Friday, August 31, 2007

Jezebella on Tour: Two things about Kansas City

1. I got to spend about an hour in the newly expanded Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Nicely done. It's got great soaring ceilings and terrific light, great for big-ass paintings both modern and contemporary. Yet the space flows slowly downward from one room to the next - I hesitate to use the word "room" here because they're more like separate spaces with some architecture defining your movement from one area to the next. Beautifully done. Nice floors, good collection, good lighting.

I love their Rothko. I was going to add a link to it, but Rothkos are impossible to understand in photographs. You have to get up next to the canvas to see the subtlety and sublimity of black-on-burgundy-on-black that goes on in his dark paintings.

I saw this show: Manet to Matisse which was kind of, meh. It's a private collection so it's a little uneven. The Cezanne oil study of a man smoking a pipe is FANTASTIC. Nothing else really stuck with me.

I got to see the first two rooms of this show: Developing Greatness and wish I'd had time to see all of it. I love daguerreotypes. I have no idea how they managed to light a zillion hanging daguerreotypes so visitors could see them. If you've ever handled one, you know that you have to kind of tilt it back & forth to get a good view of it. It's a thin metal layer on glass, a positive one-of-a-kind image, not a print made from an original negative. I'd go back & see the rest of that show if I could.

And, continuing my newly-found love for Kiki Smith, I totally fell for her installation called Constellation Totally love her work. Want to see more, and more, and more.

2. I got on the elevator at the hotel where two large, burly, black transvestites were meditating upon the buttons. "They said Room 237," said one. Said the other, "But there isn't a button for 2." I said, "L is the same as 2. The lobby is the second floor." And then I pushed the open door button and off sauntered the most deep-voiced man in extensions, a denim miniskirt, and acrylic nails I'd ever laid eyes on. The two of them seemed to have some sort of, ahem, *appointment* in room 237.

I use the word transvestite intentionally, because these were not drag queens in overdone makeup and sparkly dresses. Nor were they transsexuals, as neither had used hormones, depilation, or was even bothering to try to raise their voices. These were, simply put, dudes in skirts, extensions, and a little makeup. With fancy nails. One of them even had some razor stubble on his/her cheeks.

My people, it has been a long time since I've been on an elevator with a transvestite.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Because I am Very Busy and Important...

I will be in Kansas City for the next couple of days.

Snacks are in the pantry, phone numbers on the fridge, try not to burn down the house or otherwise horrify the babysitter.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Foxploitation this season

I've been seeing ads for Fox's new cop show, "K-ville." Set in New Orleans, featuring cops. Oh, joy. I so love it when mainstream television tries to capture the je ne sais quois of NOLA.

First, let me say, that although some communities refer to themselves as "Katrinaville," I've never heard anybody use the term "K-ville." So that's BS from the git-go.

I am not going to bother looking up the publicity on K-ville, but I have some predictions to make:

- There will be wild geographical inaccuracies every single episode.

- Hardly anyone will get the New Orleans accent right.

- There will be an abundance of terribly rendered rural Cajun accents, even though people who are NOLA natives do not have this accent.

- There will also be an abundance of terribly rendered Southern accents. Again, the NOLA accent is not Southern.

- Within the first 60 minutes of the show, the cops will have some important dudely cop reason to go have a drink in a titty bar on Bourbon Street. The camera will pan leeringly up & down the body of one or more strippers, stopping just below the chin, while the dudely cops talk about something entirely unrelated.

- Within the first 2 episodes, there will be a plot involving voodoo.

- Within the first 4 episodes, we will see drag queens. There will never be a plot involving gays and lesbians, however.

- By Christmas, an old civil rights murder will have been solved.

- By Christmas, there will probably have been a ghost story as well.

- By Mardi Gras, they will have staged a float parade smack through the middle of the French Quarter. Which, by the way, NEVER HAPPENS. Only walking parades are seen in the Quarter, only a few, and one of them features dogs.

- If they possibly can, they will get Harry Connick to guest-star in an episode. Failing that, they will recruit a local musical celebrity on the order of Kermit Ruffins to go busk in Jackson Square. This will be promoted as a shout-out for NOLA insiders.

- They will film exteriors of local clubs and then the interiors will be completely different places.

- Even though the city is now full of Mexican immigrants working in the construction trades and opening taco stands, there will be no Mexicans visible in the series. In fact, viewers will probably never see any Asians, either, despite a well-established Vietnamese community.

- Some dude with PTSD will carve up his girlfriend and eat her. Then he'll kill himself. Because Hollywood is out of ideas.

- Local residents and celebrities most likely to be courted by Fox for cameos: Sean Payton; Chris Rose; Angela Hill; Harry Lee; Drew Brees; and John Goodman. I make no predictions about whether they will appear or not, however.

- And, so help me, if the producers of K-Ville in any way fuck up my enjoyment of the Saints season or horn in on my Saints viewing in ANY WAY, I'm gonna get a drag queen voodoo priestess to shrink their testicles into tiny testicle-raisins by means of a bloody chicken sacrifice on the roof of the Superdome.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

feminism and fat: "what about teh menz?!"

Because the lovely ladies at Big Fat Deal linked to me, I find myself in an interesting conversation over there about fat, feminism, and what about teh menz.

I've noticed that conversations about feminism often turn to the men in the conversation arguing that they, too, are oppressed, because they are short, or working class, or fat, or gay, or bookish, or black, or Hispanic, or dyslexic, or not athletic, or what have you. Then they want to claim that I am holding some kind of competition to decide who's the most oppressed. Which I'm not.

There is no competition.

Women get the shit end of the stick in patriarchy, period. The patriarchy creates a hierarchy, yes, and tall blond rich buff heterosexual American men are at the top of the heap. Men who do not conform to this standard are discriminated against. But women are always and already the inferior sex class. Men, no matter who they are, reap the benefits of patriarchy, whether they wish to or not. Just as white people reap the benefits of racism, heteros reap the benefit of homophobia, and so forth. The foundational submission/dominance model of patriarchy renders the non-ideal man Less Manly, and for that he suffers. Not just because he is gay, or fat, or black, but because he is deemed inferior, and thus more like a woman. But he'll never be a woman (unless he's trans, but that's a whole other kettle of fish).

People raised male in this culture are raised with patriarchal privilege. Men who are wrapped up in their own battles seem to find it hard to acknowledge the feminist battle, and this I do not understand. A man who suffers oppression seems that he should be a likely feminist ally, and yet this is most often not the case. Men of all stripes wish to deny the always-already state of oppression women experience, even when they have suffered under the exact same system that oppresses us. This is not rational, sensible, or even sane. I do not pretend to understand it. I find it extremely frustrating.

Monday, August 20, 2007

pedantic asshole alert

In the event that any pedantic assholes wish to quibble regarding feminism, hie thee to this blog: Finally Feminism 101.

Because I don't have time to educate every misogynist prick who stumbles through here and demands instant attention.

I suggest you start with the FAQs.

In which I bitch about summer some more.

It's hot. Africa hot. I'm going to get all my hair cut off tomorrow. And you know what? I'll still be hot. Where are the air-conditioned lycra suits of the retro future? It's the TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY for christ's sake.

We should all be wearing silver climate-controlled jumpsuits and eating food pills and driving hover cars. Remember in Logan's Run, when Farrah Fawcett popped into the cosmetic surgery pod and got free, painless, risk-free instant new face and hair?* How fun would THAT be, to change your face at whim, weekly? Also, laser guns. Feminist utopia. Babies grown in vats, so nobody has to be pregnant, EVER. And talking robots to clean your house and cook your dinner.

What the hell happened to the future?

*and, seriously, if you don't remember Logan's Run, or have fond memories of it, NEVER WATCH IT AGAIN. That shit does NOT stand up to the test of time. Lawd-a-mercy that is a terrible movie.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dick Cheney was right.... in 1994

In 1994, Dick Cheney had at his fingertips the certain knowledge that an Iraq war would be disastrous and deadly for the US and Iraq, and that it would destabilize the entire region, particularly Iran and Turkey.



So what the hell happened to him?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Awwww, yeaaaahhhhh

The cheese edition

http://www.comics.com/comics/getfuzzy/index.html

I read this and got a headache, a stomachache, and a fear for my future consumption. I hit Google to see if this was some kind of sick joke. Because if so? NOT FUNNY. Do not joke about cheese, my man.

Sadly, it wasn't a joke. Lots of cheeses are made with a veal byproduct called rennet. I am deeply disturbed and depressed and a little bit nauseous, because I frackin LOVE CHEESE. But I don't want to eat things that involve killing animals, and rennet comes from dead baby cows. The only thing I ask people not to eat around me is veal, because veal makes me sad. Turns out that my beloved snack of cheddar and Triscuits? Not vegetarian. I am devastated. I may never be able to eat out again.

NOOOO!!! NOT MY CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE!!!

This is as bad as when I found out Oreos had lard in them, and I couldn't eat them for years. Every time I went to the grocery store, I'd check to see if the ingredients had changed. And lo, one day, one glorious day: there was no lard in Oreos!! There was exultation in the cookie aisle. There were milk and cookies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

And now, I must find a cheese made without rennet.

Damn you, Darby Conley!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

global warming update

97 degrees, 103 heat index. At 7:15 pm.

Fuckity fuck.

Mmmm, lemony!

I've been wanting to paint my kitchen yellow for about three years now. I finally went to Lowe's, bought a gallon of paint, a new paint brush, and some blue tape. Total: something like $45. Is that all? Why the hell did I keep putting it off? I have no bloody idea. I'm painting like an hour a day because if I paint too long, I get bored and sloppy.

I picked a shade called "soft duckling" which was very similar to both "tulip" and "lemon" in two other paint lines. It's a sunny lemony yellow, like hollandaise sauce. It's even kind of thick and creamy like hollandaise sauce.

The cats? The cats ain't happy. The fridge was in the middle of the tiny kitchen, and this was Not Good. There was a footstool in the kitchen. The cat food was moved three feet from its usual position. Not Good. There's yellow paint in Pippin's tail. Not Good.

In conclusion: yellow kitchen, Good; the cats' opinion on home decoration: Not Good.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hey, global warming naysayers! SUCK IT!!!!

It's 96 degrees outside. 51% humidity.

ONE HUNDRED AND NINE is the heat index.

the bare minimum

On days like this, when outside smells like ass and feels like a sauna, I often wonder why I bother to wear makeup at all. I walk outside, and condensation forms on my body before I even get a chance to sweat. Of course, the glistening (girls don't sweat!) commences about thirty seconds later. Criminy.

But all this to say I've recently taken the whole makeup thing to the bare minimum. I'd rather sleep in the morning, really. It's expensive, time-consuming, and pointless. My eyelashes, however, are invisible, and my skin, quite pale. If I wear no makeup at all, people want to know 1. if I'm feeling quite alright; b. if I'm tired; or III. if someone has died in my immediate family.

After much experimentation, I've determined that the absolute minimum makeup I can wear, and continue to avoid the above uncomfortable questions is:

1. Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer (in their very lightest shade, Alabaster)

2. Bourjois mascara in brown, not black*

That's it! Remarkable! I've been wasting time and money on the daily wear of concealer, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipstick...psh. No more, I tell you! I do keep a lipstick in my purse and randomly dab it on, in the event I reach in there for lip balm and I touch the lipstick first.**

I still have all that stuff, so I did the full-face thing the other night for a dinner engagement. It looked a bit overdone, now that I'm used to this minimal look.

*crappity crap crap. I just went to the Bourjois website to see what mascara it is. They've redesigned their mascara line so of course, now that I've found the perfect mascara, it's been discontinued. Bastards.

**My name is Jezebella, and I am a lip-balm-a-holic. I confess that I am powerless to go more than thirty waking minutes without a lip-balm application. I ask that you not judge me for my weakness in the face of an overwhelming need for moisturized lips. Sigh.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Infiltration at the gym

The campaign to bring feminism with me to the gym, so as to be less bored on the elliptical trainer, begins. It's the only antidote to the fucking Faux News that's on every stinkin' monitor.

Day one: bring a sharpie and scrawl feminist critique all over a copy of Jane magazine. Especially the ads. I think I wrote "airbrushed and photoshopped" on every single ad. Next time you look at an ad with a picture of a woman in it, look at her upper arms. They're usually photoshopped so that they are narrower than her mouth. Miraculously, find a recommendation for Shulamith Firestone's "Dialectic of Sex" in a reading list. Highlight it in dramatic fashion with lots of exclamation points!! READ THIS! YES!!!!

Day two: wear Planned Parenthood Escort shirt to work out. Get a few raised eyebrows, and repeated stinkeye treatment from one old white guy.

Day three: Wear shirt with a picture of a cow with googly eyes and the caption, "Hamburgers are made of WHAT?" No responses noted, but it was Friday and attendance was quite low.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Where are we at with "bitch"?

This question was posed over at the IBTP Forum and I've been meditating on it. It's offensive, demeaning, and misogynist, and I've done my rock-solid best to eradicate it from my vocabulary. For me, it's a litmus test. If someone calls me a bitch to my face, I get this strangely triumphant feeling, like, "I KNOW who I am dealing with. Now I've got this person's number." It doesn't hurt my feelings, but it is clearly used with a vicious intent. When someone chooses to use that word, he is at the bottom of his bag of tricks. If it's an argument, I've won. There's no doubting it, because a "bitch" is what you call a woman when you can no longer keep up your side of the issue, and you want to derail her by hurting her to the quick. Call me a bitch, and you're beneath my contempt. It's an eye-opening term.

The last person that called me a bitch to my face was shopping at Target. She and her sister were having a loud conversation in the dressing rooms: one was outside, one at the far end, and they were shouting up and down the hall to each other. It was unbelievably annoying. One said, "I think she doesn't know what she sounds like." I couldn't stand it any longer. I said, "I don't think y'all know what YOU sound like." You could've heard a pin drop. Then dressing room sister says something about how it's none of my business. I tell her she shouldn't talk so loud, then. She starts ranting about how she's got four kids and she can't help it if she can't bring them into the dressing room with her. I almost, ALMOST, said, "Well, that was YOUR lifestyle choice." I refrained. Fast-forward a few minutes. Sisters are haranguing the dressing room attendant who, bless her heart, is saying, "Oh, I think she's gone." I walk out, we lock eyes, and she knows it's me. She starts ranting again, as I pretty much ignore her and go about my business. She finally says, "YOU ARE A BITCH." I smile. I know she's lost it. I look slowly at her two children, sitting in front of her, looking up at mommy, and say, "You are a fine role model for your children," and walk off. I admit, I was full of adrenaline but she didn't see me flinch. She didn't say another word. I knew, KNEW, that she was beyond discussion, beyond reason, beyond her temper.

The second to last person who called me a bitch to my face took it a step further: she called me a "fat bitch." This was a co-worker, who, thankfully, resigned a few months later. She crossed the line with me. She MEANT to say the most hurtful possible thing. She said as she was walking out the door, too afraid to face the consequences. While we worked together, I answered her questions but never said hello or acknowledged her existence otherwise. Since then, I see her now and again. I do not speak to her. I make no bones about it. If her name comes up, I'm not going to pretend like she is anything but persona non grata. I've told people what she called me; I'm not ashamed of it. She should be ashamed. She is a mean, crazy person and deserves nothing less than contempt and snubbing.

The third-to-last person who called me a bitch got forgiven on a technicality: an ex told me I was "acting like a bitch." I stopped speaking to him then and there. I refused to finish the argument. I only answered his questions, I didn't look him in the eye, and I left whatever room he was in. We were living together, but somehow it took him three days to put the puzzle together. He walked in and said, "You're not speaking to me, are you?" No, no I'm not. "Is it because I called you a bitch?" Yes. I got a sincere apology, and I started speaking to him again.

In all three cases, a strange calm came over me because the line was crossed. There was no "maybe I'm overreacting, maybe I'm being too sensitive, etc." No. When someone calls me a bitch, I know how to react. Maybe that's why it makes it easy to deal with. You can't pretend like you didn't MEAN to hurt someone when you call them a bitch. It's sort of like a racist just going ahead and wearing a swastika; at least you can see 'em coming, right? I figure anyone who calls a woman a bitch is outing themselves as a hateful piece of shit, beneath contempt.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of reclaiming the word. It's demeaning, because it's dehumanizing. Quite LITERALLY: it's calling someone a dog. And, frankly, most dogs are a hell of a lot nicer than most people I know, so it's also an insult to dogs. If someone says I'm a bitch, part of me wants to snicker and say, "Why yes, yes I am." If it doesn't work as a verbal cudgel, it loses its power.