When a supremely evil corporation takes some steps to mitigate or change its evil ways, does that change the fact that the corporation is evil? Can corporate responsibility ever be anything but a PR-motivated sham? Can we appreciate the actual changes for workers and the environment even as we remain skeptical and critical of the company's once and future practices?
The SF band Cryptacize, composed of Nedelle Torrisi (singer/songwriter, The Curtains), Chris Cohen (The Curtains, Deerhoof) and Michael Carreira, plays wonderfully dreamy, eclectic pop. Their first album Dig That Treasure (Asthmatic Kitty) is filled with spacey melodies, minimalist guitar strums and unexpected twists and turns. The result is strangely beautiful.
This article doesn't exactly say anything we don't know—that women who get breast implants are signing up for a world of medical procedures that no one can predict—but it's nice to see a major newspaper reporting on it (though, of course, as with so many things relating to The Women, it's in the Styles section rather than where it belongs, in Health).
I'm happy to announce to all y'alls that I have a new project in the works. It's a cookbook, mostly vegan with some optional eggs and dairy, and I'm gonna be working with a small DIY-type publisher based in Oakland. Expect a slim volume that will teach you how to eat healthy on a budget; cook with unprocessed, fresh, local foods; improvise yummy meals; and cook regularly as part of your busy schedule.
In response to a news story about a family putting out an oven fire with the mother's "big pants"—that's Brit-speak for granny panties—comes this column from the Times Online's Caitlin Moran on the scourge of "pantorexia." To be honest, I'm not really sure what's going on in this overlong column — Moran basically starts off encouraging women to stop strangling their asses with "sexy pants" and creating the dreaded quad-buttock effect with ill-fitting unmentionables, but then she goes on to bemoan the state of big pants as well. (Apparently the deprtment stores in Old Blighty are overrun with underpants in the hue of an "uncooked pork chop.")
I was both depressed and intrigued when I read about the bizarre double suicide of Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake last summer. Bitch interviewed Duncan way, way back in Bitch no. 7, when she and Blake had just completed ZeroZero, the third in a series of truly awesome CD-roms for girls following Chop Suey and Smarty.
The SF Weekly's cover story this week is quite a departure. Rather than an exposé of city government shenanigans or a look at some local phenomenon gone national, it's a personal essay about gastric bypass surgery. The Weekly trying to get into the New Year's resolution swing of things by covering weight loss? Trying to capitalize on the bodies of its female staffers (albeit in an unusual and roundabout way)? Just filling a slow news week with a non-timely story? Though it's worth questioning why this is a story in the first place, I'm gonna go in another direction.
In many ways the piece is a standard narrative of self-improvement, complete with a badly lit, messy "before" snapshot paired with a professional "after" picture including careful makeup and styled hair. It would be all too easy to simply criticize author Katy St. Clair for caving in to cultural pressure, buying into the whole thin = hot bullshit she says she wants to be free from, and playing down the risks and sideeffects of weight-loss surgery—which she dismisses as "overblown" without any further information or comment; I know it's a personal essay and not a news article, but it's still on the cover of a newsweekly, so the omission seems pretty glaring—and move on.