Saturday, July 9, 2011

Drop It Like It's Hot

Thanks again for a marvelous week of conversations everyone. I am so sorry about the light posting on the blog the last few weeks.  The boys are off school for the summer and I am trying to adjust to the new schedule while blogging.  Please be patient and hopefully things will be back to normal soon.

It has long been a goal of mine to make Womanist Musings a truly inclusive and intersectional site and I believe we are finally well on the road to that.  It is my hope that at least once a week all readers will see an issue that directly effects them discussed on the blog. I really want this to be a space for marginalized people to gather and discuss issues safely. We may not always get things right, but please trust that a good faith effort exists.

I am currently seeking someone to join the team to talk about issues related to fat activism.  I would like someone who feels comfortable talking about their own experiences, as well as taking an FA perspective to conversations around body image.  If you are interested in becoming part of the team, please send an email to womanistmusings (at) gmail (dot) com with two samples of writing and an explanation as why it is important for you to explore this issue. Please note, this is a non paid writing assignment.

As always, Womanist Musings retains its open guest posting policy.  If you are interested in sharing an original piece or work that you have previously published on your blog, please use the above email.  Please include a small three line bio, and an image that you feel best represents you.

As usual, below you will find links to stories that I found interesting this week.  A link does not necessarily mean endorsement, it simply means that something about the piece caught my attention.  Please show these bloggers some love and check them out.  When you are done, don't forget to drop it like it's hot and leave you link behind in the comment section.  

More Latinos in U.S. Identifying as Indian
The Revolution Starts At Home
Of Spanking and State Violence 
The Creation - and Consequences - of the Model Minority Myth
Here's a Visual 
Celebrating Arthur Ashe, Wimbledon's First Black Winner and Social Activist
How To Slash Better
....or were they being "funny"
My Planned Parenthood Blog
Threat to Masculinity as a Legal Defense: The Larry King Trial
On Policing Femininity, and the Right to Be Wrong
On The Privilege to ignore "isms"
What If Words Matters? Thoughts on "Pussy" and "Slut" And Word Baggage
Would You Sue Over "The Paper Bag Test?"
No barbecues for Dr. Boyce
Open Letter to Western Feminists
The Mental Burden of a Lower Class Background
"Come Fly With Me":  When is it okay for two rich White Englishmen to wear Black face?
Surviving Disaster is Often a Matter of Class 
   

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thoughts on Kevin Hearne's Hammered

Hammered is the third book in The Iron Druid chronicles. You can find the review for book one here and book two here.  Paul, Tami and I have officially declared ourselves fan poodles of The Hearne (as my children have come to call him) with good reason.  The Iron Druid Chronicles are the kind of books that you stay up late to finish, and mourn sadly when you reach the last page.  I waited anxiously to get my hands on Hammered, and even stalked Kevin on twitter begging for some sort of spoiler. Yes, I am one of those fans.

Hammered once again centers on Hearne's protagonist Atticus, a 2000+ year old druid and his interactions with various creatures from mythology, Jesus, vampires and werewolves.  In Hexed Atticus met with the Virgin Mary and asked her to tell Jesus that they should get together for a beer and in Hounded that is exactly what they do.  Jesus appears wearing a tie dyed T-shirt in predominately reds, yellows, and greens, with a white peace sign screen-printed on the front of it.  He also wore a pair of relaxed fit blue jeans and classically black Chuck Taylors. Hearne even went as far as to suggest that "Jesus looked like the guy from the Old Spice bodywash commercials".  I dare you to tell me one single place that you can find Jesus described in this way?  What ensues is an irreverent exchange, with Jesus providing fish and chips to a crowded bar, explaining that "miracles are so much more fun when people are expecting them of you," while pounding back 60 year old whiskey. I laughed until my tears poured from my eyes.  

As usual, Atticus' forever naked druid behind is in deep trouble.  To keep a promise he made to Lakasha, he has to go to Asgard to steal an apple.  If that were not enough trouble, he has to return to help Leif and Gunnar kill Thor, who seems universally to be thought of as an asshole of epic proportions.  Despite a warning from the Morrigan and Jesus, that this is a path destined to result in  tragedy, and most likely end of his life, being of the iron age, Atticus finds it impossible not to keep his word.  If I tell you any more than this, I risk ruining the story for you, and The Hearne is far too good to receive that kind of treatment.

As much as I am a fanpoodle, I would be completely remiss if I did not point out some issues I found with the book.  Unlike Hexed and Hounded, Hammered did not have a very strong female presence.  When a book has a male protagonist, it is far too easy to erase women or to make them sidekicks without any real power, and unfortunately this occurred in Hammered. At one point, we are even treated to a round of male bonding, and the characters make it clear that they are competing to see who is the most masculine.  Atticus ends up doing the dishes, because the other men deem it to be women's work, and therefore beneath them. I suppose the reader is supposed to take from that, that their behaviour is silly, but the fact that Atticus participates in this male bonding ritual throughout the novel, makes it hard to believe that this is some kind of judgement on hyper masculinzation.
 
Finish reading here

The Princess Bible

You ever see something and think to yourself this cannot be real?

Girls long to be loved and adored, and give their heart to their hero. God is that hero! The characteristics focused on in this Bible storybook will help your little girl blossom into the princess she was created to be. Virtues to create beauty such as compassion, sharing, and truth are highlighted in fun and engaging ways. The perfect format for girls to learn about their destiny as a daughter of their King. Features included are: Beauty Secrets, Bible Princesses, My Hero (Scripture promises), Take a Bow (Easy plays that are Bible-focused), I Adore You (Put girls energy to use with songs, scripture and worship), Royal Truths, Down In My Heart (Scripture Memory), Princess Charming, Worthy of Love (Ideas to show how to love her royal subjects: family, siblings, friends and those in the community).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Reading Group


Hello everyone, I know that I normally ask what book you are reading, but today I thought I would ask if anyone would be interested in participating in a reading group?  Sapphire's second book, The Kid has recently been released, and I would love it if we could all read it together for the purposes of discussion. I understand that it will be a difficult text to read, because it deals with child abuse, poverty, the adoption system and race.  But if you are up to it, I believe that this is a book that we can all share together.  Apparently, the book is not nearly as redemptive as Push and that is why I am specifically interested in reading it.  Here is a link to an interview that Sapphire did with The Grio to give you some insight into her intentions with the book.

Please let me know how many in comments are interested in participating. 

Strauss-Khan Accuser: Victim of Broken Systems

Eva Rivera is a proud lesbian Chicana, daughter, sister and sex worker who can walk in 6 inch heels and twirl naked on a pole in front of total strangers but is still viciously afraid of moths. She hails from Fresno, CA and is a poet and aspiring film maker. You can find her more personal writing on her blog.  


By now, most of us are familiar with the case of the hotel housekeeper who was allegedly sexually assaulted by former IMF head, Dominique Strauss-Khan. What struck me was that so many journalists are writing as if the case is already closed. In their fantasy world, Strauss-Khan walks away innocent and manages to salvage his political career, while they pat themselves on the back over the American Justice System for taking the word of an immigrant housekeeper seriously. Win-win. They are able to fabricate this fantasy based on all the claims that the housekeeper is no longer a credible victim. While the media is busy dissecting the validity of the accusers words, they miss an opportunity to be critical of the broken systems that created this supposed lack of credibility. Whether or not you believe the housekeeper, I feel like we overlook the systemic fails that were exposed in the process.

I assumed that it was common sense but it bears repeating: you can still be a victim of rape if you lied in the past. You can even be raped if you supposedly have ties to a drug dealer. Or if you might have been a sex worker.

The housekeeper is not only (likely) a victim of sexual assault, a racist/classist/xenophobic media, but a victim of several broken systems as well. In this time of anti-immigrant sentiment, her position is that of a witch in a witch hunt. Already there are calls to deport her. What is overlooked is the difficulty of being granted asylum and the stress of being deported back to a homeland where she was raped (she did tell investigators that she was raped, just not in the way she described in her application) and where her husband was killed. No matter the reason for her migration, she is facing a broken immigration system and a media that sensationalizes it.  It's one thing to bring up her immigration status, although irrelevant to a sexual assault case, but it's another to build arguments from it which are used as reasons not to believe her. She is essentially being made an example of. Just skim the comments sections of these articles and you see immigrant-bashing as a common thread.

For The Toronto Argos, Home is Where We Hurt People

The above ads were places on the TTC to advertise and raise excitement over the Argonauts first  game of the season.  Apparently, the TTC has received five complaints about them and have launched an investigation, as to whether or not they should be removed.
The posters appearing on the TTC, show a picture of tough looking, tattooed defensive end Ricky Foley with the words, “Home is where the heart is. It’s also where we hurt people.”

Those will be replaced in the next couple of days with new posters bearing the same art but new words: “It’s not the heat that makes them sweat.”

The football club decided late Monday to make the change after learning of a complaint from Councillor Michael Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina), said Argos’ vice-president of marketing and communications David Bedford.

In the context of football the ads made sense. But, “Even one complaint is something we take seriously and certainly something of that gravitas,” he said.

Layton, who wrote a letter after discussing the ads with the White Ribbon Campaign to end violence against women, said the football club has responded correctly. (source)
Why is Argos management being thanked for taking down a poster that clearly promoted domestic violence?  You don't hand out cookies for doing the right thing.  The right thing would to have been never to create the poster in the first damn place. I was further troubled by the fact that when CTV reported on this story at their noon broadcast, they listed all of the efforts that the Argos have done to combat domestic violence, as though this somehow negates the damage of the advertisement.  Let's just face the fact, that even when the advertisements are removed, they have already caused hurt and pain to many that viewed them.  Choosing to double down on its ignorance, the CTV then announced that in their informal poll with people on the street, that no one found anything offensive about the ads, thereby implying that those who were upset by them where being too sensitive.

We Don't Usually Allow Scooters

 Getaway Vehicles?photo © 2008 Jo Jakeman | more info (via: Wylio)

Yesterday, I finally talked my boys into cutting their hair.  They both had wicked fros going on, which required a ton of work.  I thought it would nice, if for the summer, if they had easy to manage hair, and since their hair grow so quickly, by the time September rolled around, they would be well on their way back to their customary fros.  I called the hairdresser and made an appointment, and thought nothing of it.  We walked to the salon laughing about what designs they would get cut into their hair.  When we arrived at the salon, Destruction held the door open for me, and I rolled through with my scooter.  When I was almost in the salon, the hairdresser who would be cutting their hair said, "we normally don't allow these scooters in here but since you are already half way in, you can come in".

I looked at her and said, "this scooter functions as my legs, so if it cannot come in, then I cannot come in."  A man getting his hair cut at the time pipped up adding, "you should really just put up a sign saying no scooters allowed."  Before I could respond to him, the man that owned the salon told me the reason they were concerned about my scooter, is because a woman had come in, using a mobility scooter awhile back, had damaged the door, costing him over four hundred dollars to fix.  The owner and the customer then got into a conversation about how he should have sued the woman for damaging his door.  Really people? 

What neither of them took into account was that the doorway that they were so concerned about was extremely narrow.  Taking it very slowly, I just managed to negotiate it without damage to myself, my scooter, or the door.  The entire problem could be solved by making the entrance way more accessible, but their solution was to simply ban disabled people from the building. Downtown Niagara Falls is already highly inaccessible.  I cannot enter most of the buildings without aid, because they do not have automatic door openers, and the one business that was kind enough to install a doorbell, so I wouldn't have to wave my arms frantically to get attention, has since moved. Even though I have made countless complaints with the local LCBO (government owned liquor stores), about the fact that the entrance is inaccessible, it has also failed to make any changes.

In Congregation

WoodTurtle is a Canadian Muslim feminist currently using her extended maternity leave to explore developments of Islamic feminism in the Western and Muslim world.  As a woman who wears the hijab (owns several abayas and a niqab monogrammed with her initials in pink, sparkly sequins), she writes frequently on genderized Islamophobia. She also works toward dispelling myths and stereotypes about women in Islam for both Muslims and non.

The last time I attended Jummah prayers was Easter long weekend. It was a lovely, warm Friday afternoon and an excellent opportunity for us to go to the mosque together as a family. The three of us dressed up and joined the hundreds of people also taking advantage of the holiday to attend the prescribed congregational prayer.

The Islamic bookstore was crowded, volunteers sold hijabs and samosas in the hallways, and the mosque had invited the Red Cross to hold a blood donor clinic before and after the service. The call to prayer rang out over loud speakers and everyone rushed to their spaces. It was our first real Friday sermon in North America.

Obviously because of the overflow of people, women (and men) were being asked to pray in adjoining classrooms. One of the advantages of attending the larger mosques, is that many have established Islamic schools on the premises-- which means extra space in large gymnasiums, classrooms and kitchens for unexpected crowds or large events. I sat on the floor with Eryn on my lap, in a bright and colourful grade school classroom and waited for the sermon to begin.

The imam introduced himself and addressed the youth. This khutbah is for you, he said. I want you all to put away your Facebooks, messengers and games and listen up. You are the future and this is an important message. At this point, he started yelling.

At first I thought the PA system was on too loud, and looked to around to see that I was sitting right beneath a speaker. But as the decibels increased, I realised that he was trying to sound excited and inspiring. Looking at all of the bored, blank faces around me, I wasn't sure the imam was getting through to his intended audience.

Don't be ashamed of yourselves!! Who is this Mo? Your name is Mohammed! Who is this Joe? Your name is Yusuf! Why are we Muslims ashamed of ourselves? You hold the legacy of the Prophets! BE PROUD! No doubt an important message -- but he was unfortunately yelling so loudly and so angrily, that I actually felt threatened and had to leave the classroom. It wasn't enjoyable or spiritually uplifting. Eryn and I ended up listening to the remainder of the sermon from the more peaceful hallway, and rejoined the group when it was time to pray.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Give Me A Fat Model Damn It

If Wishing could Make it sophoto © 2010 Sean | more info (via: Wylio)

In the city in which I reside, there is only one store that sells plus size clothing, which means that if they don't have something you like, you are S.O.L.  I have taken to doing a lot of my shopping online.  There is nothing worse than going somewhere and seeing a bunch of people in the same outfit and this happens quite a bit with plus size women in this area due to a lack of selection.

Looking through my closet, I realized that I really needed some new summer clothes, and so it was off to ebay to get some shopping done.  I tend to use the same vendors repeatedly, because their clothes are exactly as shown and their shipping prices are reasonable.  While going through my favs, I noticed one thing repeatedly, when an online store did have a model, they tended to be White and slim. Any fat person can tell you that clothing hangs differently on us and therefore, showing me how the shirt I want to buy looks on a size two, does absolutely nothing for me, on top of erasing me.

It seems to me, that if your target market is the plus size woman, then a plus size model makes perfect sense.  I know that due to the culture of fat phobia that we live in, women with fat bodies are often constructed as repulsive; however, with the exception of dealing with those who have internalized fat hatred, it would be a positive experience to see fat women modeling clothing, because we are nearly universally erased.  If a fat woman cannot see herself reflected when she is buying clothing for herself, then when are we allowed to be visible?

African American Romantic Comedies: Colorism

I love a good romantic comedy, but I must admit I am especially partial to those that star Blacks.  It is a rare thing to see a dominant Black presence in media, and romantic comedies happen to be the only genre that this consistently happens in.  Unfortunately, these movies still fall into specific tropes that are a direct result of being produced in a White supremacist culture. 

Many of the male stars like, Morris Chestnut and Taye Diggs are dark skinned Black men.  In fact, you could reasonably argue that Morris Chestnut is the king of the African Romantic comedy.  These dark skinned men are always described as fiiiine, hot, and a real catch.  When it comes to colourism and Black men, it would be fair to say that it is not an issue in African American comedies, because the actors range from Morris Chestnut to the ever so lovely LL Cool J (and yes, I love him).

The same is not necessarily true when it comes to women.  From Stacey Dash in VHI's new series Single ladies, to Paula Patton in 2011's Jump the Broom, to Sanaa Lathan in The Best Man, to Zoe Sandana in Guess Who, to Vivica Fox in Two Can Play That Game, and Queen Latifah in Just Wright, light skinned women have a tendency to dominate the genre. The darkest skinned woman that you will find in the genre are Monique, who played the ghetto woman Two Can Play that Game, Kimberly Elise, who played Helen in Diary of a Mad Black woman (the title says it all doesn't it), and Gabrielle Union, who starred in Deliver Us From Eva.  

What is perhaps most interesting, is that in Deliver Us From Eva, Union played the stereotypical angry Black woman who had been burned countless times.  She was absolutely vicious to anyone that approached her, and her brother in laws absolutely detested her, that is until they paid LL. Cool J to date her, and suddenly she became soft, and loving.  Here we go again with another Black woman being saved from her angry ways by the love of a good Black man. (Tyler Perry is somewhere dancing a little jig.) All the things that allowed her to support her sisters up to and including putting them through school, and saving money for the benefit of their family, were seen as negative character traits.  When Union played opposite Vivica Fox in Two Can Play That Game, she played the role of Jezebel. That's right, a dark Black woman out to steal away Morris Chestnut from the light skinned, smart, and in control Vivica Fox.  Union was slut shamed throughout the movie, and yet when Vivica Fox chose to sleep with Chestnut in his office it was simply being freaky and keeping your man happy.  Particularly telling, is that no reference was made to the differentiate between the two women, except for the visually obvious difference in hue. Why one was necessarily deserving of being slut shamed, when she was essentially no different than the other, was left for the viewer to determine. Even in movies, the strong dark skinned Black woman can never get a break. 
Finish reading here

Monstrous Musings: Patriotic Monstrosity

"Natalie Wilson is literature and women’s studies scholar and author of the blogs Professor, what if…? and Seduced by Twilight. She is currently writing a book examining the Twilight cultural phenomenon from a feminist perspective, forthcoming from McFarland in 2010. Her interest in vampires and werewolves dates back to her childhood fascination with all types of monsters."

I have been reading a number of novels dealing with nuclear holocaust lately such as Z is for Zachariah, Alas, Babylon, and On the Beach. I have also long immersed myself in dystopian future worlds such as those envisioned in The Handmaid’s Tale, V for Vendetta, 1984, A Clockwork Orange, He, She, and It, and, most recently, Divergent.  These novels, in various ways, serve as meditations on the dangers of patriotism and nationalism. While these words are supposed to mean different things, there is a slippage between them in current times, one that melds the love of one’s country (patriotism) to the desire for power over others and other countries (nationalism). I call this melding “patriotic monstrosity.”

While the term monster has many meanings, the definitions I am thinking of most is “a threatening force” – as when patriotism is used to threaten other nations, often by attempting to bomb them into submission.

The definition of monstrous as “a person of unnatural or extreme ugliness, deformity, wickedness, or cruelty” is also fitting of recent U.S. patriotism as it has become, in many ways, a nation of ugliness, wickedness, and cruelty. U.S.“patriotism” is no longer of the type that loves one’s place of birth and its traditions, but the type that claims “you'll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A. 'cause we'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way” (as put by Toby Keith in his song “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue”).

This type of patriotism is the kind that leads to the nightmare scenarios envisioned in the novels above – to nuclear war, planetary devastation, and the annihilation of the human race.

Seeing as July 4th is the patriotic holiday extraordinaire in the U.S. where one can find people decked out in red, white, and blue waving flags and waxing non-poetically (and quite often very drunkenly) about the supposed greatness that is America, it seems fitting to pause and think about just how monstrous our patriotism has become on this, the day after “Independence Day.”

The Problem With Urban Fantasy Fandom

As you know, I have been watching and reviewing Buffy The Vampire Slayer for a project that I am working on. I have written a review for each season, and each time I do so, some silly fan nonsense occurs.  I am of the belief that because we live in an imperfect world, that you simply have to say fuck it I like it from time to time, otherwise you would never be able to listen to music, read a book, or watch a movie or television for that matter.  There is however a line between saying fuck it I like it, and ignoring the multitude of isms that are perpetrated daily in our mainstream culture. It is more than possible to think critically about a text and still enjoy it. Warts should never disappear, because when they do, it means that we are internalizing an ism that is harmful, or we are openly and passively denying our various privileges.

On a post I wrote regarding the chaste lesbian relationship in season four of Buffy the vampire slayer, quite a few of the people who follow us on tumblr were upset, but one response really stood out to me.
Uh just so you know, the network that Buffy was airing on at the time, the WB, wouldn’t allow them to do anything more than hold hands. They weren’t allowed to kiss, they weren’t allowed to be shown in bed together. Joss Whedon wasn’t the culprit in that area, and what he did with their relationship with the boundaries set, was absolutely amazing to the point where Alyson and Amber got letters from fans saying they didn’t kill themselves because they were in that relationship in Buffy.
What the flying fuck.  Yes, to defend the fact that two meters of air were kept between Alyson and Amber throughout the season, except when it encouraged the sexual fantasies of a straight male, the author decided to invoke gay suicide.  My head began to spin. The rate of gay teens committing suicide is absolutely horrendous, and to invoke this to defend Buffy is unconscionable.  Something this serious should never ever be used as a ploy.

Even if I were to believe in the veracity of the above statement, how exactly does this change the fact that the relationship between Willow and Tara is unreasonably chaste in comparison to the heterosexual relationships on Buffy the Vampire Slayer? If people embraced the relationship, it was not because it was good, but because it was the best of the bad at the time.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer may have been progressive in terms of the GLBT community for its time, but it is far from progressive.

Finish reading here

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Sims Gaytopia

This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky.
 
There are innumerable ways I while away the few... well, minutes that aren't already claimed in my extra hectic circle. And one among my guilty pleasures is the computer game, the Sims 3. Especially when I'm reading a book for Fangs for the Fantasy, that is so ultra painful that I have to do something else at the same time to distract me.

Anyway, a friend of mine looked over my shoulder and was surprised at my gay commune. Yes, all my Sims, their children and grandchildren were gay - my little gaytopia. And this confused and bemused her. Isn't it silly? Isn't it unrealistic?

And I have to say this is a game where my eldest Sim is a vampire, where I can make the kids age by buying a cake, I can go on holiday to France, find some artefacts and bring them home (also the only place you can buy a camera) and put them on my shelves. I can buy a teleport pad for crying out loud. But an all gay household? That's just ridiculous!

And I recall, the many times when I complained about lack of decent GBLT representation out there, commenters have objected because "realistically," there just simply aren't that many GBLT people, right? So surely a lack of us is just "realistic." Never mind the other effects of representation on a marginalised population, never mind that even if the quota in the media exactly matched the proportions in real life, we'd still need a damn site more characters. Never mind how we commonly accept elves and goblins and star ships and that absolutely anyone laughs along with those laugh tracks. No, too many GBLTs? That's totally unrealistic.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day

fire works 2photo © 2007 shino 伊藤誌野 | more info (via: Wylio)

Even though you are not nearly as awesome as Canada, as my Canada post clearly showed, I thought I would take the time to wish all my American readers a happy independence day.  I know some malt liquor induced thinking, caused a certain American, to make really bold claims, but I am not hater, and can forgive her, her delusions.  Enjoy your bbq, picnics, bad bacon and watery beer.  The posting will be light today, but we will be back at it tomorrow. 

FOX News Tweets Obama's Death


When I saw those tweets, my heart began to race and tears immediately came to my eyes.  Obama is not my leader, but as the first African American president, he has come to mean a lot to the children of the African Diaspora.  I immediately turned on the television and put it on CNN, a far more credible news station to learn that there was no discussion about this.  I am going to give Fox the benefit of the doubt it does not deserve, and  assume that they have been hacked.  If not, it was the most tasteless joke I have ever seen.  Either way, they need to make some kind of public announcement that comes with an apology. 

Update: Fox has announced that their twitter feed has been hacked and "regrets any distress the false tweets may have created".

 

True Blood: You Smell Like Dinner


Last week, at the end of episode one, like many others, I did the mad dash to HBO to watch episode two, only to discover that it was and in fact still is, restricted to residents of the 50 states.  HBO has no problem accepting my subscriber fee that I pay every month, but somehow, I was not entitled, like every other fan, to get a sneak peek. Yeah, I am still bitter as hell over that one.  I had to spend the week carefully avoiding spoilers, because I didn't want last nights episode ruined for me.

Okay, rant off my chest, let's dig in shall we?  Last nights episode really made up for the crappy start last week.  I must admit that I was worried when I saw the terrible sci-fi effects in the first episode.  I am always the type that thinks when it comes to urban fantasy, more is better, and so I was really worried that we would be subjected to more cheap effects.  Here's the deal HBO, True Blood is making y'all a killing, and since you already got off way to cheap on the wolves, as far as I am concerned, you need to spend some money and do some actual special effects. (okay, so I lied, I had one more rant in me) Back on topic now.

There were several things going on this episode and rather than do a recap, I thought I would just talk about what I loved, what made no sense, and what I outright hated.  Pam once again stole the show for me, though she really did not have a huge part to play in the episode.  When she stopped Jessica from intervening in Hoyt's fight saying, "that technology has taken all of the fun out of being a vampire," because someone was recording made me laugh. My other favourite Pam line came when Sookie approached her to enlist her help in getting Eric to sell her back her home.  Pam looked dead pan at Sookie and said, "Did I miss something?  Are we girls now?  Did we join a bookclub and read some queer chick lit memoir and so now we're bonded together by estrogen, or sisterhood or some other feminist drivel". How can that possibly be beat?  Sookie's problem is that she is used to being able to bend people to her will and Pam is one of the few that consistently puts herself first and no amount batting eyelashes will change that.  Only Pam could be that cool in the ugliest red dress under creation.

The other scene I liked also involved Sookie, except this time it included Jessica. After struggling to get together with Hoyt last season Jessica is quickly finding out domestic bliss is not everything she thought it might be.  Not only must Jessica adjust to her vampire nature, at 17 years old and coming from a Christian conservative family, Jessica has never had any freedom.  Hoyt may have seemed like a valid escape at first but now he is slowly becoming dead weight around her neck.  After he refuses to drink her blood to help him heal, she tells him that she is going to get him some Advil for the pain and instead heads straight to Fangtasia to hunt. After hearing Jessica drinking blood, Sookie being Sookie i.e. a woman that does not what is and is not her business decides to intervene.  After explaining to Sookie how much she hurts Bill, Jessica tells her, "stop acting like my step mom. I hated it before and I like it even less now. Just go away. This ain't got nothing to do with you. I can eat who I want."  And there you have it folks, twice in one night Sookie got told off and I loved it.  As much as love True Blood, Sookie is one of the least empathetic heroines I have come across in a long time.  Not even the talented Alan Ball, can undo the horror of Charlaine Harris.

Finish reading here.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Is It Really All That Embarrassing?

Dear readers,  I am turning to you to settle an ongoing debate in my household.  As many of you know, we have a king Sheppard/Golden Lab cross. My Sookie is an absolutely beautiful dog.  We have learned to overlook her habit of stealing ice right of our glasses and guarding the garbage.  We have even encouraged her tendency to lose her damn mind the minute she hears the garbage truck because it is hilarious to watch.  I have however come to my limit of over looking things when it comes to dog hair.

Right now, I am quite literally drowning in dog hair.  I am currently wearing a Black shirt which has its own layer of fur.  I have brushed and brushed and brushed her and yet there is still no relief.  We have constantly vacuumed because the hair is all over the carpet and the furniture.  The hair is even in the air of the house.  I have ordered the furminator but thanks to the Canada Post strike, I have not received it yet.

I wholeheartedly believe that the solution is to shave the dog.  Now that she is shedding, no matter how much I brush her, we are not getting any relief.  The unhusband however is not buying this solution and since Sookie belongs to the entire family, I cannot shave her against his wishes, or can I?  At any rate, he feels that she would be embarrassed by the hair cut, and that in turn he would be embarrassed to walk her.  He thinks that she would look weird with her hair cut short, and I say anything to stop breathing in dog hair should be left on the table.  As I was brushing her for the millionth time today, I realized that as long as she is a member of our family, that we are going to have to deal with this.  I cannot imagine drowning in dog hair every summer.

Okay readers, it is time for you to weigh in.  Do you believe that we should just bite the bullet and shave the dog, or should we save her the supposed embarrassment and continue to drown in dog hair?