Frank Lautenberg made it clear this summer that he has a big love for Lady Gaga. The octogenarian isn't even up for reelection this fall, but just to pad his war chest a little, he hosted a fundraiser at a Gaga concert. For a mere $2,400—the maximum individual donation amount allowed by law—one could join him and his wife in their box at the Verizon Center in DC. He wasn't playing about his affection; for his 86th birthday in January, he went to a Gaga show at Radio City Music Hall. No Rockettes for this Democratic senator from New Jersey.
The Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is under way! This October the Fest is celebrating its 14th year, opening last Friday night at Cinema 21 with a screening of Howl. Don't be dismayed that you missed it because the Fest is running until October 9 so there are still five days left to catch one (or more!) of the many movies lined up. Find the full list of screenings here.
Buke & Gass (featured on our Action podcast) aren't your average duo from Brooklyn. For one, they have almost the same name (Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez). For two, they traded in their ukulele and guitar for a buke and a gass.
Last week, Consumerist posted the results to their Worst Ad in America poll. Winners (well, losers) include the McDonald's "not until I've had my coffee" guy and Jimmy the Extenze spokesperson—no surprise there, since those ads are super annoying. But, with all of the excellent categories created by Consumerist (Creepiest Commercial, Most Grating Performance By a Human, etc.) there is one category left to vote on: The Most Sexist Ad in America.
This week's Feministory subject, Phoolan Devi, had a life that read like an action movie screenplay. In fact, her life BECAME an action movie screenplay. But integral to discussions of Devi and her harrowing story is the search for truth. Who knew the truth about her? Did she tell the truth? Did the books and movie about her tell the truth? Who WASN'T telling the truth? And which truth were her assassins following when they shot her in front of her home in 2001?
I spend a lot of time blogging complaints. Not enough women, too many but too insubstantial, why do they only talk to each other about men, etc., etc. This is a complaint commonly made about bloggers, and, hell, feminists, that they are too critical and don't ever seem to see any good in anything.
But today I've something positive for you. The other night I was watching the Colbert Report and a small, good thing happened. Colbert was interviewing Aaron Sorkin, who, if you've been living in media blackout for the last six weeks, has out a new movie about Facebook called The Social Network. The movie being essentially about a tech startup, not a form of human organization known for its devotion to vagina-ocracy, there aren't exactly strong female roles in it. This is not something I expect to be a common observation about the film, because at least as regards the gender of the main movers and shakers, the film is merely reporting the facts: they were men. So imagine my surprise when the one major issue Colbert stated about the movie was that its portrayal of women seemed flat. "The other ladies in the movie don't have as much to say because they're high or drunk or [beep]ing guys in the bathroom. Why are there no other women of any substance in the movie?" And then when Sorkin admits this is a fair question and terms the women "prizes," Colbert asks, "Are women at Harvard like that? I'm trying to figure out if I missed out on the college experience."
Last summer, which now seems so very long ago, we looked at some people and trends in US politics and policy making who have affected our lives, some for good, but mostly not. I really enjoyed the "Where in the world is" posts in the series, even as I shuddered to write some of them. Bob Packwood's "sinewy arms" just scare me. But as we look toward this midterm election season—and perhaps with some of those personalities of yore in our collective rearview mirrors as reminders of where we should not retread—it's time to ask where the politicians of today have in mind for our future.