Since today is Father's Day, I want to take some time to reflect on my dad, and try to start giving voice to some ideas and pain and anger that have been simmering in my mind.
My dad died this past winter after a shitty and long battle with cancer (he was a life-long smoker). He was 67. Now I know this might seem like a particularly loaded way of bringing politics down to the level of personal (and thus emotional), but here's the thing. I've been doing a lot reading lately. Of books, of blogs, of zines, magazines, chapbooks, of vision statements and organizing principles of self-described radical organizations and people... I've also been doing a lot of listening. And struggling to find the language to pull these ideas and feelings out of my head/heart, thoughts about identities and experiences. Critiques of which ones are validated/politicized and which ones aren't, and which others aren't even considered as possibilities for political analysis. And I've been struggling to even speak because, who knows? Maybe I haven't considered enough. Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe I haven't been as thoughtful as I think I have. Maybe I haven't searched hard enough.
I finally unpacked from last weekend's NCMR, and unloaded the special NCMR tote bag. I've learned from the past couple conferences I've attended that tote bags are apparently a necessary part of every conference. Am I being an ungracious a**hole when I say I find this ridiculous? Sure, tote bags are helpful in organizing all the conference materials and other items handed out at workshops, but don't people bring their own bags?
Lately I've been thinking about the process of coming out and identities/shifting, and how for so many of us it's an ongoing/lifetime process. In part because we as individuals change, and/or in part because our environment changes, and/or in part because our identities can't be read on the outside, and/or because some of us feel the most comfortable in those in-between spaces yet sometimes feel compelled to "pick a side" (so to speak/referencing here the dualism so prevalent in mainstream Western culture), because the struggle to have our identities validated (or even finding language to define ourselves and our experiences) simply becomes too much work. But then when we "pick that side," we might eventually feel the weight of that boxed-in identity start to hurt, so we begin the process of coming out again... Or geez, to put it most simply, because things just change...
Maybe I'm being too way too picky, but there is something deeply underachieving about Nerve's "Girl Power Top Ten," a list of the ten most—oh yeah, here it comes—empowering movies of all time.
Now, I would never come right out and suggest that perhaps having three dudes be the ones to make both of these judgment calls is going to, you know, limit the scope of things, but...okay, that's basically what I'm saying. Andrew Osborne, Phil Nugent, and Leonard Pierce, who coauthored "Chick Hits," get shirty in their introduction about the cluelessness of the media execs and pop-culture minders who've been so pleasantly surprised at the success of Sex and the City's big-screen bow, going on to write proudly that "We here at The Screengrab aren't afraid to get in touch with our feminine sides as we raise our Cosmos to these...films that put their empowered female characters front and center (without resorting to stripper poles OR big gauzy Prince Charming/Bridezilla wedding porn)."
"It is because of me — I definitely think [my show] has helped the movement," she told Usmagazine.com at the Hollywood premiere of The Love Guru on Wednesday.
"Before it came out, everyone was still a little apprehensive about [same sex relationships]," she said. "Then they realized, 'Wow, everyone is really into this stuff, and it is fine.' The next thing you know, [gay marriage] is legal."