31 August 2007

book burning, act II

you heard it here first - from the mouth of my hunny bunny:

Hello book lovers, Prospero's is preparing to get at it again.

What: Book Burning Act II
When: Sunday, Sept. 2nd @ 4pm
Where: Prospero's Books
1800 W. 39th Street
Note: Come dressed as your favorite character from "Fahrenheit 451"
Note #2: Forrest Whitlow will provide some great music

On May 27th Prospero's unleashed a bit of performance art that drew
national attention: We set flame to a couple dozen books in protest of
drastically declining reading trends in America (a trend that's seen
nearly a dozen independent bookstores close in Midtown KC over the last

Our protest drew international attention: the NY Times flew in 2
reporters to spend a day with us. There were over 600 US Newspaper stories
(including the US Poet Laureate in the Washington Post) and world-wide
coverage in places like Russia, India, China, Canada, Venezuela...

Prospero's call for more reading made CNN Headline News & the Colbert
report (my personal fave). There were dozens of radio interviews , the BBC
(600 US Newspaper stories, 40,000+ blogs, dozens of radio interviews, a
new entry in Wikipedia.com, and thousands of emails and phone calls).

Following the burning, we made our collection of 20,000+ unwanted books
available, and they have sat in a portable storage container on our curb
for the last 3 months.

The odd thing is - even as the public outcry was LOUD, very few people
have acted to give these books a home (reminds me of how voter turnout
dropped in the US following the patriotic uproar following 911).

So, here we are: I guess we are going to have to burn some more...

Please feel free to drop by and join us - come dressed as your favorite
character from "Fahrenheit 451".

NOTE: Over the years, Prospero's has donated 1,000s of books to teachers,
charities, jails and those who can't afford a book.

the Right Duke

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29 August 2007

if you're wondering...

where i've been...

condensing down 30 pages of text to a two page, full apa style summary is, uh, challenging. jealous, are you? i now know how it is that 80% of the country has no idea what is happening in the world.

searching for my groove,



24 August 2007

so, anyway...

what have i DONE??? graduate. school. is. hard. i knew it wasn't going to be easy, but, WOWZA! in advanced developmental psychology we talked a bit about conditioning during our first meeting. let me just say that i'm completely conditioned to distance learning. as most of you know, i finished my undergraduate degree through the new school university - online. being in a classroom after 13 years is thoroughly a trip.

do you know that there aren't chalkboards anymore? that my profs can hook up their computers to run through some gadget that allows us to view notes and whatnot on a projector screen??? i feel like rip van winkle. good thing is, i thought i'd be much older than everyone in my courses - not so!

i had to stop looking at my syllabi/apa style manual/pile of books - and blog instead. i've vapor locked with all i have to do already, and how i have to do it. i've also regressed to some strange psychological place where i was when i was in school before. bizarro, how the mind works. i wrote only papers at the new school. there was no multiple choice, no rote memorization to be found. SO not the case now - apples and mandarin oranges. suffice it to say, i'm not digging on it all just yet. i need a pep talk, in the worst way. i. am. very. afraid. and wondering if i can do this.


today is my CUMPLEANOS!!!!!

i'm marking the big 34 today! WOOOO-HOOOOO!!!! i hope i see a few of you tonight at my SURPRISE party! anyone else up for a road trip? ;)

i say surprise, as will is not very sly. i've told him it's not a good idea to leave his mailbox open on the computer, where an unsuspecting soul can easily view several messages from said unsuspecting soul's friends with the subject line


as bebe would say, "oh hohohoho... silly little man!!!"

it is also the birthday of one of my favorite people of all time infinity JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE, howard zinn!!!

i'm in great company.


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22 August 2007


it's a gas, i'm an idiot. i need someone to explain this to me.

i just took my weekly jaunt over to national priorities. i like to remind myself how all of the billions of dollars being spent fattening the pockets of corporations could better be spent - on things such as housing, health care, education - you know, all that lame-o boooring socialist stuff.

it never fails - every time i visit that site, i feel like someone has socked me in the gut. i can't even get my brain around that figure! roughly 454,275,700,000 DOLLARS (it is probably well past that by now) has been spent on this war alone.

where does this money come from??? it can't be all taxes, right? so we're borrowing it? from whom? and how do "we" pay it back?

geez, i wish i would've taken an economics course during my early schooling. i have no concept about how all of this works.

thing is, i remember reading this article (that i can't find for the life of me now) - right after 9/11. it was talking about the patience that terrorists have when it comes waiting out their sworn enemies. the author proposed that they would hit us where it would really hurt - after we'd spent every last cent on finding them all and we found ourselves in financial ruin...

looks to me, we're well on the way to aiding the terrorists.



20 August 2007

lies... and more lies?

Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-CT, September 4, 2002

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

Dick Cheney August 26, 2002

If we wait for the danger to become clear, it could be too late.

Sen. Joseph Biden D-Del., September 4, 2002

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.

George W. Bush September 12, 2002

If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.

Ari Fleischer December 2, 2002

We know for a fact that there are weapons there.

Ari Fleischer January 9, 2003

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.

George W. Bush January 28, 2003

We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.

Colin Powell February 5, 2003

Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, February 5, 2003

We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.

George Bush February 8, 2003

So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment has to be clearly not.

Colin Powell March 8, 2003

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.

George Bush March 18, 2003

We are asked to accept Saddam decided to destroy those weapons. I say that such a claim is palpably absurd.

Tony Blair, Prime Minister 18 March, 2003

Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.

Ari Fleisher March 21, 2003

There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.

Gen. Tommy Franks March 22, 2003

I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.

Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board , March 23, 2003

One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.

Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark March 22, 2003

We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.

Donald Rumsfeld March 30, 2003

Saddam's removal is necessary to eradicate the threat from his weapons of mass destruction

Jack Straw,
Foreign Secretary 2 April, 2003

Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find -- and there will be plenty.

Neocon scholar Robert Kagan April 9, 2003

I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass destruction will be found.

Ari Fleischer April 10, 2003

We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.

George Bush April 24, 2003

Before people crow about the absence of weapons of mass destruction, I suggest they wait a bit.

Tony Blair 28 April, 2003

There are people who in large measure have information that we need . . . so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country. Donald Rumsfeld April 25, 2003

We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.

George Bush May 3, 2003

I am confident that we will find evidence that makes it clear he had weapons of mass destruction.

Colin Powell May 4, 2003

I never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.

Donald Rumsfeld May 4, 2003

I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein -- because he had a weapons program.

George W. Bush May 6, 2003

U.S. officials never expected that "we were going to open garages and find" weapons of mass destruction.

Condoleeza Rice May 12, 2003

I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago -- I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago -- whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they're still hidden.

Maj. Gen. David Petraeus,
Commander 101st Airborne May 13, 2003

Before the war, there's no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.

Gen. Michael Hagee,
Commandant of the Marine Corps May 21, 2003

Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.

Gen. Richard Myers,
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff May 26, 2003

They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer.

Donald Rumsfeld May 27, 2003

For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.

Paul Wolfowitz May 28, 2003

and now this:
For the first time, the U.S. military said Sunday that Iranian soldiers are in Iraq training insurgents to attack American forces.

...no Iranians have been captured in his area of command and that U.S. troops have never found any illegal weapons in two months of patrolling 125 miles of the Iran-Iraq border.

“Just because we’re not finding them doesn’t mean they’re not there,” Conway said.

sound familiar?


this administration has single-handedly ensured that i will never ever trust another thing they tell me.

now i know they have found weapons with iranian markings on them in iraq...trouble is, i imagine that one could find american made weapons throughout the world in the hands of people that intend to kill and maim populations (read: terrorism) for political purposes - pretty much, anyone who can afford them and who appears to be "on our side." for the time being, of course.

linking a must read interview with former weapons inspector scott ritter re: iran. it's almost a year old now, but as relevant today as it was then - especially for perspective purposes.

i fear we're going into iran. up until last week, i was fairly certain all of this talk was a bunch of posturing on the part of the u.s.

bad. news. bears.



19 August 2007

ch ch ch ch changes.... and bush

worked my final shifts at the bar this week. i say final, but who am i kidding? i know i'll be back to pick up shifts... the place is kinda like hotel california - you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. :)

grad school starts next week. i'm nervous, but excited to be embarking on a new adventure. pass me some more of that edumacation! i hope i still have time to blog and read ya'all!

for my k.c. peeps, bush is headed to our fair city to speak at the VFW convention. i bet he'll have lots of lovely things to tell them about how much he appreciates their service as he funnels more money to his private contractor buddies while leaving our troops without the protection they need - AND continuing to slash veterans benefits. EDITED! time has been changed to 9:00 a.m.

Please help us welcome President Bush on Wed, August 22 at noon as he arrives at Bartle Hall to address the VFW convention.

301 W. 13th St, Kansas City, MO.

We will meet at Barney Allis Plaza (13th and Central - across from Municipal Auditorium) around 9:00am. Park in the underground lot there or the lot at 13th and Broadway.

For more info, contact Anne Pritchett at pritchett.anne@gmail.com or Joe Carr at joecarr@riseup.net

Bring IMPEACH signs!


18 August 2007

file this under 'things one should never say outloud.'

so it turns out that i'm not as nice as i thought i was. go figure.

there was a regular at the bar when i worked there pre-bebe. bob was an ass. his mouth would open and out would fly such things as, "i could fuck any of you girls that work here whenever i want" or "we need to turn iraq into a parking lot - fuck those towel heads." "n-word this, n-word, that." the things this man continually said made me feel sick at my stomach - and angry. i'm not one to talk politics at work unless someone brings it up first. if i'm asked, i'm honest. he would draw me in, knowing where i stood, but after a few weeks of that tedious dance - i told him it was best to agree to disagree...

i didn't laugh at his sexist/racist/misogynistic/poor people suck jokes. he was at my bar most every shift for months. he grew to hate me and was very verbal about it. he was a staunch republican - most likely a neo-con, given his strong approval of the bush administration. he never tipped me, i was married after all. and he was always, always talking about his piles of money.

see, he used to tip hundreds of dollars. literally. it was nothing around christmas time for him to drop $600 bucks in tip alone to a server or the other bartenders. at the other times of the eyar - he'd leave a hundred to two hundred bucks. the girls i worked with ate it up. they laughed at all his jokes, flirted with him, let him touch them, etc. i don't play that game well, never have. my co-workers mostly talked shit on him behind his back, but said they liked the money. i figured at least i was being honest. i wasn't mean to him, i pretty much just got him what he needed to drink and went about my way - sometimes making obnoxious small talk about the weather or whatnot. safe stuff. ya know.

one day when i was huge and pregnant, right before i was put on bedrest, he came in near the end of my shift. the bar was wrapped. most of the folks had been there all day and had sizey tabs. i was having such a difficult time maneuvering at that point of the pregnancy, i was glad to almost be finished for the day. bob ordered his token drink then told me to cash him out. then he said, "you know what? put everyone's tab at the bar on me." there was much whooping back slapping and thank you-ing. i ran his credit card and took it to him. "thanks, bob. see you next time!"

i started to walk away when he said, "hey! come back here!"
i waddled back over to him and saw that he was putting a huge zero in the tip area.
"you see that?" he asked, as he made a huge circle around the total, pressing extra hard for emphasis
"i'm not tipping you" he growled, "you're a fucking bitch."

i just stared at him. for once in my life i was speechless.
then i went in back and cried.
i made 3 dollars in tips that day, after pulling a grueling 10 hour shift. there were bills i was relying on that money for.

up until that moment, i had tried to understand him. i felt sorry for him - he was clearly lonely and relied on money as a means to get people to "like" and accept him. that's no way to live. but after that day, i snapped. no one deserves to be talked to that way.

like i said, i was put on bedrest shortly after that. i heard stories about him on and off for awhile. he finally stopped coming in about a year ago after he told a bunch of people at work that he was sleeping with one of the girls that worked there - and that she was essentially stalking him by phone. he hadn't and she wasn't. she called him on it and he disappeared.

once that girl got a different job, i hear that a couple of the servers went out around the area looking for him to tell him that she was gone and he could come back. they were missing his bankroll. puke.

so i got to work the other night and the obits page was behind the bar. boss man told me he'd died a few days before and that he was going to his funeral that night.

the co-worker that chased him off also said she was going "to pay her respects"... uh... because he was so respectful of her?

everyone. was. so. sad.

not me.

don't get me wrong, i wasn't happy he died, either. i just didn't care. we're all headed that way eventually - surest part of living and all...

my other co-worker walked up.

"did you hear about bob?" she asked.
"i wonder what happened to him?" (he was pretty young - 67)
"well, i imagine his hatred for everyone and his meanness ate a whole through his heart and it killed him. i'm tempted to go to the service to make sure he's really gone."
"oh, KA-RA!!!"
"what? you know how he was. the only reason anyone "liked" him around here was for his money!"

i know it's not nice to speak ill of the dead. i know. i imagine that his service was rife with stories and remembrances about what a fantastic guy he was - how he was well respected in the business community - how he was a top notch father - and husband while he was married. how his friends and family will all miss him the wonderful caring guy that he was during his time on earth. i also can't imagine that i was the only one that he was such an ass to. i wonder if there were moments before his passing when he considered his treatment of others - or if he thought he was justified in his actions and in the way he thought and felt. or if he even thought about it at all. perhaps he really believed he was a kind and generous person. who knows.

and perhaps i'm just as awful as he was for not being sad that he's gone... i guess that's not entirely true - i'am a little sad for those he left behind - he had to have been somebody's somebody, after all. hopefully he's found some sort of peace in his transition. too bad he wasn't living for it.



17 August 2007


this has got to be one of the hugest injustices of all time infinity. it was bad enough, the treatment jose padilla suffered FOR YEARS as an AMERICAN CITIZEN (?!) at the hands of american forces. he wasn't allowed to see a lawyer for the first two years of his incarceration. (?!) alternet reports that his cell

"measured nine feet by seven feet. The windows were covered over… He had no pillow. No sheet. No clock. No calendar. No radio. No television. No telephone calls. No visitors.

According to his attorneys, Padilla was routinely tortured in ways designed to cause pain, anguish, depression and ultimately the loss of will to live.

His lawyers have claimed that Padilla was forced to take LSD and PCP to act as a sort of truth serum during his interrogations.

Up until last year the Bush administration maintained it had the legal right to hold Padilla without charge forever. But when faced with a Supreme Court challenge, President Bush transferred Padilla out of military custody to face criminal conspiracy charges."

jose padilla was convicted on a pile of circumstantial evidence - not for what he was originally arrested for, of course. (?!) he was taken into custody back in 2002, after allegedly being tied to a dirty bomb plot that was to be carried out on u.s. soil. he instead was convicted of other various "plots" abroad. and that he'd "filled out a form to join al-quida." if you want to be a terrorist, you must first fill out the application. (?!)

why am i not buying any of this?

he was also somehow deemed competent to stand trial. (?!) yesterday, democracy now! interviewed the forensic psychiatrist that spoke with padilla for 22 hours. she said that the brain damage she observed was a result of his treatment while in the brig fro those years. she also observed stockholm syndrome, of course - and extreme anxiety.

in light of padilla's case, i find it extremely disturbing that in this day and age, an american citizen can be snatched off the streets and legally tortured indefinitely - by the military. the definition of terrorist is so broad now that anyone dissenting could be labeled so, and has been by the power structure over the past 6 years. "you are either with us or against us."

something to think about. padilla had no recourse. once you are deemed an enemy combatant terrorist, no laws apply - basic rights as a citizen of the u.s. cease to exist. this is not my country. this is not democracy. this is sick and wrong. his attorney calls the ruling a tragedy... i don't have a word for what this all is/means. but it goes above and beyond tragedy.

***mother jones has an excellent listing of articles about padilla, going way back.

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15 August 2007

to steal a sentiment from angry ballerina...


so i've apparently been living under a rock again. not fully, of course, but enough to rattle me but good. lynn posted this up the other day and it sent me reeling, as did the continuing email exchange that followed. i can't even begin to speak with any sort of substance on the matter, but i think i knew in my heart all along that this sort of financial apocalypse was certain to follow the actions taken by the majority that call this country home. and to be quite frank, it scares the hell outta me. i probably should have waited to post about this, until i've had a chance to do some digging, but i can't seem to stop thinking about it. projections look to say this will go down in 2025. some say sooner. what have i brought bebe into??? and is this what these fema camps are for? can you even imagine the sort of chaos that will rain down if another depression hits? just look at how rocky the stock market has been, with the sub prime lender/hedge fund tango.

in a nutshell, scroll down and check out the editor's reviews for
this book. sums it up, methinks.

being a crafty bartender, i've come up with a little recipe for disaster:

the end of the world as we know it

1 part out of control spending/debt

1 part war spending

1 part global climate change
1 part outsourced jobs/uneven trade

1 part peak oil

shaken, not stirred.

i think there's a pill i can wash down with this vile drink to make it all go away? hold on. let me turn on my tv and find it.

and then get your ass over here and hold me. i need to be held.

i'll leave you with a happy spot, some recently snapped photos of our menagerie - in the order in which they came to us...

first up, hadley. she rules the roost. she rocks. and barks. she also thinks that having her picture taken is funny:

up next? xanthippus. yes, we call him that. even bebe does. will likes to name his cats after conquerers. i know, i know... rumor has it, he was found after his mother was hit by a car - and he wasn't supposed to make it. as you can see, he did - he is GINORMOUS:

needless to say, xanthippus was NOT PLEASED when we brought this guy home. funny story, but a post for another day. suffice it to say, if aloisius were a human, he'd be a drunk frat guy. seriously. here, he is ready for his close up. we call him al:

and last but not least, baby kitty. remember him? he's. thriving. bebe named him. me-ine. he's learning his spot in the family, and is blatantly ignoring xanthippuseseses hisses and growls - "you WILL be my friend! you WILL be my friend!" the dogs adore him. he no like the flash.

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13 August 2007

on the edge of my seat

to find out why rove really resigned.

wonder how long it will take? i wonder what he actually did? i'm not buying the "i've been thinking about bowing out for a year i'm so sleepy" line.

storm's a brewin'!

too bad he didn't resign his phone while he was at it...


07 August 2007

does this blog make me look fat?


i got to thinking the other night... fancy that! this is going to be one of those process deals, so bear with me. i'll warn you - it may be all over the map, as much of this still is - in my head.

i haven't really felt like myself since bebe was born. i finally know why. yeah, i know... having a child changes everything, blah blah blah. that simply isn't enough.

i think the realization started when i went back to work. i'd been fairly insulated for a couple of years from really being in the trenches with the public... see? i'm already getting ahead of meself. let me back up a bit.

my "awakening" in my early 20's sent me reeling. it took some time, to adjust to this suddenly strange place i was born in, the one i thought was a certain way, but wasn't. nothing could've ever prepared me for the severe shock that paraded as a protest at the democratic national convention in 2000. the realization, before my own eyes, that what i had been told and taught my whole life was a farce at best, rocked me in ways that are still difficult for me to get my brain around. the few years before that (what i call my re-education - reading everything i could get my hands on, killing my television, laying off being drunk all the time) had tried to prime me - but didn't do a sufficient job. everything. was. changed.

i came back home a different person than the one i was just a week before.

i'd adjusted fairly well to all of this, made life changes and began weighing my decisions heavily as to how they would impact not only my life, but the lives of those throughout the world. and the planet.

then bebe was born.

suddenly i felt like that awkward teen all over again - completely self-conscious, vulnerable and unrecognizable to myself. i figured it was something that all women must feel, that it was part and parcel of being a mommy. but it continued on unwaveringly, up until sunday night.


i had reverted to the kara that lived in the old world, and i didn't even realize it. not fully reverted, but enough to make a difference - enough to create a disjunct in myself. i had adjusted to the way the world really is when i was flying solo. i was even ok still when i got hitched. but when bebe arrived, i subconsciously tapped back into what i've always held to be true about being a mom - the stuff we compartmentalize and store away throughout life without even really thinking about it, etc. i was thinking in the "old" way - relying on archaic stereotypes and ideas that i should've known better about. i didn't question all of that enough, just accepted it and it rattled me. i've been a loner most of my life as it is, but i thought that being a mommy would automatically induct me into some super cool secret mommy club, where other mommies would be supportive and awesome. silly me.

i'am also still packing 25 more pounds that i didn't have pre-pregnancy. i reverted in this arena as well, partially. i know i eat well, get enough exercise, and that those pounds have been for a reason while nursing. but still. i wanted nothing more a year ago than to fit into my clothes. the more i thought about it, the more ridiculous it seemed - that i would worry about something of such little consequence in the grand scheme of things. i know better. and still.

which brings me to this.

i'd forgotten how incredibly self-conscious people are in general. i don't mean this in any sort of judgmental way, simply as an observation. there are literally droves of women that come into the bar and look every other woman up and down. they are constantly checking themselves in the mirror, straightening their clothes, talking badly about other women that get up from the table. what is that? who are we trying to compare ourselves to? the facade of woman that is plastered on every billboard in america? women in the t.v.? women in the magazines? worst of all, each other? and it isn't like this is a few isolated incidences, either. it makes me very sad. i hear very young girls saying all the time that they are "fat." they aren't. and so what if they are, as long as they are healthy?

truth be told, i was once one of those girls, and struggled along for years in a horrible, sometimes detrimental, relationship with food. i found that after i stopped watching television and buying publications like cosmo, i felt a hundred times better about myself. ah, make-up kara. i couldn't even leave my apartment without make up on. the day i consciously thought about it, i knew i had to do something drastic. i had to leave my house without make-up. i had to go about my life clear faced, as me - all me, in my un-made up glory. i had to stop worrying about what other people would think. i eventually felt lighter. i felt more like me. occasionally i was met with, "don't you want to look pretty? there's nothing wrong with that." if putting bat shit on my eyes makes me look pretty, no.

don't we know better by now? seriously. there are a million articles floating about various publications that tell women we are fine the way we are. the message isn't just being whispered amongst the women masses, or to ourselves as we stare in the mirror - it has gone mainstream. or has it?

dove, bless 'em, with their campaign for real beauty annoys. me. something has never set quite right with the ads. recently i was somewhere here in blogland and followed a link to a video they had posted up. it showed what a model goes through from beginning to end of make-up and airbrushing before her face hits the billboard. good on them. but the more i dug around through the site, the more irritated i became. one of their campaign ads boasts brave (?!) "real women, with real bodies and real curves." the message of course, is promoting their firming lotion. ya know, cause we're just fine the way we are, but we can all use a touch of firming, right girls? what sort of twisted mixed message does that send? to top it all off, they have put together school programs for young girls to promote self esteem... and gain access to a new market of younger women? apparently phillipe harousseau knows how women and girls think... and how to be a marketing genius. in the same breath, dove has posted up these completely disturbing statistics:

  • One-third of all girls in grades nine to 12 think they are overweight, and 60percent are trying to lose weight.
  • Only 56 percent of seventh graders say they like the way they look.2
  • Studies show that 57 percent of girls have fasted, gone on diets, used food substitutes, or smoked more cigarettes to lose weight.
  • Research also shows that messages girls receive from the media can damage their feelings of self-worth and negatively affect their behavior. More than one in four girls surveyed feel the media pressure them to have a perfect body.4
  • Girls who watch TV commercials featuring underweight models lose self-confidence and become more dissatisfied with their own bodies.5
  • As a result, girls question their own beauty: between 50 and 70 percent of girls of normal weight believe they are overweight.6

jean kilborne has done a fantastic series of videos, one of which can be viewed on her site. killing us softly 3.

and maybe, just maybe, this quest for culturally prescribed "beauty" is a symptom of a deeper dis-ease. earlier this a.m. the
divine ms. m sent around an email asking people to go read a blog post written by a friend of hers. i did so. you should too.

it left me wondering, can dove's beauty products make women safe? isn't that more important ultimately than having smooth underarms and firm thighs? perhaps if we were safe, we wouldn't be fixating on what our appearance is - trying to gain control over one tiny thing in sea of injustice for women.

yesterday, sicily sue sent me a link to an article she'd read. if women were truly enjoying equality, women wouldn't be told in finance articles to "show a little skin" and to "expect sexual harassment and stay cool" to be a brazen careerist. even though the majority of those commenting thought her article was crap, it still has to stick in there somewhere, doesn't it? doesn't ALL of this?

i refuse to paint myself up to make other people more comfortable - to be a part of some sort of culturally constructed norm. i like my un-firmed thighs. i like that my underarms aren't smooth for seven consecutive days. i like me. just the way i' am. i like you just the way you are. and so should everyone else.

what i don't like is that while we continue to fixate on our appearance, countless woman will be raped, beaten, killed, or systematically abused. we will continue to not feel "good enough." we will continue to not focus on the work that remains to be done, so that our lives aren't based in some level of fear - of being ugly, of being attacked... how about a campaign for that?

but most importantly, why are we still buying into the hype -literally and figuratively?


please go by mary's place for the details. and drop randy a line. today.

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05 August 2007

many moons ago....

i had a (if i do say so myself) fantastic little call in talk show (politics, local music) on our community radio station - kkfi. i do miss those days... but i still listen. there's a ton of great programs to be found there - and it also runs a feed of democracy now! and it never fails, i always find a little delicious nugget that rocks my ears or stretches my mind.

today i happened to tune in to hear this little ditty, just after passing a KANSAS tagged car with MPEACHW on the license plate. i did a little happy dance in my seat and promptly pointed it out to bebe.

sometimes things just come together, don't they?

you might need to hit the pause button on my little music player to watch the video. mea culpa, but well worth the listen. i especially identify with the sections i've emphasized below.

truth be told, the problem is larger than this for me. i mean, this country was built, founded and most importantly stolen by non-natives. to batten down the borders to keep the people of mexico out, people who are only trying to escape what american greed and capitalism have created in their country is ludicrous and shameful. we should also probably pack up the statue of liberty and ship it back to france while we're at it, no?

Who's gonna build your wall
Tom Russell

I got 800 miles of bolted border
Right outside my door
There's minutemen in little pickup trucks
Who declared their own dang war
Now the government wants to build a barrier like ol' berlin, 12 feet tall

But if Uncle Sam sends the illegals home
Who's gonna build the wall

Who's gonna build your wall, boys
Who's gonna maw your lawn
Who's gonna cook your Mexican food
When your Mexican maid is gone

Who's gonna wax your floors tonight
Down at the local mall
Who's gonna scrub your baby's face
Who's gonna build your wall

I ain't got no politics
So don't lay that rap on me
Left wing right wing up wing down
I see strip malls from sea to shining sea

It's the bad cat white developer
Who's created this whole damn squall
It's the pyramid scheme of dirty jobs
And who's gonna build your wall

Who's gonna build your wall, boys
Who's gonna maw your lawn
Who's gonna cook your Mexican food
When your Mexican maid is gone

Who's gonna wax your floors tonight
Down at the local mall
Who's gonna scrub your baby's face
Who's gonna build your wall

We've got fundamentalist muslims
We've got fundamentalist jews
We've got fundamentalist Christians
That'll blow the whole thing up for you

But as I travel around this big ol' world
There's one thing that I most fear
It's a white man in a golf shirt
With a cell phone in his ear

Who's gonna build your wall, boys
Who's gonna maw your lawn
Who's gonna cook your Mexican food
When your Mexican maid is gone

Who's gonna wax your floors tonight
Down at the local mall
Who's gonna scrub your baby's face
Who's gonna build your wall


i made my own damn cheese and onion enchiladas tonight, replete with rice and beans.

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03 August 2007

the 21st birthday from hell

the co-worker had a table last night. full-on family 21st birthday celebration affair. mom, dad, friends, brothers, sisters, etc. CW takes the drink order, then cards those appearing to be under the age of 35.

birthday boy hands over a piece of paper from the dmv as his form of i.d. CW says she can't accept it and notes that he had his license taken away for underage drinking and driving. it went a little something like this:

the mom: what's that?
birthday boy: uh... i don't have my license.
the dad: you don't have your license?
sister: what happened to it?
birthday boy: i don't want to talk about it right now.
the mom: honey, where is your license?
brother: yeah, where is your license?
the dad: did you lose it?
birthday boy: seriously! nevermind! i don't want to talk about it right now!

it went quickly downhill from there.

birthday buzz kill infinity.

why he didn't just order water is beyond me.



02 August 2007

leaps and bounds!

so the weaning is still going well. nursies have successfully slept through the night since we've began. and get a load of this! the night i made my last post, at bedtime, bebe tells me to scoot over. he sleeps with us, you see. i tell him i can't move over any further, or daddy won't have room. he looks me square in the eye, sighs and says, "i need my own little bed, mommy!"

wha?!? i knew that was coming next, but i thought i would have at least been the one to broach it!

so own little bed it was! i made him a cozy pallet next to ours. he laid down after gathering up marty moose and ballum the koala and FELL ASLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!! I KNOW!

of course he woke up a few hours later and wanted to hop in with us. that's cool. baby steps. baby steps. he's fallen asleep on his little pallet every night since then. i have to get his little room together. we don't even have a bed for him. bad mommy. bad daddy.

in other leaps, we all had an adventure out to my school today to pick up books for classes. $350.00 later, i'm ready to begin my learning and cognition and advanced developmental psych courses in a few weeks. i'm nervous about grad school, but excited. i haven't been in a classroom in, what? 13 years? i miss the new school. i wonder if it will take some getting used to, the switch from distance learning to the classroom? and the book prices, p/s. we rarely used a traditional text book at the new school, so i was quite surprised by the cost of books for two classes. now THAT'S quite a racket! new editions every semester, etc. i got two of them used, so that was nice.

i have more to say about the opposite of leaps and bounds happening in iraq, but i have to race to stupid work now. suffice it to say this: puppet regime in iraq takes month long break because bush administration has nothing for them to do. because they won't sign away all the oil. clear as mud? grrrrrrrr. infinity. more anon.

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