Saturday, February 12, 2011

Odds and Sods: Old St Charles sing edition

Image at left is courtesy of YELLOWDOG GRANNY, thanks Jackie Sue... you always sum up my thoughts! :D

This installment of ODDS AND SODS starts with a major TRIGGER WARNING, as they say. Warning, this thread descends into some very disturbing transphobic nastiness, but that's my whole reason for recommending it. It's pretty educational; I think the "radical feminists" who have colonized that thread illustrate one of the biggest problems with Second Wave radical feminism: Mean Girls.

And yeah, I knew a few in my time.

There was something about Second Wave feminist theory that easily lent itself to weird 'female superiority' arguments (in many instances, not just concerning transgender politics). Note their roaring silence on the subject of F to M transgender people: trans men don't fit their little just-so story, so they don't seem to piss them off as much. It's a very strange victim-chic thing. There is only so much victimization to go around, and the trans women are trying to horn in on OURS, which is COPYRIGHTED. At least, that's how several of the most pedestrian comments sound (yes, looking at you Delphyne!)... it's funny in the way that white supremacist websites are funny: not funny haha, funny sad.

The argument that trans people "uphold the gender binary" is bizarre, since I don't know anyone who doesn't. (The fact that we are forced to CHOOSE A SIDE, in fact, is the whole point, isn't it?) Why do these anti-trans feminists think they do not ALSO "uphold the gender binary"? Because they do. I do, you do, everyone does: If someone looks at you and calls you he or she on sight, well, you've passed the gender-test and you ALSO uphold the gender binary. IS there anyone on earth who does not uphold the gender binary? Where IS this magical omnigendered person? (Glen or Glenda?)

The question is then: Why are you holding trans people to a standard you are not holding everyone to? Why are they expected to "opt out" of a system you have not (and can not) opt out of?

PS: If you've had enough of reading that sort of thing, I can certainly relate. Warning, warning, warning, once again, highly offensive, reactionary victim-chic at the link.


I have not written about the political upheaval in Egypt, since I am ignorant of specifics and haven't had the time to delve properly into the subject. Thus, I share what smarter people have written:

Mubarak departs – what next? (A Scottish Liberal)

Mubarak Finally Listens – “Let My People Go!” (FireDogLake)

Katrina Vanden Heuvel: Neocons Have a Hard Time With Democracies That Emerge From Within a Country (Crooks and Liars)


:: A picture is worth a thousand words! You gotta see this: A Children’s Treasury of CPAC Stupidity: the Final Chapter Subtitled: TRINKETS OF THE DEATH OF AMERICAN CIVILIZATION... I promise you will love it!

:: On a more wonky note, Ezra Klein explains things carefully, in this post titled Do Republicans really oppose making health-care insurance cheaper? Yes, I've wondered that, too. Excerpt:

[The] short version is this: If you make health-care insurance cheaper and make it harder for insurance companies to deny people coverage, then a certain number of people who would like to leave the labor force but can't afford or access health-care insurance without their job will stop working.

To understand why, imagine a 62-year-old woman who works for IBM and beat breast cancer 10 years ago. She wants to retire. She has the money to retire. But no one will sell her health care under the status quo. Under the health-reform law, she can buy health care in an exchange because insurers can't turn her away due to her history of breast cancer. So she'll retire. Or imagine a 50-year-old single mother who wants to home-school her developmentally disabled child but can't quit her job because they'll lose health care. The subsidies and the protections in the Affordable Care Act will give her the option to stop working for awhile, while under the old system she'd need to stick with her job to keep her family's health-care coverage. That's how health-care reform can reduce the labor supply. If either case counts as a destroyed job, then so does my winning the lottery and moving to Scotland in search of the perfect glass of whiskey.
:: By way of Onyx Lynx, I found Avedon Carol's post quite thoughtful:
But I think there's also a deeper game here, and it explains why the entire media - not just the Murdoch and Moonie media - stays so focused on the right-wing crazies. It's the circus that deflects attention from what's really going on while everyone is playing games like "Beck is crazy" and "Look - Sarah Palin!" Well, yes, they've pretty much consistently done that sort of thing for the last 20 years, but I mean going even deeper than that, to why it is so consistent - enough that even some of our best liberal, independent bloggers just can't seem to pull their eyes away sometimes. Somebody out there wants us to keep watching the clown show for an even bigger reason.
:: OPEN LEFT is shutting down. Which is not a good sign. :(

Bye yall! I'll miss you!


This week's especially merciless ear worms:

This first one contains the original language, "I don't give two fucks about you"--which was sanitized for US airplay and became the more neutral, "I don't give a damn about you"... punks were considered pretty scary and thus, properly de-fanged for stateside radio. I'd never give you a de-fanged version on DEAD AIR!

I am proud to say, I own both versions in various mixes and anthologies, or I wouldn't even know about the censorship.

The Modern World - The Jam (1977)


Trigger warning, probable suicide references (debatable ever since song recorded in 1967); Joan Didion famously started her Doors essay with this song.

Moonlight Drive - The Doors (1967)


TOO GREAT FOR WORDS, this first-class mystical acidhead music can't be beat. Question: Are they chanting "Stonehenge! Stonehenge!" at the end? I've always thought so. Not sure what St Charles had to do with Stonehenge but hey, why not?

I really love this. NOTE: Acid flashback warning for at least half of my regular readers. :P

St Charles - Jefferson Starship (1976)


Marion said...

Lordy, I can't remember the last time I heard St. Charles. What a wonderful song...I've played it three times! Thank you!!

D. said...

On the transphobia front: I can remember thinking like that back in the '70s, and part of that had to do with a particularly abrasive trans woman in a particular fight. Real life, developing better "politics," and just meeting other transwomen, some of whom did not attempt to "police my gender," helped me to see that I was being stoopid.

(Trans men are OK by me. But that's because a part of me would have liked to have done that way back when.)

(And actually, we have enough women embracing the gender binary that it's pointless.)

Never knew that song was called "St. Charles." And I've hummed "Moonlight Drive" for absolutely years without thinking of suicide. Although my other running gag is that when I'm humming Doors, it's only a step away from humming Neil Young. Neil Young is what I hum when depressed.

Thanks for the mention!

JoJo said...

Why are the feminists being so mean and unpleasant? I don't get that at all. :( BTW I LOVE the Jam!!! One of my fave bands.

Sara said...

I'll congratulate you for your comments on the thread train wreck in question.

I managed to read all 313 comments (and tried to post one as 314th, but it's in moderation), and it's really fucked up to the 999th degree how much the thread has become anti-feminist, especially due to the 100+ trolling comments from mAndrea.


wow..had forgotten how great the song is..thanks for the shout out.

Mandos said...

There's a corner of radical feminism, particularly online, that has a strong suspicion of arguments based in "agency" and in "intersectionality" and is thoroughly invested in the idea that femaleness is the locus of all oppression.

It's interesting how this topic keeps coming up, and I wonder if it's directly and necessarily implied by the suspicion of agency arguments

Jim said...

What a nauseating cesspit that thread was!

I did read to the end, but when commenters satrted calling DDH and others men for disagreeing with thier bigotry and dishonesty, it was over for me.

My favorite idiotic comment was the one that claimed that without the experience of womanhood, it was impossible understand oppression.

Wow. Racist erasure much? Those comments reeked so badly of narcissistic self-absorption that it was hard to follow them. And here's the thing with real narcissists - you can't argue them out of it. They just aren't going to be able to make sense of your arguments because your arguments are going to threaten their entire sense of themselves.