I have been to every Women, Action, and Media conference except one (I had to miss last year's because of a scheduling conflict, and it just about broke my heart), and this one was the best ever. Put on by the Center for New Words, WAM 2008 gathered 600 feminist activists and media folk to discuss, analyze, and strategize.
I came to this decision the night before last, after watching Obama's South Carolina victory speech on YouTube. (Thankfully it was before I read anything about Edwards dropping out—psychologically, I'm glad I made a choice among three and not between two, even though in practical terms the distinction is meaningless.)
...and I still haven't made up my mind. The other day I was reduced to telling someone that I had thought about voting for Edwards, but now I was leaning toward Obama. Or Clinton. Or Obama. Or Clinton. Or maybe Edwards.
I've never been undecided this close to election day before.
Then again, I've never been making a choice that felt this important before, either—nor, with the exception of my very first presidential election, in 1992 (before the Bill Clinton of the campaign became the Bill Clinton of "don't ask, don't tell" and "end[ing] welfare as we know it"), have I cast a vote without a) a sigh of resignation that I'd picked the lesser of the evils or b) a sigh of resignation that I was doomed to a protest vote yet again. (And since Kucinich just dropped out, I don't even have the protest vote option this time around.)
No, this time I've got to make an actual difficult and potentially meaningful decision. And each candidate actually has something really exciting to recommend hir: fiery populist rhetoric; seriously inspiring charisma; a raft of plans for healthcare, the environment, the war; or some combination of the above. I'm going to be (dare I say it) pretty happy to vote for whichever one ends up in the general election (though maybe that's just my seven-years-of-Bush hangover talking).
And yet, each one also disappoints in some pretty serious ways.
When a supremely evil corporation takes some steps to mitigate or change its evil ways, does that change the fact that the corporation is evil? Can corporate responsibility ever be anything but a PR-motivated sham? Can we appreciate the actual changes for workers and the environment even as we remain skeptical and critical of the company's once and future practices?
This article doesn't exactly say anything we don't know—that women who get breast implants are signing up for a world of medical procedures that no one can predict—but it's nice to see a major newspaper reporting on it (though, of course, as with so many things relating to The Women, it's in the Styles section rather than where it belongs, in Health).
I'm happy to announce to all y'alls that I have a new project in the works. It's a cookbook, mostly vegan with some optional eggs and dairy, and I'm gonna be working with a small DIY-type publisher based in Oakland. Expect a slim volume that will teach you how to eat healthy on a budget; cook with unprocessed, fresh, local foods; improvise yummy meals; and cook regularly as part of your busy schedule.