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Tiny Shrieking Potatoes

February 14, 2007

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I do enjoy Marisacat.  Her trenchant analysis of the current political-blog wars is unsurpassed, as is her way with words: 

Let me make this brief… One reason for mega meta smegma smack arounds all over the place (sorry, I am hors de classe – and the Blahg boyz can pronounce that any way they wish) is money.  Over the years, Kos and his related, afllilated sites, baby Agony Aunt sites (they know shit about politics but they do skin rip in public, regularly), the tied together box car sites, etc., have proven – in the finance area – to be small, smaller, ever smaller, downright tiny (but shrieking!) potatoes. 

They have not raised the bucks.  Not really.  (MoveOn raised over 240 million in the ‘06 cycle, ran national ads.) 

And now Kos, and his online relatives, is a potatoe casserole, dropped on the floor in a public transit area.

About it.

Reminds me of that great song by the Austin Lounge Lizards, “Pizza on the Ground”:

There’s a pizza on the ground
Straight out of the oven
Lying face down in the dirt
Just like me without your lovin’

“Tiny shrieking potatoes” is a good description of the entire blogosphere, actually.  Also a great band name.

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You Say You Want a Revolution….

February 14, 2007

Chris Bowers of MyDD:

Throughout most of my life, I have been enamored by the idea of movements and revolutions. During the decade I spent studying literature, I was always most excited by experimental, avant-grade [sic] work that took place during times of political and social upheaval (you can never read enough early twentieth century artistic manifestoes–fortunately, there is no shortage of them). When I studied critical theory and philosophy, I was always most interested in work that challenged established norms of government, the self, perception and knowledge with radical, but rigorous, new ideas (I was obsessed with Michel Foucault at multiple times during my career in academia). History has always been a favorite hobby of mine, and my favorite topics are invariably revolutions: American, French, Russian, Irish, Indian, Cuban, Eastern European–you name it. Also, no matter how many presidential candidates, members of congress, Democratic Party leaders, or other national figures I meet and talk with, my favorite moments in political campaigns are always large rallies (preferably those organized by volunteers, or those convened to celebrate an electoral victory). I want to be there at the moment when history happens, when the world changes, when consciousness shifts, and when the people rise up and throw off the shackles of the elite, the status quo, and the comfortable. I have wanted that for a long time. Before that happens, I want to be an active member of the small clique, coterie or circle that identified the possibility for massive change and precipitated its manifestation. Whether it is a revolution of the sort Ben Franklin or Tristan Tzara would identify, I want in. As William Wordsworth wrote in The Prelude about witnessing the world change up close during the French Revolution “bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven.” Man, do I ever envy young Wordsworth. I want working for a candidate to give me a taste of the revolutionary feeling for which I long, and I want my regular job to do the same thing. For a long time, artistic and intellectual endeavors provided me with that spark, but when they ceased doing so I moved onto a career where that feeling was quickly re-establishing itself: online progressive activism. If I am willing to upend my entire life to search for that feeling, the least I should expect from the candidates I support most fervently is that working for them will allow me to sense it.

Excellent satire – a perfect depiction of the naive, self-obsessed young poseur who thinks that revolution is “way kewl”, a big rush, kind of like extreme snowboarding, except with power so you can boss people around (being in a “small clique” in charge of everything – how kewl is that??), and he’s qualified – nay, entitled – to take some of the fun and games for his ownself.  Grab that brass ring, dude!  To the barricades!  But first let’s stop at a Starbucks and pick up a couple Double Shot Espressos – we need the buzz, man, it’s all about the feelings, the sensation….

The style is right on target, too – all the leaden narcissism of a college application essay.  A brilliant stroke by the author.

And this is a scream:

(I was obsessed with Michel Foucault at multiple times during my career in academia)

A little overboard with the stereotype here, but it’s so hilarious, it’s OK.

Too bad this piece is for real.

As the fabulous IOZ writes, accompanied by an aptly chosen historical photo:

The dork wants power, and he wants to ride a wave of popular whoop-dee-doo into a office with a view, a satellite feed, and two secretaries. Fuck the revolution, kiddo; work on your resume.

Yes, the dork wants power, but he also wants thrills.  He’s clear about the fact that he doesn’t really care what the principles are behind “movements and revolutions” – he just likes ’em!  Loves ’em, in fact! 

I find it dismaying that snools like this are in the vanguard of the “netroots” and so-called “people-powered politics”.

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Life Is Too Short

February 2, 2007

to hang around with anyone who’s not a feminist.  And that includes the precious little folks who say, “I don’t believe in your kind of feminism, I only believe in this kind of feminism, which is so much different.”  The hell with that shit.  You either believe in feminism or you don’t.  End of story.

Life is too short to tolerate bullies, abusers and liars – the ones in the White House, and the ones who pretend to be on our side.

As matters in the world become more urgent, it’s becoming increasingly imperative to call people on their snoolery

Don’t make the mistake of believing that because someone claims to be a “Democrat” or a “liberal” or a “progressive” that the person really IS one.

Don’t fall for the “Big Tent” line.  It’s code for “Hey babe, we’re throwing your values out the window.  Get over it.”

Speak the truth.  Stand your ground.  Tell off the thugs.  Blow the whistle.  Let your Supervixen flag fly.

It’s really not that hard.  The snools want you to think it is, but it’s not.

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I Am Amused

January 22, 2007

by the writing of Ronald Firbank, whose novels I’ve been coasting through over the past few days.  They are light, but interesting – oblique and witty.

From Vainglory:

“Surely,” he reflected, “her hair must be wired?”

Probably, as his wife had hinted once, her secret lay simply in her untidiness.  She had made it a study.  Disorder, with her, had become a fine art.  A loose strand of hair… the helpless angle of a hat… And then, to add emphasis, there were always quantities of tiny buttons in absurd places on her frocks that cried aloud, or screamed, or gently prayed, to be fastened, and which, somehow, gave her an air of irresponsibility, which, for simple folk, was possibly quite fascinating.

 Another character says elsewhere:

“When I try to do arithmetic, clouds come down upon me like they do in Tannhäuser.”

It’s most entertaining to read such stuff on a gloomy cold day, accompanied by tea.

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The Drama Queen Attacked by Spinach

January 21, 2007

Or something green.  Or nothing.  It’s unclear.  Mainly it’s something that she wants to gripe about:

On March 17, 2000 I drove from Massachusetts to New Jersey.  Along the way I stopped at Wendy’s.  When I got to New Jersey, I had dinner at Ruby Tuesday with friends.  Then, because it was St. Patrick’s day, I went out for a beer with a friend.  By the time we got to the bar I felt sick.  I left not long after.  By midnight, I was violently ill.  By 2 AM I would have said it took all my strength to reach the phone and call for a car to bring me to the campus health center.  Except that when I got up and made my way down the stairs to get out to the car, it redefined my idea of how much strength I could summon.  I passed out briefly two or three times between my bedroom and the front door.  Passed out where no matter how hard I fought, darkness flashing with swirling spotty lights closed around my field of vision and my extremities were numb and burning at the same time and I felt myself falling backwards away from the door I knew I had to reach to get help, the door I dragged myself out by the handle and left unlocked because I had no choice.  I had to choose between putting on shoes and getting to the door, so I went to the infirmary in socks, and came home in them 2 days later.

Wow.  That’s rough.  But the prose is stylish.  Kind of.

The only thing on earth that could possibly remind me of this tragedy is the story I recently read about a famous mountain climber pitting himself against a peak, and just when he thinks everything is fine, he gets a 500-pound chunk of ice falling down on his head so his ice axe stabs him through his face and he spurts blood all over the place and he flails around wondering if he’ll live or die, because nobody is there to rescue him.

He does live.

They released me around 30 hours later, after administering fluids and cipro through IV, with cipro pills.  Two weeks later, at a follow-up visit, the gastroenterologist told me the dehydration had been so severe I could have suffered heart failure.

So, yeah, my own experience having been aggravated by gluten intolerance or not, I take the threat of E. coli pretty fucking seriously.

Oh, I’m sure you do.

I hope nobody ever waves a bun with some greens in it in front of your face.  Who knows what might happen.

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Yes, I’d Rather Read Books

January 19, 2007

than read the output of most bloggerati, including the dude who wrote this:

Here’s my take on the whole matter — “intellectuals” who’d rather read books and measure purity are next-to-useless. I prefer people of action, not of [sic] elitist academics.

The best I can say about that statement is that it has a certain “Lost Boy” charm to it – We don’t need none o’ that there “sivilization”!  Those Lost Boys are so cute: Peter Pan, Huck Finn, Stalin…

This is what I call the “Year Zero” mentality: “We are young, we are bloggers, we are coming in to sweep away all the old nonfunctioning paradigms and reinvent the world!”  The problem with that idea is that if you’re insufficiently educated and insufficiently aware, as most of these bloggers are, you’ll be reinventing the wheel.  And you’ll probably be doing it wrong.

“Action” is essential, but only when the action is intelligently focused.  And you can’t focus intelligently when you’re unaware and you’re victimized by propaganda.

When the issue is feminism, the stakes are high.  There’s far too much misinformation, distortion, and general ignorance about feminism to allow any slacking-off in this department.  There’s an active campaign to criticize and silence feminist voices – and this hostility is not only coming from the right wing, but from some people who are ostensibly “progressives”.

I’ve noticed on a few occasions, when someone says something clueless about feminism and I advise the person to read certain important books, this tends to result in an indignant uproar, along the lines of: “How dare you say I’m not a good enough feminist because I haven’t read the right books!” 

Well, sorry, but that’s how it is.  Really. 

There’s no sin in being ill-informed.  The sin is in not taking steps to rectify that situation.

Here on Supervixens we’ll be talking about important feminist writers and activists, covering some people even your “women’s studies” class didn’t include.  The idea is to provide a jumping-off point so you can read more and learn more about feminism.

There’s a huge history of women and women’s accomplishments that is largely unknown.  The only way to find out about this is through reading and study.  The puerile punditocracy won’t be telling you about it.  We will.

Dreadful/Dreadless Woman (noun): Terrible Woman/Fearless Woman, who is ineffably frightening to the ruling fools.  Example: Bessie Smith (1894-1937), who was threatened by members of the ku klux klan during one of her shows (Concord, North Carolina, July 1927).  Bessie asked some stagemen to help her get rid of the hooded hoods, but the stagemen were terrified and fled:

Not Bessie.  She ran toward the intruders, stopped within ten feet of them, placed one hand on her hip, and shook a clenched fist at the Klansmen.  “What the fuck you think you’re doin’?” she shouted above the sound of the band.  “I’ll get the whole damn tent out here if I have to.  You just pick up them sheets and run!”

The Klansmen, apparently too surprised to move, just stood there and gawked.  Bessie hurled obscenities at them until they finally turned and disappeared quietly into the darkness. [Chris Albertson, Bessie]

Definition from Mary Daly’s Wickedary.  I’ll be writing more about Daly soon.

H. R. H. Supervixen

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hello from another planet

January 19, 2007

I’m a little nervous…I could be Pluto’d, just another burnt out star.

Let’s give “hrh ” some props, and an ‘open threat”, while eating her cyber chili.

Miss Devore