I’m the Only Sour Cherry On Your Fruit Stand

by matttbastard

The Kills = Timbuk 3 if Timbuk 3 had actually possessed a shiny future worthy of dark spectacles (as opposed to fulfilling their insta-destiny as one-cassingle-wonders doomed to remainder bin purgatory).

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Popcorn Sunday: Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem

by matttbastard

Out of consideration to those who are understandably exhausted by politics atm, a decidely non-political offering:

[Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem] is the visual realization of Discovery, an album by Daft Punk. Each track from the album has been animated as an episode in the story of the abduction and rescue of an interstellar pop band. The film was produced by the creators of the Discovery album, along with Toei Animation, under the supervision of Leiji Matsumoto. The film has no dialogue and minimal sound effects.

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Read These Now

by matttbastard

Kinda sorta overdid it last night while celebrating a friend’s birthday.  Think I might have sprained my cognitive muscles at some point not long after last call.  So, in lieu of doing any heavy mental lifting myself, I instead suggest you check out the following (lots of good reads over @ Natalia’s place, too):

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“Straight Talk” = “Ghetto”–If You’re a WOC

by matttbastard

In response to this TIME magazine article examining recent GOP attacks directed towards Michelle Obama, Jim Geraghty of NRO’s The Campaign Spot gleefully “reports” (in a fair and balanced manner, natch) more evidence of, as an anonymous wingnut blog commenter quoted by TIME so eloquently labels it, the “the bitter, anti-American, ungrateful, rude, crude, ghetto, angry Michelle Obama” meme. Yes, because apparently in the puny little mind of the *ahem* typical GOP voter a woman of colour who dares to speak her mind (ie, regularly engage in a little straight talk) is patently offensive (and, um, ghetto).  Jesus fuck.

So much wrong on the internet lately–including this (I’m sure well-intentioned) Kossack photochop that depicts Michelle Obama being lynched.

Related: More on the white liberal lynching idiocy from PurpleZoe, Carmen D., and WAOD.

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ZOMG PANTSUIT!!!11

by matttbastard

Fernanda Diaz of Glamour Magazine’s political blog Glamocracy thinks Senator Clinton should stop acting like such a man:

I resent the fact that Hillary is now inescapably a symbol of women in power, and that women for years to come will be compared to her. I have a problem with this because I’m used to a new kind of woman leader, one who doesn’t have to try so hard to fit in with the boys and prove that she can be aggressive and ruthless just to be taken seriously. By acting in such a decidedly un-feminine manner, Clinton has actually made it harder for us who had already felt accepted as leaders without resorting to those measures—now, it will be harder for women in my generation who don’t act like her to be taken seriously.

Apparently Backlash has replaced 1984 as the user manual for the zeitgeist.

h/t Feministing

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CNN: McCain Officially Rejects Hagee Endorsement

by matttbastard

Yeah, but did Johnny McMaverick denounce and reject everybody’s favourite frothing antisemite Christian Zionist (who, btw, is damn lucky to be a conservative white Republican, or else his charges of mischaracterization and media bias would be arbitrarily dismissed out of hand)? [Update: Ok, so JSM did follow the entire D & R routine To. The. Letter.  Frankly, I’m surprised no candidate has resorted to seppuku on The Situation Room (probably saving it for the general).  Sweet Jesus, I hate this election.]

Related:

McCain: A “respectful disagreement?”

On Ellen Degeneres’ show John McCain said he has a respectful disagreement with her over the issue of gay marriage. But two of his supporters, John Hagee and Rod Parsley (whom McCain has referred to as a “spiritual advisor”), are two of the most outspoken agents of intolerance in America, spouting vicious homophobic rants on a weekly basis. And make no mistake: McCain actively sought their endorsements.

John McCain’s embrace of these men does not indicate a “respectful disagreement.”

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Yves Behar: Creating objects that tell stories

by matttbastard

Designer Yves Behar digs up his creative roots to discuss some of the iconic objects he’s created (the Leaf lamp, the Jawbone headset). Then he turns to the witty, surprising, elegant objects he’s working on now — including the “$100 laptop.”

www.ted.com

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“If you don’t agree, don’t come back.”

by matttbastard

Even if in actuality everything likely came about as a result of intense backroom negotiations between foreign sponsors, one still can’t help but say “right the fuck on” to this:

Wheelchair-bound, they had neither guns nor influence. They lined up last week along the airport road as convoys of tinted-windowed SUVs carrying politicians headed to Qatar to try to break a political deadlock that was dragging Lebanon toward civil war.

They were mostly ignored, except by bodyguards who swung their weapons menacingly toward them.

But the striking image and powerful words of the activists, many hurt in the country’s 1975-90 civil war, sent an unmistakable message to leaders of both the pro-West coalition and the Iranian- and Syrian-backed camp led by the Shiite militia Hezbollah.

“If you don’t agree, don’t come back,” said their signs.

So what happened next?

On Wednesday, Lebanese politicians began trickling home with a compromise that will finally allow the election of a president but also appears to solidify Hezbollah’s status as an armed force overshadowing the power of the state.

The deal, signed after nearly a week of talks in the Qatari capital of Doha, cleared the way for army Chief of Staff Gen. Michel Suleiman to ascend to the presidency in a parliamentary vote Sunday.

The (mostly, unless you’re a US diplomat, or a staunch March 14th partisan) welcome developments come nearly 18 months after the advent of an electoral crisis that threatened to once again push Lebanon past the brink of civil war.

More:

Some suspected the agreement came about because of a secret deal between foreign capitals that hold sway over the country’s various political camps.

But politicians and analysts say that rising public disgust over the shenanigans of Lebanon’s political class may also have been key.

In particular, many noted the powerful image of the activists in wheelchairs, whose protest was organized by the 1,200-member Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union.

“I want finally to reassure the people of Lebanon,” Sheik Hamad ibn Khalifa al Thani, the Qatari emir who guided the negotiations, said Wednesday. “A group of them went out to address their leaders who came here, telling them not to come back if they didn’t agree. They have agreed, and they are now on their way back to start together with their people a new day that we hope will be clear and peaceful.”

As he spoke at the televised signing ceremony in Doha, the employees and volunteers at the nonprofit union’s second-floor office in Beirut roared with applause.

“It felt like a thank-you,” said Sylvana Lakkis, head of the disability group. “It felt great.”

The shock of this month’s violence prompted members to hold the roadside protest. The simple imperative of their action illustrated the frustration and growing anger of many Lebanese. They became the talk of the town.

“It touched the right chord with the vast majority of people in this country,” said Karim Makdisi, a professor of political science at the American University of Beirut. “It really embodies what everyone is feeling deep down.”

And the politicians got the message. “None of the Lebanese wanted their leaders to come back with these problems to Beirut,” said Nawar Sahili, a pro-Hezbollah member of parliament.

[…]

“We did not expect this reaction,”
said Imaddedine Raef, spokesman for the disability group, which receives support from the European Union and the U.S.-funded National Democratic Institute. “We’re used to being ignored.”

Huh — maybe we should all pay attention more often.

(Ok, look, I promise I’ll get back to hard-hitting, cynical policy analysis soon. Today, I just want to shut my eyes and enjoy even an ephemeral hint of something that resembles goodness in the world. So–just this one time–I’m playing the sap.

Fucking sue me. :P )

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“The years teach much which the days never knew.”

by matttbastard

Because it bears repeating:

After turning 50 in September, I became somewhat obsessed with the age of bloggers. I discovered I could find a lot of male bloggers in the 50-and-older category. But where are the women?

I know, there are a few. And I am not talking about Arianna Huffington, who is 57 and a billionaire (and therefore looks 25), but about us ordinary bloggers, such as Raven, Jackie, Risa, JJ, Marion, Maitri and Shadocat. I try to find them and link them on my blog… they are like precious jewels.

I have wondered if the hyperventilating over WOMEN’S AGE might be the cause of this phenomenon; we might call it The Botox Effect. We cover up the “lines” in our writing, as we try to cover the lines in our face. We minimize that which makes us seem old. If there is something new we don’t understand, such as contemporary slang, we don’t dare ask for clarification and thereby give ourselves away. Perhaps, then, there are more of us than I realize? Many women pointedly do not provide their ages on their blogs, while men usually do; a silly, sexist and archaic cultural habit.

At times when I write about nostalgia, as I enjoy doing, I get replies from isolated people (who will not comment publicly, it is worth noting) thanking me for publicly remembering something that they agree needs recounting. But they say it in hushed, secretive emails, as if I have said something dirty out loud. THE PAST IS OLD, and therefore, not a good thing. NEW is good, new is revolutionary, new is a product that has been improved, reformulated, with all kinds of good shit added to it to make it a rockem-sockem, highly-evolved and BETTER thing… better car, better house, better suburb, better dishwashing liquid.

Various cultures throughout the world once prized the old, as those who had knowledge and wisdom. As American imperialism runs roughshod all over the world and into every nook and cranny of the globe, we see all that is old is shunned and shunted aside. Hatred of what is old is now invading hearts and minds and cultures everywhere. Universally, the belief that old age equals wisdom is fast disintegrating. NEW NEW NEW shall reign. The old is hidden or eliminated, and that includes old people.

On certain progressive blogs, when I try to comment about what we expected or thought in the past, it’s a sure way to get beat up and left for dead. Yes, I am told, that just proves how fucked up everything was back then. Nietzsche’s Last Man of History knows everything that has ever happened, and there is no end to derision.

The very idea that we may know something is laughed at. And yet writing “teh” is not considered laughable, for some reason. I guess because it’s a “young” thing to do.

Much love and respect for all ‘old woman’ bloggers.

Update: More from Octogalore on the largely overlooked intersection between anti-ageism and feminism:

In this election, the “isms” discussed have been racism and sexism. However, ageism has been a key aspect of the sexism directed towards Clinton.

For example, the nutcracker. Women who are attractive (as Clinton is, I think) but also young don’t get called ballbusters.

Secondly, as demonstrated by Melissa McEwan, here, reporters glory in pointing out age on a female candidate. Of course, Reagan and other octogenarians came in for comments about age, but these have typically been more in the context of fitness for service as president. As a 60-year-old woman in good shape, that’s not the concern Drudge had about Clinton. And kudos to McEwan for pointing it out.

Also, we’ve heard the “just not this one” comment about a female president who’s anyone but Hillary? Many of the folks saying this, like Fred Thompson here, are thinking women are OK, even maybe as president, if they’re young and cute. Or anyway, he suggests his daughter as a future candidate, which apparently was met by supportive cheers. Sure, it’s [fine] to think of women in power, if they are young and cute.

Only a 60-year-old FEMALE candidate would be referred to as “aging and resentful.” (h/t Violet Socks)

Finally, think about how often you hear certain words applied to young women. “Shrill,” for example. Not often. But we rarely call that what it is.

So let’s do that. Let’s call it out. And let’s talk about how it fits into feminism.

Update 2: More from Daisy. Go show her some love.

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Quote of the Day: “So why did the other fucker?”

by matttbastard

Cos, right – here’s a radical thing – if you get raped, it’s the man’s fault. A man fucks you without your consent – that’s not porn’s fault, that’s not your top’s fault, that’s not your skirt’s fault, that’s not a prostitute’s fault. It’s the man’s fault. Cos he’s a scumbag. And some men are scumbags and some men will do that to you and they deserve to have their fucking bollocks cut off. And he can blame your top, your skirt, the porn, his bitch mam, that prostitute or whatever, but the fact is, you’ve probably walked past a million men wearing your skirt and top and those men who’ve looked at you and thought, “Wow!” watch porn, have dreadful mothers, live in a society where prostitution actually happens and think that that top you’re wearing makes you look like Mz Berlin or Darenzia or Marilyn Monroe or whoever floats your boat. But they aren’t raping you. So why did the other fucker?

Lina, What passes for Feminism these days (h/t belledame, written in response to this post by RenEv)

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