Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Blue Moon! by Alex

It's a blue moon tonight! All those things that only happen once in a blue moon will finally happen tonight! SO EXCITED! Plus, it's kind of witchy! It will be the last blue moon until 2015 so you all had better appreciate it and do something super special, the pressure is on. I'm going to make a banner probably, maybe, and will definitely be dressed entirely in blue. The moon will actually be blue, right?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"For Her" Products I'd Like to See by Alex

Thanks to Bic and their pens For Her, I can finally write comfortably within my gender. Let's just say that I've been playing an awful lot of MASH since I invested in a package. (Hey Idris, I'll be seeing you soon in our shack where we'll raise four children after honeymooning in Hawaii!) Now, there are a lot of products out there that back up that precious gender binary (I just fashioned a humane mouse trap using Scotch tape from a high heel dispenser) and keep perpetuating all those lady stereotypes (thank god, because without those products and advertising and the various media I'd probably forget to do things like clean and nag and dance on the beach during my period – assuming I'm having a happy one, of course), but the fact that someone only just got around to coming up with a pink pen for fancy ladies like me who don't care for the coarse masculinity of the traditional blue or black Bic tells me that there are still products out there that could use some feminine rebranding. I'm but a simple woman, I don't even have a background in marketing (lol, I'm such a Peggy Olson!), but I've taken some time from trying to find a husband to put a baby in me and trying to figure out how to protect myself from bears when I have my period to come up with some everyday products that I feel would enhance my life if only they were made with women in mind:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tweets To Mordor: #RNC2012 Day One by Alex

The tweets clogging up my Twitter feed last night, documenting the Republican National Convention opening ceremony were so hilarious I was actually compelled to watch. I only caught Ann Romney and Chris Christie (and Three Doors Down ???) but, man, did they ever bum me out. I mean, they can literally say anything as long as they use the right cadence and then crowd goes wild – it doesn't even have to make sense. Like, when Christie said "You see, Mr. President – real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls", what the hell does that mean? Is he saying that a leader should be fudging the numbers or did he literally mean that a president should be constructing fire poles? 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tell Me More About This Assange Rape Conspiracy, It Sounds Fascinating! by Alex

Trigger Warning for description of sexual assault.

It makes me laugh my fucking face off imagining shadowy representatives of various governments sitting around brainstorming about ways to get to Julian Assange. They're all sitting there – old chinese takeout containers are strewn about, the floor around the waste paper basket (with a basketball hoop attached, natch) is littered with crumpled up ideas, all the men are well past a five o'clock shadow – then someone is like, "I've got it! We can trump up some rape charges!" And while the mood has definitely shifted, more optimistic?, they're not all sold. Could the public believe that Assange was a violent rapist? "Hear me out! It won't be the kind of attack that people usually associate with rape, he won't have left bruises or broken bones. There won't have been a knife or a darkened alley. It will be the other kind of rape, when the rapist knew their victim. No less serious, no less prosecutable, that insidious rapist who takes advantage of trust. That rapist who doesn't respect the loved ones, friends, dates, acquaintances they rape enough to ask. Enough to stop at no." By now everyone is nodding (give or take a couple still thinking a made up tax-evasion charge is the way to go), simultaneously excited by the possibility of a solution to their problem and sickened by the existence of sexual assault.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dancing With Myself by Rebekah

(Dancer Margie Gillis
Photographed by Cylla von Tiedemann)
I recently attended the opening for an exhibition of photographer Cylla von Tiedemann's Tanzbilder (Dance Images) at the German consulate. In addition to the portraits of professional dancers, there was also a 25-minute dance piece called Piece of Mind, performed by skindivers dance company.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Breaking Bad Recap: Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Alex

I read a news story last week about a Chinese couple who upon returning home thought that their house had been turned upside down by robbers – an overturned table, possessions rifled. When Xu Xianmin and his wife investigated they discovered that it was not thieves that had broken in but that it was a giant catfish who had ransacked their home. Strangely, the couple lives in a residential neighbourhood nowhere near water. The reason I tell this story is to relate how incredible animals are, how they can do anything and how we must never underestimate them. Take the time a raccoon stole my friend's wallet. Or the time Mike zip-tied Walt to a radiator. Animals, driven by their ingenuity and desperation, find a way. Walt has become that cornered animal, previously thought harmless (although the viewer has long known better), the cornered animal not defending his life, freedom or young but instead defending his empire.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Breaking Bad Recap: Arrival of a Train at the Station By Alex

First of all, I've been watching a lot of The X-Files lately (mostly because of Baby) and who should show up as a plucky US Marshall but Uncle Hank! Pretty exciting! Also a bit of an x-file how Dean Norris has not aged at all since at least 1994. Spooky. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

One Thought on Julian Assange Before I Lose My Goddamn Mind and Start Weeping in a Corner Because Preserving Rape Culture is More Important Than Anything, EVER by Alex

Perhaps I am still too much of an optimist, or something, too naive maybe, but if the message of Wikileaks is that transparency must and will exist in government and military communications and operations, and freedom of speech, and democracy, and accountability, and the people vs the man, then isn't it a bit hinderance to place so much importance on Julian Assange alone? Will Wikileaks fall if he's tried and found guilty of rape? Does the organization consist only of him? I realize that he is the director and founder and editor-in-chief, but is he completely irreplaceable? Is he completely above the law? What if he was brought up on murder charges? Pedophilia? What is the line?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A$AP Rocky: 'Ridin' (Feat. Lana Del Rey) Posted by Alex

It's been a year since Lana Del Rey unleashed Video Games on the internet and a year since the internet unleashed its concentrated mean girl vitriol back at her. Next time you know a kid getting bullied (or maybe the next time you get bullied?) just remember Lana and how it only took a year for the constant barrage of venom to subside. A year is nothing, guys! You might live to be 90! Or 100! Drink lots of water! Besides, now she's doing tracks with some of the hottest players in the game. And there was speculation that she was dating Axel Rose. All right, nice! Just kidding, I'm pretty sure that is Dante's 10th circle of hell (Dating).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Breaking Bad Recap: The Fair Ophelia! Be All My Sins Remembered By Alex

Ok, you are all probably going to think less of me but there was a time in my life when I was young and foolish and just had kind of questionable taste overall (I drank a lot of Southern Comfort and thought nothing of making out with brothers – not at the same time but still, brothers!) but I once thought that Aztecs were sort of ok. That's terrible, right? Nah, I'm totally kidding! Fooled you! Never thought they were cool! Certainly not because you had the option of attaching a tent to the back. A tent, guys, to the back of your car! But, no, Aztecs are totally uncool... Just camp outside. On the ground. Make it easy for the bears. I also once wanted nothing more than to own and drive a Jeep. Yep.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympians to Know: Gabby Douglas by Alex

Gabby Douglas is the first African-American woman to win the all-round title in women's gymnastics. The first  Black woman in history. Amazing. The 16-year-old won gold in both the individual and team events. Watch this video of all her routines from the US Olympic team trials. She is flawless. And so super charming I want to be best friends with her. That smile!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

(Major) Minor Victories by Rebekah

Olympians to Know: Damien Hooper by Alex

At the beginning of the olympics, a tweet made the rounds both on Twitter and on Tumblr that neatly dissected Britain's brutal history of colonization and the irony of so many of those colonized nations coming back to the motherland to compete:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Fiction: Real Talk by Alex

I don't read a lot of non-fiction. Since 2006, I've read 28 non-fiction books. A few memoirs, a couple essay collections, some on history, some on nature. Once I was even bamboozled into reading a book called Undertaking by Thomas Lynch that turned out to somehow be super anti-choice which wasn't revealed until the very end. Blah blah life is sacred, whatever, undertaker. There are the usual suspects in there as read by every White kid in their early 20's (Hunter S Thompson and Dave Eggers) plus Mary Roach, Gay Talese, John Krakauer, Sarah Vowell. You know, the non-fiction writers. But I never read any Gore Vidal. I read some letters that Jane Bowles wrote to him. And some she wrote to Tennessee Williams in which she mentions him. And I bought one of his books (Empire) and I have every intention of reading it some day. But now he's passed and he's another writer that I mourn without fully grasping the gravity of the loss, which is why I'm dedicating this week's Friday Fiction to the five non-fiction books I've read this year, in honour of Gore Vidal. His books might not be on the list but he, along with Tom Wolfe and Gay Talese (and I'm sure some other people who were never published), helped pioneer the creative non-fiction genre. For that, I'm thankful. RIP Gore. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Breaking Bad Recap: Dead Mackerel Eyes, Full Hearts Can't Lose by Alex

Are there people out there who are watching Breaking Bad and thinking, "yeah, I'd like to see Walt as the last man standing. I'd like to see him take out Hank and Mike and Jesse and live out his years caring about nothing but treats and snoozing by Don Eladio's pool"? Are there? People who are like, "Walt is awesome and I want him to win all the money and power and fuck Skyler and Walt Jr and baby Holly and family breakfast". I'm just curious because Walt has reached such levels of villainy that he makes ol' Tony Soprano look like Andy Griffith. This switch from anti-hero-hero to villain is pretty brilliant. It's like watching the Bachelor and despising one of the bachelorettes, argh, so, so, so much but not enough to want her sent home – she's the life of the party, yo – but that bitch better not get the final rose or diamond or Hawaiian honeymoon or whatever prize one gets when she's the last lady standing in the Thunderdome. Basically, Walt has become Boston Rob.

The Echo-Friendly: 'Same Mistakes' Posted by Alex