Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can we stop having this conversation already?

I haven't read, nor seen, the Hunger Games, although the more I read about it, the more I want to check it out, as it sounds pretty freaking cool.

It seems there's a bit of a kerfuffle over one or two of the major characters in the book being cast with black actors.

Can we gets over this already?

Every damn time a POC gets cast as a known character who is not explicitly Black, Asian, Native or whatever, a bunch of "I'm not racist but..." assholes get their collective panties in a bunch and start muttering about "polital correctness running amok", like a POC couldn't actually be cast because they are, you know, a Good actor or something. No, it's all part of some big liberal bleeding heart affirmative action agenda.

Can we just accept that, except in cases where you are dealing with historical context (like, real people who actually existed) or when race is a fundamental part of the overarching narratives, the race or ethnicity of the actor or actress being cast should not fucking matter, especially in cases where descriptions of the character don't really allude to their enthncity at all.

"If someone cast a white person as {Insert known POC character here} then it wouldn't be okay.. You're a hypocrite!"

Not the same thing, folks. There are oodles of roles for white actors and actresses, already. There are a lot less good, fleshed-out roles for Black and Asian actors that aren't total stereotypes. And even LESS for Native or East Indian actors.

Basically, if your enjoyment of a film can be tarnished by the casting of a POC, when you'd imagined the character as white, then at best, you're unimaginative as hell and at worst, kind of an asshole. And a bigot.


New, happy post up at Different Paths, Same Destination. Go check it out.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When do they stop running?

I drove home tonight and happened to pass three girls, a mere year or two older than my eldest daughter. They walked slowly, sauntering, almost a careful gait. Arms close to their sides, swinging slightly.

When do little girls become so careful in their stride, so measured?

I think of the past summer and the one previous, when I would let my girls, shiny Toonies in hand, walk to the corner store for candy. They'd run, momentarily untethered by a mother still nervous about negotiating boundaries. They run, they'd skip, on rare occasions they might hold hands, or maybe that's this mothers nostalgia giving these recollections a Norman Rockwell patina.

When do little girls stop running?

My oldest, my blonde beauty, who still at times seems so young, so naive has begun to walk with the lazy, sauntering step of one who is navigating her way between childhood and preadolescence. She lags, without the same excitement of getting where she is going. In a few more years it will be sharp angles, hands on jutted hips, an eye-roll here and there.

My littlest still bounds ahead, still skips as her hair swings from side to side. There is no self-consciousness, just the journey ahead however short it may be, that promises newness.

My oldest still runs, from time to time, but only if no one is looking.

Why do we stop running? Why the importance in seeming unaffected? When do we lose the wonder in the journey, and worry only about arriving in style?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Being a woman in public: just like wearing swastikas and shouting racist slogans

Well, I can't say I wasn't warned.

Tallulah Spankhead of the Lady Garden warned readers not to, under any circumstance, read the comments on this article about a woman who was assaulted in a well-known "problem area" in Wellington, New Zealand.

I was told but did I listen? No. So of course I was subjected to the usual victim-blamey bullshit like women shouldn't expect to be able to just walk anywhere without being assault, like actual people.

My personal favorite was Comment 19 from Scott:
Its not about blaming the victim, its about common sense about keeping yourself safe. Its like walking into south Auckland with a swastika on your head shouting racist slogans. Sure you can do it and in a perfect world it would be your right to free speech but your a dumbass if you do.

So the very act of being a woman in public is akin to wearing swastikas and shouting racist slogans? Our very existence is provocation to violence? AWESOME.

I love the "in a perfect world, but it's not a perfect world" bullshit attitude. It's not a perfect world but it's definitely not going to improve as long as people keep shrugging their shoulders and saying "Well, that's the way it is."

That's not the way it has to be. We can start by placing blame for assault squarely where it lay - on attackers.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Meet Simon, King Asshole of Felines.

I have an odd relationship with my cat. It's rather adversarial and frankly, a little weird.

He's kind of a dick.

Maybe it stems back to kittenhood trauma, when mama Chloe was forced to evacuate her babies from under my bed when an ex and I got a little too frisky. She sure as hell didn't like me much. Nor him, for that matter. Maybe in his little kitty brain he was traumatized by the late night flight and has been trying to get back at me ever since.

Maybe it's because I never intended to keep him. My status as his owner is a begrudging one. He was one of the last of a litter that I had a bitch of a time finding homes for. My girls, heartbroken after Chloe ran away (and who can blame her? I'd run away too if I had two nearly-grown sons who were trying to rape me on a daily basis), wrested a promise that if Chloe didn't ome back, we could keep Simon.

That's right. Cats have no natural incest taboo. Apparently that's totally a human social construct. Way to find that out the hard way.

But yeah.. We have a bit of a passive-aggressive thing going on. Some people treat their cats and other pets like children. Mine is more like a belligerent room-mate that wrecks my shit and doesn't contribute to the grocery bill.

He's kind of a dick.

Even other cats don't like him. I can hardly let him outside without him getting his ass handed to him by other neighborhood cats. And I get it, I totally get it.

Did I mention that he likes to 'lay claim' to stuff of mine, in that special, disgusting way male cats have of saying "mine!"? Yeah. My winter coat. My guitar case. Various pieces of furniture.

My children. Me. I don't think I need to elaborate, do I? Let's just say, I do a lot more laundry when he gets feeling territorial.

I decided to get on the ball and get all his shots up to date so I can get him snipped so hopefully he'll A) not be so damned possessive of everything, B) quit pissing off the other cats and C) shut up once in a while. Seriously. Loudest Cat Ever.

Plus, it's good for their health to have their Immunizations up to date. Hell, I'm nice enough that I even bought him the crazy vet cat food instead of friskies because I'm NICE and I don't WANT him to get crystals in his urine.


By unleashing and unholy torrent of every bodily fluid imaginable on the way home in the cat carrier, and rolling around in it for good measure. Which resulted in me having to figure out how to clean the carrier (which is out in my yard right now, on "low priority") and more importantly, how the hell to clean this cat?

I've mentioned I don't have a tub right?

So this involves me having to shut myself up in the shower stall with a very unhappy, piss-and-shit covered cat. You're enjoying this image, aren't you? Perverts.

Now I sit, exhausted and drinking wine and blogging and the little bugger is curled up next to me like nothing happened and like there isn't a gouge in my foot from when he tried to make a break for it. What a kiss-ass.


Jeezy creepy, I almost forgot! I Have an awkward guest post up at Best of Fates. If you haven't read Megan's stuff, I highly recommend it. Plus I have respect for anyone who abuses brackets like I tend to abuse ellipses...

And paragraph breaks.

Quick dream recap from last night

It's around twilight sometime in the spring and I'm walking up the big hill on hIghway 93. My feet are bare and there are broken beer bottles all along the dirt shoulder. As I walk I can occasionally feel tiny bits of glass dig into my feet. I keep thinking I should dig my phone out of my bag and post on Twitter in regards to the shitty walking conditions.

"Broken glass everywhere. People are assholes."

For some reason I don't get around to it, in spite of the fact that the two sentences are swimming through my head. Instead I press on, up the hill.

Out in front of Smiles Per Hour I spot another phone on the ground. Picking it up, I examine it a bit and eventually decide to toss it away. I continue walking but I find it more and more difficult to avoid the glass that has become increasingly noticeable and irritating. I worry a little that I may seriously cut myself to the point that I cannot walk any longer and decide to cross the road to the other side where there is a sidewalk.

Next stop, buy some shoes.

I reach the mall and my youngest daughter is there, sobbing that she had found a phone and tried to call me but she couldn't figure out how to use it. I reassure her and we go into a restaurant. Upon entering it appears there is some kind of raucous party going on. I quickly find myself shoved into a corner near a dark, wide staircase.

Suddenly four guys carrying a fifth guy in a wheelchair start pushing their way through the crowd towards the dark staircase. I have to do some fancy footwork to avoid being shoved into the abyss as they crowd past. I mumble apologies but stop, because suddenly I'm a little pissed off that these guys don't seem to have any regard for their surroundings. Just because they have to carry their friend in his wheelchair it doesn't mean that they get to be jerks about it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Two random vocalists that make me want to kill myself with joy

Cat Power - Her voice is evocative of that kind of straight-whisky drinking, chain-smoking in a dark dive bar, of the type that was probably at one point classy as all hell, but has since become a refuge for derelicts and the lost. She sounds like what that woman who sang Bette Davis Eyes should have sounded like, instead of sounding like Joan Rivers doing karaoke. Love and Communication haunts me and it pisses me off to no end that I cannot, for the life of me, sound one-tenth as good as she does singing this song.

Dallas Green - Consistently reminds me of guys in high school that I wanted to have write sappy yet earnest ballads and sing them for me in hushes tones.  The type of guy that would sit back and not say much until someone pulled out a guitar when he'd reluctantly join along, quietly at first, then gradually getting more into it until everyone else suddenly just shuts the fuck up and sits there blinking, thinking 'Holy shit.  This kid can actually sing!'  On Sleeping Sickness he pairs up with my all-time favorite vocalist, Gord Downie and my head explodes from all the awesome.

I have a post up at Different Paths, Same Destination regarding the Children's Health Care of Atlanta's fat-shaming campaign. I'm told it's good.  Go check it out.