Monday, March 30, 2009

completely fucking insane

check this shit out:

From the New York Times comes news that the Roman Catholic Church is allowing indulgences again. The revelation compelled the Times to write this improbable paragraph:

There are partial indulgences, which reduce purgatorial time by a
certain number of days or years, and plenary indulgences, which eliminate all of it, until another sin is committed. You can get one for yourself, or for someone who is dead. You cannot buy one — the church outlawed the sale of indulgences in 1567 — but charitable contributions, combined with other acts, can help you earn one. There is a limit of one plenary indulgence per sinner per day.

Let's party like it's 1599, yo.

Hat tip to Blucas at Reading Too Much Into It. for drawing my attention to this little matter, which I had not heard about, even though it happened over a month ago.

Friday, March 27, 2009

when I am queen of the world, part one

When people actually listen to what I have to say, they will know and understand this:

A birth control failure, and the resulting pregnancy, is not a sound basis for a long and healthy marriage.

Disclaimer: I'm not convinced that anyone should be getting married, at all, ever, BUT, if people will insist on doing it, they should at least find better reasons to do it. Like health insurance.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

actual crime

If this doesn't simultaneously break your heart and make you fire-spittin furious, then you probably need to check and see where you left your soul:

1 Year-Old Lilianna Goodmann Beaten to Death By Mama’s “Boyfriend” for Being “Disrespectful” While Others Watch

crime scene?

I came home Monday afternoon to discover this tableau in my back yard:

Perhaps someone familiar with the psyches of children can explain it. Has Santa been naughty? That's a heating pad element hanging off the tree. Perhaps Santa was cold and needed warming up while he went trick-or-treating? I'm at a loss. I can't imagine what the yard guy thought when he had to move them onto the pavement in order to mow yesterday. All items, by the way, were brought to the yard from some other location, and now they are on the curb in the trash zone, where the perpetrators can retrieve them any time between now and trash day, Monday morning.

I also discovered a pair of lacy purple panties with a bedazzled heart on them on my front porch last week. I'm trying my best to pretend that a neighborhood cat carried them up, rather than imagining neighborhood teens fucking on my porch.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Speaking of Los Angeles

Here's some brand new information*, courtesy of The Field Negro:

So here is the story: Out in Los Angeles a serial killer has killed at least 11 (that we know of) poor black women since 1985. And as I write this post the killer is still on the loose, and has probably killed as recently as 2007, again. This serial killer even has a name: "The Grim Sleeper".

Have you heard of the Grim Sleeper? Nope? Me neither. I know all about any number of pretty white girls who went missing on spring break, but a serial killer in Los Angeles who targets poor women of color? Heavens, no, that's not of interest to anyone, right? Why bother covering a real live serial killer when we have umpteen fictional shows with huge ratings that are all about fictional serial killers, their profilers, their lives and loves, their shoe sizes, their "motivations", and what they had for breakfast?

Gee, wonder why it's not all over the Nancy Grace show? Wonder why it's not on Dateline, and Sixty Minutes, and the New York Times? Oh, wait.

Click the linky for more info.

*By "brand new", of course, I mean "brand new to me." And maybe you.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Los Angeles does not suck. I was SO sure it would. The legendary L.A. weather really is amazing. I was in downtown the whole time, where there is, you know, *diversity*? Like multiple ethnicities, sizes, social classes? Yeah, I dig downtowns. I did not go any of the trendy celebrity kind of places. I didn't even see anybody that looked like Stripper Barbie, which I totally expected to. I guess I sort of believed the television image of L.A. Error! Error!

Got in Wednesday night, ate amazing Greek food (downtown takeaway joint), did meetings all day Thursday, ate at California Pizza Kitchen Thursday, then Friday, a morning session.

Friday afternoon: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Holy freakin' moly, the place is huge. HUUUUUGGGGEEEE. I spent four hours there and saw only European, American, modern & contemporary stuff. Honestly I just sort of trotted through the European galleries. The German show (Art of Two Germanys: Cold War Cultures) was an absolute revelation. I know a lot about contemporary art, but to be honest, Germany since WWII was a bit of a blank spot for me. I mean, okay: Anselm Keifer, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Hannah Hoch, Hans Haacke, sure. But this was two floors in the Broad Museum building of artists from both East and West Germany. I feel like I should get the catalog because there was just so much brand new information, beautifully contextualized, and clearly, they had ACCESS. And MONEY. The loans were from private archives, artist's estates, I mean, they were tracking stuff down in the far corners of Europe. I can't say I loved everything I saw, but I do feel like I have a grasp of 60 years of German art after only spending 2 hours or so in those galleries. It was, I will not deny it, a tad grim. I mean, you know, defeated in the war, Cold War, East Germany, poverty, terrorism, etc. But art, after all, does not have to be happy and pretty. It ended on a positive note (for me anyway) with a completely amazing and enormous Gerhard Richter painting. Ah, Richter, how do I love thee? My wee formalist heart adores you, mon herr, master painter, wizard with brush and oils. He may - it's possible - be gaining on Mark Rothko, who I usually put at the top of my favorite artists list. I see one more painting like that and Mr. Rothko may be demoted to No. 2.

Finally, Friday night, my internet feminist buddy FH took me to a vegan Japanese restaurant in Little Tokyo called Shojin. SO. GOOD. So good. I want to live in a city with vegan & vegetarian restaurants. It's such a joy to sit down, open a menu, and know that every single thing on the menu is something I could order. A menu like that is a glorious sight to behold, and it usually brings me near to tears. Srsly. I usually open a menu to see if there is, maybe, hopefully, ONE thing I can order. It usually involves cheese and starch. Sigh. Anyway, FH is a lovely and adorable goth girl who took me on a scenic tour of Skid Row on our way to Shojin and we had a great time at dinner talking about art, boys, radical feminism, and Los Angeles.

Get this! They let homeless people pitch tents on the sidewalks there! It's kind of humane, if one can say that sort of thing in the context of urban homelessness.

So, I am a convert. Will have to go back because I need a day to go to the Getty. Also need to get out to Pasadena for the Norton-Simon Museum, and should go back to the LACMA. It's an all-day haul to get from here to there (drive 2 hours to Jackson, wait an hour, fly to Houston, change planes, wait some more fly to LA, wait for a shuttle, hour to hotel, adds up to a whole day), but with good weather and the miracle of modern medicine (read: Xanax), it's tolerable.