Sunday, December 15, 2013

I'm listening to Julie Doiron right now.

I'm completely fucking drunk. I don't think I have anything specifically to say about women, right now. Currently I can't recall why I decided I ought to log into this blog o' mine. I'm having a very, very bad night. I have aprox. zero free time these days because I'm always at work or commuting. Even if I could afford a car, I don't have time to look for one. I'm thinking San Diego ain't the right city for me. The public transportation here is less than a joke and my jobs are stupid and if I quit I'd be replaced in a week tops. Pretty cool how I can type well even when I'm this drunk huh? The spell check thing on Google chrome will do that. A friend posted like a week ago that she turned down a $14 an hour job because they didn't offer her enough hours. This is all on facebook. Another friend turned 30 today and she had a party and had all manner of people posting on her wall and it's nice. I'm turning 30 next October. I have precious few months to become an accomplished adult, and let's face it, my life hasn't promised amazing results up to this point. I've noticed a significant improvement to my emotional well-being when I don't have easy access to facebook. Unfortunately, at one of my current jobs I have several hours with a computer in front of me and nothing to do and I don't know how to stop. Facebook is my kryptonite. Psyche! Life is my kryptonite. Julia Serano is definitely, definitely a woman who I've had no end of esteem for. She once wrote that one of the things she noticed when she was taking estrogen was that she noticed her emotions became more instantly, unavoidably available. She couldn't push them to the back like she could before. I recall this because one of the big reasons I'm not crying in giant, ugly sobs into my pillow is because I don't want to wake my roommate. And when I cry, it's always ugly. That's the sort of tears I cry. Everyone else cries in conventionally attracitve ways and my tears are giant fucking Lena Dunham tears that blubber and let the whole world know. I learned that when I was living in the dorms and Rene Stephens (of Fulcrum records fame) first introduced me to Julie Dorion. God, that was almost 10 years ago. What would I do without her? There are things about my life, about this evening, that I'm not sure how to confess to. Even though embarrassment keeps me from holding back tears there are some subjects that I can't yet confess to. That either sounds really endearing or really unsettling. Perhaps both. Now i'm tempted to list all the things that i'm NOT talking about. That would be silly and over indulgent. To that end, let me just say that I have ways of dealing with my own challenges that are proscribed for people of my sex, gender, age, class, and other shit like that. I'm almost positive I'm going to regret posting this once I'm sober. Keep it covered up Charles! Don't want the world not thinking you're a casual fun dude. Won't get laid ever as a dysthymic train wreck. Gotta make sure you're Mister Well Adjusted. Besides, who can afford therapy, either time wise or money wise. I know that the only reason I'm posting this is because I'm desperate for help and I can't find it. I'm at an age when old people tell me I'm young and young people tell me I'm old. Or even if they don't tell me they make me feel old by asking who Kurt Cobain is. I wish I knew how to solve my life. I wish I knew how to answer the questions I began asking when I was about 7-years-old. The older I get, the harder it is to know I have no answer for them. I still can't remember what or who inspired me to open my blogspot that has become sorely neglected ever since I moved to San Diego. Well, I was free from medication and legitimately enjoying life for almost a full year. That's something to compel me to be more positive (but I must confess at present it's not working). Jesus, I'm tired of typing. I'm done for tonight. Time to kill this handle and pass out.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Debra Ginsberg

Debra Ginsberg rules everybody. She wrote this book about being a waitress that I'm reading right now. She's a really good writer and it's a really interesting read. Punk fuckin' rock.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pauline Black

I've been reading this book Women of the Underground: Music and I'd say I've never heard of at least 75% of the women interviewed in the book. Still, some of the interviews are really interesting, and Pauline Black was both a woman I've never heard of before and a very interesting interview. In the interview she talks a lot about her introduction to 2-tone ska and a lot about how, coming from her background and having the personality she has, the ideas on race and gender that were being manifested by the music scene at the time were a real lifesaver for her. There were problems in the scene then and there are problems in the scene now, but she was raised in an environment where she was lead to feel inferior for being black and lead to feel incapable for being female, and then ska came out and it was like 'No Pauline! We want you to be part of this! We want you to headline, because you kick ass at this!' and it's a really interesting thing to think about.

So I decided to look her up, because I'd never heard her band, The Selector, before. Here's the first thing I noticed: Nobody, I mean nobody, loves 2-tone ska more than Pauline Black. It might seem sort of stagnant that she hasn't really branched out in all this time, but I think it's honestly really awesome that she's still doing the same thing she loves in much the same way after all these years. It's not like anyone ever told Nicola Tesla 'Hey, why don't you branch out from this electricity stuff and try something new?' And she's adorable. I don't mean that in a belittling way, but she really is. Her personality is so cute, and so fun, and at the same time she's a stone cold badass. I hope I'm as cool as she is when I'm almost 60 (I turn 29 in two weeks).




Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Loretta Ross

So I started watching Anita Sarkeesian videos on youtube, and as kind of a 'know your enemy' type thing I watched a couple of videos that countered her points. For the most part, these videos had arguments that I didn't find sound and struck me as typical of the things we have been hearing from anti-feminists for a long time now. I don't wholeheartedly agree with what Anita Sarkeesian is doing myself, but the backlash against her is full of logic that I consider bad and sometimes seemed more interested in attacking Sarkeesian personally than coming up with a justified counter-argument.

So I watched a few videos like that, and I watched the same crap I usually watch on Youtube, which includes but is not limited to The Whitest Kids U Know (who can make jokes concerning gender that are understandably controversial), and speeches by Christopher Hitchens (who is a dead man that I agree with aproximately 100% of the time when he's not talking about women), and music by Frank Zappa (ditto) and it's pretty clear suddenly why every other video that youtube 'Recommended for you' has been about why feminism sucks and is bad because  it tells men not to rape women which must mean it thinks it's totally okay for women to rape men or some shit like that.

In case you hadn't guessed, I don't really want to watch some loser talking about that kind of garbage for hours on end, so what I've been doing is going through and watching various feminist speakers that I recall enjoying from my college days, in the hope that maybe youtube will get the point and stop trying to show misogyny down my throat.

And I recalled Loretta Ross, a woman whom I'd enjoyed a speech by back when I was like 19 or 20, though I hardly remember what it was about. I looked her up, and she is just right on. The speech I watched of hers tonight is a little out-of-context and longer than most youtube videos people have patience for (or at least I have patience for) but totally worth watching.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Questions Unanswered

On the way to catch
the blue line trolley
5th & Broadway station

a hooker I walked past
had a cigarette in her hand
and as I neared her she asked
something that I thought was
'Can I borrow your lighter?'
so I answered
'Sorry I don't smoke.'

and she brought up
the cigarette to her lips

and I noticed that it was already lit
but I'd already said
'Sorry I don't smoke.'

She seemed appeased by what I had said.
Apropriate or otherwise,
so I continued to
the trolley station

And I wondered
what had she
really asked?

I'll never know.
Neither will you.

The Giant Heads at Easter Island.
The Fate of Amelia Airheart
What she asked.







Apologies, C. Bukowski.
Apologies, N. Gurewitch.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Olivia Dunham

So my homie Brandon Eisenberg, who I would like to give a linkage to, but when I look up his personal website on fb it lists three separate pages, and I frankly don't know if any of those are blogs of him personally or whatever, anyway, he cornered me online this morning and told me I needed to see Breaking Bad, so naturally I responded that he needed to see Red Riding, because that was a pretty good miniseries and it kept me intrigued.
The truth is, I don't really want to get into Breaking Bad. I've heard about the show a lot from a lot of people who really like it but regardless something about it makes me feel like I just wouldn't enjoy it. For one thing, if I wanted to watch people cook up meth I would have just stayed in Chico, but also, I haven't heard any praise that would make me think, 'Okay, that would make a show good.' For the same reason, I haven't tried watching Dexter yet.

At any rate, I decided I should finish watching Fringe before I watch a new show, even though that's bullshit, because since The Office and 30 Rock ended this season that's opened up space in my life for 2 new shows. Regardless, I started watching it again, without remembering where I left off, and I just took a stab in the dark and picked one where people are being killed from the inside out by cold viruses that grow to the size of cats. That show is badass. It really is, and at the heart of it is a badass woman named Olivia Dunham.

I want to make one thing clear right now. This post is about the fictional character Olivia Dunham. The actor who plays her is probably very nice, but I don't know her and I'm guessing she's not a badass secret agent who shoots guns and is down to fight the corporate machine and get to the bottom of vast conspiracies.
Her character is almost identical in personality to the agent from The 4400, which is one of my favorite shows ever. I don't know if there's a term for that sort of stock character, but if not I move that we call them 'Scully Clones.' I guess if I'm doing a feminist cultural analysis on it, the reason for Scully clones is probably similar to final girls, where the film wants to show a tough character but needs her to be female so that she can have a sensitive side/pull more empathy from the audience. That's not an all bad thing. In a sense, Scully clones are better agents then their male counterparts because they're capable of being nurturing, or in touch emotionally, or otherwise sensitive when the situation calls for it, which, from the little I know about tactical situations, I believe can go a long way to coping with the stress of a tactical situation, both for the agent and her partners. At any rate, I always like Scully clones. Although, admittedly, I never got that much into X-Files. Something about fictional re-imagining of purported incidents just never acquires my interest. I also couldn't get into From Hell.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tiffany

The other day I saw a woman at the bus stop who I used to work with. I never talked to her, but I sometimes saw her and lusted for her. Talking to someone just because they have a smokin' hot body is overrated anyway. What bands and movies and books a woman likes is way more important which is why Internet dating, in spite of all it's faults, is way better for meeting rad women than pick up. I guess pick up is probably okay if you just want a one night stand. Even then, most pick up artists are really shitty people.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Anita Sarkeesian you are the queen of my world

So it's been approximately 9 months of hiatus from this blog. The motherboard broke on my old computer and my employment history has been sketchy at best, so the funds necessary for a new computer were scarce. Anyway, welcome back, all 0 of you faithful readers.

So about a week ago, this really neato friend of mine named Alan sent me a vid of a woman named Anita Sarkeesian giving a TED talk about how Anonymous attacked her after she started a kickstarter to raise funds for this video series she wanted to do critiquing portrayal of women in video games. I have to confess, at first I wasn't impressed. I think part of it is I've always associated video games with something to do when you're bored, as opposed to an art form to examine critically. I watched the TED talk and imagined a Toni Morrison-esque term paper on the sociological repercussions of Mrs. Pac-Man and thought to myself 'Could anything be more boring and self-congratulatory.' I guess there's also a sleeping libertarian in me that thinks Kickstarter is an inappropriate way for one to raise $$$ for their projects. I still feel that way to an extent, but that's a story for a different blog post.

So I had those sort of, 'I like the motivation behind this whole thing but otherwise I'm nonplussed by it.' thoughts until about 2 hours ago when I watched this video from her, which randomly appeared when I watched a video my friend made at work:


Now I want to try and make a long story short. That's not one of my strong suits, so here goes nothing. I love feminism as much as anyone. I really do. Not just because I have the capacity for empathy and I understand how it's a just cause, but because all my life I've never fit into conventional gender stereotypes. I wasn't good at sports. My favorite colour was purple. I was always more imaginative than the kids at school that I felt I was supposed to be more like. And later in life, I cried. I still sucked at sports. I crossdressed. I don't want to say I needed feminism in my personal life as much as Loretta Ross or whomever, but at the same time, the knife of sexism cuts both ways, and I've been cut, motherfuckers. I've been cut.

Which is funny, because I spend a minute defending this blog against feminists, and to that, all I have to say is that I'm not perfect. I like to think I'm becoming a better feminist as I get old and able to make more rational decisions in my personal life, and I've made mistakes along the way, and I just might make a few more. Still, I sincerely believe my heart's in the right place, and if someone comes to me with a constructive concern (i.e. not 'Fuck you Charles.') I'll at the very least take it into serious consideration.

But I digress, until I was like 20 I thought the word 'Feminism' meant 'women who think women are better than men' and of course never bothered to look it up. This is in spite of the fact that Bratmobile's Ladies Women & Girls was in my top 5 for almost all of high school. I think I just didn't really have the peers to back me up on that shit. There's only so far you can go when you're alone in your ideals and in high school in a town with a population of 780.

So anyway, this all gets back to the episode of Family Guy that Sarkeesian talks about in her video up there, and how I remember being 19 and living in the dorms around the time that the Family Guy DVDs got really popular and watching that episode 20 times and thinking it was right on, and then going through the rest of college and realizing that no, no it wasn't at all, and seriously, when someone says the things that Sarkeesian is saying in this video, and makes the point she makes, the feeling of validation is overwhelming. I'm practically in tears watching it, and as previously stated, I'm a pretty macho guy (LOLJK) so that rarely happens. Because now I have to live in a world where I think things like this are horrifically misguided:
and getting backlash when I state such on facebook. You probably can't read all that. If not, consider yourself lucky.

And so anyway, it's so seriously, seriously refreshing and endearing that someone is willing to recognize the shitty elements that I have been upset by for so long that I seriously want Anita Sarkeesian to be my best friend and we'll go grab beers together and I can explain to her why I feel that, while not perfect, I think Fritz Lang's Big Heat is actually way more female positive than any of its contemporaries and together we will go hand in hand to fight the good fight against oppressive culture wherever it may lie and we each get our own unicorn to ride and free pizza for life.

Whatever. I'm drunk.