Sorry for so much Mad Men, but as my blogging stint approaches its end, I wanted to complete my little triad on the women of Mad Men - and I'm a little worried lately about Joan.
I'm worried because the last time we saw her she was no longer wearing that hairpiece and her walk was more tentative than usual. I'm worried because she married that frat boy douchebag which everybody says is so 60s of her except, I don't know about you, I seem to know a lot of otherwise redeemable women who married fratboy douchebag. (Some of them even had humanities degrees!) Most of all, I'm worried because Mad Men has tucked her away into some kind of "lost causes" sock drawer in terms of both screen time and character development.
Now, let me be clear: I have a difficult relationship with Joan, and more particularly with the way the show holds her up for us to fetishize. She's sooooo curvy! Look at her red hair! She wiggles so elegantly! I hate that the show uses her to do a lot of ass shots that, uprooted and placed in the context of a Gossip Girl or a Desperate Housewives, we would simply call gratuitous and let it be a day. I hate that Mad Men gets a pass on them because Christina Hendricks is gorgeous. I mean, she is gorgeous, but even though she is not a stick figure and there is value in having a woman like that be extremely sexual on the small screen, it still saddens me that she gets pigeonholed as the "bombshell" who is there for contrast with "plain" Peggy. The show, in other words, more or less leers at her, all the time and unapologetically - much like Roger does!
This morning, professional wrestler, Cyndi Lauper video star, and feminist antihero Captain Lou Albano passed away at the age of 76. For you youngsters out there who may not be familiar with Captain Lou (or even for those of us who are), you will absolutely not regret taking 12 minutes out of your day to watch this epic Lauper/Albano collaboration video, "Goonies 'R' Good Enough":
The epic tale! The always-confusing facial rubber bands! Captain Lou! Cyndi Lauper! The Goonies! It doesn't get any better than this, folks. That is unless you consider Captain Lou Albano's staging of a pro-wrestling event wherein he and Cyndi Lauper battled on MTV over sexist remarks called The Brawl to End it All a better story.
I met her in the backyard. She was soaking up the sun, wishing it would never set. She greeted me with excitement, her energy radiating. When she spoke I could sense she was a strong woman that had worked hard for what she had. I quickly learned that she was a Portland-based writer & director...
Ida Maria Sivertsen may not have won a Nobel Prize this week, but she is one more good reason to pay attention to what comes out of Stockholm. Ida, pronounced (ee-da) was born and raised in a small Norwegian village with a population of less than 2,000. In 2007 she packed up and headed to Sweden. Since then, she has made it onto the Top 20 charts in the UK and is infiltrating the US through a series of small shows, singles on iTunes, Gossip Girl, Perez Hilton and unbelievably cool YouTube videos.
Let's say that you're out at a bar, and you meet an attractive girl. You want to talk to her, but you are completely devoid of all redeeming qualities and are literally incapable of striking up a conversation with anyone, let alone someone you hope to have sex with. Before now, you'd probably have to run to the bathroom and consult your Tucker Max paperback for potential date rape tactics, but not anymore. No, now there is an AMP iPhone app that will do all of the dirty work of "manipulatingdegrading figuring women out" for you.
A relationship question for our modern times: Do you Google the people you date? Before a blind date? After a first date? Just quick background check? It's undoubtedly the greatest invention in history if you want to check up on your exes, but what about Googling the people you're meeting right now?
A recent article in the Washington Post tackles the question:
Web searches for background intel on prospective dates have been
undertaken since the dawn of cyberspace, but only in the last few years
-- with the advent of Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn and the like -- have
our online identities grown so rich that they routinely precede
Does hitting the search engines ahead of time spoil the thrill of discovery? Does it ruin the romance? Or is checking people out on-line just common sense?
Now that The Simpsons has sold feminism the fuck out, I'd like to give props to one cartoon I can still count on. I'm talking about South Park, which, after 14 seasons, still offers up some of the finest social satire ever to grace the American airwaves.
Okay, so maybe it's not perfect. The main characters, Stan and Kyle, are baby bros who use words like "gay" and "pussy" as derogatory slurs, and Cartman's bigotry would make Archie Bunker blush. But as the boys navigate their world, they encounter a lot of hypocrisy—including sexist behavior. And when the writers bring their social scalpel to these situations, the results can be hilarious, heart-breaking, (potty-mouthed), and yes...feminist.
Don't tell Trey Parker and Matt Stone I love their pro-woman work, because they try hard to make sure every group gets ruthlessly ridiculed (it's how they avoid hypocrisy.) So until they animate Susan B. Anthony sniffing glue, let's celebrate some episodes well done. Enjoy!
These days everyone seems to be caught up in the Obama Peace Prize hullabaloo: He's only been in office for 9 months! How do we know he deserves it? What if he surges the troops in Afghanistan? Personally, I couldn't care less. By now, the Nobel Peace Prize is right up there with the Grammys in the respectability category (or lack thereof), and the prize has a history of rewarding American Imperialism. The original war-mongering president Teddy Roosevelt won one, for Pete's sake. In the irony category, the prize in economics often seems to follow suit, so my jaded trust in the Scandinavian art of prize-giving was pleasantly proven wrong today when I read that Elinor Ostrom became the first woman ever to win the Nobel Prize in Economics.
This prize is exciting partly because Ms. Ostrom is the first woman to win it, but not just because of that. Her winning this prize will hopefully help to highlight women's voices in a field that is desperate for them, and the noble work this Nobel is rewarding will hopefully change the way we think about economics in general.