Like speed metal and banda music, jazz is one of those musical genres
where the presence and contributions of female artists never quite
mitigates the overall sense that it's a dude's world. For Toshiko
Akiyoshi, crashing the sausage party as an Asian woman was extra
challenging. Nevertheless, the award-winning jazz pianist and big-band
leader was the first woman in the form's long history to compose and
arrange an entire library of music.
Because I live in Brooklyn and I like books, it's been hard to escape the name Jonathan Ames, but I haven't, admittedly, read him. His popularity among a certain set of people has triggered the contrarian in me and I gracefully skirt his work in bookstores and magazines alike. You see, Ames is the kind of person who, the Village Voice tells me, does delightfully irreverent New York things like attend charity events of which he can say, "It's to raise money for Chihuahuas." He names his protagonists after himself. If you've caught my drift, this is the kind of writer who I worry is so well-regarded because he represents a certain kind of trendy New York existence in which everyone nurtures a delightful hip Zooey-Deschanel-esque quirk so that they may safely inhabit a world without regard to responsibility or the dreary business of doing things that are true or meaningful. Or, um, wage-earning.
Someday I shall have to test this prejudice of mine out by reading his books, obviously. For now, HBO has obliged me in delivering a version of Jonathan Ames (penned by Jonathan Ames and called, of course, Jonathan Ames) in thirty-minute morsels (called Bored to Death) to confirm my prejudices. While I've only watched the one episode - which aired last night on HBO but which you can get from OnDemand or, I believe, as a free podcast on iTunes - thus far it has done nothing to alleviate my concern.
That's my arm. I thought it only fair, if discussing the representation of tattoos, to be up front about my own. This one, taken directly from a life science textbook, falls in line with most of the work I've had done: science-y and metaphorical: half-directive, half-reminder.
Time for another episode of Bitch Popaganda! It's like The View, only we all believe the earth is round.
Tune in as Andi, Jonanna, Sara, and Kelsey discuss the idea of modern civility. Celebrities invoked include Kanye West, Serena Williams, Joe Wilson, Michael Jordan, Patrick Swayze, and Tiger Woods. Listen right here, or subscribe to Bitch Media on iTunes and listen whenever you'd like.
Since I wrote some posts blaming sexual behavior trends on porn--including the new enthusiasm for facial cumshots and FFM threesomes--I've gotten multiple reader mail requests to discuss one more staple of mainstream hetero porn: anal sex.
A disclaimer before we start: I am not arguing against anal sex. There's nothing wrong with it. It can be pleasurable and enjoyable, and--as with any sex act--if two consenting adults want to engage in it, I don't judge and neither should you.
Recent scientifc data--which we'll get to in a minute--suggests that heterosexual women, and especially young women, are having anal sex more frequently than ever before. For our mother's and grandmother's generation, anal sex was just about the ultimate taboo, a perverse act that couples rarely did or at least, never admitted to. Not anymore.
As with any trend in women's sexual behavior, I think it's fair to examine what cultural influences might account for this change. People are more likely to engage in a formerly taboo sex act if depictions of it are widely available, even celebrated. And where is anal sex eroticized, and depicted as not only normal, but totally hot?
Why porn, of course.
Oh, yay! It's time to demonize Courtney Love! Again! The ever-convenient target for would-be-rock dude misogyny has come under fire, yet again, for Activision's use of an unlockable Kurt Cobain avatar in Guitar Hero 5.
This season has been unofficially dubbed The Summer of Death, and unfortunately this past week was no exception. As pop culture loving feminists, we are all saddened by the passings of Patrick Swayze, Mary Travers, and Henry Gibson, to name only a few. We all grieve in different ways, to be sure, but a couple of LOL tributez never hurt anybody. In order to ease our collective pain, we bring you the I Can Has Feminizm? R.I.P. Edition.
But how shameful is it, how absolutely insane is it, that the major discussion about “standards” for broadcast television today always takes place in the context of “indecency” – and in particular, that women’s bodies are “indecent”? I mean, I don’t know about you, but the only think I found shocking about Janet Jackson’s breast-exposure on live television was that metal thing she had on her nipple. Christ, wouldn’t that hurt?
My point is that I don’t think the half-second or so of nipplage has done nearly as much damage to “the children” (always so undefined) as the notion that crazy people who think Barack Obama is a secret Muslim are deserving of more than two seconds of derisive airtime on cable and network news.
The autumnal equinox is still a few days away (and today is unseasonably warm), but I'm ready to break out the sweaters and hear the leaves crunch under my step. My last mix said hello to summer, so now I'll usher in the next season with these songs that speak to my autumn mood – either through lyrical reference or tone.