Busy busy busy.

This is actually pretty much what I look like.

Oookay. I have a lot to catch up on. Not least that I appeared on Russian teevee again today…! But first, all the other catching up:

  1. My first real post at Feministe — which was pretty well received! — was a slightly re-worked version of my post about the use of the word “nude” in the fashion, so I won’t crosspost the whole thing. But it starts like this:

    Dear Fashion Industry,

    I’ve been meaning to write ever since that big wedding that took place in London this past spring, and then as various bits and bobs of fashion flotsam and jetsam have wandered across my heat-blurred summer vision, but, well, events overcame me. Life, and your whatnot. But finally, here we are, tete-a-tete. Did you miss me, Fashion Industry? I hope so!

  2. My second real post — which is getting chewed up and spat out as we speak! — was a slightly re-worked version of my post on Beyonce. Again, no real point to crossposting the whole thing, but it starts like this:

    Whenever I slip into Starbucks for a little iced Joe these days, there she is: Beyonce.

    For the moment, I won’t get into the outfit she sports on the cover of her latest work, nor the disturbing fact that it seems every album Beyonce puts out is adorned with an ever-lighter version of her genuinely lovely self.

    No, I want to talk about her music, but there’s still one more caveat: As a 46 year old suburban mother who likes loud rock n’ roll, I am not nor have I ever been Beyonce’s target audience.

  3. I’ve posted my regular book recommendation at Americans for Peace Now (though at this point, it might be more honest to call it “semi-regular” — it’s supposed to go up on Fridays, and for two weeks running, it’s gone up the following Tuesday. Sigh). Here’s the top of that; for the rest, please click here; for an archive of all earlier recommendations, click here (a perma-link to the archive can be found under Pages, on your right).

    When the first intifada hit Israel with the shock of a tidal wave, I was living in Tel Aviv.

    Many of my male friends – including the young man with whom I was in love and living at the time – found themselves called to endless rounds of reserve duty to face off against stone-throwing youth.

    It was during that time, as I followed the news with a consuming obsession and watched my previously unflappable boyfriend writhe in his sleep from nightmares, that I went from a vague “we should all find a way to get along, gosh it’s so sad that the Arabs don’t want to” kind of politics, to understanding that Israel had two ways to resolve the problem of the occupied territories: Massive ethnic cleansing, or two-states-for-two-peoples.

    As I couldn’t get behind the first option, and had begun to understand that the stone throwers had a point in demanding their rights, I became an active supporter of the two-state solution.

    And yet I can say with all honesty that it wasn’t until I read Mary Elizabeth King’s 2007 A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance that I understood that those stone throwers could have responded with arms and ammunition, but that their grassroots leaders chose not to. That, indeed, the entire intifada was rooted in notions of nonviolence.

  4. I’ve added a couple things to the blog rolls, and as always, I most heartily urge you to… check them! Both!

    First, under Smart People (because I had no idea where else to put it) you will find the truly awesome and very informative (if occasionally somewhat smoothing-off-a-few-too-many-rough-edges-for-sake-of-brevity) What the Fuck Has Obama Done So Far?

    And second, under The Funny Papers, you will find Gabby’s Playhouse, a webcomic which I first came to know through this comic, which had me (I think not suprisingly!) assuming that said “Gabby” was of the lady persuasion. Turns out I should have been tipped off by that comic’s title: “In which we betray our gender.” Gabby’s a man. A very, very talented man. Don’t believe me? Click here!

I’ll be back later with the TV stuff, pinky swear!

3 Comments

  1. Hey there, this is Saurus from Feministe (who commented on your Beyonce post). I just want to say that, well, obviously I didn’t agree with your post (and I’ll be right there disagreeing when you write about Zionism, I’m sure!) but I really appreciate that you responded so calmly and civilly. I think there’s a certain temptation to get sarcastic and defensive and derisive – and maybe we commenters push contributors over that edge – but all the same, you’ve been managing really gracefully thus far and I really appreciate that you’re listening. I’m listening too. Don’t mind those people who get aggressive about it; sometimes it’s too easy for people on all sides to forget there are real people behind the ideas! Anyway, take care and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    • Thank you so much for coming by to say that! I really, really appreciate it.

      It’s been a crazy couple of days, for a few reasons (only some of which can be seen in the foregoing!), and when the power went out, I just threw up my hands. (Really, world? Really?) But in fact, your comment was one that I wished I had more time to reply to! The last two grafs in particular struck me as having some really interesting, good points:

      Also, if Beyonce’s lyrics seep into our psyches without critique, what happens when we hear contradictory messages from other pop stars? Does it cancel the earlier message out? Do we latch onto the new message like hermit crabs?

      It’s not that I think people don’t sometimes absorb the messages of pop culture uncritically – certainly they do – but I think often they don’t internalize them as much as we think, and may even read them subversively. And sometimes the medium of Beyonce may make more of an impact than the message of her lyrics.

      These are all questions that I think we’ll be working on forever, in a way. I’m not surprised that a bunch of people disagreed with me (hell, I write about Israel/Palestine — if I’m not getting yelled at by someone, the day just feels wrong!), but I’m kind of fine with the discussion and the fact that it’s wide open and we’re all going to disagree at various points.

      Thank you for noticing that I’m trying to strike a civil tone as I work through the discussion, though…! I mean, people really care about stuff, whatever their stuff is, and then I say something and boom – I’m right in it. I get that. So, you know, even if I disagree, I’ll try to at least be polite about it.

      Though this happens, too, sometimes: http://xkcd.com/386/