You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2008.

Shorter MSN.com: LOL women drivers amirite?????

So which is the most offensive assumption in this article? That only mothers driver the kids around? Or that fathers are such innately superior operators behind the wheel that they never get distracted by screaming kids or bagels? Or that the majority of women drivers only drive to ferry around their offspring? There’s just much to chose from. It’s like a bullshit buffet!

In case you don’t feel like wading through the article, here is the abridged version:

1. Women are always flapping their gums and they can’t stay off their cell phones! It must be because women speak so many more words than men every day.

2. When women get cocky, BABIES DIE.

3. Mothers of small children should get nine hours of sleep every night or else BABIES WILL DIE. And don’t talk to us about not having time to get enough rest, okay? THAT IS NOT OUR PROBLEM.

4. NEVER BE IN A HURRY OR BABIES WILL DIE.

5. Never eat.

6. Ignore your children. Be on the lookout for next week’s MSN profile: Why Driving Mothers Who Ignore Their Children Are Terrible, Terrible People.

7. Never, ever slack on car maintenance. We don’t care if you’re dying to connect with other adult humans, exhausted, busy, and starving. MAKE TIME FOR ANOTHER CHORE OR BABIES WILL DIE.

I am in SUCH a bad mood today. It’s 90 degrees and so humid, walking outside is like walking into somebody’s mouth. Autumn cannot come quickly enough.

IMPORTANT EDIT: A savvy commenter politely reminded me that the MFA program at University of North Carolina Greensboro has produced some excellent authors of note, including NC poet laureate Kathryn Byer, Kelly Link, Steve Almond, Julianna Baggot, former NC poet laureate Fred Chappell, and Randall Jarrell. This commenter also made a point that bears repeated: “OSC certainly doesn’t represent the views of most GSO writers!”

I used to live in Greensboro, North Carolina, not far from the man himself, so although I appreciate the coverage at Feministe and The Slog, it is not news to me that Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe.

I used to occasionally read his “Uncle Orson Reviews Everything” column in ridiculous, bigoted Greensboro weekly The Rhino Times (I generally picked it up to read “The Beep” which served as a good reminder of political views of most of my neighbors, lest I get complacent and let down my guard). I read Ender’s Game because aside from O. Henry, Greensboro isn’t exactly known as a hotbed of literary accomplishment so I thought I should probably familiarize myself with the region’s more famous authors. And you know, whatever, it was alright. Not the best book I’d ever read, although it is where I learned the word “hegemony,” which really came in handy when writing about various forms of institutionalized discrimination for law school papers, so I guess I should be grateful for that.

So but anyway, I knew Orson Scott Card was a hateful homophobe because of Donna Minkowitz’s kind of heartbreaking Salon interview with Card from 2000:

“I find the comparison between civil rights based on race and supposed new rights being granted for what amounts to deviant behavior to be really kind of ridiculous. There is no comparison. A black as a person does not by being black harm anyone. Gay rights is a collective delusion that’s being attempted. And the idea of ‘gay marriage’ — it’s hard to find a ridiculous enough comparison. By the way, I’d really hate it if your piece wound up focusing on the old charge that I’m a homophobe.”

“What old charge?” I’ve never heard of it.

“It’s been raised before. It’s been circulating on the Internet for a long time. It’s really just one of those annoying things that happens. It’s really ugly!”

As the rest of Minkowitz’s article (and this recent piece in which Card basically accuses J.K. Rowling of stealing from Ender’s Game to create her Harry Potter series then goes on to pat himself on the back for not suing her, thus proving that she is a greedy bitch, or this one in which he whinges about his neighbors being mean to him because of a computer glitch that left his sprinklers set to water his lawn daily during a terrible drought while he was out of town) shows, not only is Orson Scott Card a hateful homophobe, he’s also a complete jackass.

So, in summary, if you really want to read Ender’s Game, get it from the library or buy it second hand, because otherwise, you will be serving to enrich Orson Scott Card, who is a hateful homophobe.

I say that a lot. “I’ve always been fat, when I wasn’t actively trying to lose weight.” Or I might say, “I was always a fat kid.” I don’t have a lot of pictures of myself from when I was younger. Pictures pre-1980 or so mostly reside with my estranged biological father, and after that, they are stuffed in boxes in the no-woman’s land of my mother’s attic. Mostly, I rely on my memory, and in my memory, I was always fat. I know there’s a lot of room for interpretation there, and that fatness is a subjective term. In high school, I wore a size 13. Not really fat, unless you are six feet tall and a plus size model. But I also recognize and honor the fact that comparatively, and within the harsh paradigm of high school-aged self concept, a size 13 was plenty fat enough.

But here’s the thing. There’s something very comforting in having always been fat, or having been a fat kid. It means that my current size, which is most certainly fat by any objective or subjective measure, is inevitable. Genetic. Pre-destined. Unchangeable in any permanent way. Just like you heard. It means that the obesity myth is really a myth, that it is okay for me to re-think thin, that I don’t have to diet anymore because dieting really, truly doesn’t work.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that thin children can’t be fat adults. The human body is a complex and fascinating system and nobody knows the exact mechanism that makes our weight set points change. Logically I know this, but the part of my brain that ruminates about my weight and affiliated body issues is deadly simple and it is pretty sure that if I were not fat as a child, I have no freaking excuse to be a fat adult.

And then there’s my suspicion that dieting not only does not work, but is possibly quite harmful to the human body. This idea seems supported by research, but a lot of my adherence to it is personally anecdotal. I try hard not to be upset the fact that, with the support of family and society, I repeatedly undertook a practice that was not only pointless and ultimately ran counter to my weight loss efforts, but may well have been the germination of some health problems that I am dealing with now. If I started dieting not because I was actually fat, but because I just felt fat, if all of that effort was based in my own warped self-concept rather than reality, if my parents encouraged me to diet when I didn’t even need to, well, that is a distressing thought, and one I don’t necessarily like entertaining.

And finally, there is the thought of all that wasted energy. All that beating myself up. All that time I spent sure that I was fat, and thus unlovable, and thus ugly, and thus of low worth as a human being. All that time I could have been doing a million other way more fun things, succeeding at all the things I was really good at, being a smart and funny and interesting and talented kid.

A lot of folks around the Fatosphere followed up with their own posts on the subject after Kate posted her entry about seeing her kid self through her adult eyes. I refrained because of the shortage of childhood photos and a fear of losing my anonymity (such as it is anyway), but mostly because thinking about all those things I just wrote about really hurts. Then my estranged biological father emailed me out of the blue because he had been scanning some old photos of my stepbrother and me:

Hay!

Hay!

That’s me in the sweet blue and white Nikes, c. 1982 or 1983, when I was in sixth grade and in the middle of the phase in which I refused to wear anything but button down shirts, jeans, and sweet blue and white Nikes. I know I had boobs under that plaid oxford, and I’d already started my period by then, but I was definitely not fat. I have not, it turns out, always been fat.

…I walked into a freezing cold conference room in the Windham Hotel, clutching about 36 blue-inked Uni-ball Onyx Roller Ball Pens and an equal number of mechanical pencils in my clammy paws and took the shit out of the mother fucking Illinois bar exam.

I have almost completely recovered from the experience.

To anybody else in the same or similar boat: IT IS ALMOST OVER! GOOD LUCK!

I love Project Runway. Does anybody else love Project Runway? The new season (and final one before the show jumps ship to Lifetime) starts this Wednesday, so let’s talk about Project Runway and how much we love it.

I’ve been reading through the bios on Bravo’s site (warning! The website features “round ups” of future episodes that may be considered spoilers for some folks (for an explanation, see here) but the bio section is pretty spoiler free) and Korto is my clear early favorite:

She is inspired by rich fabrics and textures and says her designs are intended for real, full-figured women.

Heck yeah! She also appears to be the fattest designer ever on the show. And she has fantastic hair.

And if my eyes and memory do not deceive me, this is the first season that Bravo has featured two black women in the competition. Let us all say a little prayer to St. Saint Laurent that Bravo will avoid the reality TV race/sexism habit of editing Black women to appear bossy, bitchy, and mean, and then kick them off to great fanfare sometime in the first two episodes.

My early least favorite contestant has to be Suede because HE GOES BY SUEDE. And because Madonna is his biggest fashion influence. Ugh.

Okay, take it away.

Why mainstream magazines are bullshit:

NO JEANS FOR YOU.

NO JEANS FOR YOU.

Here’s a close-up of the bottom row:

Sorry!

Sorry!

Nothing says, “YOU ARE A GIANT FREAK AND YOU WILL NEVER FIT IN” like a grid full of super fashionable jeans that don’t come in your size. Sorry!

via Sociological Images via Jezebel.

OH HAI!

OH HAI!

Kate kindly alerted me to some baby otter news out of California, where wildlife rehabilitators captured Wilson the River Otter and his errant littermate after their madcap romp through the mean streets of Petaluma. Check the video for some super squeaky baby river otter cuteness.

I used to live around Lake Tahoe, where Wilson and his littermate are destined. I am confident they will like it better up there than I did.

And isn’t that picture (click through to the story and then click the pic for a bigger version) just beggin’ for the LOLcat treatment?

If you find yourself prefacing a question with, “This is a rude question, but…” MAYBE YOU SHOULD NOT BE ASKING THE QUESTION.

That is all.