As my regular readers know, I am an old movie geek. I pepper my conversation with lines from old movies. I inspect old movies like old maps, old gems, old still-photographs...I wait for great moments, great scenes and great facial expressions. I know I have written about these hundreds of times on this blog.
I also look for mistakes; I find boom-mikes in the margins of the frame, I find hippies in movies supposedly set in the 40s (The Godfather has a hippie in one frame, if you are fast enough to catch him). Movies are like songs and records to me, I watch them over and over. I know them by heart, I know the climax and the resolution. I wait for the Jack Rabbit Slim's commercial to play on the car radio as Bruce Willis is running by in PULP FICTION. I wait to hear Luke Skywalker say, "Prisoner transfer from cell block 1138." (I love THX 1138 with a passion.) I eat that stuff up.
And I've watched Roman Polanski's movies over and over, too.
Years ago, I decided that REPULSION could be the subject of a feminist dissertation. The story of a woman's sexual disintegration and pathological fear of men (driving her to kill them), is simply a stunning, amazing film. The scene in which the incredibly beautiful Catherine Deneuve picks up her roommate's boyfriend's t-shirt off the bathroom floor, recognizes it as... a MAN'S shirt... and involuntarily gags... that is a great moment and a great scene, one of those I wait for. (There is also a moment of fun inside-trivia, wherein Deneuve receives a postcard from the roommate and her boyfriend in Italy, announcing that they are enjoying "La Dolce Vita"--the title of the Fellini film Deneuve's former partner, Marcello Mastroianni, made in 1960.)
The scene in which Deneuve thinks she sees a man behind her in the mirror is utterly terrifying, and has been used by every horror-movie director in the world... but as far as I know, Polanski was the first. When the church bells wake her up and she hallucinates a man in her bed, who overpowers her? Jesus H. Christ, people. And then, her famous nightmare, the hands descending from the walls. The maze of hands, groping, grabbing, seeking to hold onto her, to harm her.
Deneuve is being hounded, to say the least. MEN will not leave her alone. And don't lots of us feel that way, at certain times in our lives? That we are being forever hounded by men?
Which females in our culture are most likely to feel this way? Well, I know that when I did, I was about 13 or 14 and just becoming accustomed to being one of the hunted.
Put another way, I was the age of Roman Polanski's victim.
The last scene shows us a photograph of Deneuve as a scary-looking child, as if to say, the kid's always been strange, but even in this photo we see her jarring, uncanny beauty. By choosing a woman of such world-renowned beauty, Polanski is telling us that she deserves to feel hunted, because she IS hunted. Men throughout the movie, poor saps, want to party with her. She has been called one of the most beautiful women in the world. In a postmodern sense, we know who she is, she is Catherine Deneuve; and this pushes the film into a dreamlike realm. One can't help but think that she HAS been stalked and followed all of her life; of course she has. She is a famous beautiful woman. She has good reason to be afraid. Men all over the world have wanted her. Imagine, we are thinking, how that feels?
Doesn't feel good.
Deneuve stands in for all of us; her coveted beauty is suddenly frightening, a notable weakness. We realize there is no escape for her, because she is too beautiful. The "princess" fantasy is that every man will worship us, and Polanski flips this adolescent daydream on its head: Yes, every man will want you. See what it's done to poor Catherine? Her sanity is gone, gone, gone.
Now that Polanski has been busted in Switzerland, and both Hollywood and Blogdonia are ablaze with defenses and counter-defenses, let me make it clear that I believe Polanski is scum. Yes, a great artist, but total and complete scum. And this movie is how I know. Yes, right here in this stunning WORK OF ART, I see what a horrible man he is.
I see a rapist.
I've always seen him, the reflection in the movie-mirror.
It's like Woody Allen's MANHATTAN, wherein Woody is unabashedly involved with high-school girl Mariel Hemingway: How can you miss it? Certain film-directors let us know, in ways large and small, exactly who they are. And Roman Polanski projects his consciousness onto Deneuve in REPULSION. Polanski is the man who has created this character, after all. And it is his incessant interest and desire that has caused Catherine to flip out, to imagine men are everywhere. Polanski's arms are the arms that emerge from the walls; Polanski is the man who appears when the church bells ring.
Roman Polanski is the man Deneuve is afraid of.
Please read these threads for further Polanski discussion: Polanski Defend-a-Thon Part 1 and Part 2, and Getting Over It (by Lauren at Feministe, a must-read).
EDITED TO ADD: Her reasons are not yours (Shakesville)
Repulsion trailer (may trigger, etc)
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
As my regular readers know, I am an old movie geek. I pepper my conversation with lines from old movies. I inspect old movies like old maps, old gems, old still-photographs...I wait for great moments, great scenes and great facial expressions. I know I have written about these hundreds of times on this blog.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Featuring all the photos I have been intending to post, and have just now gotten around to it.
At left, my beloved Reedy River falls.
1) Local musician/singer George Francis, entertained us on Saturday afternoon at Earth Fare plaza in Greenville.
2) Sign for SCREAMIN GOOD cookies and treats, from Travelers Rest, SC. I advise you to buy a parcel of them for the gluten-free person in your life. They're GREAT! We munched on these whilst listening to George.
3) Purty Crepe Myrtle trees blooming beside Chicora Alley, downtown Greenville. (photo taken August 1st or thereabouts.)
4) View from under the Liberty Bridge (over the Reedy River falls). Also taken around August 1st.
5) Wine-tasting in downtown Greenville, sponsored by Firefly vodka, currently marketing a boozed-up southern iced tea. Sounds like fun, but as you all know, I only watch alcohol-consuming from afar and do not partake myself.
6) Foster-care adoption display. The business card informs me that if you are interested you should contact Ashley Abreu of the South Carolina Dept of Social Services at (864) 282-4630. I do not know which one of these very hospitable folks is Ashley, and I apologize for that!
7) Another photo of Table Rock State Park...taken at the Wedding Party in July. (I think this collection of my photos is my favorite of all of them so far, along with my Jones Gap photos.)
More photos at my Flickr page.
Except for copious amounts of fried okra, I tried to be a good raw-foodie this week! At left: SC farmers market tomatoes.
I had a pretty hectic weekend and have mostly just been playing catch-up. The best part of my weekend was meeting RACHEL of MOODY SPRINGS blog! My first blogger-meeting! Rachel is a real sweetheart! (Of course, I had no camera with me, so you'll have to take my word for it.)
And I dealt with my troll.
As many of you are undoubtedly aware, I once was pretty self-righteous about my "Anything goes" policy at my blog. And so was Mike, the guy these trolls first invaded and began harassing. And now, Mike is moderating all comments on his blog. As we used to say, I can dig it.
I finally started deleting troll comments. My first deletion was on the topless thread. Although it appears I deleted nearly half the thread, I only deleted one comment, and the troll went ahead and deleted the rest of his comments himself. (I am not sure why.) I also deleted two posts (both mine and another person's) that had degenerated into personal name-calling, on the Mary Jo Kopechne thread. And then, I deleted Bob's, over the weekend.
What is pertinent about these three trolls is that they all have their own blogs. I am confident I have not inhibited their free speech, as Bob repeatedly challenged me. In fact, two out of three trolls wrote about my statements on their own blogs--one wonders why they had to come here and make a fuss IN ADDITION to airing their own opinions (in their own space) about what I had written. I would not have deleted a link to their respective posts, if they had posted it. For some reason, they just wanted to make me MAD. And manipulating emotions is the troll's entire raison d'etre.
This past weekend, I was particularly inspired to delete by this wonderful post on trolling by genderbitch. She really lays it all out, quite knowledgeably, as an ex-troll.
I advise any blogger to read the whole thing, but here are some perceptive highlights:
I used to believe trolls had to be a certain type, but genderbitch delineates 6 distinct types:
Trolling is merely a specific version of social engineering. A specific type that incorporates a certain methodology in the abstract (while the complexity and differences sit in the details). However they all exhibit a set of shared traits. Trolls seek a response. Invariably. It is about your reaction as the target. Stop reacting and they lose interest. Trolls attempt to elicit an activity and in doing so they draw people out. Trolling in and of itself is an act of drawing a person out. It’s a lot like fishing. You put bait on the hook. Drop the hook into the water. Fish nibbles and bam. You yank the pole, the hook sets and suddenly the fish is out of water and at your mercy. What trolls do is they apply social engineering in such a way as to create stimuli that draw people to them (usually angrily) and then they continue to engage in behaviors that in turn keep the people around and engaged.
Trolling is, generally, a very harmful state of affairs. Quite often an energy drain on the resources of any network to deal with, Trolls, among other types of draining social engineer types, are intensely damaging influences. Not only do they suck the energy and motivation out of a network but they often harm and scatter the members of that network to the four winds, further damaging its integrity.
Yes it is... and thank you for that definitive statement.
1: Offenders: Offense trolls target based on things found personally offensive. They will try to pick up on what will affect their target the best and then use it to their fullest power. This tends to be the most common method of bigot trolls because of the absolute ease with which marginalized groups are targeted and offended.
2: Concern Trolls: Concern trolls pretend to be (or genuinely believe that they are) helpful and concerned about things that are going on. However most of their concerns incorporate the begging the question fallacy (e.g. “when did you stop beating your wife?”, “I never started beating my wife… o_O”) and tend to imply really awful things about the people they pretend to (or are) concerned about.
3: Clever Trolls: Clever Trolls are those who employ antagonistic satire. They always have a distinct purpose to their actions of getting an idea across or raising a view and are inciting reactions to get the idea noticed instead of ignored. Bigots usually fail at this because a clever troll’s ideas or views need to be logically supportable and most bigotry is based off of fallacy driven emotive arguments used to justify and rationalize internalized hatred and feelings of superiority.
4: Noise Makers: Basically spam of incoherence, pictures or weirdness. Usually the most simple and least effective of trolling methods because it is so easily recognized as trolling by its obvious nature. Often mixes with Offense Trolls.
5: Griefers: Trolls that don’t necessarily have offensive content (in fact their views may be quite reasonable) but are intensely antagonistic, nasty, rude, insulting, demanding or vicious. They also tend to mock people when they lose a debate or back down, making it extraordinarily hard to back down even when you’ve been proven wrong.
6: Devil’s Advocate Trolls: Trolls that play DA and use arguments that they don’t believe in for varying purposes, usually presented in an offensive or antagonistic manner.
Trolling, whatever archetype it fits, is still a form of social engineering and ergo a form of control. This means that inherently and invariably, when you troll anyone you are attempting to control them and their responses. This does act as a form of dominance, even if you don’t intend to be dominant (say merely protect yourself). Not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re trolling a group who attacks and hurts your people. But, if you troll a marginalized group, then you are attempting to control and dominate a marginalized group. And that is silencing and marginalizing behavior in and of itself.
So no matter what, trolling marginalized groups is marginalization and therefore it is a bigoted act.
You know you're being picked on, but of course, they couch it in democratic language and mess with your mind.
Indeed, the goal of the troll is to silence us. For example, I am now reluctant
to write about guns and assault weapons again, because I don't want these trouble-makers and assholes showing up here again.
They have succeeded, haven't they?
Trolls draw a person out. Normal silencing techniques are designed to work when you speak up. But a troll puts out a wide net, catches you in it before you’ve even thought to speak out and then controls you to make you reveal yourself. Once you are revealed, the troll swoops in and plays hack and slash with you, using as much offensive and triggering material as possible all while using the methods of Griefer Trolls to further push fear into you. The energy used dealing with these social engineers is intense. It can be beyond draining to respond to constant bullshit arguments interspersed with triggering and painful images or words. It exhausts a person and it creates fear. Both of these are highly dangerous emotions for a marginalized activist. Not only has the troll silenced us from speaking, the troll has pulled us out of hiding and silenced us even then. The fear is pushed to such an intensity that most of us will train ourselves to not even respond to such grandiose and ridiculous levels of offensive hatred as these trolls spout just to avoid being hit by them. And this means that people can get away with the less intense but still damaging ism and privileged bullshit they normally spout because of the troll.
That’s a pretty horrifying level of effectiveness, wouldn’t you agree? It works in the long term because trolls don’t just seek to quiet us, they literally seek to make permanent wounds.
I did not blog all weekend, as focused as I was on the troll invasion. Another form of silencing: keeping me preoccupied with their ongoing abusive shit.
Advice taken, my friend.
The best way to handle trolls is to disengage. Always. And it will be hard to do, obviously. The best trolls will make it extraordinarily hard to pull away from them. They will make you feel like a coward or feel like by backing down they’ll convince everyone of the horrible things they believe. For a marginalized person this is especially painful, because so many people tend to believe the shit the trolls are peddling. But the fact is, fighting a troll is always a losing battle. Invariably.
Trolls are, in the end, energy sink traps. You may see them like an opponent, whom you must fight against, but the moment you strike out even once, you are caught and they will drain you of every drop of vitality and sense of safety you have. It is vital that all activists remember this.
Don’t feed the trolls. Because it is you they’re feasting on.
I won't be allowing trolls to hold forth any more on my blog. If you can't be polite and tactful in your comments, you are cordially invited to fuck off. And if you can't BE polite because my words have infuriated you beyond mere civility, post your dissenting opinion on your own blog and link it here; I won't delete a link (unless its obscene or disgusting). But I will delete troll-rudeness and overt hostility. You will not attempt to control me in this way. No.
New sheriff in town.
Friday, September 25, 2009
At left: Dean Allen, Democratic candidate for adjutant general, poses with AK-47 assault rifle. Photo by George Gardner of the Greenville News.
NOTE: SEE EDIT BELOW.
Just as the Republicans in places like California are really Democrats (think Schwarzenegger), the Democrats in places like South Carolina are really Republicans.
As evidence, I offer the following:
Candidate to launch campaign with assault rifle giveaway
By Paul Alongi • Staff writer, Greenville News
September 25, 2009
Violence to animals as an extra recreational bonus! Only a dullard could resist.
Dean Allen, 58, said he will give away the [AK-47 assault] rifle in a free sweepstakes open to all. He said it’s his way of celebrating the Second Amendment and showing solidarity against gun-rights opponents.
The winner will receive a gift certificate, Allen said. To take possession of the gun, the winner will have to pass an FBI background check, show identification and fill out federal paperwork, he said.
“I’m not worried about people that legally own weapons,” Allen said. “I’m worried about people that get them illegally without meeting all these criteria.”
South Carolina is the only state in the nation that elects its adjutant general, who administers the Army and Air National Guard, the State Guard and the Emergency Management Division.
Incumbent Adjutant General Stan Spears, a Republican, hasn’t said if he will run for another term,
Allen is the first Republican to announce his candidacy for the seat. No Democrats have announced.
The sweepstakes is being held in conjunction with a “machine-gun social” at Allen Arms Indoor Shooting Range on Poinsett Highway. For $25, supporters can eat barbecue and unload one clip from their choice of automatic weapon, Allen said.
And hey, doesn't this look like FUN?!--
EDIT: One of my commenters, Reputo, informs me that Dean Allen is a Republican, so there goes my joke! I have changed the headline and tag, but will leave the joke in. As I've said before, I don't edit my words retroactively to look like I don't make mistakes, but I do add the necessary corrections. (If its good enough for the New York Times, its good enough for me.)
Hilton Head is known for its wildlife. One of my favorite places in the world is the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, a beautiful island adjacent to Hilton Head. Anyone who is so clueless that they think they can litter this area with their candles and trash, is a dope that doesn't deserve HH beach access EVER AGAIN. But that's just my opinion, of course.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND — A wedding proposal led to the deaths of dozens of federally protected loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings on a South Carolina beach.
The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports a man placed 150 waxed bags with candles inside on the beach on the resort island Tuesday night.
After the proposal, the couple left the candles lit. Sixty hatchlings emerged from a nearby nest and couldn't find the shore.
Town natural resources associate Sarah Skigen says some turtles circled the lights until they died or were eaten by crabs. Others headed toward dunes, lagoons and backyards.
The couple got a warning and Skigen says they showed remorse. The couple said they didn't know about light restrictions during nesting season.
The poor turtles. :(
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Good advice! Sign in our local Greenville Army/Navy store.
There is always oodles of great reading around the intertubes, and Twitter has just made it worse--or better, depending upon your point of view. You can go there any time of the day or night, and people are exchanging boffo reading material.
The real problem is extricating yourself from Twitter, as I have recently discovered!
Stuff you oughtta read:
Atlasien tweeted this fascinating story from Jezebel about the newest chic accessory for upscale moms: a Tibetan nanny! They are more spiritually centered, doncha know, and just so much better for your children.
As some of you may recall, I am a member of the National Coalition Against the Death Penalty. (The death penalty is fully operational here in South Carolina). Renee made me cry with this one: Last words that are not famous: The Sounds of Death Row. The Texas Department of Corrections recorded the last words of executed prisoners and she shares some of them with us.
Young woman rejects HPV vaccine and loses path to citizenship:
[Gardasil was] added to the list of required vaccines for people seeking to adjust their immigration statuses.A great piece on Salon about the early career of the always-fascinating demagogue-of-the-moment, Glenn Beck:
Numerous immigration groups came out in opposition to this requirement, stating that it posed a unfair financial barrier to immigrant women, who already take on a lengthy and costly process to become citizens.
[Simone Davis is] one of the first reported cases of a young woman losing her path to citizenship because of Gardasil.
"Glenn was a talented young preppy kid with a bit of an attitude," remembers Meryl Uranga, a program and music director at KZFM. "I had never smelled clove cigarettes before I met him. Hanging out with Beck was also the first time I ever saw certain drugs. He partied a lot."Thanks to tweet from Belledame.
I recently made a prediction on Twitter that I will repeat here, to make it official. Glenn Beck is a public AA member who has shot his mouth off a few too many times. Anonymity in AA is not about protecting oneself, it is about protecting the 12 Steps, the Principles and Traditions. Simply put, if an alcoholic in need of recovery sees that Beck is in AA, they may go "Ewww!" and decline to join (and who could blame them)? Beck could become the "face of recovery"--and that is never a good thing. This is the major reason for the rule that Beck loves to break.
It should not surprise us that Beck shows so little respect for the organization that he credits with saving his life. After all, it's really ALL ABOUT HIM, isn't it? AA Traditions? Glenn Beck don't need no stinking traditions!
The 12th tradition of AA states: Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. And Beck is in violation of that tradition. Conventional AA wisdom is that once your pride has bubbled up to this level, you're in serious trouble. (I refer to my post about Mel Gibson, for details. You will note the religious extremism/conversion is also a feature of Beck's personality.)
I predict a flame-out of near-Biblical proportions. I am unsure if the catalyst will be money, drugs, booze, gambling, religion or women ... but it will be one of those. Can't wait.
In the meantime, the Salon piece is a real gem:
"He was amazing to watch when he was doing his cast of voices," remembers Kathi Lincoln, Beck's former newsreader [at WRKA in Louisville]. "Sometimes he'd prerecord different voices and talk back to the tape, or turn his head side to side while speaking them live on the air. He used to do a funny 'black guy' character, really over-the-top."[...]
"Black guy" impersonations were just one sign of the young Beck's racial hang-ups.
Beck's real broadcasting innovation during his stay in Kentucky came in the realm of vicious personal assaults on fellow radio hosts. A frequent target of Beck's in Louisville was Liz Curtis, obese host of an afternoon advice show on WHAS, a local AM news-talk station. It was no secret in Louisville that Curtis, whom Beck had never met and with whom he did not compete for ratings, was overweight. And Beck never let anyone forget it. For two years, he used "the big blonde" as fodder for drive-time fat jokes, often employing Godzilla sound effects to simulate Curtis walking across the city or crushing a rocking chair. Days before Curtis' marriage, Beck penned a skit featuring a stolen menu card for the wedding reception. "The caterer says that instead of throwing rice after the ceremony, they are going to throw hot, buttered popcorn," explains Beck's fictional spy.[...]
Louisville is where Beck began experimenting with another streak that would become more pronounced in later years: militaristic patriotism and calls for the bombing of Muslims.And it just gets better. Read it all!
The birth of Glenn Beck as Radio Super Patriot can be traced to the morning of April 15, 1986. This was the morning after Ronald Reagan ordered U.S. warplanes to bomb Moammar Gadhafi's Tripoli palace in response to the bombing of a Berlin nightclub frequented by U.S. servicemen. Beck sounded stoned during the show -- and given his later claim to have smoked pot every day for 15 years, might have been -- but even then his politics were anything but tie-dyed. After opening the show with a prayer and Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA," Beck played patriotic music through the morning. The only track receiving multiple plays was a New Wave-ish spoof titled "Qaddafi Sucks." The song was a huge hit with listeners, dozens of whom called Beck to tell him how inspired they were by his patriotism. Caller after caller applauded him for "standing up for America." When someone argued that Reagan should have dropped more bombs, Beck agreed. "I personally don't think we did enough," he says. "We should've went over there [sic] and bombed the hell out of 'em."
Speaking of Glenn, check out this Salon piece about his guru, a famous right-wing crackpot named Cleon Skousen. I was shocked to learn of Beck's ideological connection to the author of the John Birch Society classic The Naked Communist, which one could find in NRA-member bookshelves throughout the Midwest when I was growing up, right next to the Readers Digest Condensed Books. (It's rather unnerving to find the direct Bircher connection, right there for everyone to see.)
Thanks to Matttbastard for his ever-vigilant Tweeting!
La Lubu is guest-blogging at Feministe, which is always great news. She mentioned a DailyKos diary-piece titled How I lost my health insurance at the hairstylist's-- one of the most harrowing insurance-stories I've ever heard, and I've heard more than my share.
For folks who wonder how an employed person loses health insurance after a serious and/or prolonged illness, this is the account to read. She explains, step by step, exactly how it happens. And it can happen to anyone, as it did to her.
I figured if I used my photo of the Lizard King sign, I should find something suitable to go with it. Snooping around, I found the most amazing video featuring home movies of Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson. Before you all yell at me, yes, I know he tried to kill her, etc....but I also found their relationship complex and interesting. Their weird symbiosis is evident in this offbeat collection of images.
Love Street - The Doors
Photo of the first-year commemoration of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. Your humble narrator is at the top right of the photo. The guy in the white shirt standing next to me is Mike Gruber, and I think the guy in the hat was David Breithaupt. I regret to say the names of the other activists have since fizzled in my memory.
If you can read the teeny-tiny print, you know that we stood out there from 3:15am until 3:56am, which was the exact time of the accident. I mostly remember the eerie quiet around the Ohio Statehouse at that hour of the early morning.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I hereby apologize to all of my very patient email correspondents. If you are wondering about my rudeness, I have not checked email in days; ON STRIKE against the email, which is threatening to colonize my soul. It's currently taking more of my time than mere blogging or Twitter, God help me. Trying to sort it out and make lists of priorities, blah blah blah. In the meantime, bear with me, yall!
How does the internet do this to us? Does everyone else feel the constant encroachment of ONLINE into "real life"--maybe the problem is that we divide our consciousness into these categories...do the kids manage their time better than we do? I think if you grow up communicating online, you learn to make time for it in a more natural way and can do it anywhere. The rest of us have to figure out how to integrate it fully.
Then again, maybe not. Maybe the kids are as frazzled as we are?
Photo of Jessica Lange at this year's Emmy awards by Dan Steinberg, Associated Press.
Reprinting my indignant comment over at Feministe (cross-posted to Echidne of the Snakes) ...which was brought about by THIS New York Times column by Maureen Dowd, and THIS endless thread at Huffington Post. (click on the latter at your own risk!)
Suddenly inflamed by cable-TV busybodies, I wrote:
The thing people are missing is the age component. The “research” (using word advisedly) at HuffPo suggests women are unhappier AS WE AGE. Probably because they will not stop fussing at us to look young, and have upped the ante. Now we are expected to diet, use botox and collagen and look good forever. This is impossible to achieve after a certain age without considerable anxiety and anguish. Women in past generations were never expected to be “matrons” and look hot.Reprinting the comment here for EMPHASIS.
Still shocked that one of those nasty “fashion” TV-round-ups criticized Jessica Lange for showing her old-lady arms at the Emmys. Never mind that she won! (They didn’t even fucking MENTION that!) But they did mention her (likely) plastic surgery, while sneering that her arms still look bad. Jesus Christ, she’s 64, has two Oscars… is there NO ESCAPE for ANYONE?
No matter how well-achieved a woman is, no matter that she has had her face stretched to the limit already, dammit, just look at those ARMS!
Speaking of infuriating, the much-beleaguered First Lady of South Carolina, Jenny Sanford, is writing a memoir:
Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House Inc., said Tuesday it will publish Jenny Sanford's “inspirational memoir” in May 2010.
The publisher says Sanford “will grapple with the universal issue of maintaining integrity and a sense of self during life's difficult times.”
The book is currently untitled, and financial terms were not disclosed.
Mark Sanford was once a rising star in the Republican Party. He acknowledged in June that he had a yearlong affair with an Argentine woman he called his soul mate.
Jenny Sanford moved out of the governor's mansion in August, but she and her husband have said they're trying to repair their marriage.
Oh, hell no.
Let's hope it isn't one of those unreadable, born-again "women's memoirs"--incessantly dotted with Bible verses. Or, worse, every emotion described is carefully catalogued with accompanying chapter and verse, so you know that even her most wayward thoughts are okay with Jesus.
Yes, I have been plied with a few of these in my time. They should NOT be confused with real memoirs.
Let's hope Jenny's account is a little better than the majority of these.
More in South Carolina fun-house news: My senator, Lindsey Graham, trashed Obama on the Sunday-morning talk shows as "being everywhere but the food channel"... which was admittedly funny. (Well, I toldya he was damned charming.) Meanwhile, he says he is ready to "compromise"--which could mean anything, coming from him.
On Saturday, downtown, I saw several Joe Wilson T-shirts and bumper stickers. Yeah, they LOOOOOVE him! CNN's Political Ticker reports that he has raised over $2 million on the strength of his ill-mannered temper tantrum.
Once more, I put out the SOS. Just in case you missed it the first time!
The title of today's post comes from the following clip... the reference to Play it Again Sam in yesterday's post, reminded me of this:
Monday, September 21, 2009
Karen Carpenter with her beloved drum kit. She was capable and confident while playing, but when she was forced to come out from behind the drums, front the band and wear dresses, that's when trouble really began. Photo from LeadSister.com.
Yes, I'm here to weigh in, once again, as an official old-timer chronicling How things have changed (belated-birthday edition).
Posts on this Feministe thread talked about weight gain:
We are? No, we aren't... and then I realized this is another age (class?) difference.
College does not make it easy for people who struggle with issues with food. Eating disorders are rampant, but rarely discussed. We’re all familiar with the glance to a friend’s plate, to see whether she is eating macaroni and cheese or salad, and the implicit self-judgment that follows
I don't remember growing up with this dynamic at all.
We didn't monitor each other. Even those of us trying to get thinner in dangerous ways, totally personalized this endeavor as our own private failure, and I don't remember paying any attention to what other girls ate, except to be jealous that they could "eat anything they wanted"--while I never could. I remember all of their ice-cream sundaes, but little else. (We didn't even know about healthy vs. unhealthy fats in those days.) Was this my working-class environment or the era I grew up in?
Back in the day, I recall eating disorders as way under the radar, and consequently, very easy to get by with. As a teenager, I starved myself repeatedly, and nobody noticed anything but the end result, for which I was widely praised. (Nowadays? They'd be onto me in 10 minutes.)
Karen Carpenter's increasingly-alarming, wispy frame was not remarked upon, except to say "Wow!"; people would say she was "dieting" too much. Because she was such a well-known, perfect, archetypal "good girl"--her death had an enormous impact on everyone.
Carpenter's death took recognition of anorexia into the mainstream, just as her music had been so accessible and mainstream.
MAD MEN continues to do a fabulous job in contrasting NOW with THEN. In the recent episode, we learn that a man who lost his foot to a riding mower (hilarious gallows humor) will also lose his job, all because of his disability: "He'll never golf again!"--may be the best line I ever heard. But anyone startled by that should remember, that is indeed the way it was in 1962. If they didn't like your disability, they could legally get rid of you for that reason alone.
Betty Draper's nightmarish birth experience (after smoking and drinking like a Rat Pack-member throughout her pregnancy), was another historically-accurate and thoroughly instructive exercise in How Things Have Changed. My mother, aunts, cousins and millions of other American women gave birth under such cruel, punishing circumstances during this era.
And remember: feminists radically changed the birth-experience for women, not pro-life fundies.
The ease and omnipresence of cell phones has made decades of phone-jokes and comedy routines (in vintage movies and television shows), truly incomprehensible to the kids. They don't quite understand how it was to get calls from people you don't know. They also don't understand that once upon a time, talking on the phone all the time was regarded as rude as hell, as well as socially inept and backward (like a teenybopper). Old movies such as Woody Allen's Play it Again Sam, in which Tony Roberts (movie-still at left) is constantly calling his answering service to leave his call-back number, was riotously funny back in the 70s... while also simultaneously communicating the idea that Roberts was unbelievably self-centered and narcissistic. But now? What, the kids wonder, is wrong with Roberts' behavior? OMG, the man must track down his unreturned calls!!!!
I am reminded of the social mores of the past that I regret losing...and phones in their proper place is one of these.
Not everything from the past was bad, you know. ;)
I got both a rainy day and a Monday...
Re: this video. Nobody could look good in that dress, why didn't somebody put her in some DECENT CLOTHES?! Always tried to make her look like some damn choirgirl. growf!
Rainy Days and Mondays - The Carpenters
Saturday, September 19, 2009
WPCI logo from Greenville South.
One of the great treasures of upstate South Carolina is WPCI-AM, 1490 on your radio dial. I used to jokingly call it Audiodrome (after Cronenberg's Videodrome), since I had no idea where it came from. One day, I was fiddling with the AM radio dial and heard "China Cat Sunflower" clear as anything. What? Huh? I left it there, and it was followed by Jimmy Buffett, assorted reggae, oldies, jazz and classic country. Nobody said anything. No commercials. What the devil---?
Every now and then (as mandated by law), someone authoritatively announced "WPCI, the quality alternative"...and so I looked it up. Of course, it had no website either, no playlist (which I still wish was available!)... and at that time, there was no Wikipedia entry, no local media sources available to tell me where this magical WPCI came from. So, I just kept calling it Audiodrome.
Eventually, I learned that one Mr Randy Mathena owned WPCI, and just played his own records. Is that cool or what? (And how many of us diehard music fans have had that fantasy?):
Five and a half years ago, a dream came true for the Mathena family. Paper Cutters Inc. proprietor, and Furman University Grad, Randy Mathena, owner and operator of WPCI 1490 AM, left the business news broadcasting world behind, and switched to a non-commercial format, with a non-stop play list of over 10,000 songs. The only voices heard are FCC mandated interruptions every thirty minutes supplying call letter identifications. This all music format has put WPCI on the Greenville map, with a rapidly rising fan base. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week you can hear everything from reggae, jazz, soft-rock, and even classic rock. It is the first of its kind, a commercially licensed station that plays no commercials and whose mission is just that; to play nothing but music.[...]
It was during college at Furman University where Randy Mathena first learned of his love for radio. Working at the university’s station Randy learned all he could about radio and had always sought after buying a station for himself. Randy set out looking for a station to prove to himself it wasn’t possible. That’s when he found WMRC, a station that was black and waiting for someone to come along and save it. In buying WMRC it was up to Randy to rename the station and claim the four acre plot of land that housed the station. His first two choices, WRMB for rhythm and blues, and WBCH for beach, were taken, so the station was named WPCI for Paper Cutters Inc. WPCI began with business radio until 5 ½ years ago when it’s all music format was ready to begin. With 10,000 songs non-stop, Randy has created a station unlike any other.
Nestled on four acres in Greenville, South Carolina’s West End district, WPCI 1490 AM currently operates at 1 Kilowatt. The newly renovated cherry wood building lies adjacent to the Reedy River downtown. The completed renovations coincide with the rebuilding of downtown Greenville and the historic West End, which is generating even more conversation about WPCI in the community.
Playing an eclectic variety of music, ranging from bluegrass to reggae and rock to R&B, this format has won high marks from Jimmy Cornelison, a journalist at Greenville News. A simple, yet extremely meaningful, “thank you”, Cornelison wishes to extend to Mathena for providing an alternative outlet for music fans with no commercials. WPCI was recently ranked 16 th out of the 36 South Carolina’s upstate stations. For no commercials, no profit, relying solely upon word of mouth, this is one of the greatest achievements WPCI has accomplished. Before any awards or recognitions, Mathena explains that he has fulfilled his dream and mission, “I bought the station for exactly what it’s doing today. That was the goal from day one; to play music. It is a dream come true. The dream of continuous music was not just Mathena’s, but rather the listeners’ dream as well 4. The unique format and Mathena’s passion for music made the choice clear for the [now-defunct, weekly newspaper] Greenville Beat to name WPCI 1490 as the best AM station in the upstate.
WE LOVE YOU, RANDY! You've done good. WPCI, with its trademark mix of connoisseur-level reggae, fabulous blues standards and wonderful beach classics, is a definite highlight of my day. Songs from WPCI have ended up on this blog more than a few times!
I hope that someday, a brave little website containing the elusive and ever-sought title/artist play-list will be available, because I do love WPCI and I feel the lack. Until this happens, I'll continue to scratch random lyrics on a pad of paper and look up the songs up later.
A small price to pay for continuous music, some of it almost forgotten, but timelessly marvelous.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I think it's vaguely creepy how Blogger features birthday cake today when I log in. You're a BOT, dude!
Thanks to all my Twitter friends who wished me a happy birthday when I threatened to become hysterical! I love you!
Below: stuff that makes me feel particularly old, in no special order.
If you are drinking heavily and/or involved with bikers, this is a great break-up song. Famous guitar riffs at the end (by the late Duane Allman), sound just like a whip. WALLOW IN THAT PAIN, people!
Whipping Post - Allman Brothers Band
Speaking of Twitter, there is hashtag titled #Iwish, and I bet them whippersnappers don't even know where that came from.
Turn it up!
I Wish - Stevie Wonder
One of those songs that when you search for it on YouTube, you get every single damn amateur troubadour from here to Luckenbach, thinks he can sing it.
We received our education in the cities of the nation...
Me and Paul - Willie Nelson
Montage of early Who clips. Roger had not yet discovered his trademark flashy Elvis-on-acid outfits, and sometimes appears as if he had just emerged from bad job interview. (He shows his incipient fashion sense at approx 1:02, dons sunglasses.) John, age 21, looks about 14; Keith Moon was all of 19 years old, appears 12. Pete was working on his pseudo-alienated, "I'm too good for mere rock and roll" major artiste pose, which would serve him very well throughout his life.
Check out those 60s mods and their strange amphetamine-inspired dance moves!
I Can't Explain - The Who
Captain for Dark Mornings - Laura Nyro
Enjoy, and happy birthday to me!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
We wanted our young Delusional Precious to have the very best education in the county, although we could not afford to send her to a private school. Besides that, we didn't really think private schools were a good idea from an egalitarian point of view. So, we sent her to the"best" school in the county, which of course, turned out to be the "richest" of the public schools. The volunteer ratios were nearly 2-1; unemployed moms to students.
My first lesson in the new school was what this actually meant.
During test week on the West side (poor side) of Greenville County, we got a flier telling us the kids would be taking all of the official, federal standardized tests. Okay, that's nice. Typically, I didn't think much of it and just made sure Delusional Precious (herein referred to as DP) got a good night's sleep. However, in the days after testing was over, DP complained that the old lunchroom where the tests were taken (in a building that has since been condemned, BTW) was by turns drafty and too-hot. South Carolina Autumn sunlight (blinding) was shining right in her eyes at one point, and she couldn't concentrate. At another juncture, she had to pee, and there wasn't enough time alotted. She apologized for the tests, and said she knew she had not done her best.
And then, DP was tested at her NEW SCHOOL; the East side (rich) school with air conditioning, tinted windows and carpeting. No sunlight in the eyes there, no sirree Bob! In fact, between each test, there were copious bathroom breaks and stretching exercises, supervised and conducted by legions of stay-at-home moms. They did rousing cheers, as in sports ("WE'RE #1!") and practically engaged in Cultural Revolution-style calisthenics, right there at their desks. The kids were also plied with healthy snacks and juices between the tests, to keep their blood-sugar levels high. (Who paid for all this? Who do you think? The legions of volunteers, of course.) They were STOKED, and yeah, their tests scores were phenomenal. DP's scores were about 20 points higher. I was astounded!
I joked to people that my kid's IQ had been raised one standard deviation just by moving to the East side.
I should have known, this meant LOTS MORE WORK for me, but I really hadn't thought it through. But after awhile, I was carting her everywhere for all kinds of specialized activities. I was footing the bill for all manner of pricey field trips; some of which I could not afford (i.e. trips to Quebec) and she had to sit out. We were out of our league, financially, but I hoped this meant she was getting a better education.
The assigned school projects were enormous. A mere child could never execute stuff so intricate; they seemed to require people with engineering or graphic-design degrees. In addition, it seemed understood that the parents would certainly chip in... or maybe do the whole thing. Certainly, working mothers could never find the time to work on these gargantuan undertakings.
I found reasonable ways to cut time-expenditures on these projects, but discovered that this would be judged (by teachers) as "cutting corners" and would negatively influence DP's grade. The projects had to LOOK like they had been duly fussed over, and some seemed worthy of the Martha Stewart Living Christmas edition. When I visited the school to drop off the (increasingly huge) projects, I would see what the other parents had done. DP and I would exchange dumbfounded looks: Jesus H Christ. I would never be upset with her for whatever grades she was given on these things--realizing that a good grade in such a situation was simply impossible to obtain. But of course, she wanted the good grades too, and felt that she was being cheated and unfairly penalized (which she was) since her mother could not take whole days off work to execute these complicated, long-ass projects.
I realized, once and for all, that we had made a big mistake on the day I call Blue Jello Day. It was my moment of truth. We do not belong here. I realized, moving to this side of town for the sake of a better education, was a huge error. What were we thinking?
It was the Blue Jello.
The project was a Native American project. The kids picked a tribe and made something that was emblematic of that tribe. I was relieved that this was an easy one. I actually duplicated something I had done as a child: a warrior's necklace. I regret to say I now forget the tribe(s), but most tribal warriors wore these, rather as charm bracelets are worn in the present day. They collected pieces of arrowheads, colorful beads, animal bones, shells, etc and displayed them, as military medals or girl scout badges might be displayed. So, we made one based on a photo in Encyclopedia Brittanica, and I was happy with it. I figured it might at least get a B.
On this auspicious day, there was MORE THAN ONE PROJECT DUE (do you believe?), so there I am, hauling in some humongous hand-made poster about the habitat of the North American Lynx on the same day I brought in the necklace.
And, taking up about half the room, was an "Indian village"--on what seemed to be a very large, burlap-covered ping-pong table. There were little teepees and little people. PEOPLE. They were all dressed appropriately, I noticed. Little tiny braids on the little tiny people. Little tiny papooses on the backs of the little tiny wooden women... and...
There it was. In the middle of the village, well, what do you suppose was there? What WAS in the middle, usually? Historical accuracy! Yes, a POND. A very nice POND was etched out of the burlap, and it was .... made of blue jello.
Stunned, I actually reached out and touched the jello. My suburban Epiphany!
What the fuck am I doing here?!?
I pointed at the blue jello, and attempted to say something to Delusional Precious. Speechless. She looked at it and rolled her eyes. Even though she was only in the 5th or 6th grade, she exclaimed "Shit!" and I did not chastise her, because she had correctly spoken my thoughts aloud.
Did the mom come and set this whole thing up IN THE CLASS? Well, I guess she had to, huh? How else could she get all the little people lined up just so? She must have brought the blue jello in some tupperware and dished it out, after carefully placing the burlap and teepees and tiny wooden Indians and teensy stuffed buffaloes (really) and teensy arrows made of painted toothpicks all sticking out of the miniature stuffed buffalo. I just stared, and as I often do, I wondered what JG Ballard would say.
Okay, that's it. I can NOT compete with this.
And it was then that I stopped trying to. I did not worry that my kid could not keep up with these people. I realized, well, we made a mistake, but we will attempt to deal. And we dealt with it pretty badly, actually, and things did not always go as planned. But after I saw the Blue Jello, I had a point of reference.
Every year, when I hear all the moms worry aloud about their kids going back to school, I think of my Blue Jello Daze. And frankly? I would not repeat those years for ANYTHING.
My love, good thoughts and novenas are with all of you feminist, progressive moms, as you attempt to navigate this territory, keep your sanity, and yet do the right thing for your babies.
Namaste, and know that I love you. :)
Monday, September 14, 2009
Not the best version; looks odd but historically fascinating. Weird pseudo-psychedelic visuals. European or Australian TV? (Does not look familiar as a USA-based show.) Personnel, older (and generally disheveled) musical arrangement, as well as Bobby's hair suggest this was the very early 70s.
"Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul."
Brokedown Palace - Grateful Dead
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Foothills Animal Rescue folks during their benefit yesterday on Pelham Road. Below: Holly Compton Harvell with Lala the cockatoo, and Frances Wilsher with DJ the Nanday Conure. (Yes, DJ poses for the camera!)
And Lightning, the really big turtle.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
The particular river in the video is the Illinois River. Love the piano work in this song, courtesy of the song's co-producer, Leon Russell.
If I had wings and I could fly
I know where I would go
But right now I'll just sit here
And watch the river flow
Watching the River Flow - Bob Dylan (1971)
Friday, September 11, 2009
South Carolina didn't always look like such hostile territory for Obama. He never had much hope of winning the state in the general election, but his decisive primary victory there in 2008 helped propel him to the Democratic presidential nomination. While he lost the state in November by nine percentage points to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), his performance nevertheless represented the best Democratic presidential showing in nearly three decades.[...]
While the state has also elected loose-cannon Democrats like Sen. Fritz Hollings, whose seat DeMint won when Hollings retired in 2004, it's no accident that its high-profile politicians tend to be Republicans these days or that they don’t feel bound by the constraints felt by their colleagues in more politically competitive states.And here's my chance to answer the question. (I sure will.)
"It has traditionally been a pretty deep-red state and I think that Republican politicians feel that there's not a limit to what they can do or say when it comes to Democratic elected officials, particularly the president," said former Democratic Gov. Jim Hodges, who was defeated by Sanford in 2002. "In most places, they play the sport of politics every two or four years. In South Carolina, they play it every year. It is more important than football, to some degree."
You wanna know what's wrong? How about the fact that the rest of the country has written us off and won't fund the insurgents? This is what happens. You are looking at the result of liberals being left HIGH AND DRY.
I'm sitting right here. My blog struggles... it might be the only progressive blog in the upstate. I know for a fact it isn't the only one in the whole state--but there aren't many. Support? Hello? I almost ran for the Green Party candidacy (for Congress) some years ago, but realized I could not afford it, especially if it meant taking significant time away from my job. Anybody home?
We have been left twisting slowly, slowly in the wind.
I constantly hear and read about how the national parties and various progressive organizations fund actions, bloggers and activities in affluent, liberal areas. Why? They ain't the ones that need the money, people and accompanying resources, you know?
I have witnessed the rather amazing and ostentatious spectacle of both major parties invading my state repeatedly during the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries, throwing away more money than the Saudis. They inject obscene amounts of money into those campaigns, but as I said, will not fund the insurgents. WE DON'T EVEN HAVE AN AIR AMERICA RADIO STATION IN THE UPSTATE. (My repeated emails about that were totally ignored; I didn't even rate a reply. Thanks!) Basically, the answer from national progressives has been to ignore upstate South Carolina progressives "on the ground"--and please pay attention...THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS.
We need resources, offices, money, support. We have a radio station that is dormant that could be put to use. We have people ready to work, and radical organizations already in place. I have mentioned countless groups on this blog. YOU HAVE IGNORED US. The rich Republicans have colonized the state, and have gained enormous power that they have taken nationally, to challenge progressive change. We might have put a considerable dent in their influence, but we have no way to do that. We have been hobbled by them at every turn; they run ALL the major media outlets. At the town hall meeting I attended, as I said, there was a total of three "out" progressives. The rest were silent, inside, unorganized. I know there had to be at least another three. That might have been enough for us to feel safe raising a sign or banner, making our presence known to others and starting a necessary dialogue with local moderates. AND we could have gotten ourselves on TV or radio. As it was, we were too afraid.
WE NEED HELP. SOS.
Just answering the question.
I certainly don't expect anything to change as a result of this blog post. It would involve modern-day privileged progressives getting off their spoiled asses and doing something gutsy, as progressives did back in the day of the Freedom Riders. It would take NERVE, and kids with privilege do not appear to have any nerve left, as they did during the Civil Rights and Anti-War movements. (In fact, we do not have any appreciable anti-war movement, do we?) We need people to move to the state; we need people to share their knowledge and liberal connections with us.
What's the matter is that you wrote us off, and the rich saw that you did. As a result, you gave them a whole state to play with.
How do you like the consequences?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Congressman Joe Wilson, who undoubtedly embarrassed his southern mama with his bad manners last night.
As soon as I heard the heckler during President Obama's speech, I knew what state he was from.
I just knew, probably because of my recent town hall meeting experience.
I cringed, told Mr Daisy what I thought, Twittered OH NO (or something to that effect) and waited to be proven right. And I was. I am just grateful it wasn't Bob Inglis (far too polite to do that, even if in full ideological agreement with the heckler) or somebody closer to Greenville County.
But still: ANOTHER RIGHT WING EMBARRASSMENT FOR THE STATE. Ye Gods.
Politico writers Daniel Libit and Victoria McGrane:
On his Twitter feed Tuesday, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) wrote that at a parade he attended in Chapin, “many people called out to oppose Obamacare which I assured them would be relayed tomorrow to DC.”As stated above, Wilson memorably shouted "You lie!" Apparently he believes this will get him re-elected.
It wasn’t quite the next day, but Wilson did indeed bring the August town hall boorishness to Washington when he shouted “you lie” at President Barack Obama during Wednesday night’s health care speech before Congress.
Within 15 minutes after Obama wrapped up his remarks, Wilson’s website server had crashed and his Wikipedia page had been locked on account of “vandalism.”
In an interview with CNN immediately after the president’s address, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called Wilson’s behavior “totally disrespectful,” and joined a chorus of Democrats calling on the congressman to apologize.
Wilson’s office soon followed with a statement expressing regret for the outburst.
“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill,” Wilson said. “While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.”
A short while later, Wilson’s office put out a notice that the congressman had called the White House to personally apologize. A Democratic source told POLITICO that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel accepted the congressman’s apology.
This is not the first time the Wilson has stirred controversy with his remarks.
In 2004, Wilson was forced to do a similar walk-back when he challenged the patriotism to Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.), calling the Democrat “viscerally anti-American.”
That same year, Wilson grabbed headlines again when he called on Sen. John Kerry to apologize for testimony the Democratic presidential candidate and Vietnam veteran gave to a Senate panel in 1971 about the Vietnam War.
“Many veterans, including myself as a veteran,” Wilson said at the time, “view John Kerry’s testimony that day as one of the worst public slanders ever against the valor and character of the American military.”
That statement drew the rebuke of former Democratic senator and Vietnam veteran Max Cleland, who noted that Wilson had in fact avoided fighting in the war by receiving a student deferral.
Politico's Glenn Thrush writes:
All eyes were on Barack Obama entering Wednesday night's address to Congress, but a little-known South Carolina Republican may have done more than the president’s combative speech to unify besieged Democrats around health care reform.Well, what did you think of the speech? Comments welcome on the speech, Obama, and ill-mannered Joe Wilson.
The night's defining moment — which Democrats hope to transform into a turning point – came when Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouted "You lie!" as Obama claimed his plan wouldn't offer free care to illegal immigrants.
Wilson's boorishness — for which he quickly apologized — enraged audience members on both sides of the aisle.
It also overshadowed a speech that included some of Obama's harshest attacks on his GOP critics to date, including a denunciation of "death panel" alarmists as liars — a veiled swipe at Sarah Palin — and a warning to Republicans who want to "kill" reform.