the office door this morning), am usually The Girl in whatever software shop employs me and, like millions of women, blend quietly into the background of patriarchy--until I open my mouth.

Thank you for allowing me to be a contributor. May you never have to call security on me.

TRIGGER WARNING: Another "false" rape claim, more open season on women

It seems that the case against the former head of the IMF is about to fall apart because of credibility issues with the complainant. There are reports that she lied on her immigration paperwork about serious issues, such as being raped in her country or origin, and may have been involved with organized crime.

The comments on that article deserve a trigger warning. They're horrible. The old tropes about 'half of rape accusations are false' and 'women are all lying whores' and all that.

Even though the FBI consistently pegs "unfounded" rape accusations at 8%. That "unfounded" category isn't just "false," but cases in which the evidence is inconclusive. Or police and prosecutors can't make a winnable case.

With apologies to those police officers and prosecutors who truly care about justice for rape victims, there are too many of their colleagues who still harbor the prejudice that women invite rape or make up false claims and treat complainants thusly. When was the last time you heard of a cop berating a man for wearing an expensive watch or driving an expensive car, as though it were inviting people to steal it?

What all of this means for the two people most closely involved, I don't know. I know what it means for the rest of us: better not have the misfortune to be in the presence of a rapist. No matter what happened, you made it up because that's what us lying whores do.

When does it STOP being open season on women?

ETA: I should really correct the above. If you have the misfortune to be in the presence of a rapist, you'd better be perfect if you want justice. Never lied. Never sinned. Never flirted. Never had sex, or if you did, only in the missionary position with your husband/lord/master. Whether the maid in this case lied about the rape allegation or didn't (and if the news reports are correct, she probably did), what the result means for the rest of us is that only those women who can meet the impossibly high Pure Woman Standard (TM) will be judged credible. The rest of us, who've led lives, stumbled, picked ourselves up again, flirted, dated, drank, made mistakes, and otherwise fully engaged the world around us, are screwed.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Evening song and NOOZ

The Boyfriend is coming over (w00t w00t) so you all get a mushy song.

I blame Sylvie for making me like Band of Horses. Same with Miike Snow. Damn her.

Oh and in NOOZ- Timmy fucking Geithner is planning on leaving the Obama administration. I am way to hip and cynical to think Obama might try getting someone to take that position who doesn't walk around with a brown nose and toilet paper holster courtesy of the financial vampires. Gawkerites think Jamie "the poors are so mean, they call me names when all I did was ruin their lives and their children's lives" Dimon.

At this point I think the pubic hair on Clarence Thomas' coke can has a better grasp of real economics. (Well it's not so much that the douchenoodles don't grasp economics, it's that they don't care if they burn down multitudes of communities as long as their friends get big fat bonus checks and pay no taxes).

I am now going to resume my good mood. Vodka tonics in 3...2...1

Don't feed the animals

Or it's not just a criminal act to be poor, it's now a criminal act to feed the poor in Orlando (fucking) Florida.

Can't sleep here. Don't eat there. Don't give food away. Don't don't don't don't don't. Why it almost seems like governments are trying to starve a certain segment of the population to death.

Or maybe they're worried that us poor folks are like bears. If you give us a taste of human food, we'll never learn to pull ourselves up by our furry bootstraps and work a minimum wage job.

Or maybe, if we're really lucky, after getting probation (probably for committing some form of criminal existing while poor crime) we can get jobs as migrant farm laborers!


The Great White Hope

I've been meaning to write a post about all the colonialism movies I've seen and how they SUCK but Sociological Images has a video up that pretty much covers it

I think the line "OK boss" is the key.

That said, I recently watched Even the Rain which was refreshing mostly in it's attempts to show what a load of bullshit the Great White savior idea is. The story is about a film crew deciding to shoot a movie about Christopher Columbus in Cochabamba, Boliva (and yes, they make fun of themselves for shooting Incans who speak quechua as Tainos) because the labor is cheap there. They meet Daniel, a fiery local organizer who causes some trouble at the open casting for extras, and decide to cast him as Hatuey, a Taino rebel. What they don't realize is that Daniel is a local organizer against water privatization and that battle is about to get fierce.

Over and over, the film shows how that white film crew, while making a movie about the evils of colonialism and the birth of the slave trade, ignores what is going on around them. When they can no longer ignore it (Daniel gets arrested for protesting) they buy their way out of trouble but sell Daniel out in the process.

Unfortunately at the end, there is a little bit of white savior-ing, but for the most part it a nice change of pace from standard "I will show you poor oppressed brown folk the way!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's different for girly girls

Well, not really. But....

I am super femme in presentation. I've got long, flowy, shiny hair. I have very traditional (though slightly exoticised due to black hair, dark eyes and pale olive skin)feminine features. I like skirts. I wear pink and or red nearly every day. I paint my nails. And the shit that I am really fucking bananas good at, cooking, decorating a house, putting together an outfit (when I have the clothes), and raising the Kid are all super traditional girly pursuits.

I also cuss like a trucker, have been in a couple of actual fights and am way more likely to jump in the middle of a brouhaha, physical or otherwise, than most of the dudes I know. I don't dream of a princess wedding (Elope! Elope! Is what I say whenever a friend tells me they are getting married) and I've been the wanton hussy and never the "but will you respect me in the morning" type for as long as I've been into boys. All those traits usually scream MASCULINE! And perhaps if I didn't already present as the feminine (almost) ideal, I wouldn't be allowed to get away with that shit.

All this is just a blathering way of saying femininity- not evil. Also not just for girls. Masculinity- also not just for boys. Be who you are, and throw a mean left hook if you have to.

Halp! It rains and pours!

I finally got around to making a pretty resume and shockingly, I have interviews (no really). And I am realizing that I own no appropriate interview clothes (live out of 2 small suitcases for 2 years and just see how long holding onto the formal business attire lasts? I own fewer pairs of shoes than most dudely types and a single coat).

I have a phone interview today. And an in person interview tomorrow (which is business casual, I can pull that off) and another Thursday (full business attire, it's for a hedge fund. I know, I know. But poverty sucks, people, and this job pays really well). It's also the end of the month, rent to pay, so there isn't any extra cash to run to to the thrift store or discount clothing places and pick up a basic anything. There isn't even enough in the bank for me to pull out 10 bucks and do laundry.

Throw money in the pot and maybe in the very near future I may be self-sufficient. OMG I can't even remember what that was like.

And if you don't have the cash to be spending, send me some good luck instead. I need all the help I can get.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Men are from blech, woman are from blah

I keep running into people who believe these things are fundamental truths that are really just stereotyped bullshit. It's a common enough occurrence that there should be a site for this shit like TV Tropes.

And I feel more than a little stupid having to write this post. It pains me. It annoys me. It makes me want to smash, feminist-hulk style.

1. Women are humans. Suprise, so are men. Treat accordingly. You do not need a guidebook, instruction manual or self-help advice column to understand a member of the opposite gender. Or to understand a person with a different sexuality than yours. Or a different race, creed, color, ability etc. etc. All you need is to shut up, open your ears and listen. And then believe them when they tell you who they are. That's it. Simple.

2. Not all women like to shop or buy pink things, but some women do. Not all gay men are into interior design, but some het men are. I like beer, the Boyfriend does not. Explain that, crappy beer advertisements. People, shockingly, have individual tastes and preferences and interests. Sometimes these things line up with behavior classified as stereotypes, sometimes they do not.

3. There is no behavior, not even giving birth or having periods (thanks to modern medicine and a slightly more accepting understanding of the gender non-binary)that is exclusive to one gender. Not a single one. Men are usually taller than women, except when they're not. Woman usually have larger breasts than men, except when they don't. There are men who just want to cuddle and never have sex and women who could have sex 3 times a day and still not be satisfied. (Actually, I know of more cases where the lady half of a het couple has the bigger libido than the dude half, than I do of the reverse).

4. "Ladies just want to rant about their problems while men want to problem-solve" bull-fucking-shit. I am a problem-solver by nature. I have to be, being a single mom of tiny means, but I am also pretty damn good at it. IRS has a lean on your house, gimme your paperwork and we will solve that problem. Creditors being douchenoodles, here's some things you can do to get them off your back. Lemme figure out what your insurance papers actually say about what's covered. Etc. etc. etc. I am also a good listener, or at least I hope that's why I have friends who still talk to me when they need to be heard. Judging by that oft repeated trope about ladies ranting and men fixing, I am half dude at least.

5. "Ladies want to get married and have babies, men just want free access to sex." Does not compute. Again, I've known way more men that wanted the ring and the ceremony than women. And more men that wanted the wailing infants than women.

What you should be getting from all this is that anytime someone trots out some variation of "men are blech, women are blah" you're talking to an asshat at worst, a clueless dingleberry at best. It is up to you whether you want to disabuse them of their terrible ideas or simply call them names and make fun of them. I know it gets old and tired, always having to educate people. And for the love of Pete I know how frustrating it is when the person sporting the asshat is someone you actually like and know to be smart enough to pick up on this shit without a 101 course. I advise copious amounts of Vitamin V(odka) for such situations.

So ends this rant. No, I do not need you to problem-solve that shit for me.