I read this article in the New York Times a few weeks ago and thought to myself - they just took the words right out of my mouth! I read Catcher in the Rye when I was in high school. And old crush thought it was the greatest book ever and I decided to give it a whirl. I was more of the Silvia Plath camp, and felt that Catcher was like The Bell Jar if written by a neurotic yet narcissistic boy. While I enjoyed the story and concept, Holden was someone I wanted to punch in the face. This boy, with all his privileges, could find something to complain about in everything. And his repetative "goddamns" were to him what "Gosh!" was to that obnoxious imbecile - Napoleon Dynamite. Simply put, these guys deserved to get their asses kicked. Now, I know some people (e.g. one of my best friends) feel that there is no way to like Catcher without loving Holden, but I think there is. I recognize the book as an amazing work of literature, and recognize that Salinger is a talent for writing it, but I also realize that his talents went farther because he was able to create such a multi-sided character who one must either love or hate, but still is captivating enough to want people wanting to know where it all goes. Since I read the book as a 16 year old, I realize it might be time to re-read it with different eyes. Maybe I was too young and immature to understand the complexities of Caufield. Chances are, though, that i'll just really want to punch him again.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Guilty pleasures meet (what appears to be) really great cinema.
500 Days of Summer - Wanting to see this because it has what I feel are two of the least annoying and most underrated young actors of today (Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt.) Looks entertaining and sweet and yeah, guilty pleasure-y.
Post-Grad - It's Rory! Alright, maybe it's not the Gilmore Girl movie we've been waiting on for more than a year now (which I'm pretty sure will never happen), but this is certainly a good substitute! Alexis Bledel stars as a girl who is just like Rory, but a little more accessible to normal life. Moves back in with her folks after graduation, there's a bit of romantic drama involved, and in general, she doesn't know what to do with her life. This is likely to be me in another year or so.
Away We Go - Sam Mendes (director of American Beauty) is behind this one. I have a gut feeling that the trailer is downplaying the film a lot and just skimming the surface, trying to appeal to the Juno crowd. So hopefully, it turns out to be much better than Juno (since I wasn't much of a fan to be honest.)
The Answer Man- Another Gilmore treat! This time it's Lauren Graham playing.. what seems to be herself almost (she tends to play similar characters.) The movie looks cute overall, with (again) non-annoying celebrities in the midst.
Last Ride - This looks fantastic. Hugo Weaving (the Matrix's own "Agent Smith") seems to be delivering an amazing performance. It looks... different from a lot of the movies that will be out this year and for that I am EXCEPTIONALLY grateful!
Seraphine - As a former art history major (and lifelong art lover), I am curious to see how this film goes. Honestly, I haven't read much about her life, but it makes me happy when I see anything about a female artist being put in to film. Looks alright, hopefully the film is even better than the trailer.
Moon - I am really liking the concept of this film. The trailer is a little "iffy" but if executed correctly (and as long as they don't try to bite too much off of 2001: a space odyssey), then I think i'll be pleasantly surprised.
Precious - Alright, i'll admit this is not the first movie I would naturally go to, seeing as it's recommended by Oprah (I have nothing against the woman, but I don't really care about her either. And I certainly am not a big Mariah Carey turned actress fan, but it all seems to work (at least in the trailer.) Looks like a tearjerker, but a good one nonetheless.)
Afghan Star - Think real life Slumdog Millionaire meets American Idol meet the Taliban. This looks like a great documentary, without all the Hollywood bullshit Slumdog delivered (don't get me wrong, I liked Jai Ho! as much as the next guy, but the reality of it is so much more grim...)
Children of Invention - I saved the best trailer for last. The video says it all, it looks phenomenal and heart wrenching all at once. A must see.
What movies are you looking forward to?
Many thanks go out to Livejournal user Chiaradiluna for reminding me it's Tsukino Usagi (and Chibi Usa's) birthdays (and also for making the kawaii graphic above!)
Perfect timing since I'm currently watching Sailor Moon R (currently on episode 68!)
I don't always remember to watch the Colbert Report since the cable on the tv in my living room. But last night while I was arranging the clothing in my bedroom I tuned in, and this was probably the highlight of my evening. Jeff Goldblum, you will be missed... at least in New Zealand.
Monday, June 29, 2009
While I feel that i've always been a feminist (even before I knew much about the history thereof), and especially since I took my first course on Feminist Inquiries last semester, I become not only more aware of the issues that women face because of our gender, but also painfully amazed at the lack of protections for women, the lack of laws to help end abuse and violence and the overall subjugation of women, and about how many people don't realize any of this. And so, when I heard about this new appointment, i'll be honest. I didn't even know there was no one branch of the government working to end this kind of gendered violence. And so, i'm happy to hear about this, and hopeful that this is another step in the right direction.
Read more about the appointment here.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Looks like i'll be spending the weekend in Key West, so don't expect any real updates until at LEAST Sunday night (but possibly not til Monday morning.)
We don't really have a plan, except hopefully to have fun and not get too drenched if it rains (and on a more personal note, to hopefully find some vegetarian-friendly health-conscious food spots so I don't ruin my diet over the weekend!)
I've got a slight bit of anxiety (as I tend to before I go on any trip, however great or small, but most especially when I have no control over the vacation), but all should be well.
Full report when I get back!
Nearly three years after the Jena Six case made headlines, outraging thousands of people, the case seems to finally be coming to a close. According to CNN, 5 of the 6 students will have to pay $500 to the family of Justin Barker along with a week of unsupervised probation. While I don't condone violence, I understand the frustration the 6 boys must have been feeling when so much hate was being flung their way at the time. And the fact that they were being sentenced for attempted murder was obviously over the line. It's nice to see that justice still has a place in our society, even if it's painfully slow at times...
However, I'm still waiting for more news on the Oscar Grant shooting case... The last news article I can find is that the BART officer wants a change of venue. Son of a bitch. This guy needs to be in jail already for obviously murdering someone when there was absolutely no need for it.
Visit ColorofChange.org to find ways in which you can help (or learn more about) these cases and other cases involving racially based injustices.
Hopefully it doesn't end there... But it seems like a step in the right direction, yes?
"In a 219-to-212 vote this evening, the House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which will “for the first time put a price on carbon emissions” in the U.S. "
More on this at ThinkProgress.org!
This is the most lesbian video of all time (alright, maybe not, but you have to love T.A.T.U. singing to the love story of Michiru (Sailor Uranus) and Haruka (Sailor Neptune!)
SPOILER ALERT if you haven't seen the entire Sailor Moon series! Don't say I didn't warn you...
Thursday, June 25, 2009
There's no real good way of starting this. I could say something like "The King of Pop is dead!" or "The music died today" or something else. But what does any of that mean anyway? All I can really say is what Michael Jackson (or maybe the idea of Michael... or maybe just his music) meant to me. I was born in 1984, the year that Michael Jackson went to the White House to receive an award from then President Reagan, and the year of "Thriller," one of Jackson's catchiest tunes (not to mention a Halloween staple in most people's homes.) I recall watching The Making Of Thriller on television, being blown away by the special effects (and always being creeped out by the ending.) Throughout the years, Thriller has remained one of my favorite MJ tunes, and i've made it one of my life-long goals to perfect the
See, I grew up listening to Michael Jackson, just like most kids did growing up in the 80's (and 70's.) I danced to "Rock With You" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and then to
"Billie Jean" and Bad. I worked on my moonwalk on the slippery tile floor of my childhood kitchen. My mom would tell me how much she loved Jackson 5 when she was growing up in Nicaragua. "That was the best Michael!" she would say. Funny enough, they were playing the Jackson 5 Story on VH1 over father's day weekend. Who would've thought i'd have to write this a week later?
I remember when I first saw the music video for "Black or White," trying to perfect the ponytail head shake when people would morph from one to another with my cousin. I think we almost got whiplash a few times. I also remember watching the video for "Remember the Time" on MTV back when MTV still played music videos, and thinking Hey, Eddie Murphy's no pharaoh! Not to mention being impressed by the "special effects." Hey, where did Michael go?!
I also remember finding out that Michael Jackson was going to be playing the half-time show at Super Bowl XXVII (Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills) and recording it on our old vhs player. I recall watching it over and over and crying,
thinking "Heal The World" was an amazing song, and that we could all learn a thing or two from Jackson's charitable example (this was before Bono and Angelina became the leaders for the celebrity charity revolution.) I might still have that tape around somewhere... or maybe my brother does.
Time passed as it always does, and Michael Jackson was flung in to a media frenzy, accusing him of this, that, and the other. The people turned on him. Was any of it true? Nothing was ever proven, so who knows. From then on though, Jackson was forever pegged as a pedophile and a pervert. It made matters worse that his vitiligo was getting worse (the disease that caused his skin to turn white), and by this point the rumors about him bleaching his skin had made it so no one could believe him being a a "normal" human being. And let me not get started on the rumors of him buying the Elephant Man's bones (although I'll admit I would personally think that was super cool in a creepy anthropologist kind of way.)
I guess that's when everyone for the most part stopped paying attention. It wasn't "cool" to like an accused "pedophile," and I know I got flack a few times for admitting I still liked Jackson. Eventually, enough time passed that it was okay to like him again. I haven't been to a party or a club in the last few years that didn't play at least one Michael Jackson song. Everyone gets excited for "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" and "P.Y.T." And don't get me started on the Weird Al parodies of his music.
Michael Jackson gave us all something to talk about, something to sing along to, and something to dance with. I never met the guy. Never went to any of his concerts. Hell, I never even bought one of his albums. But it doesn't mean he didn't affect my life in some way. He was what I listened to when I was getting ready for a night on the town with friends when I was 18. He was my non-angsty music when I was a hormonal 13 year old. He was even what my cousin and her husband danced to for their first dance at their wedding ("The Way You Make Me Feel.")
Who doesn't have a memory attached to a Michael Jackson?
So yeah, maybe the music did die a little today. I can't help but wonder if this is how people felt when John Lennon and Elvis Presley died. I wonder how many people cried, even if they didn't know him. I wonder if he realized, right before he died, how much it would affect the entire world. Because there are few people on this planet that don't know or never heard of Michael Jackson. He's just that iconic. And it's something few people ever get to achieve in their lives.
So Michael, while I wasn't ready to say good-bye, I hope that it's better for you on the other side. Thanks for the music.
So happy I stumbled upon this site! I don't understand all of the jokes since I haven't finished the series yet, but I just get all happy and giddy inside when I find Sailor Moon related stuff, especially comic-related sm-related stuff! Rock on, Chibi Jennifer!
Earlier this week, Ed McMahon, Mr. Publisher's Clearinghouse himself, passed away at the age of 86. I never really saw him with Johnny Carson (at least up until this clip, which is damn hilarious.)
I did, however, watch him when I was a child as the host of the American Idol of the 1980's - Star Search! Those were good times... To hell with the Simon douchebag, it was all about Ed.
Rest in peace, Mr. McMahon..
And on a related note...
I just got word that Farrah Fawcett has died, after fighting a long battle with cancer. I can't say I ever really watched anything she was in (maybe a few clips from Charlie's Angels), but I know she was a huge icon of the 1970s and was a really beautiful woman who was a feathered haired inspiration to many. See you around, Farrah.
As an anthropology major (and a music lover), it's always great when new finds are made in the world of archaeology. I'm happy to share this article from NPR about a recent discovery made in several caves in southwestern Germany - the oldest musical instruments found to date! The flute that were found are made of vulture bone and ivory and date back to 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. The archaeologists who found it have also made replicas of the instruments and even made a copy of a song they played on it. One can just picture ancient man sitting around, looking for some entertainment perhaps. Maybe it was created by mistake, maybe someone found a bone with 2 holes in it and decided to blow in to it and discovered that it could make a sound. Either way, it's a pretty cool find.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
How did this happen right under my nose??? Apparently, Samuel Bayer has jumped on the horror flick remake wagon and is taking on the serious task of remaking what is my favorite horror film series of all time - Nightmare on Elm Street. And.. well... I don't know. According to IMDB, he's mostly done music videos... Although i'll admit, he's made some pretty great music videos, including the following gems (and personal favorites of mine):
(I was also going to include Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Smashing Pumpkins' "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," but YouTube has disabled embedding... bastards)
You can see a pattern developing in his videos anyway, definitely dark and edgy... lots of contrast and flashing lights and strong, vibrant colors. But then, he might not necessarily maintain the same kind of vision for the film. Only time will tell.
For now, i'll leave you with the trailer for the original film.
"One could argue that they're fostering an unhealthy relationship with food, making light of unhealthy emotional binging, and even fostering a perverse kind of thinspiration that suggests one can eat horribly and still meet Hollywood's ideals - but the notion that these actresses actually eat this way is so implausible that it's more an exercise in the grotesque than anything."
(Jezebel.com article - Type Casting: The Skinny Glutton)
Jezebel.com recently put up a great article on the Skinny Glutton phenomenon. The example they most focused on was that of Liz Lemon of 30 Rock, but since I don't really follow the show much (although perhaps I will eventually netflix it and/or surfthechannel.com it), I thought i'd try to focus my commentary about the article around two of my favorite television characters: Lorelai and Rory Gilmore.
As a huge, HUGE fan of the Gilmore Girls, I am not without my complaints about certain unrealities that the show portrays. Sure, it's a fictional show in a mostly fictional town about fictional people. But there are no flying cars or time travel or monsters from another planet, so it's safe to say that the writers were going for a bit of realism. If you've ever even watched one episode, you'll notice that the Gilmore leading ladies spend practically every morning at Luke's Diner. A diner at which they eat nothing but burgers, chili cheese fries, eggs with bacon, pancakes, and of course, enormous amounts of coffee, complete with cream and sugar of course (at least, so I imagine since you never actually see them add any to their cups.)
Now, unless Luke is the world's best health-conscious chef, there is a good chance he isn't cooking low-fat/fat-free meals here. And then you have the movie nights. I admit that while the show was still going on, I would gather up an endless amount of junky snack foods as I plopped myself down in front of the TV set waiting for the newest episode to begin. The girls will have an amazing buffet set out before them, complete with chinese food cartons, pizza, fries, popcorn, danishes, chips, the list goes on. And yet, never do you see them work out. There are maybe 2 episodes in the entire 7 seasons where they briefly mention the idea of possibly working out (one in which Lorelai and Rory have a failed attempt at playing raquet ball and another in which they visit a gym in Cape Cod resulting in them receiving massages from a random pair of guys instead.) The girls scoff when Dean brings over a salad in addition to their pizza one night, wondering what he could possibly expect them to do with it. They joke about how they don't enjoy fruits or vegetables (Lorelai even thinks she might be pregnant in one episode because she craves an apple which she would normally never think of eating!)
And yet... Lorelai and Rory both appear to be a size 2 (or smaller.) How do they do it? I tried, in my mind, to figure this out. Maybe its all the coffee, I thought. But then if they drank that much coffee, wouldn't their teeth have yellowish stains by now? They're active, but nowhere near active enough to burn off all the fat and calories from their 4,000+ calorie meals. And to be honest, it's just damn frustrating.
Like the Jezebel article mentions, the women of these shows engorge themselves with food, and it's just not healthy. I wouldn't normally insult the Gilmore Girls (hell, this is one of the few faults I can find in the show), but I do think that while perhaps their intention is good, the followthrough is not. The way I see it, it could very well have been the idea of Amy Sherman Palladino to show women who aren't constantly counting calories and jumping on the treadmill and feeling guilty for having a slice of pizza here and there. I think that maybe she was trying to create a show in which young girls and even older women would be able to live without these hangups of being exceptionally thin and pretty and having to diet and "look good." I've appluaded the Gilmore Girls in the past for being a pretty untraditional show, inspiring young women to go for their dreams instead of putting them aside, to push themselves to do great things and not settle with what they've got. Rory Gilmore was (believe it or not) an inspiration for me to go back to school and do well. And should I ever have children, I know i'll be watching the show again for mom-advice from Lorelai. But this thing... this thing about food. What is with this bizarre trend?
The only character on Gilmore that seems to be in any way health conscious is Michel, who seems to obsessively count calories (going so far as to count the blueberries in a whole wheat, low fat pancake Sookie makes him in one episode.) Everyone makes fun of him. They tell him to relax. But as far as diet is concerned, Michel seems to be the only character who might live to 50 without suffering some sort of cholesterol induced heart attack, yet he is ostracized for being concerned about how he eats.
I'm not saying that writers should creating characters who have a healthy (or beyond) appetite. But make them look the part. Lorelai and Rory would weigh at LEAST 20-30lbs more than they do, their complexion probably wouldn't be as nice, and despite the coffee, they probably wouldn't have as much energy. Or, if you want them to be that thin, show them eating salads and fruits and lean proteins and healthy fats like avocados and nuts. Because while I'm no longer 15 years old and as susceptible to falling for the "eat anything you want and don't gain a pound" faux diet, many girls (and boys) might think that this is somehow true. Healthy eating habits start in the home, but that's also where our TV is.
While HIV/AIDS isn't in the headlines the way it was in the 80's and early 90's, it's still an enormous problem that has yet to find a cure. One person in the U.S. is infected every 9.5 minutes with this disease. Symptoms can sometimes take months, even years to come about, so you can be a carrier without even knowing it. More than 1 million people in this country are infected, and 1 out of 5 don't even realize it. The statistics are scary, but the taking the test doesn't need to be. It's important that we all get tested frequently (especially if you're sexually active and more so if you have more than 1 partner.) There are many places where you can get tested, several of which are free. Please visit the National HIV and STD Testing Resources website and find the location nearest you in order to get tested. Take a friend, take your girlfriend, take your partner, take your brother, take whoever you can to get tested with you. It's worth the piece of mind.
For those of you in the Miami/South Florida area, here are just a few of the locations available to you that say they have FREE HIV testing. Call and make an appointment or just go and get yourself tested!
So it seems like Wal-Mart is digging its spurs into the haunches of Miami again. I've always been kind of glad that although Miami is already a slave to hundreds of chain stores, we still have some mom-and-pop shops available. Unlike some towns i've heard of where the biggest hangout is the local Wal-Mart, we have many options if we're willing to seek them out. But it seems Wal-Mart is looking to put more people out of business as they will now be expanding their West Kendall location by about 50,000 square feet to create another of their atrocious "super centers." As an ex-West Kendall resident and ex-Wal-Mart shopper, I'm appalled. The location they're in is practically on top of two difference housing complexes and creates an absurd amount of traffic (not to mention bad drivers - I got in to my first major car accident thanks to some ass who was rushing to get out of the Wal-Mart parking lot - which may or may not have anything to do with Wal-Mart but it doesn't make me hate them any less anyway.) And of course, our crap community council has accepted Wal-Mart's plan 3-2. Let's hear it for the brain trusts at the West Kendall Community Council! I especially love Jeff Wander's ignorant remark in the article:
"Wander dismissed concerns over Wal-Mart driving mom-and-pop shops out of business, saying those businesses should fail `'if they can't compete in a free market.''"
YOU are the one that fails, Mr. Wander, at being a decent human being. Fuck you, Wal-Mart. Get the hell out of my damn town and quit trying to take over the world.
Bjork is one of those musical geniuses I always love but tend to forget about. I don't mean to. We all love Bjork. She's one of my few favorite musicians that I have yet to see live (but hopefully someday, though I don't see her making it to Miami anytime soon.) Whether she's singing for the Sugarcubes or belting it out on her own, she always remains phenomenal in my book.
NPR is giving a first listen to Bjork's new album Voltaic. which is apparently new recordings of several older songs. I just heard the first two tracks "Wanderlust" and "Hunter," both of which were great although I don't think "Hunter" was too much of a deviation from the original recording. "Innocence" is definitely more of a dance track, in the most bizarre way... like a mix of ethereal pop and hip hop and hypnotic vocals. Her new version of "Army of Me," although not straying much, is even more incredible and certainly more intense than the original. "I Miss You" also has that dance-y modern feel behind it, without compromising the essence of the song. Bjork outdoes herself again. Give the album a listen and let me know what you think!
As a vegetarian and an animal lover, I am very much against the use of fur in clothing. I've seen the videos and read the articles and know enough to not only feel, but to know that the fur industry is corrupt and inhumane. While I might not be the girl with the bucket of fake blood waiting for the next douchbag to walk out of Macy's with a fur coat, I am pretty outraged at hearing that apparently fur products that cost under $150 don't require having a label saying that the product has real fur. Yes, you heard me right. The public is being deceived (for the millionth time.) And this time, it's personal. I've made the same mistake as the woman in the video who didn't see a fur tag on the jacket and thus naturally assumed it was acrylic. Perhaps you've also made the same mistake in the past, hoping to not support to the fur industry but doing so mistakenly.
It only takes a minute to send a letter to your representative (the Human Society has provided this form for all to fill out, which locates your representatives immediately.) Please ask them to push this act forward!
I apologize for not updating enough the last few days. I got caught up in life (attending barbecues for both my and my boyfriend's families as well as having a fun filled night of drinking games with friends.. as well as what you see to your right - me, drowning in a mess that MUST GET CLEANED!) No, but seriously... I've finally taken it upon myself to buckle down and clean up my always messy apartment (if you know me in real like you can attest to my lack of housekeeping skills.) But, as I AM on vacation, I've finally (almost) done it. There are still some things strewn about, but the bulk of the cleaning is definitely behind me. Hopefully I can get most of it done by tomorrow (provided I can make a quick trip to the local Target to pick up some organizing essentials.) And then I can get back to blogging more than links to other people's blogs and/or youtube videos (although some of those can be pretty entertaining.)