As many of you Internet fans know, I'm the web editor here at Bitch Media, which means I concern myself mainly with what goes on in this series of tubes we're working in right now. However, today I'd like to talk about Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, the best print magazine in the whole world. (OK, I'm biased, but it is seriously awesome.) And now you can get a subscription or renew your existing subscription to the magazine for the limited-time price of $19.96!
You know how in Gattaca doctors used hormones to control the personalities of fetuses, ensuring a creepily uniform generation of "perfect" people, like the guy who plays Ethan Hawke's brother in the movie? Well, now there is a doctor who is attempting to do something similar by eradicating non-"feminine" traits in female fetuses—an "abnormal" disinterest in babies, not wanting to play with girls' toys or become mothers, "career preferences" that are deemed too "masculine"—and she's this week's Douchebag Decree recipient. Dr. Maria New, come on down!
OK, so this video may have come out last month, but I swear I just noticed it for the first time today (and a quick office poll confirmed that I am not alone). How did this slip under the radar? The first Broken Bells music video and it features Christina Hendricks in a "Ray Bradbury does The Valley of the Dolls" plot that has her selling her android body parts in the hopes of meeting a man on a resort planet? There's a lot going on here.
Regardless of which person the President would have selected for Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, I would have been interested. I am curious to see what floats around in the ether (read: debate) around present-day nominees, and given the interest by many in the makeup of the court, I want to keep tabs on the rhetoric around this specific nominee. Especially since she's an ex-gay.
Helen Mirren keeps popping up in my daily conversations and I am doing my best to resist this wave of Helen Fever. I had a strain of Helen Fever in 1995 (while sick with an actual fever and accompanied by marathons of Prime Suspect) so I felt this time around I was somewhat immune.
Linda Gass is definitely not be the first to use her skills in sewing for political activism, even within the environmental art movement.
Susan Shie is credited with starting the Green Quilt Movement in 1989, with two other artists, taking quilts off of the bed and on to the walls to promote ecology and our stewardship of the earth. Gass is one of over 1,000 artists worldwide who has contributed to this relatively new formal tradition in environmental art, but she stands out for her realistic aerial landscapes and deep knowledge of land issues and histories of the areas she depicts.
Boys aren't the only ones who play air guitar. Granted, I didn't pretend I was David Lee Roth, but I'm sure I shamefully mimicked those epic "Free Bird" riffs. If you're like me and still haven't grown out of the pantomime instrument routine, you're in luck.
Weeds in its first three seasons was an excellent show—it was well-written, clever satire with multifaceted and funny characters. Its send-up of the rhetoric and culture of suburbia was funny and pointed and coherent. Celia was a hilarious and capable antagonist, and I loved that the older het white men on the show—Doug, Andy, and Dean—were strongly characterized as inept and lazy. In contrast to the class and race privileged characters in Agrestic, Heylia James and her nephew Conrad Shepherd, the pot dealers who gave Nancy her start in the business, were funny, sympathetic, and competent. They were easy to root for, while Nancy made irresponsible decisions by the dozens. Heylia and Conrad took themselves and their ambitions as individuals seriously, and handled themselves and their business adroitly.
I'm not alone in thinking that Weeds has fallen hard in recent years. The basic thesis of the show in its fourth and fifth season seems to be "everything falls to shit, and Mexico and Mexican folks are every awful stereotype you've ever heard." All but the most clearly and slowly spelled out motivations of the characters are completely unintelligible. It's not very funny, and doesn't put sexism or racism or classism in any kind of critical context. The greatest indicator of this steep drop in quality is the complete and total erasure of Heylia and Conrad. Much to the show's detriment, these two fine characters have been abandoned, literally never mentioned at all after the end of the third season.
We had a conversation in the comments section on another Mad World post a while back regarding ads that use real people instead of actors to sell their products. Do these people get paid? Are they actually just actors in disguise? Why are we strangely compelled by their "real" presence in commercials? Well, dear Mad World readers, to get to the bottom of these issues, I recently went undercover as a "real" person in a commercial photo shoot (well I guess I wasn't technically undercover since I am actually a real person, but you know what I mean) and got the scoop.
The ubiquity of commercial cigarettes in the United States is a 20th century phenomenon. In large part, the massive popularity of cigarettes in the United States can be traced back to their rationing to soldiers during World War I and World War II. The cigarette's rise in popularity amongst women, however, is a different story all together. In this special edition of Adventures in Feministory, we're taking a look at how flappers, Freud, feminism and fashion transformed the perception and popularity of women cigarette smokers.