Archive for February 4th, 2009

04
Feb
09

It’s Just A Homophone, GOP

I feel I should distinguish here, for our “Christian” (meaning “real Americans”)(meaning Republican) brethren in Congress. Dam is not the same as Damn.

So, when the stimulus package Obama’s proposed says it’s going to spend $500 million dollars damming along the Mississipi River (as part of flood control projects), that doesn’t mean he’s going to drive down the I-10 cursing them all. Never fear! He’s really just trying to save their lives, on the “off chance” a big hurricane might hit…again…and again and again…

Or do you GOPers already know that and are just hoping for a repeat of a picture like this?

Katrina Photo Contest Winner

Cause, yeah, it’s a funny picture. But so are LOLcats. And we don’t need to keep plunging cats in water in order to take them!

See?  Funny!

Right?

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04
Feb
09

Wow.

From a local Philly news source.  And here we thought we’d gotten rid of these guys.

Last night on WPVI, Erin O’Hearn reported on a fight at a Cheyney University party posted on YouTube
(Geek aside: Yes, that’s a link within a link. I gots mad html skillz.)

Our first black president.

Even in the political afterlife, Bush is still working for Cheyney’s agenda.

04
Feb
09

This Must Be Don Draper’s Doing

I’m pretty sure this study was conducted by the same very thorough and reputable* scientists that conducted the studies disproving global warming was manmade.

New Study Claims Ads Make Watching TV More Enjoyable

And to think, the participants in the study didn’t even get to see this one:

*integrity for sale to the highest-bidder

As an aside: Who knew the anti-TiVO lobby had such deep pockets?

04
Feb
09

Spanish Women Don’t Get Fat Either

OK, this isn’t entirely true. In fact, according to the Spanish government, they’re also in the midst of an obesity epidemic, which I find adorable. It’s rather like when I lived through a “drought” in Louisiana, which, as far as I can tell, just meant the banana trees were wilting a bit. So, yes, there are heavy people here, but, really, nobody does fat on the same scale (wokka wokka!) as the Americans.

I read a really interesting (and mind-bogglingly thorough) book about the U.S. surge in ass size called Fat Land that made a lot of interesting points. Sure, class contributes (ever see a nice outdoor park in a poor neighborhood in the States?), the lobbying of farmers forced to produce corn with nowhere to sell it contributes (hello, omnipresent corn syrup! and your progeny, Type II Diabetes!), as does the lack of money for cafeterias in public schools, the marketing of junk food to children, enormous portion sizes, and TV/video-game-based lifestyles. The one thing I found most illuminating in the book (OK, the farmer part was really interesting also) was the different manner in which weight in treated in the U.S., as opposed to the rest of the world. Namely, Americans see weight as a social issue, and the rest of the world sees it as medical.

I saw this reflected in a not-so-good book I read while at my parents’ in Sydney (they’re Bryson fans, I’m a Sedaris fan, and nary the twain shall meet), called French Women Don’t Get Fat. While largely touting recipes for watercress soup in boring-to-too-flowery language, I did see the mentality that Fat Land mentioned reflected therein, most notably when the author comes home from living the the States for a few months to a father who hugs her, then tells her she “looks like a sack of potatoes” before getting a doctor to prescribe her the aforementioned watercress soup.

Sure, the French may be nastier about it (insert your favorite joke about snotty Frenchmen here), but the same thing happens here. One of my officemates just returned from a trip to Mexico to exclamations of, “Look how fat you got! You really like those chilaquiles, eh?” Nacho cool-o It wasn’t meant as an insult–or really even as a judgment one way or the other–but merely as a statement of fact and nothing more.

Begging for more examples? Well, certainly! Here ya go: I work at a university, and I tend to eat with mostly students. Teenage-to-early-twenty-something girls are the QUEENS of body talk, constantly wondering if they look too fat in their jeans, if they are too fat in general, or if that guy over there is noticing how much they’re eating. In that sense, eating in the cafeteria here has been sort of like eating in a cafeteria on another planet. I sit and listen to the girls talk about an upcoming beach vacation they’re taking. No talk of tans to cover cellulite, no freakouts about eating a big lunch a week before being seen in a bikini, no obligatory back-and-forth pumping the other up while cutting yourself down (“I’d kill for your tits.” “No, seriously, my tits are nothing compared to your legs. My legs are lumpy messes.”).

This may sound normal to most readers (with phalli), but to the women out there, I will be one million dollars this sounds bizarre. This is because, in spite of all the attention female-based media pays to body image issues, believe me, women talk about it amongst themselves much, much more. It’s subtle, but it’s definitely always there. And, since being here, I’ve been struck by the deafening silence where once was a constant stream of self-effacing comments.

I suppose I noticed the sudden silence because I was engaged in lots of weight-based conversations during my pregnancy. My grad student at the time (a voracious eater who will never even grow into a size 2–it is worth noting that none of the other girls here say anything envious about this fact, or really talk about it at all) told me all the time that she’d noticed I hadn’t gained much weight. I’d tell her I was eating plenty (obviously; we were at lunch at the time, which is a 3-course affair here), but maybe walking around the city was burning it off. She’d just shrug, say that was normal for some people, and start asking me about day trips I planned on taking with Luna once she was born (“You have to go to Toledo! Oh, and Sevilla!” The Spanish are obsessed with internal travel, and never ever ever miss and opportunity to promote it to foreigners).

The same thing happened after I gave birth. I’m currently about 15-20 lbs. lighter than I was That'll do, Pazpre-pregnancy in spite of not setting foot in a gym since we left Louisiana (a fact I’ve strategically hidden from friends in the States, for fear of my life). Here, my sudden shrinkage has evinced several comments, though they are always said with the same tone people use when they notice Luna’s constantly runny nose. They just notice it, in the hopes of being helpful, and then move on.

This is not to say that the Spanish are immune to tabloid talk about celebrity bodies. As I speak, the cover of one of the local gossip magazines (there are maybe 100) highlights the best bikini-clad asses in celebrity-dom. What they don’t show, however, is a “worst” for every “best,” or an exhaustive list of what foods to eat or not eat in order to achieve said ass. Instead, Paz Vega and her ilk are treated like pieces of fine art: They are admired, but not thought of as models to which everyone should aspire. Paz looks like Paz, so you don’t have to (if you will).

I’m not sure how to start extricating the stigma about weight talk from our culture or our vernacular, but I’m fairly sure it’ll be a process. In the meantime, I’m going to see if I can keep Luna away from all that silliness. With any luck, she’ll continue to react to me complaining about the cottage cheese on my ass the same way a dog looks at the TV (head cocked to the side, expression of bemusement playing upon her wee lips, wondering when I’ll get around to feeding her).

04
Feb
09

Kitteh Fight: Ur Doin It Rong

Hilary Duff hits back at Faye Dunaway for her recent remarks disparaging Duff’s acting chops.

I think that my fans that are going to go see the movie don’t even know who she is, so you know, uh, I think it was a little unnecessary but I might be mad if I looked like that now too.

Nononononono, sweetie darling, you’ve buried the lead! While I have to applaud Duff’s decision to not go after Dunaway for being a crappy actress (really, while a fool’s errand for most to Rowr!attempt, it would be particularly difficult for some Disney kid star to pull off), she’s gone about this thing the wrong way. She should have started off with the you-look-like-crap slam, then followed it up with something about Metamucil, adult diapers, or (for the truly bold) Norma Desmond. Jesus, lady, take a cue from people who really knew how to get at each other.

Like, for instance, Bette Davis who, upon hearing she’d be appearing in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? with her arch-nemesis, Joan Crawford, had Coke machines installed all over the set (Crawford was married to the CEO of Pepsi Co.). Or, hell, you could learn a thing or too from that fat bastard, Roger Ebert. After rightfully trashing Vincent Gallo’s steaming pile of cinematic stank, Gallo said called Ebert a “fat pig with the physique of a slave trader,” to which Ebert spectacularly (and Churchillianly) responded, “Although I am fat, one day I will be thin, but Mr. Gallo will still have been the director of Brown Bunny. Gallo then put a “hex” on Ebert’s colon, to which Ebert responded that “even my colonoscopy was more entertaining than his film”.

See? Now go back to the drawing board and come up with something scathing, because if you don’t I can guarantee you Ms. Dunaway’s going to take every round you go with her.