Tuesday, June 30, 2009

...The truth is, one of the problems in talking about this stuff is that saying “women and men are the same” is not the same as saying “women and men are equal.” Equality is not predicated on absolute likeness, nor should it be. Asserting that women and men are equal speaks to there being no fundamental differences between their capacities to learn and achieve, to their deserving the same pay for the same work and the same right to vote and the same opportunities. Women and men don’t have to be the same to achieve equality, and they are not. We’re different—and there’s nothing wrong with saying so, unless it’s used as an excuse for the perpetuation of inequality. Indeed, I would argue that substituting “sameness” for “equality” actually undermines our ability to celebrate our respective strengths and how they can complement each other to the betterment of us all.

Problematically, while we never seem to suffer from a lack of people willing to critique, from every conceivable angle and spanning the spectrum from fair to absurd, how women’s sex-specific qualities manifest themselves, what they mean for policy, and how they affect women and men, there is much less exploration of men’s sex-specific qualities and how they function in a changing culture. Critiques of the patriarchy (which is a crap paradigm for most men, too—especially not-rich ones) or sexism are not the same as redefining manhood, the women’s equivalent of which is rooted in the feminist movement, of which there is no male-centered counterpart. Certainly feminism is about achieving equality for women, but it is also about womanhood, which is both biological and cultural.

The lack of such an equivalent framework for men is part of what discerning biological difference versus cultural difference within themselves a dubious proposition for many men. As we see with women who reject feminism, they are keen to believe that what are easily identified cultural imperatives are really biological ones. For straight men, who exist in a culture largely structured to accommodate male primacy, pulling apart the intrinsic nature of men from the socialization borne of a society that reinforces the privilege of maleness, is exponentially more difficult.

And thusly, lots of men cannot dissociate their rigid understanding of manhood from the societal influences which are largely mutable; they’ve had no reason to question whether a society that so perfectly suits them has created a definition of manhood that isn’t “real,” and so attempts to change society are inextricably linked to attempts to change men in ways they believe they cannot be changed. And that makes a lot of men angry.

Continue the article at: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2006/10/angry-men-searching-menand-what-they.html

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

Daisy: What kind of a garden do you come from?
Alice: Oh, I don't come from any garden.
Daisy: Do you suppose she's a wildflower?

That's just the trouble. It's the mistake you always made, trying to love a wild thing.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I dreamed a poem sublime

Of crashing heaven and breaking stars

Upon landscapes of an ashen brow

That is my world

Light falls in

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I stood in front of the "Burial Of Atala" for almost an hour. Completely consumed in the scene before me. The lifeless woman wrapped in shrouds of the filmiest tulle, her dead body being held by the priest, the young Greek man holding onto her feet with a desperation that brought tears to my eyes. With his downcast head and crouched body contorted around her lower half, it was like he was willing her alive, even as she was being lowered into the earth. The colors and shades of the dark painting echoed inside me and touched something so far back in my emotions I was overcome and had to sit down on the bench in the middle of the aisle. I had lost myself in this piece. So lost it seems, I didn't even see him walking back and forth in front of it at first. What he was doing was odd, and I should have noticed.

It was like he was pacing. Steadily taking about ten steps, turning, glancing feverishly at the painting, then pivoting and walking back to his original spot. When I finally did noticed him and it registered in my head what he was doing, I curiously pried my eyes away from the painting, and a small smile snuck across my face. I watched him for a few minutes until between his nervous glances at the painting, he noticed me silently staring. He stopped, looked at me briefly, his eyes not even registering with mine, shook his head as if to say, "You just don't get it." and proceeded pacing.

Surprising myself, I didn't look away. It was like my eyes, in childish wonder, were glued to him. Something about this strange man furiously walking back and forth, back and forth, almost like he was challenging the artwork, had grabbed my attention more than the incredible painting, itself the size of a wall. Then abruptly, and rather awkwardly, he sat down next to me. From the bag slung across his shoulders, he pulled out a sketchbook and started to draw.

It was like he was ripping and stabbing the paper with his pencil. His hand curled around it in a fist and his long hair was getting tangled in the movement of the rough strokes he used to outline his drawing. His desperation was palpable. His fury and despair falling from fingers that moved so quickly now my eyes blurred to keep watch. He roughly threaded his hair through spindly and now blackened hands. His back was straightening and folding under the weight of his conquest, to birth something the painting was forcing him to create. His intensity was reaching to me across the bench, and I was unnerved by its push. I looked to the floor, realizing now that he reminded me of the young man, hunched over his love in the painting, desperate to bring something to life that just wouldn't wake up. He was alive to nothing except the art, lost in its blurred and darkened canvas. Atala had completely swallowed him, and in her beautiful mouth he was drowning.

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.” -Dickenson

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ain't no party like my Nanaw's tea party

The Nanaw and I went to Tara Donovan exhibit in Cincinnati a while back and it was astonishing. Theses pictures do not do her genius justice.

We loved it! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tonight, I feel like more.

"Standing there by a broken tree
Her hands are all twisted, she was pointing at me
I was damned by the light, coming out of her eyes
She spoke with a voice that disrupted the sky
She said walk on over here to the bitter shade
I will wrap you in my arms and you’ll know that you’re saved."
-Marcus Foster

Saturday, June 20, 2009

do you have a sledgehammer in your heart?

He sits darkly, always inside me.  On my skin.  In that place I can't put words to.  My unrung ladder.  My forgotten feathered hope.  My unearthly incredulous pain.

Friday, June 19, 2009

“There is a pain – so utter-
It swallows substance up—
Then covers the Abyss with Trance-
So memory can step
Around—across—upon it
As one within a swoon—
Goes safely—where an open eye—
Would drop him—bone by bone.”
-Emily Dickenson

I'll protect you. I will.

Today as estimated 20 to 25 percent of Americans use psychiatric drugs; 10 to 15 percent are abusing alcohol and illegal psychotropic drugs; and 7 to 12 percent compulsively gamble. Millions more compulsively view television, video games, and pornography; play the stock market; overeat; shop for things they don’t need and flee their helplessness and hopelessness in countless other ways. Increasingly, the US economy is based on diversions and anesthetizations.
–Bruve Levine, Adbusters.com

Books I wish to read before the year is over:

  • The Anti-Christ, Nietzsche
  • Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche
  • Either/Or, Kierkegaard
  • The Road, McCarthy
  • Blood Meridian, McCarthy
  • Glass book of the Dream Eaters, Dahlquist
  • Written on the Body, Winterson
  • Villette, C. Bronte
  • The Dying Animal, Roth
  • Bohemian Paris, Franck
  • The Razor’s Edge, Maugham
  • A Room of One’s Own, Woolf
  • Human Smoke: the holocaust and the end of civilization
  • Darfur: short history of a long war
  • Me, Katherine Hepburn
  • The Wild Palms {If I forget thee, Jerusalem}, Faulkner
  • In the Skin of the Lion, Ondaatje
  • Everything is Illuminated, Foer
  • Hideous Absinthe: history of the devil in a bottle
  • Orthodoxy, Chesterton
"Read, in order to live." -Flaubert

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"How can you just stand there, like your life hadn't capsized."

Underfunded Scientists Force Lipstick-Covered Rat With Cancer To Run Through Maze

"Scientists at the severely underfunded HLM Research Laboratories announced plans Monday to have the facility's one remaining rat, Mendel, now cancer-ridden and covered in lipstick, run through a maze several hundred times.

The lab's shoestring budget, which forces the scientists to conduct their research in the facility's kitchenette, has reportedly inspired several serendipitous discoveries. Cho said the most notable of these is documented in a study entitled 'The Effects Of Acute Toothpaste-Induced Fluoride Toxicity Coupled With Extreme Steroid Abuse After Hot Coffee Has Been Spilled Into A Surgical Incision Resulting From The Removal Of A Genetically Grown Ear'.

Obviously, there are a great many things to sort out," Cho said. "But once we determine whether it's the loud, sudden noises or the seizure-inducing strobe lights causing Mendel's massive stress-related weight gain, then we'll really be able to start making strides forward in the field of oncological-cosmetic-stem-cell-drug-rehabilitation-acute-hallucinatory-psychoses research."

Read on...


Friday, June 12, 2009

You can wake up now, the universe has ended.

I woke up this morning, you know... and the sun was shining, and it was nice, and all that type of stuff. And the first thing, I saw you, and I said, "Boy, this is gonna be one terrific day, so you better live it up, because tomorrow you'll be nothing." You see? And I almost was.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I fear neither death nor pain-- only a cage.


"I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
What ever you see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike .
I am not cruel, only truthful---
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish."
- Sylvia Plath


Odysseus is dying
A suicide song
Slit branch
Bleeding root
Trunk pale as frost

We cut it down
Our hands hold the blade
Killing what once held us
And you do not mean a thing

Splintered lung
Driven core

Forgive me, my love
With this severed tree
I bury all that’s left of me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

With the windows clear and the mannequins eyes   
Do they all look like mine?

Olympias > Alexander

Alexander the Great was, well, great (there was very little tendency towards sarcastic monikers in ancient times). By the time he died, he was the proclaimed king of Asia, with a kingdom which stretched from Greece and Egypt to modern India--comprising one of the largest and most culturally diverse empires the world has ever seen. Intelligent, courageous and a leader of men; Alexander the Great was a man's man.

He was also a momma's boy. You may already be tangentially aware of the existence of Alexander's mother thanks to the frighteningly incest prone depiction of Olympias by Angelina Jolie. Never has an audience been given so much reason to forgive an Oedipus Complex than the movie Alexander.

Beautiful, powerful and heavily involved in a snake-worshiping cult of Dionysus, Olympias is regularly depicted as sleeping with snakes. Heck, Olympias was the Angelina Jolie of 4th century B.C.

When questions came up about Alexander's claim to the throne, she claimed that the god Zeus himself impregnated her under an oak tree, a legitimate claim to any throne, obviously. However knowing what we do of Olympias, that is strangely plausible.

When her husband, Phillip, took a new wife and divorced Olympias, she had him assassinated. Well, we don't know for sure she was behind it, but let's just say she is said to have placed a golden crown on the murderer, dedicated a memorial to him and hung the sword he used to kill Phillip in a temple of Apollo, elevating it to the status of a legendary weapon. She then forced her replacement wife to hang herself and had the two children she had with Phillip killed, assuring Alexander's claim to the throne was unrivaled. She didn’t mess around.

When the now-king Alexander was gone (read: the entire time he was king), Olympias wielded great influence and power, often contradicting the efforts of the guy who was supposed to do that, the regent Antipater. Antipater's many official complaints on the matter went unnoticed by Alexander, who was happy to let his mother do as she wished.

After Alexander's death, Olympias remained a prominent world figure, waging wars on behalf of her grandson's failed claim to the throne. Most telling is the last message from Antipater to his beloved Macedonian people. On his deathbed, with Olympias eager for the opportunity his vacant seat would provide, Antipater coughed out a warning to the Macedonians to never let a woman rule over them. Not a super attractive one, anyway.


Why I am secretly obsessed with Dita Von Teese

The Overtaker

I have this thing

Great monster of a burden

This gnawing

That’s appetite unfulfilled

A measure of love so great

It swallows whole

And bites off breath

Oh, over-taker of will

Crawl inside me again.

I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart.

Monday, June 1, 2009


"The woman who cherished her suffering is dead.
I am her descendant.
I love the scar-tissue she handed on to me,
but I want to go on from here with you,
fighting the temptation to make a career of pain."

Prop. 8

I voted a vehement “No!” to prop. 8 this year’s election season.

Problem is, I don’t live in California and there was no option for me to even vote against it. I was just so damn excited and passionate about the injustices occurring in California, and across the nation for that matter, that I willed myself into a voting frenzy. Obama! Change! Equal rights! I was a mess that day people. Politics had never made me so emotional. I had somehow misinformed myself that it was a gay rights bill across the nation (even though I really did know better) and I somehow managed to vote against it. To this day, I still don’t know what I saw in that little curtained room that had the #8 on it which I somehow connected to California's proposition 8....it's a great mystery.

Thankfully, my ever-loving and always empathetic boyfriend gently pointed this out to me when I regaled my voting adventures to him later that night. God love him, he told me I was essentially insane and that there wasn’t anything even on the voting ballot remotely related to the #8. (His
consequential fact checking skills came into use here, much to my chagrin.) We both had a good laugh and he “Awww baby”-ies me about it to this day. Of course I made him swear to me that he would keep my idiocy a secret until he was dead. Preferably even after that. But I just went and told cyberspace, so there goes that. I decided this morning that I am unashamed of my blunder (that is a lie, I am ashamed)-- but it's just too remarkably hilarious to keep quiet.

That being said, it is now months later and with this most recent failure to over-turn the law, I really do wish I lived in Cali so I could vote against it. I hate prop. 8. And my official blogspot response to it (and the whole Prejean catastrophe) is actually quantified perfectly by an article I read online a while ago from former Miss California Nicole Lamarche (2003), who is now an ordained minister in Massachusetts.

She says:
"As a pastor and a former Miss California, I am often asked to interpret what the Word of God has to say on a particular subject. I am quite confident that God prefers that we human beings stick to speaking for ourselves. And yet there are occasions when God’s Word is used as a weapon, and I feel compelled to speak.

In the past few days, much has been made of the words of Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean. She stated that marriage is between a man and a woman. I write not in response to her opinion, but rather about her comments that followed: that the Bible condones her words. She said, 'It's not about being politically correct, it's about being Biblically correct.' While this sentiment is shared by many who seek to condemn gay people and gay marriage, citing pieces of the Bible to further one’s own prejudice fails to meet the Bible on its own terms.

Most people seeking to condemn gay people point to the Book of Leviticus, where we read that men lying with men are an abomination. However, we rarely hear of other verses found in the book of Leviticus that are equally challenging. For example, Leviticus also tells us that eating shrimp and lobster is an abomination. And that a person should not wear material woven of two kinds of material—an impossible mandate for a pageant contestant!

In Paul’s letter to the community in Corinth we read, ‘For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church….’ And yet these words have not prevented Christian denominations from ordaining women, such as myself. Sadly, the Bible has been used to further prejudice throughout history. We have used it to permit ourselves to enslave people; to conquer and kill; and to denigrate the earth.

The truth is that it is difficult to know for sure the intentions of the biblical authors, but we do know something about God. Those of us who know God through Jesus of Nazareth know that he went to great lengths to express God’s love to people who were labeled as outcasts. He spent time with children, prostitutes, and lepers, all of whom were labeled as outside of the grasp of the Holy. As we continue to seek God’s vision for us as a nation grounded in a love for justice, I pray that we might move closer to the cause of grace.”

Feeling a bit Katherine today

"Everyone thought I was bold and fearless and even arrogant... but inside I was always quaking."