Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Daily Obsession - 90s Music

For how much I talk about my love for the 90's, I'm pretty surprised I've never done a post of videos. I've decided I must remedy that fact at once. I find myself in one of those moods today and all of these songs are making me happy.

The funny thing is I didn't even really like all of these songs when they came out, but now I get all nostalgic listening to them.

Dammit:



Flagpole Sitta:



This song is completely under appreciated in my opinion.

Falling Away From Me:



Pony:



You Get What You Give:



I'm a little embarrassed to admit I had "dreamer's disease" written on the front of my chuck Taylor's when I was like thirteen.

Down:



Inside Out:



How can new artists ever compare to the lyrical genius of "find nothing but faith in nothing?"

Criminal:



Low:



Faith:



One Headlight:



There are so many more that I'm finding it difficult to stop, but I'm gonna show some restraint and leave it at that (I'm such a grown up). There will be more to come eventually I'm sure. But for now I'm off to watch Empire Records and day dream about flower dresses with doc martens.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips and Victim Blaming (Vlog)

I was inspired to make this video after reading Britni's blog post "Drunk Bitches Totes Deserve To Be Raped."


I know I'm a bit ridiculous when I talk (sometimes I talk so fast my cheap webcam can't even keep up lol), but it is what it is.

Some great links:
The Worst Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Ever
Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!
I Am Not My Cock

And the best PSA ever (based on the Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work above):



Update: I actually made this video before I realized there was such a lively debate going on at Britni's blog and I only want to add that I think a lot of the arguments from both sides comes from not differentiating from the type of prevention tips that are thinly veiled victim-blaming (like the "tips" Britni posted) and genuinely good information. To say that there isn't any information we should be teaching men and women on how to better protect themselves seems wrong to me (not that I'm saying anyone has said such a thing). There is definitely middle ground in this conversation. As long as there's no victim blaming going on, then I think every one's heart is in the right place.

Also, haven't most of these so called "tips" been drilled into our heads since we were little? I've been told to always use the buddy system and never leave a drink anywhere since as far back as I can remember. Don't seem to be doing much of a job in that case. If they did genuinely work then I could deal with the slut-shaming, but if they don't then why do should we put up with them?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Week in Pictures

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I had a boring week, but a pretty awesome weekend. I got some new tights (I'm a little obsessed), a new haircut, went to Ikea, saw Toy Story 3, srarted a new picture, watched fireworks from my front step, and finally tried my hand at cooking leeks.

Not too bad.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Objectification is Objectification

I am catching up on some blog reading and I just came across the post "Why Shameless Objectification Can Be A Good Thing" on Jezebel and a few points the author made rub me the wrong way.


obectification - meat, originally uploaded by jonnybaker.

First of all, I think the word "objectification" is being used incorrectly in this post. There's definitely the possibility it's being used as sort of tongue-in-cheek, but if so then I think that should have been made clear at some point (especially considering the title). There is a difference between admiring the looks of someone and reducing that person to an object. Thinking someone is hot is not by itself harmful. We're visual creatures. It should come as no surprise that when we look at the myriad of different people on the planet we find some of them attractive. The problem is when we forget that the person we're ogling is a human being with feelings and thoughts because we've reduced them to basically a conduit of our attractiveness. Conflating objectification with physical beauty is wrong.

1. The author's first point is that the context in which men and women are objectified is so different that they can't be considered the same basically.
In our current universe, men do not have trouble being taken seriously based on their looks or perceived sexiness, nor is their worth in society primarily judged by them...They will not be told their primary value is based on whether women want to fuck them. They will not be paid less on the dollar or subject to violence in representation or acts. They will not be treated like meat or chattel. Period.
Obviously I agree that the objectification of men is different then the objectification of women, but what I feel like is being ignored is the reason why the objectification of men is not as harmful as doing so to women (on a societal level at least). Mainly this is because women simply do not have the power dynamics to make it so, but not having the power to make men's complete worth reduced to their looks does not mean objectifying them is totally okay. It just means that the repercussions of that objectification are not as obvious or widespread. So yes, context definitely matters. But it still doesn't rationalize dehumanizing anyone.

2. Then there's the idea that since these men are in "peak physical shape" that we should appreciate that.
The culture at large is celebrating these men's bodies for their skill, agility, and strength — achieved partly through genetic blessing, yes, but also through training and hard work. It's true that this is setting up an ideal that most men cannot and do not achieve, but as ideals go, one achieved through activity and, it seems, fun isn't so bad. And presumably no unhealthy starvation or surgical enhancements were involved.
I don't like this line of thinking because it seems to imply that objectifying athletes is okay because we assume that they got their bodies in a way we find acceptable (unlike that chick with the huge fun bags right?). It also ignores the feelings of men that cannot live up to the ideal that the author claims "most men cannot and do not achieve." I don't want this post to sound a bit like I'm whining on behalf of teh menz, but it is completely hypocritical to say we should ignore our personal responsibility for setting unrealistic beauty standards for men and then turn around and be pissed that we'll never fit into the unrealistic beauty standards for women. Objectification, of anyone, promotes a standard of beauty that will exclude people.

3. The authors last point (I'm skipping two of them since I don't think they're relevant) is that by women voicing their appreciation they are fighting against the idea that women aren't as visual or sexual as men.
Everyone keeps telling us that women aren't visually stimulated and are cuddly balls of empathy and need a narrative. I suggest they check out some of the comment threads on #shamelessobjectification. There is something liberating about a woman expressing her pleasure in looking at a man's body as she sees fit.

That pleasure can make some people uncomfortable. One reader wrote about watching a match at the gym: "The men routinely spend their time ogling (and yes I do mean ogling, they make now bones about it) women in the fitness magazines. However these same men were distinctly uncomfortable and put out that we women were cheering and enjoying the Greek footballers taking off their shirts. Double standards? I think so." I do too.
First of all, I love how someone who is quick to disregard their own double standards as being essentially unimportant is also quick to point out double standards of other people. In the very same post even. That's just hilarious to me.

Beyond that I don't know if I agree with this point though. It is nice whenever women feel free to express their sexuality, but I don't think being a women should excuse me from thinking about the repercussions of my behavior. That seems just as coddling as supposing women don't get lustful. It also disregards the fact that many women are capable of ogling people in completely healthy ways.

This comment is pretty much the gold standard of comments and expresses my ultimate point perfectly:
The problem with objectification is that it pushes forward a very narrow ideal of beauty that people hurt themselves to achieve, women in particular have this problem at huge levels. Men have it too, but they are allowed far more variation in acceptable body-types or are allowed to be judged on other merits if they fail to be suitably attractive. This however does not make this somehow not a problem. I dislike how this piece just sort of handwaves away men who feel inadequate about their bodies because they don't look like what society tells them a man should look, essentially erasing men with things like eating disorders. This article is working really hard to say "objectification is okay when we do it". It could have just as easily said that there's, ya know, nothing wrong with admiring or fawning over someone for their physical appearance, provided you don't expect every other person to conform to this narrow standard of beauty or place all of their value in their appearance.
See, this post isn't really about defending men at all. It's about the idea that any harmful behavior, whether perpetrated by women or men, should be called out. I think a good example is the idea of "reverse racism." While any racial prejudices that people of color have towards white people will not be able to impact white people in any systematically substantial way (since whites are the dominant group), those prejudices are still pervasive to any attempt to move forward or ease racial tensions. Sexism falls into the same category. Just because women have the short end of the stick doesn't mean sexist behavior doesn't go both ways. While one group has the power to make those sexist feelings much more felt, both are damaging to society as a whole.

In the end, if we all just acknowledge that both men and women admire attractive people, and that there is a difference between admiration and objectification, then I think we'll be okay. But objectification is objectification and lack of power does not mean lack of responsibility. How can we demand we be treated a certain way when we don't treat other people in kind. I may not have the power to stop women from being treated as objects in almost every ad and billboard I come across, but I do have the power over my own actions.
"How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself." - Anais Nin
Ok, so this post is starting to get long but I also want to point out that some women do actually watch sports because they like to. While I'm sure hot men are a plus for some, I feel like Jezebel's attitude toward the World Cup (no sports commentary only athlete ogling) reinforces the idea that women don't like sports. I don't like sports so you definitely won't see anything about the World Cup from me, but if I did a whole series on male athletes in the World Cup I don't think it would be such a stretch to assume I'd talk about, or at least link to, some actually World Cup coverage.

Note:I want to make it clear that I do not actually think Jezebel is objectifying these athletes (since they haven't reduced them to simple sex objects). But the idea that if they were objectifying it would still be okay since they're women, bothered me.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gretchen Carlson is an Idiot

I just loved this clip:

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Rich GOP Politicians Bash Unemployed

I've been trying not to post so many videos recently, but as you can see I'm having a hard time restraining myself. While I am going to make sure I put a good amount of effort into at least one post a week, I love when I stumble across a video that perfectly sums up my thoughts. And when it comes to Rachel Maddow, she usually sums it up far better then I can ever hope to do.

This video is a gem:


I have been trying to pay closer attention to Utah politics recently, but it's comments like Senator Orrin Hatch's that make me less enthusiastic. (Then we have Mike Lee who is against raising the liability cap for BP even if it means taxpayers have to pay for part of the cleanup. Go Utah!) I also don't understand why someone doing drugs should automatically bar them from receiving unemployment benefits. If the person held a job and paid taxes then they paid into their unemployment fund and that money is theirs in my opinion. Obviously I hope people aren't doing drugs, but if they decide to drink or smoke their $95 dollars a week (or whatever) then I don't really see how that's any of our business. I can't help but think these accusations stem from a misconception about who drug users are (as well as people who receive unemployment benefits). Instead of testing people getting unemployment benefits, we should start at the university and end in congress. I bet the results would be far more surprising then people would think.

This sort of thinking also shows a ridiculous disconnect with what average Americans (god I hate that phrase) are actually going through. It's easy to talk about hobos and how people choose to stay out of work because of unemployment benefits when you're rich. And we can never forget that; these politicians are rich as hell.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'd like your advice...

I know most of you could care less, but I'm having a hard time deciding on whether or not I should change my blog template for Sunshine and Bones. I feel like I need a change, but I'm having a hard time committing.

This is what it looks like now in case you don't follow my every move:

sunshineandbones

See, I actually like this template. The only problem, besides me being finicky, is the fact the background of the posts isn't white. (And I'd prefer it to be white.) I've also gotten it into my mind that I just have to have a three column template this time. Unfortunately, I had a hard time finding anything I liked so I had to resort to the new blogger template designer thing. Even though it has a lot of neat features, for someone who only knows the very basics of html (just enough to screw everything up actually) it's kind of a nightmare.

This is what I have so far though:

Copy of sunshineandbones

I'm not sure I like the header with the grey background but I'm too lazy to deal with it right now. (You can see the actualy page here.)

Either way I'd like to know what you think. Knowing me I'll end up changing it no matter what, but I thought I'd throw it out there in case someone finds it completely atrocious or something like that.

Disney vs. Porn

Ok, I just love this:

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Sums it up rather nicely.

-via Unapologetically Female

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Weekly Address: Republicans Blocking Progress

It's been a while since I've posted one of these, but I liked this one:

Conservative support of BP is at odds with most Americans

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've no doubt heard about Republican congressmen Rep. Joe Barton's ridiculous apology to BP for the $20 billion dollar escrow account for Gulf damage claims. In what can only be described as one of the most out of touch comments I've heard on the oil spill to date, Barton told BP CEO Tony Hayward, "I'm ashamed at what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy in the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown - in this case a $20 billion shakedown...I apologize," during the Congressional hearing over the spill.


As a heathen lefty, I must admit that Barton's comments actually came as a great relief as they brought the comments of other conservative talking heads to the surface (Media Matters has documented 62 instances of media conservatives defending BP). Even though the BP trials have been categorized as an "Inca ritual slaughter," compared to the "Salem witch trials," or a "Soviet-style public trial," until the comments came from Barton, the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the comments were mostly disregarded as the usual inanity of the Beck's and Limbaugh's of the right. But that doesn't mean these comments should be ignored.

As always, Jon Stewart gives a nice summary of that inanity:

Day 62 - The Strife Aquatic
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As the Stewart clip shows, after Barton's apology to BP many congressional Republicans had to take a step back from the pro-BP rhetoric. Barton's later recanting of his apology to BP, is said to have been forced by House minority leaders (lest they strip Barton of his position as ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee). Even Bachmann, who is as crazy as crazy comes, stepped back from her claim that this was "yet one more gateway for more government control" and that hedge fund was really a "redistribution-of-wealth fund."


To me it seems fairly obvious that the people who have to actually be elected, and therefore not look like totally insensitive asshats (well unless we're talking about the poor, people of color, women, or gays), realize that taking BP's side in this situation is reprehensible to most Americans. For those conservative talking heads who made being insensitive asshat's their basic business model, there are no such restrictions. Instead it seems like they are crossing their fingers and hoping that the tea party's hate for Obama outweighs their concern for the oil spill.


The problem I have with this line of anti-Obama thinking is that once again any really issues with the way the situation has been handled, by both the White House and BP, has been ignored in favor of outrageous sound bites. Issues of gross negligence, and the continuing negligence of other deep water oil rigs, have been disregarded. Instead the issue of whether or not a moratorium on deep water offshore drilling is more damaging than the oil spill itself has taken the forefront of debate. Where there are valid questions to be asked about Obama’s response, the ineptitude of U.S. regulators, and who bears ultimate responsibility for the clean up, instead the entire conversation has turned into more political bickering.

I wonder why I continue to be surprised by this.


It's important to note that if Republicans recapture the House in November's midterms, Barton would become chairman of the committee that serves as the watchdog for the environment. I also think it's interesting that Obama's overall job approval is essentially the same now as it was before the oil spill. While most people still disapprove of Obama's handling of the oil spill, his approval rating has risen four points and is still higher than BP's.


As to be expected, it looks like the DNC is banking of the anger at BP to help them in the midterms by exposing conservative's reluctance to blame BP.


Let's just hope it makes a difference.

Update:

I know this post has already gotten pretty long and filled to the brim with videos, but I really want to add this video of Biden on Barton's apology:


More than anything, Biden's comments show a fundamental difference between what those on the left and those on the right think the role of government is.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Swagger Wagon

If you need a good laugh, you should watch this:



That is all.

Friday, June 18, 2010

In which our heroine obsesses over obsessing

Today I woke up to the unpleasant reality that my cable and internet connection had run away to join the circus with all the other junk that seems to go randomly missing in my house. And I know there are more pressing matters in the world like starvation and war, but I don't like it when the house is too quiet. Even if I'm reading I need to have the t.v. on in the background. The weird part is the sound doesn't even need to be on. It's like the flickering image in my peripheral adds enough visual sound to keep me happy.

I think this is what happens when you're raised around a lot of siblings.

When I first moved in with my perpetually absent girlfriend Serena, I realized how much I need to be around other people. Don't get me wrong, I like my alone time as much as anyone else. But there is something deeply satisfying about having a house full of loved one's to come home to. Working all day to come home to a cold lifeless house unnerves me in a way I can't fully explain. (Anyone else like this?)

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Anyhoo, I had already decided that I was going to stay off the internet for the most part today (I can't go without checking my email though...it's like an addiction) but the fact that I couldn't get online made it almost unbearable. It was like this incessant buzzing in the back of my mind that I couldn't squash. Even reading a good book and eating lemon cupcakes with strawberry frosting couldn't keep my mind off of it.

And really, that's what prompted me to write this rambling post. I don't understand what it is that makes it so I can't just let go of things and move on. The bigger challenges of my life are nothing compared to the silly argument I get into online or the inability to check my email. It's like my mind refuses to let go of these things and it drives me freggin bonkers. Sometimes I find myself spending too much time online and I feel like it not only makes it easier for me to get too caught up in what random people I don't even know think, but it also makes me more likely to neglect my real time relationships. And that's not what I want. I'm obsessing over things that aren't worth more then a single thought and it makes me realize that I probably should start looking for a summer job before I go completely insane.

So yeah, this post was kind of pointless but I feel better for typing out my thoughts.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bill O'Reilly Kind of Calls Out Sarah Palin

I know, I'm shocked too.


I love how she isn't even prepared to be questioned on her sound-bite answers. In that long pause before she answers, how much do you want to bet she was thinking "oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit..."

A Woman Always Has A Choice...To Keep Her Panties On

I saw this t-shirt on tumblr and it pissed me off to no end:


It's sold by Zazzle so essentially any douche bag with a computer can make a shirt that says whatever they want, but it still irritates me off.

For one, is that not the most horrid font you've ever seen? Atrocious. Two, someone is trying way too hard to be clever. I also hate to break it to the "artist," but not all women do have the choice to keep their panties on. With the incredibly high rates of sexual assault in this country, "choosing" abstinence is not really a choice for a lot of women.

I also hate the implication that it is always a women's responsibility to not get pregnant. Unlike the shirt "Against abortion? Have a vasectomy!," most anti-choice shirts focus exclusively on the women. Where is the responsibility for the men in these situations? It's frustrating to say the least (the "partial-birth" abortion shirts are even worse though).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010