Musician, activist, and all-around cool lady Kathleen Hanna was interviewed by Laura Flanders for GRITtv last week. While the interview covered a range of topics (from endorsing Willie Mae Rock Camp's own Awkward Turtles to reflecting on the "arrogance of youth"), Hanna's most interesting comments regarded the complicated and sometimes problematic sides of building feminist leaders, archiving riot grrrl history, and comparing blogs to zines.
Recently, I was writing with a former-chef friend about her own organic crop cultivation. When comparing her own organic heirloom varieties to the pathetically pale tomatoes for sale in her Canadian market, she said the following: "Tomato production is a truly shocking field. Have you ever been to southern Spain? Huge strips of land under black tarps to quick-grow tomatoes that taste like water are sprayed with pesticides and leave behind nothing but wasteland when the tarp is removed and the plants die off, and all heavily subsidized by the EU. Ugh."
2010 has been pretty good to Drew Barrymore thus far. The birthday girl (yesterday was the big 35) has a major ad campaign as one of the faces of Cover Girl and she won both a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film for her portrayal of Little Edie in Grey Gardens. She also rekindled her relationship with actor Justin Long and just recently found out she would be awarded the Vanguard Award by GLAAD at an upcoming ceremony.
The Vanguard Award goes to "media professionals who have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community." GLAAD notes that Drew has done so by starring in Boys on the Side, from openly gay filmmaker Don Roos, producing He's Just Not That Into You "in which she played a straight reporter at a LGBT newspaper who desperately seeks dating advice from her gay best friends" and playing the lesbian daughter of Robert de Niro in 2009's Everybody's Fine.
Just when you though you might not want another reality show about making it big in the fashion world, along comes Boss Ladies. Billed as "an exciting hybrid of 'The Real Housewives' and 'Project Runway'" (yay?) viewers follow five transgendered women from Atlanta to Los Angeles as they try to launch a clothing line and open a boutique.
Yes, Liz Lemon's evoking of the name Anna Howard Shaw made for some big laughs on the most recent episode of 30 Rock. But did you know that in addition to being funny (at least by association, and probably in real life as well), Shaw was also the first woman ordained by the Methodist church, a medical doctor, a published author, a decorated member of the National Council of Defense, a social justice activist, and a pioneer for women's suffrage? It's true!
Celine Dion stares at us from the front page of People this week. 'My Private Hell' the headline shouts, without a hint of irony. There's been nothing private about Celine Dion's IVF treatments in pursuit of a second child. 'Daily injections, painful tests' - we can know it all, if we want to. Looking at this cover, I wonder, 'How does this make women going through IVF treatment themselves feel?'
CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) is wrapping up its 2010 conference in DC today. It's kind of like the Coachella festival of Conservative politicians. (So Mitt Romney's on stage 2 right now, but then at three we have to pick between Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft!)
But these riveting speakers aren't the only exciting draw this year. Nope--there are some fly honies at the conference, and The Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson's conservative news site, has put this video together (equally poor in editing as in taste) documenting the earth-shattering revelation that there are women at CPAC who aren't named Ann Coulter or Michele Bachmann.
He basically goes up to women and proceeds to have a conversation like this: Daily Caller: What brings you to CPAC? Women: ...You mean besides the obvious fact that I'm interested in conservative activism?
Most of the art our culture celebrates is the same type of art that makes me yawn. See, I enjoy art that gets my blood racing. For me, good art needs to be both aesthetically appealing and make my brain hurt. Because of my intense predilection for this type of provocative eye candy, I was exceedingly pleased recently to discover the Visibility Project—a female, Asian American, Queer portraiture project by Bay Area Photographer Mia Nakano and Los Angeles collaborator Christine Pan.
For a while, it really seemed like Rachel Maddow was respected. While conservatives surely disagreed with her, most of them would give her an interview on her show, or seem to acknowledge her as someone to watch out for. She had an educated opinion, and she was eerily intelligent and well-spoken. (To some, I'm sure, that ignored Air America, she "came out of nowhere.")
Suddenly, Rachel Maddow has become a target. Andrew Breitbart, just yesterday, told the press what he'd say to Maddow, if he ever has the pleasure of meeting her:
I hope to see you and give you a lovely hug because you validated my hopes and aspirations and my business model because you're so bad at what you do.