Left: Mr Natural, by R. Crumb.
A round-up of interesting reading to round out 2007. An idea that I gather is common for bloggers... but I just decided to do it when reading Natalia.
*One of my very favorite bloggers, Kiya, writes in a post titled I'm too nerdy for my love:
I was too smart to ever be pretty. It shapes a lot of things.*Here is Irish blogger Silly Old Twit introducing a video clip of U2 at Dublin's Croke Park:
It wasn't allowed, you know, for the likes of me to be attractive. I could be either attractive or smart, and smart was something I clearly was before the dichotomous choice came up as a visible fork in the road, so I was off down one branch before I realised I was well past the place I could maybe have decided about it.
Because it was forbidden for me to be pretty, it was forbidden for boys to like me (unless they were social rejects beyond the bounds of The Rules). It wasn't forbidden for them to treat me as some kind of sex toy, but kind attraction was forbidden. Crude comments, breast-grabbing and other unwelcome touch, and mockery were acceptable; those didn't depend on me being pretty, just on being female. Perhaps some of that was an outlet for taboo attraction. Perhaps they were just assholes who knew they could play with me with impunity. There's no way to know.
When I met someone who told me I was beautiful it broke me inside, a little. I didn't know how to deal with it, how to live with it, how to untangle the mess around this boy who broke the taboo for me.
This is a classic piece of Stadium Rock. But that’s all it is. The culture of the full belly as I like to think of it. Affluent white youth killing time while they take their turn to become landlords….A generation which has sold itself cheap. After 50 years of clerical abuse this generation stampedes to get it’s place in a good Catholic university… , and then a place on the property ladder……there’s little to respect here……like the proverbial good book say’s , “You cannot serve two masters”. ……*Irshad Manji writes provocatively on CNN.com about the death of Benazir Bhutto:
This is the generation which handed over Irish airports to the US military ………..this is the generation that wants unlimited immigration ( after they have left the neighbourhood that is )……
Bono reflects this generation well…..they look at him and see themselves……
Writing to me through my Web site, American feminists say they are "aching" over the loss of "our dear, sweet, brave Benazir."~*~
I understand the sentiment. But "brave" is not the word used by Pakistani women from whom I've also heard. They're hurting more over Bhutto's "self-imposed" conformity.
"She never realized her potential," a woman from Karachi tells me. "And not because she was killed but because when she had the chance, she did not effectively challenge the backward mindset that has now led to her demise."
For example, during Bhutto's time in office, Pakistan didn't defy the anti-female rape and adultery laws. Those notorious ordinances, known as Hudood, took their inspiration from tribal politics masquerading as Islam.
Imagine the opportunity: Bhutto could have championed a purer faith by tackling corrupt cultural practices.
In so doing, she might have created allies among conservatives, who can be persuaded that although Islam is God-given, culture is man-made.
Last year, a media campaign to strike down the Hudood Ordinances achieved this fine balance. But not because of her. And that, say many progressive Pakistanis, amputates Bhutto's legacy.
Check out Ren's posts on Creepy Dudes and Creepy Chicks. Adult content, please be forewarned. But you'll recognize them all, in some shape or form!
ZipcodeZoo is an awesome service that allows you to create a nature-based home page, determined by your zip code. ZipcodeZoo guesses your location according to ISP, although they do make errors. (I had to manually enter my zip code and email address for the information, but that's it.) You can see all invasive species, as well as a list of threatened species, and all species that live in this zip code! ZipcodeZoo visitors from the USA will also see their zipcode demographics, local attractions for naturalists, and the local weather. It's terrific, and is particularly recommended for the busy hippie-moms of homeschooled tykes who worry about the plants and animals! (yes, you know who you are!)
And don't forget to have a Happy Deadhead New Year! :)
Listening to: Grateful Dead - China Cat Sunflower