Thursday, May 22, 2008

See my friends!

Left: More azaleas! You can never have enough!


Plugging a few of my friends' blogs today! GO READ IMMEDIATELY!

Vanessa hazards a guess about why her generation is so apathetic. She blames the 80s nuke scares and Scifi, which makes sense:

The American people of my generation, born in the late seventies, grew up at a time when outright nuclear destruction in the next decade or so was a virtual guarantee. Pop culture was saturated with this idea. Probably like 80 percent of the movies and TV shows I watched as a child (my dad, bless him, was probably a little lax on the whole "Rated R" concept) were either action movies set in the present where scary Soviets were trying to annihilate us, or dystopian science fiction where scary Soviets already had. Even Star Trek: The Next Generation, the one scifi universe where humanity apparently managed to get their shit together, talked about a post-World War III dystopia.
She believes the overall result of this doomsday-prognosticating is the pervasive belief that There's Nothing We Can Do.
So when this specific impending doom vaporized just when we were entering high school I think we suddenly had to figure out what the hell to do with our lives, I think we went all jaded and sarcastic and became Nirvana fans who could care less about the world because it could explode tomorrow...except it never got around to doing so.

Why do women trash other women? A lifelong puzzle to me, as a feminist. Those of you who saw Heathers and its rather pallid update, Mean Girls, know exactly whereof I speak.

I've recently dealt with the situation of a grown woman who seems to have regressed to high-school-level clique-mentality. And this is the kind of person who should know better, as feminists should. Why do we do this? Maybe because so many feminists felt like persona non grata in high school, so they are making up for it now? I have no idea.

In any event, Renegade Evolution has had enough of it. Beware, video is Not Safe For Work and for that matter, not safe for anyone of delicate sensibilities who needs copious amounts of smelling salts to get through the day. (So, if you faint easily, stay away please.)


Belledame generously hosts the feminist trainwreck thread of the month at her blog, Fetch Me My Axe! Yes, everyone gets in on the action. Don't miss the fun!

Queen Emily writes about ignorant people, while Zan changes her blog to MY FAVORITE COLOR! (love it, Zan!) Adrienne writes about how she learned to read and incidentally reminds us of the importance of feminist books for children, while the wonderful La Lubu gives us a whole reading list for kids!

Raven travels to Luverne, Minnesota, to say goodbye to a friend who has passed. She shows us the stunningly-beautiful prairie that sustained her spirit during the visit.

And Octogalore keeps on keeping it real, with her fabulous feminist posts about age and appearance:
[Women] are schooled to view other characteristics to supplement our view of what’s attractive. And given the ingrained myth of the man being the more active in the world, while the woman supports or receives, characteristics going along with this action are imbued with perception of attractiveness.
This is why an older woman of achievement is still judged in a radically different way than a man of the same age and achievement.
We all know, in many stories with a female protagonist, the conclusion is a proposal or wedding (name a “chick flick”). That’s the end goal. Stories with male protagonists often have to do with career tumult (Bright Lights Big City) or intrigue (Godfather) or action (Mad Max, Indiana Jones).

I come back to this from the previous post:

“I think if the roles of man = provider/actor and woman = decorative, passive receiver were more averaged out, we'd see more [situations in which women’s age and maturity are part of, or at the very least do not diminish from, her attractiveness].”

Many will toss out things like “biology” and “wiring” and back that up by talking about things like spreading of seed. To which I toss out things like “birth control” and “who has more orgasms per unit time?” and “child support” and “three months [last trimester, the only time most women experience significant impact from pregnancy]” and “breast pump.” I do not know many guys who have a desire to have large numbers of expensive dependents with multiple women. Nor do I know many women who were bedridden and/or unproductive during a large part of their pregnancies. I do know many men who experienced the same post-partum bond as their spouses. I am no biologist and I’m not claiming it plays no role, but I think the degree to which it does is greatly exaggerated.
GO READ THE WHOLE THING! (Although she is currently supporting Hillary, some of us can't wait until Octo runs for the office herself!)



[via FoxyTunes / The Kinks]


Renegade Evolution said...

nsfw...the running theme of my life.

Tom Nolan said...

I very much agree that the nuclear threat in the eighties annihilated all constructive thoughts about the future for a lot of people. I recently re-viewed "Threads", after twenty three years, and it brought it all back to me. God, that was a horrible, paranoid decade.

JoJo said...

I never thought of it that way, about the nuke threat and its impact on kids younger than me. Although "The Day After" scared the socks off me & I was in college.

If you want a real hoot about women objectifying themselves, type in "bikini baristas bonney lake" into google news, and read about the hoopla in my town and the protest/counterprotest set for this weekend.

white rabbit said...

The Kinks - class act or what? ;)

Octogalore said...

Thanks, Daisy! Your efforts have been inspiring.

Re Pres, there are at least ten ways I'd be disqualified and that's just off the top of my head. But you're very sweet!

Rootietoot said...

You reminded me...I have a Kinks album on actual vinyl! I have a Paul Revere and the Raiders, too. I must dig them out.

belledame222 said...

but, it was Morning In America! how could we possibly have been..oh. Right. Never mind.

fucking Reagan.

beautiful flowers.

John Powers said...

There's a lovely essay about the future by Michael Chabon posted in PDF (I think it was originally in Details magazine) at The Long Now site. One sentence hit me: "If you ask my eight-year old about the Future, he pretty much thinks the world is going to end, and that's it."

A friend on the Internet talks about "digging with teaspoons" and connects that with people's long struggle. I always enjoy hearing him tell anyone who asks to get out their teaspoon and dig, because I think it just might make a difference.

The kids maybe right about the world ending. What I grieve about is how that may make it harder for them to feel they can make a difference. Yet perhaps it's not the impediment I imagine. All of us can create something good and the reward in doing so maybe intrinsic.

Still, it sure helps when others notice. And that's one reason I love the posts your write when you point to the creations of others.

Tom Nolan said...


Most people let the signs go by unheeded,
Newspaper headlines big and black as hearses,
Official faces pallid as a nurse’s,
Catastrophes half hidden half conceded.
Most people hardly noticed them, but we did.

In fact we seized on every premonition
And let two-headed succubuses ride us
And felt, as seas of ash came to betide us
Our marrow melt in effervescent fission –
And recognized in that our special mission.

We didn’t tell the world where it was going,
Our knowledge was a private revelation,
We didn’t pass on our prognostication
When symptoms that had hidden started showing;
Instead we shut our eyes and watched them growing.

We knew no passion urging us to still it,
No salutary task to set our hand to,
No dream at all but must be blown to sand, to
Infected dust before we could fulfill it;
No better world beseeching us to will it.

And in the end we lost touch altogether
With families and friends who hardly missed us,
Our thoughts bent on irradiated vistas,
On carcase-skin tanned tough and brown as leather,
On hollow bone translucent as a feather.

And while our one-time friends were getting on with
The little plans their little lives had scope for,
The modest ends they had the heart to hope for,
We brooded, brooded till our darkness shone with
The nightmare we had come to feel at one with,

And let the gamma radiation grill us
And let it shine on our internal landscapes
And turn them into hot, infertile sandscapes;
Yet though we gave the nightmare leave to fill us
It never grew intense enough to kill us.

With time that unitary menace faded
And others came that though apocalyptic
Were complex as a day-of-judgment triptych
And left our orphaned spirits unpersuaded.
We sought our old friends out and did as they did.

And after twenty years had dissipated
The recollections of that white effulgence –
Our greatest dread and greatest self-indulgence –
We found our cancelled future reinstated,
With passion and monotony back-dated.

Ravenmn said...

Thanks for the link, Daisy.

BTW, you need to head over to Vanessa's for her new post on Hillary's alluding to 1968 yesterday. As a fellow old lady blogger, you might enjoy the perspective she applies to the sitch and provide some memories as well.

ZenDenizen said...

You cover a lot of ground in one post :)

As for the mean girls thing, I just never had a lot of female friends growing up. I always thought boys were cooler but I'm finding the ratio of my friends circle rapidly changing now that I'm in my 30s.

Essay said...

Can't recall much of the things in the late 70's however, as has been often pointed out, given the great destructiveness of nuclear weapons, even a very low probability risk is cause for great concern. If I was totall aware of the things going around that time, I would probably think that it's gonna be the end of the world...tsk, tsk, tsk.