Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Vampire Diaries Season Three, Episode Six: Smells Like Teen Spirit

 
This episode opens with Alaric teaching Elena some defensive moves against vampires.  He tells her that she needs to bulk up, because she is not physically strong enough to stab a vampire. Alaric makes the point of telling Elena that a vampire will hurt her without remorse, and she tells him that he doesn't need to use pronouns and that she knows he is talking about Stefan. Finally, Elena is recognizing that Stefan is dangerous.

At the school, yes I said school, Caroline seems excited about her senior year of high school.  What shocked me is all of the Black people in the background.  Where did all these Black kids from?  And behold, Caroline isn't actually feeding on them. Elena is upset because she met Stefan a year ago on the first day of school, but she apparently is putting it all behind her, because she is starting a new life. Bonnie however is miserable because Jeremy is able to see Anna and knows that their relationship ended because she died, and not because they actually broke up.

At Stefan and Damon's, Stefan has compelled a few girls to play twister as he feeds off of them.  Of course, Rebecca shows up to whine that Klaus left her behind.  Rebecca is quickly becoming my least favorite character to ever appear on this show.  I can handle self-concerned vampire, but whining and snipping in a creature this old is ridiculous. She behaves as though she is 16 and not ancient. When Rebecca asks which one her room is, Stefan tells her that she is not staying there, and she calls them rude and stalks off to find her own room.

Bonnie is actually jealous of Anna the ghost. Anna is dead, but yet Bonnie feels the need to tell Jeremy that he has the power to decide whether or not he sees her.  Sitting in his truck, Matt reminisces with Vicky about the first day of school last year. When he tells her that he misses her, Vicky tells Matt that there is a way that he can help her come back. Once again, I feel that this whole storyline exists simply to justify Matt's continued participation on the show.

When Tyler shows up with blood on his shirt, Caroline and Elena drag him into the bathroom. It seems that Rebecca hooked him up with a blood bag.  Rebecca's job is to keep an eye on Tyler because he is the first hybrid.  He is absolutely giddy about this, but Caroline is not at all pleased.  For Tyler it means a whole new world and I can understand why he is excited.

When Elena leaves the bathroom to let them argue it out, she is stopped by Stefan.  Apparently, he is  playing the role of high school Sr. to keep an eye on her. When Alaric interrupts them, Stefan slams him up against a locker, and tells Alaric that he is not going to want to get into his way.  Elena explains the situation to Alaric, and then tells him that Stefan being in the school is not good for anyone. That's a case of no shit sherlock if I have ever heard it.  In class, Rebecca of all people shows up.

Matt and Vicky talk in the stoner pit, and she tells him that she has a witch ( I wonder how Black the witch is?) on the other side, who is willing to push her through, and that she will be able to come and go as she pleases, if Matt performs the ritual.  Jeremy shows up and talks to Matt, pretending that he does not see Vicky.  He walks off and talks to Anna, who tells him that Vicky is surrounded by darkness. Anna tells Jeremy that you cannot upset the balance of nature from the other side, and that Vicky must have agreed to pay a price.  Vicky plays upon Matt's emotions, telling him that he does not have to be alone anymore.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Re-claiming Subversion.

"Jaded is a writer who is extremely unsure of labels and ideologies. These days she self-identifies as a "ruin-in-progress". 


I haven’t written here for more than a month, because honestly I didn’t trust myself to write without exploding into particles of dust, or if I did manage to write somehow it would only be selective expletives repeated over and over — I’ve been more than just a little angry. Warning to readers, I’m not writing this to cater to your sensibilities, nor is this the moment to profess how you belong to [x] group but don’t do any [abc] I talk about. I am exhausted with keeping my anger inside, and it’s coming out in all insidious ways today.



When I repeat out of frustration to western feminists — yes western feminists get clubbed in the same indistinguishable a bubble as “South Asian feminist” feels to me — that abortion wars here are different, we face different demons, we use different strategies, all they seem to hear is “India doesn’t consider abortion is illegal! They don’t have anything to complain about!”. Yes, factually, the Indian nation-state hasn’t outlawed abortion, that can hardly be cited as evidence to prove that there aren’t any problems. Or on the flip-side, almost every feminist (or not) publication from the Global North talks about the problem of female feticide India – additionally India and China are used interchangeably for some reason, as if any place that is Not the Global North must be a homogeneous mass of cultures  – to the extent that “feminism in India” means “sex-selective abortion”. There is a problem with using and perpetuating such a model, where you start equating a region’s “gender problems” to its feminism is probably the preliminary layer of fail; I’ve talked about  it long enough. What you leave out when you stick to the primitive equation of “Indian feminism = sex-selective abortion” are the many methods that the State designs to keep contraception from people who want to access it, to forcibly sterilise groups which the State thinks need to be curbed and even erased. It infuriates me that whenever one speaks of “sex-selective abortions” and its evils — yes fetuses are being aborted because they’re perceived to be ‘useless’ as they’re female, and it is evil, it needs to end, no disputing this fact. But there’s more to just a “culture thinking females are unworthy” that people don’t want to engage with — what western feminists don’t even consider is the way discourse around contraception figures here; mainly because they’re too busy presuming that it’s the same as it is in their native countries, but I digress.

Contraception, as introduced by the State was started in the light of the UN deciding “India’s problem” was “over-population”, and it’s not surprising that a neo-liberal capitalist socialist state that India supposedly was then didn’t contest this accusation, or didn’t argue that the real problem was unequal resource-allocation. Contraception, for a long time didn’t mean sexual autonomy of bodies, instead it was (and is), “we must control the numbers”, as if these “numbers” cannot ever be wanted bodies. Forced sterilsations of men and (mostly) women during Emergency years are no secret, nor are the sterilisations of some “backward” castes and tribes that are carried out regularly. More recently, the State has changed its face when it comes to contraception, now it’s under the Right To Information, the citizen — or at least people who are read as citizens — that we get “a choice” in what form of contraception we can avail of; there are enough ads everywhere that address this nice married Hindi and English speaking Hindu lady who has two (or three) children and is thinking of contraception. Even within this incredibly narrow range of people nice Hindu ladies addressed, they don’t get access to contraception — there are abortion practitioners who will look at your financial and social status and decide that you can raise a baby and refuse to give you an abortion, or not give you information about UID’s even if you can afford it, the concern to protect your Right To Conceive one day is apparently more important than your informed choice — and people who are not women, who are not Hindu, not English (or Hindi) speaking, according to the State don’t need to avail of contraception, going by the demographic they address in their ads and propaganda.

Mixed Raced Characters in Urban Fantasy don't Necessarily Constitute Inclusion

'Coffee Swirl' photo (c) 2009, Will Keightley - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

One of the recurring tropes we’ve found in Urban Fantasy is the use of token inclusion for people of colour. Unfortunately for many authors, the addition of one person of color in an all White cast, even in cities in which the population demographics would suggest a larger representation is necessary, qualifies for a claim of equal representation. This is beyond irritating in and of itself. But there’s a related trope that doesn’t even go so far as that to use the oft normalized tokens - mixed race protagonists. One of the major issues is that even though these people are technically bi-racial, they are often so light skinned that they exist with passing privilege, thereby never having to negotiate the racism faced by everyday people of colour. Urban fantasy gives new meaning to the phrase light bright and damn near White.

In and of themselves, mixed race protagonists are by any means a bad thing - not by any stretch. We’d welcome, hail and do happy dances about more mixed-race protagonists, or more protagonists of colour in general, if it constituted good equal representation but alas that is not the case. It would be good to see if these mixed raced people read like mixed raced people, instead of White people with a touch of exotic thrown in for extra flavour.

They nearly always have a disconnect with their heritages of colour. Often this is in the form of a dead or missing parent. For example, Anita Blake’s Hispanic mother is dead, Mercy Thomas’ Native American father is missing. Kelley Armstrong’s Jeremy has an absent Asian mother. Richelle Mead’s Rose Hathaway has an absent Turkish father. In Clay and Susan Griffith’s Greyfriar series, Adele’s Persian mother is dead. The dead parents trope in this situation gives the author the opportunity to iinclude a mixed race character, (and mention their physical characteristics) without ever having to include any cultural context or signifiers (Though, it has to be said, this is not limited purely to canonical mixed race characters and there are no small number of POC token inclusions that are also divorced entirely from cultural signifiers). It also creates the question of where are the other members of the characters family? Was every single raced parent an orphan, that they left no family behind to interact with their children? There is always a reason why these families completely disappear to justify the erasure, and allow the author to claim faux inclusion points. It also means that authors don’t have to research cultures outside of their direct experience and serves to privilege Whiteness.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Controversy Compounded: Lesbian Couple Raising Transgender Child

This is a cross post from Matt of Transfesto

Matt Kailey is a transman living in Denver, Colorado, and an author, public speaker, and trainer on transgender issues. He blogs at Tranifesto. In his ideal world, no one would be equal to anyone else – everyone would just be equal.  

Could we not anticipate the brouhaha? Even when a “nice,” “normal,” “perfectly acceptable” heterosexual couple recognizes that their child is trans and decides to takes steps to make the child’s life as comfortable as possible as soon as possible, they are blasted by all manner of folk who really need to be worried about their own children instead. But add “lesbian” to that mix and there is going to be hell to pay.
 
Same-sex couple Pauline Moreno and Debra Lobel say that their adopted child, who is now known as Tammy, has claimed that she is a girl since the age of three and threatened to mutilate her (standard male) genitals at the age of seven. The child is now eleven, and Moreno and Lobel have followed the accepted path when dealing with trans children – making sure that Tammy got therapy, consulting with doctors, and finally putting Tammy on hormone treatment to delay male puberty, giving Tammy more time to make sure that this is the right path for her.

Of course, the right wing is up in arms, saying that Tammy is too young to make this “decision,” accusing the couple of child abuse, and posting the story all over the Internet, with the loudest and most hostile accusations hurled by those who are soooo concerned about Tammy’s welfare that they want to make an online spectacle of her. Sorry, but in my opinion, showing concern for a child doesn’t include posting the child’s photos and trashing her parents all across the worldwide web.

But we in the community are used to this nonsense. It happens any time it comes to light that a parent is attempting to act in the best interests of his or her transgender child. This firestorm would be raging no matter what – but it is compounded by the fact that Tammy’s parents are lesbians.

Men Ups: The Calender that Twists Gendered Expectations

Looking through any magazine, it is clear that men and women are posed in specifically gendered ways. Photographer Rion Sabean, has taken a series of photos for a calendar, which will be available on his site in December, which challenge these gendered positions, by placing stereotypically masculine men in poses that are normally reserved for women.


What Exactly are Gay Men Doing Sexually?

'young kiss' photo (c) 2002, Les Chatfield - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I am not sure why this study was necessary but, a group of researchers recently sought to investigate "the sexual behaviors that gay and bisexually identified men report during their most recent male-partnered sexual event and to describe the situational characteristics and participants' evaluation of these events". To facilitate their study they used "an internet-based survey, data were collected from 24,787 gay and bisexually identified men (ages 18–87 years) from 50 US states and the District of Columbia."

According to Huffpo, the following were some of the results:

  • 49.1% of respondents said they had had their last "sexual event" in their home and 28.6% had sex in their partner's home. 7.2% had sex in a hotel or motel, 3.7% in a public space, and 1.6% in a vehicle.
  • 18% said they had sex with a boyfriend/partner, 19% with a casual/dating partner, and 17.3% with a friend.
  • Gay and bisexual men over the age of 60 reported the highest rates of arousal (80.8% and 84% respectively), while men 18 to 24 were most likely to report "little or no pleasure during the event" (11.9%).
  • The most common "sexual behavior" reported during the most recent "sexual event" was giving oral sex (75%), followed by kissing on the mouth (74.8%) and receiving oral sex (73.4%).
  • 35.5% and 33.8% of participants engaged in receptive or insertive anal intercourse respectively. Receptive anal sex was most common among 18-24 year olds and insertive was most popular among 30-39 year olds.
  • 32.9% of participants used a condom during their last "sexual event" and 45.5% who said they had anal sex reported using a condom.
  • Most "sexual events" involved between five and nine different sexual behaviors. The most frequent combo (16.2%) included "holding their partner romantically, kissing partner on mouth, solo masturbation, masturbating partner, masturbation by partner, and genital-genital contact." 13.4% liked this version: "holding their partner romantically, kissing partner on mouth, masturbating partner, masturbation by partner, genital-genital contacting, giving oral sex, and receiving oral sex."

A Look at Madame Noir's List of Black Privileges

Okay, I know that I have to stop reading Madame Noir.  Every time they post some shit, I swear that I am done with the rag, but then I get drawn back in. Perhaps its because it fails on a level that is so spectacularly high, that it is almost amusing. LaShaun Williams decided to pen a list of eight so-called Black Privileges, which I thought for sure had to be satire, until I reached the end of the piece and realized that ze was serious. Heaven help me.

Shall we take  a few of them apart?

  • More athletic scholarships.
"Let’s be honest, black people have the upper-hand when it comes to being recruited for athletics. The world almost always assumes we are better than our non-black counterparts; and, for good reason. Call it stereotyping but when was the last time you saw an Asian guy who stood six foot five inches, 265 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds? Oh wait, never".

Really?  It's a bonus that we get more athletic scholarships? Let's consider the small percentage of those scholarships that are available.  Of those few who manage to achieve scholarships, even fewer make it to professional sports teams.  The path to higher education, is not athletic scholarships but academic ones and those are much harder to come by for people of color.  Let's talk about the fact that even when we do finally get to college, if we can compete at the university level in the sports arena many are absolutely unprepared to work at a college level.  Yeah, college is about more than b-ball yo; it's about handing in papers, doing labs, etc.  If you come from a substandard school to begin with, no matter how many times you can shoot a three pointer, you are not prepared to  work at a college level.  There are vast numbers of people who leave after the first year for that very reason.

  • Permission to “Keep it real.”
"Because every close-minded individual thinks black women are either uneducated, welfare queens or ill-mannered basketball “wives,” we are expected to be loud, uncouth and totally inappropriate. So, when we slip up and go there from time to time, no one is really that surprised."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sergeant Shamar Thomas Schools The NYPD

This is a guest post from Monica of Transgriot

Since I criticized the Occupy Wall Street protesters in an area I believe they are lacking in, had to show them some love as well after seeing this video.

Marine Sergeant Shamar Thomas was on the scene of the OWS Times Square protests and delivered a verbal smackdown to the NYPD officers about the tactics they are using on unarmed protesters.  

And miracle of miracles, the po-po's didn't trump up some phantom disorderly conduct charge to arrest him after he put them on blast.


Leave Amber Cole Alone

Sunday night a video went viral of 14 year old Amber Cole having oral sex.  The fact that Amber is only 14 years old make the video child pornography, but that didn't stop people from getting on their moral high horse to shame this young girl to kingdom come, while going on about how fast ass girls are the ruination of Black people as they circulated the video for more people to see. All of the shame directed at her is sexist, and plays into a narrative in which Black women are continually being shamed for being sexual beings.

I think what bothers me the most is that no one is talking about the young man in video.  This sexual act involves two people, but the only one being held up to ridicule is Amber.  Comments about how talented she was at fellatio, comparing her to porn actresses etc, were the norm.  Did anyone even consider that she may have been coerced into performing fellatio, or that the person who filmed the event did not have her permission to do so, or that even if she did consent to the filming, she wasn't legally able to do so?  No, when the opportunity to shame Black women occurs people refuse to think about the consequences of their actions.

I hope that all who were busy tweeting the video have a chance to see the following video. They need to see the pain that is caused by shaming young Black women and I cannot possibly say it better than this young woman did.  I agree, team Amber Cole.

Urban Outfitters Sells "Navajo Panties" Yeah for Appropriation

Aren't hipsters just precious?  Yeah it's trendy to appropriate from marginalized people, and it helps them build cred for their belief in ironic racism.  One must after all be fashionable, and that is far more important than any proprietary claim that the Navajo people have on their own name and culture.  The U.S. did after all expend so much effort to steal their land, destroy their families, and out right murder and rape them, so what's one little pair of panties in comparison right?  Yep, that's rationalizing appropriation and the ongoing colonization of the Navajo people.
[T]he Navajo Nation owns 12 trademarks on the use of the word "Navajo," which specifically cover clothing and online retail.

Apparently, the attorney general of the Navajo Nation has contacted Urban Outfitters in the past about the issue, but nothing has been resolved.

According to the Federal Indian Arts and Crafts act of 1990 and the Federal Trade Commission Act, it's illegal to say something is Native American produced when it's not.

The Department of the Interior states: "It is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian Tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization, resident within the United States. If a business violates the Act, it can face civil penalties or can be prosecuted and fined up to $1 million" (source)

15 Year Old Ottawa Boy Jamie Hubley Commits Suicide


According to the Ottawa Citizen, Jamie was the only out gay teen in his highschool. This could not have been an easy thing.  There have been many times when I have been the only Black person in a room and I know the level of discomfort of not seeing anyone who is like you, who understands on an intrinsic level. Though he clearly had friends not having someone who understands what you are going through is an isolating, lonely way to live.
“From the outside, he looked like the happiest kid. He was always smiling and giving everybody hugs in the halls,” said Steph Wheeler, a close friend who had known Jamie since the pair were in figure skating together as children a decade ago.        

        But Wheeler, 16, knew the sensitive boy was struggling with being out in high school and often felt the sting of verbal bullying. She said all that Jamie wanted was what every teenager wants — somebody to love.     

        “I just remember him wanting a boyfriend so bad, he’d always ask me to find a boy for him. I think he wanted someone to love him for who he was,” she said.        

        Jamie had struggled with depression in the past. But despite how he felt on the inside, he often put a smile on his face, setting aside his own pain for others.        

        “Even though he was feeling down all the time, he always made everybody else feel better,” she said.

        “Something to look forward to,” he wrote.    

        But he also wrote of his sadness and despair, about being called a “fag.”

        In a post three weeks ago, he said he was depressed, that medications he was taking weren’t working, and that being gay in high school was so hard — a thousand times harder in real life than on the popular television show, Glee, which he loved.        

        “I hate being the only open gay guy in my school ... It f---ing sucks, I really want to end it,” he wrote. (source)
The school is set to have counselors come into the school to help the grieving teens but I cannot help but wonder where the counselors were when Jamie was being called a gay slur and the posters that he made attempting to start a GLBT organization on campus were torn down? 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One Love - A Children's Book By Cedella Marley Based On Bob Marley's Song One Love

As a parent, I am always looking for new books for my children.  I want them to grow to love the written world while learning lessons that are compatible with our family values.  I was very excited when I came across this book and the following interview with Cedella Marley.  I think this might just be something that Santa drops off this year.

Janet Jackson, Beauty, Class and a Little Blackglama

I recently came across the above Blackglama advertisements featuring Janet Jackson, and I was absolutely blown away.  Janet has always been a force to be reckoned with. She is beautiful and talented though, she really cannot act - think For Colored Girls People.  I found myself staring at the image for quite some time, absolutely transfixed, but I could not put my finger on what was holding my attention.  I finally stopped looking and headed to wiki to look up some quick facts on Ms. Jackson.

The first thing I discovered is that Janet was born on May 16, 1966.  That makes the baby of the Jackson family 45 years old. For a woman of any age, Janet look amazing.  She is obviously in top physical shape, with a gorgeous smile, and flawless skin.  I acknowledge that a good portion of this can be easily reduced to photoshopping.  When women appear on magazine covers or in advertising, what we see is more like an artists rendering of what they look like, than their actual appearance. Consumers never see the real photographs, and so we have no idea how close the image that we see in its final form, actually reflects the person featured.

Let's say for the sake of argument, let's say that the photo is indeed Janet as she looks today, what other factors could explain the fact that at 45 she looks like she could be 30 or even younger? Of course, genetics plays a huge factor in how we age.  There is also plastic surgery to consider, because as we know, the Jackson family is no stranger to going under the knife. But the most obvious reason, and the one few will stop to think about is class.  Janet looks like she does because she has money, and this allows her the ability to maintain that flawless body and beautiful skin.

One of the biggest indication of class are teeth.  People who have money, go to the dentist on a regular basis.  Crooked teeth are straightened, cavities are filled and teeth are bleached to give them an extra White appearance.  This is so normalized that when Lindsay Lohan recently had pictures taken revealing teeth that had distinct brown spots, it became a hot topic of conversation.  Can you even remember the last time you saw a celebrity with less than a dazzling smile, who wasn't English?  For some reason the blinding white smile doesn't seem to be a big thing in the UK.

Dear White Women, You Never Fail to Disappoint Me

'Woman's Hands with Rose' photo (c) 2009, Steve Willi - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/


I had the opportunity to speak to a friend of mine whom I love dearly this weekend.  She identifies as a feminist and is one of the few White feminist women that I trust wholeheartedly.  Inevitably, the conversation turned to slutwalk and she told me that she was upset, because their response to the sign hurt not only me, but several women of color that she has befriended over the years. Obviously, I don't hold her accountable for the actions of another, especially because she has proven over the years that she is more than willing to challenge her racial privilege and learn. In the process she has become a beacon to me when it comes to learning to challenge my own privilege.

When I learned about the 'Woman is the Nigger of the World' sign at Slutwalk NY, I was not surprised. Call me jaded, but centuries of ignoring the womanhood of women of color, actively enslaving us, and engaging in racist actions does not suddenly disappear when a woman becomes a feminist.  For some it might lead to heightened consciousness, but it is the rare few that will take the identity a step further to examine the ways in which one not only is oppressed, but actively oppresses.  Feminism is not some magical elixir to enlightenment, despite the White men and women who seem to believe it is.

There was a time in my life when if a White woman told me that she was a feminist, I would automatically have given her the benefit of the doubt but today, trust is something that must be actively earned over time and not given freely.  I am no longer surprised when an event aimed at women's organizing suddenly has a racist bent.  I am no longer hurt when racism raises its ugly head, because I have come to expect it.  I am however amused that White women fail to catch a clue, when White feminist men interject themselves into the conversation to defend them.

My battles in the GBLT book section

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.

I've been thinking about GBLT book sections while browsing through my local book shop, and how they discontent me a lot.

I'm not actually a huge fan of GBLT book sections, or not entirely. Of course, I'm deliriously happy about there being GBLT books – and too often if you don't have a GBLT book section you don't have GBLT books at all. Which is the problem. If I want to read about a spaceship captain saving Earth from aliens – and he happens to be gay – I'd like to be able to look in the Sci-fi section. If I want to read a touching tale of boy-meets-boy, they fall in love after a long and rocky road and live happily ever after – I want to go to the Romance section. If I want to read a book with bright pictures of leather-clad man-titty on the front where the shagging begins on page 3, I want to be able to go to the erotica or adult section. Or the YA or the Fantasy or the historical fiction – whatever. I don't particularly want the presence of GBLT people instantly to cause a book to become niche – this book has THE GAY IN IT! Get it away from the rest!

Of course, some books are specifically about GBLT issues and need a section. And it can be hard to find a book with GBLT content simply because there so few compared to the oceans of straight, cisness out there, so gathering them in once place helps find them (having more books would help much much more).

But the main reason I will always be uncomfortable with the GBLT book section is memories of my awkward, gawky, geeky youth.

I hung around a few shops in my youth – mainly Waterstones, Games Workshop and a local gaming/comic book shop (yes, my geekdom is now officially enshrined in stone)

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Fat Shaming of Christina Aguilera

'secretpotion_05' photo (c) 2011, YayA Lee - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/


I don't follow celebrity gossip, nor do I normally have much to say about it, but the recent fat shaming of Christina Aguilera, is disgusting and must stop.  Not only does it serve as yet another example of the ways in which womens bodies are continually disciplined socially, it also stands as evidence as how easy it is to shame fat people just for existing.

E!'s Fashion Police Friday, Kelly Osbourne who has had her own very public struggles with weight, decided to attack Christina.
Osbourne was criticizing Aguilera's performance look at last weekend's Michael Jackson Tribute Concert. The 30-year-old paired a pantsless ensemble with fishnet tights, heavy makeup and supersized hair.

But Ozzy's daughter wasn't the only cohost to attack Aguilera's figure. "Lady Marmalade got into the peanut butter again," Joan Rivers sniped.

"I'm looking at this and thinking, 'Well, she's put on weight. This just isn't flattering,'" George Kotsiopoulos said. "But this is just a crappy outfit, regardless. No matter what shape your body is in, it's just bad."

Kotsiopoulos pointed out Aguilera was "still probably a size 2/4," but Osbourne was quick to disagree.

"Trust me," she said. "I'm a 2/4. That is not a 2/4."

This isn't the first time Osbourne has criticized The Voice coach. Last month on E!'s Fashion Police she called Aguilera a "fat bitch."
Now that Osbourne has lost almost fifty pounds, I guess she feels that it is her turn to play mean girl.  Yeah for keeping alive infantile behaviour that speaks of internalized sexism and fat hatred. To me, Osbourne's behavior points to the manner in which both women have bought into the notion that there is some idealized form of the female body, and that it is okay to fat shame publicly.

Robert Downey Jr. Says Hollywood Should Forgive Mel Gibson

'bob' photo (c) 2008, annie.kisskiss - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

On Friday at the American Cinematheque award ceremony, Robert Downey Jr, asked Hollywood to forgive his good buddy Mel Gibson.  Isn't that sweet everyone, one douchebag looking out for another. 
Robert Downey Jr has asked Hollywood to forgive Mel Gibson and allow him to work again.
Collecting his American Cinematheque award on Friday, the Iron Man actor said it was Gibson who landed him a role on the film Air America when his name was mud due to an ongoing struggle with substance use.

"I couldn't get hired and he cast me," he said. "He said if I accepted responsibility – he called it hugging the cactus – long enough, my life would take meaning. And if he helped me, I would help the next guy. But it was not reasonable to assume the next guy would be him."

Downey Jr added: "Unless you are without sin – and if you are, you are in the wrong fucking industry, you should forgive him and let him work." His comments were met with widespread applause.

Gibson said of Downey Jr: "He taught me many things and I will use the 'C' word, courage. There's nothing so much wrong with him. Of course you have to worry about the guy making the judgment here. He's a good dude with a good heart." (source)
He's a good guy is he?  Wow, calling a police officer "sugar tits" and then following that up with Anti-Semitic comments so terrible, that they would have been celebrated at a Nazi rally makes him a good man.  Oh but wait, there was alcohol involved in that incident, so we should give him a pass right? The alcohol didn't lower his inhibitions enough for him to say what he really felt, and people never ever mean anything they say or do when they have been drinking right?

The Walking Dead Season Two Episode One: What Lies Ahead


When we last saw The Walking Dead, Rick and the fellow survivors left the CDC after it was blown up.  The show opens up with Rick on the rooftop of a building talking to Morgan via the radio. He explains Jacqui's death by saying that she had lost faith; however,  I don't know if that is enough to justify the writers killing off the only woman of colour on the show. Rick tells Morgan that they are moving forward to Fort Benning.  He says that he is trying hard not to lose faith for the sake of his family, and that he believes that because they have such few numbers, that they have to stick together, and be willing to lay their lives down for each other. In these moments, you can clearly see Rick's struggle, as he signs off saying that he hopes to meet Morgan in Fort Benning one day.

When Dale's RV's radiator hose causes the engine to over heat on the highway, they are forced to come to a stop. Darryl begins to look for items in the abandoned vehicles, but of course concern troll Lori pipes up to say that she does not know about this, because they would looting a graveyard. Yeah, I think in a situation like that, it's okay to take everything you need. Lori of course judges, Carol when she holds up a shirt and admires it saying, "Ed never let me wear nice clothes like this".  I am starting to think Lori needs to be eaten along with Shane, but I take heart in the fact that I know what happens to her in the comics.

The highway is quickly overrun by roamers, and the survivors are forced to hide under the vehicles. When T-dog accidentally cuts himself and blood comes pouring out of his arm, I thought for sure that he was a dead man walking, but he is saved by Darryl.  Really? Couldn't we have him save himself the way that Andrea did?  I suppose I should be grateful that he wasn't turned into snack food because that would have left Glenn as the only person of color on the show.  Darryl puts a dead body over himself and T-dog to hide their scent.  I cannot imagine the horror of lying there praying not to be discovered, with a dead body on top of you.

When Sophia goes missing, of course Shane has to pipe up that maybe she was to scared to listen to Ricks instructions. What else was Rick supposed to do?  Rick sends Shane and Glenn back to the highway to clear the cars and get ready to move.  When Carl finds an arsenal, he takes it to Lori and she tells him that he cannot keep a weapon. Carl then appeals to Shane for help, and he orders him to take the arsenal to Dale.  You would think that would be enough for Lori and Shane (who is not dead), but she yells at him for crushing Carl's heart and then is upset that he is giving her the cold shoulder.  Ummm Shane who is not dead tried to rape her in the last episode.  Can we have some consistency please. Shane has the nerve to call what happened in the rec room a mistake, and says that he is leaving the group. He plans to quietly slip away the next chance that he gets. Lori should be happy to see him go but proving that you cannot possibly make this woman happy she is upset. Why oh why would Lori be sad to see the man that attempted to rape her leave? Don't get your hopes up on Shane leaving though, according to IMBD, he will be in the entire second season.

Darryl takes down a walker with his bow, and Rick discovers that there is flesh in its mouth and under its fingernail.  Darryl guts the walker in an attempt to learn what it has just fed on.  Rick so clearly is physically ill and struggles not to vomit.  Darryl tells him the zombie had a big meal not long ago. When they cut him open they discover that the walker had a woodchuck for lunch.  Honestly I don't know how Rick managed not to be sick, just watching, I felt my stomach turning.

Andrea confronts Dale about taking her gun and when she asks for it back, he tells her that he does not think it's a good idea because he's not comfortable with it.  Shane of course says that the less guns they have floating around camp the better. When Maggie asks Shane if he is going to give up his gun, he says no, because he is trained and he believes that what everyone needs is proper training with the guns. Can we all say paternalistic excuse for sexism.  Having a gun could be the difference between life and death but of course the mens are there to protect the women. This is further highlighted when Shane turns to ask Dale why he made the decision he did.  So it looks like the men this season are set to put on a united front to keep the women in line.

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No, It’s Not Class Warfare, Republicans – But It Should Be!

Matt Kailey is a transman living in Denver, Colorado, and an author, public speaker, and trainer on transgender issues. He blogs at Tranifesto. In his ideal world, no one would be equal to anyone else – everyone would just be equal. 
 
The Republicans have been whining about President Obama’s deficit reduction plan, which features a proposed tax on millionaires, calling it “class warfare” – but they’re wrong.

This is not class warfare. In fact, the Democrats wouldn’t recognize class warfare if it threw a brick through the window of their second summer home. Class warfare in this country isn’t going to start with the weenie Democrats, who tend to pucker up whenever they see a Republican rear.

Class warfare isn’t going to start on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., so you’ve got no worries there. Here’s where class warfare is going to start:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Enter to Win Buffy The Vampire Slayer Omnibus Vol. 1

That's right everyone, it's time for another exciting giveaway.  This month we are giving away Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1.  We know that even though it has been many years since the last episode, there are plenty of people are still in love with the Buffyverse. This graphic novel is based on the television show, but begins before the very first season.


Scott Allie writes in the introduction:
The old Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1, and the story in DHP, are not in this volume. When we started work in early 1988, we set the stories in the then - current Season Two. These stories, set at the very start of Buffy's career came later. A few months into our initial run, Buffy novelist Chris Golden suggested adapting Joss's original film script - faithful adaptation as opposed to the tongue-in-cheek 1992 film. This led to Buffy: The Origin, reprinted here. Soon afterward, Golden proposed a Spike and Dru Comic, co-written with James Marsters, who (of course) played Spike on the show. There were to follow-up comics written out of chronological order, so this volume reprints the last of them, set long before Spike and Dru had ever heard of Sunnydale.

Toward the end of the original series - of both show and the comics - Scott Lobdell was writing the comic. He proposed a sort of Buffy: Year One story.  For those of you who didn't grow up on comics, Year One is a term that, like so many things, we owe to Frank Miller. It's not so much an origin story, as a story set at the beginning of a characters career - in this case, between the burning of Buffy's highschool and her arrival in Sunnydale. Joss's plans for Season Seven, the final season of the show, were so tight, it was impossible for us to set stories parallel for those episodes. So we looked to Buffy's past. There were the loose ends with Pike, her boyfriend from the film; a trip to Las Vegas; and her time in an institution, referred to in the 2002 TV episode "Normal Again."  The year one stories from the majority of this book and will conclude in volume two.
If you are feeling nostalgic for Buffy, and want something that feels new, this is the giveaway for you. This contest is open to Americans and Canadians.

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