Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hex Presse

It occurred to me that I ought to mention HEX PRESSE, a feminist micro-press. Hex Presse is the print/tangible companion to WOMB POETRY. You can read our mission statement here and buy our games, chapbooks, and other fun things here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm not the only one

who was totally annoyed by Knocked Up

he threw the unused condom on the floor!!!! I audibly gasped in horror. what an asshole. I don't care how cuddly you make the guy. that. is. fucked. up.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I HATE Spencer Pratt: Annoying Boy of the Week
















brody jenner and spencer pratt pretend to be cool

Spencer Pratt is a PARISite...literally. First he shows up on The Hills wearing dog tags, destroying friendships, and telling lies, and now he is on FOX. FUCKING. NEWS. explaining to Geraldo why he started the "save Paris" petition. I. hate. this. guy.

I don't even know where to begin; truth be told, I've often thought of posting about this miscreant, but I just haven't had the stomach to think about him for the amount of time required to construct sentences. But here I am.

I didn't think it was possible for me to hate someone from the reality tv world more than I hate Slade Smiley, but I do. Spencer Pratt is similar to Slade Smiley in that he has a pathologically inflated sense of self-importance and is really good at emotionally abusing and isolating his significant other (the also-odious Heidi Montag), but he is even more infantile, boring, transparent, and ridiculous. He advised his client Brody Jenner to "get that bitch [nicole richie] to eat" for publicity purposes, and he and Jenner both seem to have made it their mission to suck as much exposure out of their connection to The Hills as possible. Here are some choices quotes from an interview with MTV Reality World:

My new plan to keep everything secret like a ninja. Too many ideas are taken from me. I wouldn’t even know where to start with that one. My hustle is just too crazy. I’m trying to take over the world.

and later, when asked about his depiction on The Hills:

Well, I want to start to have our side of the story come out. I want to get a blog so people can know what’s going on with Spencer on the daily. Lauren narrates The Hills. Spencer is going to narrate his blog. Imagine if Spencer narrated The Hills… It’s how you skew it. If I’m the narrator, wait to see how much people love Spencer.

One of the most sickening moments of TV this year is when Spencer, in the season finale of The Hills, holds up what he calls his "homeboy phone." This is in response to Jenner's questions about how he will transition from "playa" to Heidi's full-time domestic partner (for whom he keeps a "girlfriend" phone). You see, he coerced Heidi into moving in with him so he doesn't have to deal with her friends. It's a pretty textbook abuse tactic, really. As is his move to manage Heidi's "career." This is yet another thing Pratt has in common with Slade Smiley, who recently began managing the career of his ex-fiance, Jo. It isn't hard to see that these management moves are little more than a transparent attempt to control the lives (and bodies -- Heidi just had a boob and nose job, supposedly at Spencer's urging) of their significant others.

Sadly, this isn't the first time we've seen men abuse women on our favorite music channel, and I'm not even talking about the exploitation of women in music videos. Just about every dude on the past few seasons of the Real World is an abusive misogynist, and let's not forget the abusive antics of Laguna Beach and Hills alum Jason Wahler. This trend is horribly troubling, and I really do worry about how young viewers of these shows perceive these men.

The conflation of the "romantic" and "abusive" in storytelling isn't new, but I DO think it is different when it happens in a reality show. I'm still thinking through how and why that is, but the most obvious consequence is that we must wonder about Lauren and Heidi's (who are real people) health and safety. We must question the ethics of the show makers in a way that is different from how we evaluate a fiction writer's choices because real people could get hurt. MTV seems to be making a number of shows in which real women are put in danger for the sake of drama, and that ain't cool.

Related links:
How to tell if you are in an abusive relationship

Related Annoying Boys of the Week:
Wes from the Real World Austin
The Drooling Dunces of Laguna Beach
Annoying Boys of the Week 4.16.06

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Feminaissance and Wack

So I did get a little taste of Feminaissance on Saturday. It took us forever to leave the house so we only made the last panel, but it was a very interesting one. I wish that I had been less caffeine deprived...but this is what happens when you stay up until 4 am every night!

As I mentioned earlier, Eileen Myles is AMAZING. I'm still organizing my thoughts about the other presentations, but here are some of the notes I took during E.M.'s presentation from the "categories" panel:

- the world determines your gender before you do
- one can be caught in the midst of two [gendered] performances: one true and one false
- hormones are writing (!!!)
- gender is a public thought
- gender and "things." In inflected languages (i.e. Latin) nouns are given masculine or feminine endings. In English, some things are gendered. For example, ships are "she." Also discussed gender and hurricanes. After the panel I did some research. As it turns out, the gender of hurricanes alternates through the alphabet, which seems sort of conceptually elegant to me -- this idea of alternating gender as something controlled/contained by letters and "names." You can see this list of names here. Also, why don't we name earthquakes or volcanic eruptions? Does a hurricane seem somehow more "live"; or perhaps a storm seems more distinct from the planet itself?

We also made what felt like a very cursory tour of the WACK show, which is electric and dense and thrilling. The concentration of feminist art creates a very palpable sense of urgency and power. It also highlights a desire to "get out" of the museums, which is to say that it draws attention to/makes clear the limits of the museum. Forms are used and simultaneously undermined. Museum spaces are productive and necessary and often feel like sanctuaries, but the underlying imperative -- the quicksilver vein of the WACK show -- is that we must change the world outside the museum. This may seem like a banal point, but trust me -- it has a sharpened tip in the context of this exhibit.

Anyway, the MOCA is one of my favorite places in Los Angeles. Besides the WACK show, there are some very interesting pieces there. Among them are some texty pieces by Alexandra Grant, including a glinting silver wire mesh sphere which seemed like something out of one of my dreams. Another piece I *loved* was by chilean artist Livia Marin. This piece involved over 2k tubes of lipstick (!!!) aranged on a curved base; the tips of the lipstick were sculpted into all sorts of shapes and reminded me of chess pieces in drag. Thrilling.

Friday, April 20, 2007

This Almost Makes Me Want to Have Kids



via feministing

ETA: I usually *hate* stupid youtube videos of little kids doing "cute" things, but this one is special. trust me.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Shark Jumpers

Lonely Girl and Veronica Mars, I hardly knew thee.

Also, Twin Peaks Season 2 is FINALLY out on DVD. Some say TP "jumped the shark" in season 2. I say it's still pretty good TV.

Why isn't My So-Called Life on DVD anymore?

My New Favorite Band is Mika Miko




also, some Raincoats for your rainy days

BellumLetters

an anti-war poeming project for "national" poetry month over at ovaries & sequins.

also, new poems online here and here.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Friday, March 09, 2007

"Myspace and the Mainstreaming of the New Racism" or "The Real O.C. is full of Nazis"

In a previous post, I mentioned how I'd discovered a whole nest of white-pride nasties via the myspace profile of one Josh Waring (aka the troubled son of Lauri Waring from the Bravo series The Real Housewives of Orange County). Said profile is now set to private, perhaps to prevent nosy people like me from happening upon the profiles of random white supremacists and writing irate letters to the vulcans at myspace.com. I finally got a response today (I wrote the letter two weeks ago) saying that the content had been removed.

Even though the terms of use state the racism/hate propaganda are not allowed in the myspace community, a google search for "white pride" + "myspace" reveals that white supremacists are pretty annoyed that their nazi profiles get deleted. This seems to point to something -- I'm not sure what -- but something that suggests an interesting semantic trend regarding the ways terms like "community" are overlaid with "functionality." Why do white pride people want to be part of the myspace community? Probably because Myspace is one of the largest and most popular social networks on the web. And probably because posting content on myspace allows one to "publish" or "promote" all sorts of material to all sorts of people, not just those who are already in agreement with one's nazi agenda. In other words, myspace is a way to "mainstream" the racist vitriol.

And this is something that seems to be happening in many places these days, not just in some internet community frequented by the 13-30 set. The list of known racists in Hollywood just keeps getting longer. We know that Paris uses the n-word and other racial slurs. We know that Jason Wahler (one of the boneheads from MTV's Laguna Beach) slung racial slurs and spat at police officers. And then there's the good ol' boys: Mel Gibson and Michael Richards. WTF?

This trend seems to parallel the obvious racism in "the war on terror" and, for that matter, the whole stupid war(s). Never mind the obvious racism in the "immigration debate." I've heard people say that this is a "post-9/11" thing or a "post-hurricane katrina" thing. These explanations -- to me at least -- seem too simple. Especially against the backdrop of a trend which seems to indicate that casual racism is becoming increasingly mainstream.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lonely Girls?

The Shangri-las. Mary Weiss was about 15 when they recorded this song.





"My mother kind of signed my life away when I was 14"

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Fun Stuff to Distract You from all the Sh*t

I am so so so into the san-x dogs stuck-in-things. puppytire is my muse.




















I am also *obsessed* with sports dogs. Look at these poses! these outfits! Those little goggles and swim trunks!





















And I don't even know what is going on in this one. Kitties who turn into things?




















those folks over at san-x are f*cking genius.

also, I need to learn Japanese like five years ago.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I feel disturbed

Okay, I admit it. Sometimes the over-consumption of trash culture does make me sick. Right now I feel sick. Not just because of the non-stop and ghoulish ANS coverage. Not just because Britney shaved her head. And not just because Lilo sent shit-faced Brody Jenner a text message that said "I just got out of rehab and I want Mcdonald's and sex." It's the toxic combination -- that noxious cocktail. Death and pain and hate whizzed with special sauce and saccharine.

I am convinced that The Real Housewives of Orange County is simply nazi propaganda. Do you know that people have fucking myspace pages for WHITE PRIDE!!!???!! I found one while trying to get the dirt of the castmembers for the The Real H of OC. How gross and offensive can you get? I find it hard to believe that such blatant, obvious racism has become so mainstream. It is SICK SICK SICK.

And then there's the *shocking* results of a study: us involvement in iraq INCREASES terrorism. no shit sherlock. That's about as revelatory as that other story that confirmed the "theory" of global warming.

Usually, engaging in a critical analysis of pop-culture is a productive outlet for these feelings of disgust. But sometimes the juxtapositions are so jarring, the implications seemingly so grim, the content so gruesome...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Girls, Lost and Lonely: Links

Alice
Alice II
Persephone
Ophelia
Laura Palmer
Lilly Kane
The Vigin Suicides
The Lost Girls, about the movie 13
Lost Girls an "adult" graphic novel
Little Girl Lost, twilight zone ep.
Little Girl Lost, little house on the prarie ep.
The Lost Girl, by DH Lawrence
Tess
Diary of a Lost Girl, film
A review of Factory Girl

A Little Girl Lost
by William Blake

Children of the future age,
Reading this indignant page,
Know that in a former time
Love, sweet love, was thought a crime.

In the age of gold,
Free from winter's cold,
Youth and maiden bright,
To the holy light,
Naked in the sunny beams delight.

Once a youthful pair,
Filled with softest care,
Met in garden bright
Where the holy light
Had just removed the curtains of the night.

Then, in rising day,
On the grass they play;
Parents were afar,
Strangers came not near,
And the maiden soon forgot her fear.

Tired with kisses sweet,
They agree to meet
When the silent sleep
Waves o'er heaven's deep,
And the weary tired wanderers weep.

To her father white
Came the maiden bright;
But his loving look,
Like the holy book
All her tender limbs with terror shook.

'Ona, pale and weak,
To thy father speak!
Oh the trembling fear!
Oh the dismal care
That shakes the blossoms of my hoary hair!'

William Blake

annotated bib for this poem

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lonely Girls, Pt. 1.5

So because I've been out of the loop and not reading very many blogs lately, I'm just now catching up on the blog discussions around LonelyGirl. Thanks go to zp who pointed me in the direction of this post at the churty experiment. At the time this entry was written, the mystery around the authenticity of LG was just about to boil over, and the degree to which LG's use of "new media" was instrumental in the hoax was the subject of much discussion. In a comment on this post zp observes that LG, despite its use of new media, is in fact an "old story."


This comparison of LonelyGirl to fairy tales seems especially salient. The series was developed under the title The Children of Anchor Cove, and this sounds pretty fairy tale-ish to me. The lack of parents is reminiscent of fairy tale, as are the themes of entrapment and "being lost." I'm also reminded of the depiction of real-life lost girls -- girls like Jon Benet Ramsey in her pageant/red riding hood outfits.

What especially interests me about zp's comment is the observation of how the audience is solicited to intervene -- to mediate. Is the impulse to intervene separate from an impulse to judge and evaluate Bree? Is it a response to the absence of parents? Is it a recognition of the world as a cruel and sinister place? Does it inspire a radical critique of power?

Next: the use of the occult and magical in these types of stories

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

For Every Generation there is a Lonely, Mysterious Girl, Pt. 1

It's been awhile since the folks behind the you-tube driven phenom Lonely Girl 15 confirmed that the so-called vlog of Bree, a lonely, home-schooled teen, was in fact "not real." That is to say, that they confirmed that Bree is a character played by an actress. Whether or not this makes her "not real" is open to some debate.

I didn't begin watching Lonely Girl until a few weeks ago. I'd known about the series for some time, but it wasn't until I read this piece by the ever astute MZN that I decided to look at some of the videos.

I wasn't immediately sucked in. I thought the form was interesting and I found Bree mildly charming, but I wasn't really sure why the series was so popular. But then I watched a few more, and the mystery began to unfold.

I won't go into a detailed plot summary here (if you are interested you should check out the Lonely Girl entry on Wikipedia or else visit the lovingly-detailed LGpedia), but I would like to touch on how some of narrative strategies and themes of Lonely Girl have made me a potential victim of what fan-forum users call "lonelycrack." I think the "turn" for me happened when I saw this video:



I like this video for a number of reasons 1) Bree discusses her religion in a way that is guarded and odd -- seemingly programmed; mystery! 2) Bree responds to Daniel's vlog, thus introducing an additional point of view 3) the conflict b/w Bree and Daniel is enacted via vlog/media, and thus invites the viewer to mediate (indeed, a number of viewers began to post vlog responses to Daniel and Bree) 4) the vlog also gives us a sense of this conflict as happening in real time.

LonelyGirl reminds me more of a novel than a television show -- something like Turn of the Screw or Dracula or Rebecca (also, of course, a great film by Hitchcock). I think this is because one is forced to question the reliability of the narrators; Much like a novel that includes letters and diary entries, LonelyGirl pivots and swivels not only between points of view but also between points of address. What a character says and how she says it depends upon her intended audience. The fact that we are all here listening is (sometimes) irrelevant.

One of the most fascinating things about LonelyGirl is how the show used new media to "trick" the audience. This is similar to the supposed panic that swept the country after the radio broadcast of War of the Worlds. LonelyGirl also used the youtube platform in way that allowed viewers to engage with the videos by posting comments and gathering in chat rooms and making response videos. It was through these same channels that the folks behind LonelyGirl introduced new characters .

LonelyGirl has inspired a number of spin-offs, and one of them -- OpAphid -- has been "cannonized" by the LG "creators" as the "official" LonelyGirl alternative reality game, thus establishing that fan-created videos could potentially become part of the "official" storyline. The OpAphid videos contain clues, puzzles, and backwards messages that supposedly come from "the Order," a mysterious group connected to Bree's religion.

As MZN points out, before the videos were revealed to be "fake," the task of trying to uncover whether or not the videos were real rivaled the developing intrigue between Bree and Daniel, and later Bree's religion. MZN notes that

It comes during this cycle of greater democratization and interactivity, with media users and makers coming together like never before. lg15 has been a contradictory phenomenon, at once drawing its energy from the web community and taking advantage of it.

This give and take dynamic with the audience is certainly one of the most exciting things about LonelyGirl. Yet my hunch is that only a small number of the total viewers make response videos and post comments. And I'd be curious to know how many viewers stopped watching once the gig was up. I imagine that there are many others out there -- like me -- who started watching and keep watching because we are intrigued by the story.

So what about this story? It reminds me of some other stories. Or perhaps I should say that Bree reminds me of some other characters -- other lonely, mysterious girls -- girls like Laura Palmer and Buffy Summers. More on that in Pt. 2

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Womb Poetry Volume One : Hives & Covens

The premier issue of WOMB, an online journal of poetries by women, is now live!!!

Please visit www.wombpoetry.com.

Volume One, HIVES & COVENS:

Volume One
dedicated in memory to kari edwards

featuring work by:

* t h r u m *

: kari edwards : Eileen Tabios : Barbara Jane Reyes : Elizabeth Treadwell : Ann Bogle : : Alison Cimino :Susan B.A. Somers-Willett : Amy King : Kristy Bowen : Julie Choffel : : J.B. Rowell : Ebony Golden : Jenna Cardinale : Juliet Cook : Susan Morrison-Kilfoyle : : Holaday Mason : Toti O'Brien : Jessica Schneider : Karen McBurney : Sunnylyn Thibodeaux : : Sarah Mangold : Meagan Evans : Jennifer Bartlett : Marcia Arrieta : Michele Miller : : Priscilla Atkins : Anne Elezebeth Pluto : Marie Buck : Michalle Gould : Anne Heide : : Susan Meyers : Melissa Eleftherion : Susan Settlemyre Williams : J. Elizabeth Clark :

* s p a r k l e *

: Danielle Pafunda : Kathryn Miller : Julia Drescher : k. lorraine graham : Karen McBurney : : Michelle Caplan : Marcia Arrieta : Ashley Smith : Annette Sugden : Christine Bruness :

* c h i m e *


: a chapbook by Julia Drescher :