How great would it be to share a dinner table with Sherman Alexie? The National Book Award winner, Spokane Coeur d'Alene Indian, and author of 24 books always has something smart to say, and his way of saying it is with a good-natured dark humor that illuminates the bad stuff of life with a warm and loving light. A week before Thanksgiving, Sherman and I talked about the holiday and how he's made it his own, imagining the traditional Thanksgiving feast as a celebration of survival.
Here's what's on our day-after-Thanksgiving radar:
• One cool thing we can do surrounding Thanksgiving is remember and honor Native American struggles for self-determination and liberation. Red Power activists issued a proclamation to the US government when they occupied Alcatraz Island from 1969 to 1971, and it was pretty rad. [The New Inquiry]
• Many female saints were women who were radically opposed to traditional gender norms and fought against following the path they were expected to take. Here's a list of ten feminists who were canonized. [Autostraddle]
• Clyde Peterson is working on a new stop-motion film about LGBTQ youth and schizophrenia called Torrey Pines. If you're interested in any of these things, help Kickstart the project. [Torrey Pines, Kickstarter]
There's no escaping the holidays. Our only hope is to make 'em our own. This episode tells four tales of subverting the holidays.
First, we talk with author Sherman Alexie about his take on Thanksgiving. Then, we get advice from the folks behind Adbusters and the Story of Stuff project on celebrating the season without getting caught up in consumerism. From there, we talk with a vegan chef who is transforming America's most meat-centric holiday, Thanksgiving, into a vegetable feast. To round it all out, Bitch editorial and creative director Andi Zeisler reads an essay about Jewish Christmas.
Happy Thanksgiving Leftovers Day! If you, like me, spent the morning deciding between pie and mashed potatoes for breakfast, you might need some songs about food to provide a soundtrack to your day. Here are two past BitchTapes, republished with your gustatory needs in mind. Betcha can't eat listen to just one!
Who's Hungry? Part I
Track list and Who's Hungry? Part II after the jump!
If you live in the US, you're probably celebrating Thanksgiving today. And if you're online right now, you probably need some links and video clips to distract you from whatever the holiday has brought your way (canceled flights, conservative relatives, overcooked yams, etc.). Here are some things we're reading/watching/suggesting today to help stuff your Thanksgiving with pop culture and criticism (the best stuffing there is, except for the kind my mom makes). Be sure to share what you're reading in the comments! Happy Thanksgiving!
Way back when I was but a young feminist in a WGS 101 class, my professor asked the class to describe our Thanksgiving traditions as a way of further explaining the notion of gender norms. As more and more students told tales of men sitting on the couch watching television while women basted turkeys and mashed potatoes, light bulbs turned on around the room. Aha! Gender norms! Men and women are both expected to play certain roles, even during such great American holidays as Thanksgiving!
Holidays can bring out the best and worst in all of us (especially when you've got an uncle that likes to play "bartender" by pouring shots for everyone the way I do). So what are your Thanksgiving traditions? How do you negotiate gender norms when you get together with your friends and families in the kitchen? What about the racism inherent in Thanksgiving? What are you going to cook/eat this year? Oh, and do you remember THIS?
This week's shiny golden douchebag statuette goes to Robert
Rector of the Heritage Foundation. A recent article published in The New York
Times reported that the number of people living in households lacking
consistent access to adequate food his risen to 49 million Americans. In the 14
years that the Department of Agriculture has been collecting these statistics,
these are the highest ever.
A bit more data from the survey to put this in perspective:
of those 49 million, one third of respondents reported that they are "outright
hungry" meaning they experience frequent hunger pains, are forced to skip meals
or reduce portion sizes.
The households facing the most dramatic food shortages are
usually headed by single mothers. In the last year, the numbers of households
reporting severe food insecurity that also contain children has swelled by
almost 200,000 to top out at 506,000. Of those 506,000 households, 37% were
headed by single mothers as opposed to 14% that reported married, two-parent
Now this is where the d-bag factor increases exponentially
in relation to the food insecurity data.