Monday January 26 , 2015

R. Crumb

Here he is on the thing:

http://observer.com/2015/01/legendary-cartoonist-robert-crumb-on-the-massacre-in-paris/

 

“look at demands rather than labels”

I tweeted an article with a head’s up to liberals just now in hopes that they would take time out from being the most right in the grand stupid argument and read it:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/11/paris-attacks-we-must-overcome-fear-or-selfcensorship-will-spread?CMP=fb_gu

The line that fair leapt off the page (for me) is: “As soon as you look at demands rather than labels, the wall dividing extremists from the rest begins to crumble.”

Go on, liberals, take a risk, ignore the pockmarks, and show solidarity with something – anything. We’ll all still pretend you’re the most right. We’ll even let you move your marker to Win!

#JeSuisCharlie

 

 

Everybody’s a Critic

Yeah, yeah, the cartoons are French. They’re bad, they’re worse. Whatever.

I read a comment today, very long and all about the Islamic Menace, and in it he (of course) refers to people, and then he refers to their wives. And all the Dudley Dorights on the thread noticed this and that other crime against humanity in his comment, but they didn’t notice that he called men people and women their wives.

Anyway, I didn’t take time to point it out because I was too busy telling everybody how wrong he is. (Not Holly Stick, though, she’s cool. She also pointed out that the Conservative Party is fundraising on the dead – again – proving that there’s no bar so low that Conservatives can’t limbo under it.)

I don’t understand why my people, sort of, although not really, I guess, can’t see that this isn’t about them and their stupid never ending argument with the other guys, or Muslims, or cartoons – and boy, is everybody suddenly a critic!

It’s about people using violence to force other people to adapt their behaviour to suit them. And, you know, our thoroughly craven politicians, like Stephen Harper, re-write our laws to restrict everybody’s human and civil rights, just like they want them to, and my people are all over it.

But I really did feel like I’d fallen down the rabbit hole today over at Dr. Dawg’s (etc), and I know I’ve quit him a dozen times already this year but I think I mean it this time, because they’re arguing that there’s no need for solidarity.

They don’t see it, that there is, that solidarity really matters. A lot.

And yet, they don’t any of them believe that god is real, either.

So there’s that part of my disillusionment, the part where I realize, “Oh, they don’t see this the way I do, which is that when people use violence to make other people less free, that’s the wrong behaviour, the one we shouldn’t accommodate.”

Yes, I think in quotation marks.

Alas, too, the more The Religious tell the Smartass Unbelievers of Smartass Unbelieversville that they aren’t allowed to draw pictures of Mohammed, the more compelled they are to draw pictures of Mohammed.

Anyway, I’m sick now, at heart and with a bug. I even had to come home early from work, and I’m a total workhorse.

So tomorrow I’ll work on my book and try to forget how disappointed I am.

 

 

Laugh, You Bastards!

http://frankmag.ca/category/jaffe-cartoon/

 

‘What’, Not ‘Who’

Terrorists can’t win by definition but they sure are good at prolonging the game, eh?

Yes, I’m talking about seeing our righteous Prime Minister vowing in front of the cameras to up their violence with more of it.

Ah, Stephen Harper, noted defender of a free press.

We’re safe now.

But I’m not clear on why this is so hard for our media, showing solidarity with twelve murdered journalists by republishing the material over which they were murdered.

This is about ‘what’, a free press and the right to free speech, good things that benefit ALL of us, whoever we are, wherever we live.

It’s not about ‘who’. Fuck ‘who’. And if you really can’t tolerate smartasses drawing rude pictures of your god, then you should go live in a theocracy where they’ll be executed by your religious leaders for you.

 

Je Suis Charlie

Just kidding. Charlie’s dead, isn’t he, murdered by The Religious for mocking their god. Gods?

Anyway, aside from Charlie, about whom I know next to nothing because the French have to have a different word for everything and who the hell knows what they’re saying, or drawing, for that matter, eleven or so other journalists were murdered yesterday morning.

What is there to do but laugh?

So might I suggest Dick Little in Frank Magazine this morning.

Because if you believe that mockery of your religion should be punishable by death, prepare to be mocked. It’s how the Smartass Unbelievers down in Smartass Unbelieversville roll.

Support the funny. As Bill Maher said of wrapping a yellow ribbon around your car antenna to show your support for the troops, it is the least we can do.

Literally.

 

Are You There God?

No, of course not. Or shurely she’d have told Allah to get a fucking sense of humour already.

Meanwhile, who knew Jack Layton totally stole that whole “Love is stronger than hate” thing?

View charlie-hebdo.png in slide showView charlie-hebdo.png in slide showView charlie-hebdo.png in slide show

 

Hollywood, Like, Girls

It’s a writing for money (hopefully) day today but I thought I’d post a tweet I made this morning. It’s in response to the (mostly cyber) response to an actor (is actor genderless now? if not, why not?) who plays the only (?) female character on The Big Bang (Theory?) commenting in a magazine article that she likes to cook for her partner (more later) and play an old fashioned housewife (Ma Kettle?) when she’s not working, i.e. playing the role of girlfriend (?) to a (male) actor on a television show.

Oh, and that she’s not a Feminist, because she’s never faced inequality.

She makes $1M/episode.

“Is it bad if I say no? It’s not really something I think about. Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around… ‘I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that’s because I’ve never really faced inequality. I cook for Ryan five nights a week: It makes me feel like a housewife; I love that,” the actress replied.

The actress further explained that she loves her role as a wife.

“I know it sounds old-fashioned, but I like the idea of women taking care of their men. I’m so in control of my work that I like coming home and serving him. My mom was like that, so I think it kind of rubbed off,” Cuoco added.

So I googled Ryan Sweeting (her lucky partner) and it turns out he’s a professional tennis player, although I can’t see how he’s anywhere near her income bracket.

There’s a very brief blurb about his golden ball & chain at the beginning of his entry:

In September 2013, Sweeting became engaged to actress Kaley Cuoco after three months of dating.[2] They married on December 31, 2013 in Santa Susana, California.[3]

Then I googled Kaley Cuoco and checked out her Wikipedia page and it turns out that she and her co-stars on the Big Bang Theory (so yes, Theory is in the title) negotiated huge honkin’ raises for themselves and now (each) make $1M/episode.

Oh, and she played tennis herself until she was 16, a sport she took up at age 3!

So I guess Kaley Cuoco can afford to hire a cook if she ever finds it too much feeding both herself and Ryan Sweeting after a tough day on the set, eh?

Anyway, I’m as big a believer in good cooking as I am in equal pay for work of equal value, so there you go. I don’t care what Kaley Cuoco says she is or isn’t.

Here’s my tweet, not that it matters much now that we know Kaley Cuoco makes the same $1M/episode as her male co-stars and cooks for her less monied better half out of the goodness of her heart:

Girls: Cooking for others (for free) & Feminism are both beautiful. Nurture meets nature. So thk a cooking Feminist today pls.

It’s 142 characters minus 13 for re-tweeting, a trick my friend Antonia Zerbisias, a Feminist, recently retired from what used to be an almost completely male career – punditry – and from my understanding someone who knows her way around a kitchen – taught me.

So please read this blog entry that used up two hours of potential money making time and nod to yourself so that I’ll feel better about having taken the time to write it.

 

Slippery Slope

I hate the ice. It makes me feel claustrophobic because I’m so afraid of falling that I don’t want to go anywhere. But, you know, I have to go to work, don’t I.

Today the bus shelter was coated in ice and you couldn’t stand in it and watch for the bus coming because you couldn’t see anything.

And I hate how the overhead wires are coated with ice and how the trees are trapped in it.

It’s so destructive.

Later at work a couple of us were complaining about it, my one co-worker because she fell, but then a third co-worker said she loved the ice, that it reminded her of Dr. Zhivago.

It’s been years since I thought of Dr. Zhivago, and I don’t remember the scene, but she went on and on about them going to the ice house.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about a book I used to study, back in the day, that had all the Academy Award winners (and nominees!) in it and how much Hollywood trivia I used to know, how involved I was with the lives of movie stars and how I used to daydream nonstop about being famous.

I felt bad for people who didn’t want to be famous. I thought it must be a terrible thing to be happy being nobody.

I lived on daydreams. They sustained me for years and years and years. And they were totally unrealistic, too, like I’d be a famous Olympic gymnast or concert pianist or Oscar winning movie star. If I’d know then that I’d spend a decade being a homemaker I can’t imagine the despair I would have felt, and yet it was when I was a homemaker that I was first published.

It was a huge deal for me, sending a political humour column to the Ottawa Citizen and receiving a cheque for $150, then $200. I adjusted all my daydreaming accordingly, too, and spent a lot of time fantasizing about doing the talk show circuit.

Then I discovered the internet and became addicted to the gratification of instant publication and causing a commotion and being the star of my own cyber reality show.

And I stopped caring about being famous because, really, as far as I was concerned, I was famous. I had no idea that I wasn’t, actually, and by the time I realized it, I was way past wanting to be famous anyway.

Now I feel bad for people who are famous and am so grateful to earlier me that I went online with a pseudonym. Really, it’s a miracle that I did, too, because I’m kind of a show off.

I want a way to make a bit of money, though. So now I’ve come all the way back around to wanting to be paid for my writing.

The thing is, all my fame is online, so I think I’ll publish under Sooey Says.

Anyway, the book is coming along but I think I’m going to start it with now instead of starting it back then and coming up to now, the difficulty being that every day at work brings new material and enough already.

Long entry short, instead of blogging something that happened today, I’m trying to do the mature thing and save it for my book, but, oh my, it’s hard.

The internet is a wonderful terrible thing, isn’t it.

 

Rex Murphy, So 2014

I’m reading Oscar and Lucinda right now. I was reading Inland Passage (by Jane Rule) but it’s short stories and the more of them I read the more familiar they seemed.

That’s because I’d read it already. So I decided there’s probably no point in reading short stories anymore. They just don’t make a lasting enough impression.

Take that, Alice Munro.

But before I started re-reading Island Passage, I read Unless (by Carol Shields). It’s about a mother whose middle daughter leaves her life at university, living with a boyfriend, to mutely panhandle on the corner of Bathurst and Bloor in downtown Toronto.

I loved it, but it scared the shit out of me, too.

“Oh please, oh please, oh please do not let this happen to me.”

But I can’t stand that there are any young women living on the street, so it is happening to me, isn’t it. They may not be my daughters, but they’re young women like my daughters. The difference is that, while I worry about them, and give them money, they aren’t my specific responsibility.

The thing is, and it’s what scared the shit out of me, nothing the mother does makes any difference to her daughter, who isn’t like her daughter anymore, because she’s like a person who stands mutely on a street corner all day holding a sign that says “goodness”.

Maddening.

The mother in the book is also a writer (with a doctor husband) but it’s hard to care about that when she has a daughter living on the street. The only time her writing is of interest is when it takes the form of rants (not sent) to men of influence going on about great writers, great writers that are never female.

She connects the invisibility of great women in history to her daughter mutely panhandling on a street corner and wearing a sign around her neck that says “goodness”.

That’s what she believes as a mother, but as a writer she believes that women are denied greatness because men are the ones to grant it and men just aren’t very interested in women’s lives.

And she doesn’t mention this but it’s always struck me that even if literate men were to concede that Jane Austen is the greatest writer in the English language, they still wouldn’t want to have to read her.

I know women who re-read her for pleasure.

And, you know, it used to bother me, our great man history, all the great men of everything, from art to war to sports to politics to writing to music and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc. It bothers young women, although less so as the internet expands our present, because no matter that it’s a girls’ world, right here right now, there’s still our history that doesn’t bother much with women because the lives of women aren’t interesting to men.

But it doesn’t bother me now because it’s just the way it is. Or was. And the internet is so much of and about everything present that it makes everything that happened before it so… yesterday.

Also, I don’t have to care about history in any kind of personal way because it has nothing to do with me. It’s just the way it was, all about men, none of it my responsibility.

Which brings me to a National Post column I read by Rex Murphy, man-at-large, in which he calls out “modern feminists” (a group of women in France who labeled certain toys as sexist, Beyonce, and Miley Cyrus) for either being too feminist or not feminist enough, I’m not sure which, instead of taking responsibility for misogyny being perpetrated by men world over.

He mentions Boko Haram and the Taliban.

I had to read it a few times.

But I’ve been following a saga in England about a pedophile ring operating out of Westminster some years ago and how difficult it is to find someone to head up an inquiry who isn’t related to a suspect.

So far, too, the someones who have resigned, and they’re women, seem to think that it’s all really quite unfair anyway because times have changed, you know, and what was viewed one way then is viewed much differently now.

Some of the allegations involve murder, by the way. Boys being murdered by men who were sexually abusing them.

Anyway, it’s distracting, isn’t it, the loud insistence by certain men (of influence, too) that (western) (radical) (modern) feminists take responsibility for the misogyny being perpetrated by men elsewhere in the world by ignoring sexism here.

And also by not twerking?

Seriously, I’d read it again but, nope, it’s 2015, a brand new year, and Rex Murphy is officially over.