greenie_breizh: (jon stewart <3)
I should be working (story of my life, ha) but I'm happy with how much I got done this morning so I'm going to take 10 minutes to write that post I've been meaning to write forever. First, some links! Wonderful!

- Black-Grrl Power: Willow Smith and Sesame Street: an article on black hair, started by the recent Sesame Street video featuring a black girl puppet singing about how awesome her hair is. It's a good article, and a nice reminder that racism takes forms that white people sometimes can't even fathom.

- Why Decriminalizing Sex Work is Good for All Women. It's kind of old news by now, but at the end of September, the Ontario Supreme Court struck down Canada's prostitution law (read news article here). Because it is likely to set a precedent, it's a huge step taken towards decriminalization (not to be mistaken with legalization!) of sex work in Canada. And in these Tea Party ridden times, that's almost unbelievably progressive and fantastic. So I'm just going to gleefully quote: "Whore stigma is one clue that anti-prostitution ideology is about more than just violence against women—it’s specifically about femininity. In this sense, arguments against transactional sex are a defense of both the gender binary and of heterosexuality. This is why men and transgender sex workers are invisible in prostitution debates. This is why changing laws is just the beginning, not the end, of a longtime struggle for basic human rights for sex workers."

- A post by Dan Savage on a manifesto written Episcopal Bishop John Shelby's decision to no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone. More than this decision (which has positive and maybe negative sides), the reason I'm posting this is Bishop Shelby's words on "fair-mindness", which is a discourse currently used by media outlets to justify airing the views of profoundly homophobic parties: "In my personal life, I will no longer listen to televised debates conducted by "fair-minded" channels that seek to give "both sides" of this issue "equal time." I am aware that these stations no longer give equal time to the advocates of treating women as if they are the property of men or to the advocates of reinstating either segregation or slavery, despite the fact that when these evil institutions were coming to an end the Bible was still being quoted frequently on each of these subjects. It is time for the media to announce that there are no longer two sides to the issue of full humanity for gay and lesbian people." This is an incredibly powerful statement, and a serious challenge to the way we tend to think about 'freedom of expression'.

- Two links (1, 2) to galleries of photos from Saturday's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in D.C. There are many signs amongst these that I feel ambivalent about, but there are true jewels in there, too, including this one, this one, this one, this one or this one. My all-time favorite, though, is this one which I found on Lemonde.fr (#5): "I masturbate and I vote (but not usually at the same time)." And then of course I have a special fondness for geeky signs. :) I have my ambivalence regarding the Rally (most of which has to do with the way that it idealizes moderation, as if this particular political stance - because it is one, whether people like it or not - didn't have its own problems, and consequently the way that rhetoric around the rally has tended to lump together right-wight extremism and left-wing radicalism, which I find infinitely problematic) but in the midst of all the Tea Party insanity absurdity, it does feel good to see people come out and point out the ridiculousness of people who embrace their willful ignorance and refuse to debate reasonably.

- And to finish, a link shared by [livejournal.com profile] shadesofbrixton: a sexual attraction chart. Very neat, not without its problems obviously, but I love the sheer complexity of it. :)

As usual, this has taken me WAY longer than I expected, so I'd better make myself some lunch and go back to the 200 pages I'm supposed to read before 4pm. Haha...ha.

EDIT: I forgot! I went to see The Social Network the other night - I went in being slightly unconvinced but I was truly blown away by the quality of that script. Great, complex characters and super tight dialogue, I did not see those 2 hours go by at all. What did everyone else think?
greenie_breizh: (soci grad: painfully aware)
I took advantage of the fact that Allie was in Canmore with her parents for a few days to finish my second draft of my thesis, which was nearly 50 pages shorter! Success! Hopefully, anyway. Now I'm waiting for substantive comments.

Anyway, I mostly wanted to share an article, Policing Female Masculinity: Much Ado About Rachel Maddow’s Yearbook Photo! We have a tendency to jump the gun and say that masculinity is more harshly regulated nowadays than femininity, and an article like this one reminds us that actually, norms of femininity are still very much in place.

Also, a question for the French (or French-savy!) folks out there: quelle est votre crêpe végétarienne traditionelle préférée?


EDIT: Also want to link to this article on people (including Sarah Palin, who's decided to become a spokesperson for the cause or something) who oppose the construction of a community centre and Islamic prayer space near Ground Zero (note the NEAR, it's not even at Ground Zero itself). Benevolent racism drives me nuts, and I hate how much the far-right thinks they alone know what the true "American" reaction should be to something like 9/11.
greenie_breizh: (horse)
California Court says private school can expel lesbians. Apart from the obvious, two things really bother me about this:
- I want to know if that means a religious school could exclude a black student if they decided that "mixing races" was against Biblical teaching? (It's not like that argument hasn't been made in the past.) It's a genuine question, actually, because from the ruling it sounds like yes, schools would be welcome to discriminate on the basis of race (or anything else). This is really not making me think any higher of religious schools. I'm not against people having faith and wanting to teach it to their kids because for fuck's sake, that should not mean shielding your kids from the reality of the outside world.
- The fact that religious schools are welcome to expel kids based on the perception of homosexuality is really bothersome because it puts a lot of power in the hands of bullies. If a kid doesn't follow traditional gender behavior (and I don't mean cross-dressing, just liking dance if you're a boy will do) and gets harassed as a result, and rumors start circulating, they're at risk of being expelled? Woah. Way to go, fucktards. At least it really rubs in your face just how pervasive homophobia can be.

--

On a happier front:

- Cute drawing of Simon, Kaylee and River at the end of Serenity. It's better than the earlier version, though that earlier version was really cute too.

- Felicia Day blods about "Highland Hunk-Fantasy" novels and it's hysterical. I would dislike those novels for many more reasons than she's mentioned but I just love her style of writing.

- Ediie Izzard never gets old, and the Death Star Canteen skit in lego is just priceless. XD

- Dan Savage rocks. That is all.
greenie_breizh: (cute)
Puppy cuteness from here to start:


I am absolutely, absolutely dying of the cute watching videos of Knut, a baby polar bear from the Berlin Zoo who was raised by one of his keepers. The first video is lots of really adorable photos, but I think the best video is this one, where you see him being fed and falling asleep and basically just being a ball of fuzzy cuteness. Stuff like that kinda makes me wonder if I'm doing the right thing with my life. I think I could be happy just taking care of animals and making sure they grow up ok and just that they're well taken care of.

Makes me happy I'm seeing Glacier tomorrow :)

--

Less with the cute and more with the political,the Catholic Church and the Pope are being A-holes for Christmas by saying defending humanity against homosexuality and transgenderism is as important as saving the planet. Um, news flash, idiots: one leads to us DYING, the other one leads to the world changing (albeit, not to your liking) while we LIVE. Fucking morons. I love how no one asks them to justify why on earth it's so important to have clearly defined genders and why it's such a big deal to have blurry gender roles. Masculinity and feminity don't have anything to do with procreation, last time I checked.

In a less moronic move, California's state attorney general, Jerry Brown, has asked the CA Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8:

Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification," Brown's brief says. [...] Brown's brief acknowledged that the state is facing a constitutional crisis. Every branch of government--including the governor, a majority of state legislators, and the state's highest court--approves the rights of same-sex couples to marry, while a slim majority of voters have eliminated those rights. "We have a conflict between the amendment power (through voter initiatives) and the duty of the Supreme Court to protect minorities and safeguard liberty," Brown said.


--

Not with the cute or the political, but with the funny to finish:

Every Fanfic Ever Written! Excerpt:

THE PWP (HET)

CHARACTER: I'm straight!
CHARACTER OF OPPOSITE GENDER: What a coincidence! So am I!
(They have sex.)
greenie_breizh: (random4)
[livejournal.com profile] shiraz_wine directed me to a fascinating analysis of the Twilight crazy. I agree with a lot of the points that the poster makes and in particular, that it's important to remember that a text is polysemic and that different people are going to take different things from the same material. Thank fuck, it's entirely possible for a girl to read Twilight and not to integrate the creepy messages about submissiveness, rather choose to see agency in the story, though I do think it's interesting that messages that are undoubtedly conservative resonate - at least partly - with female teen audiences right now. All in all, Twilight has seemed from the start as rather non-worthy of interest to me - yes, it's fucking creepy, and that assault thing I posted about yesterday made me truly angry, because the father's reaction was unacceptable - but to be honest, there's a lot of really bad literature out there that people get obsessed with. And we all read stupid things when we're teenagers. (I'm pretty sure The Famous Five were not the most progressive feminist series ever written.) The level of intensity from Twilight fans is a little creepy, but again, not going to throw the first stone here.

Point is - I don't like these books, regardless of different readings, I think they're problematic, but then I think Disney is highly problematic. I don't think it's a coincidence that books with a central message of abstinence are huge right now, and I think it's particularly worrying that mothers are upholding these books as perfect material for their daughters. But I also don't think they're going to end the world, and the problem is not if the girls read these books, but if that's all they read, and how they read them, and whether or not they're going to grow into reading different things later.

But something that I'm really interested in - especially after reading more detailed summaries yesterday - is the fact that Bella is apparantly portrayed as having a rather insistent sex drive, and that Edward always have to remind her they can't have sex, because she really wants to. Girls are not usually portrayed as the one wanting sex, we're usually more concerned with telling them they should learn how to say no and how to protect themselves against boys who will, naturally, want it. For once, the boy is the one who has to be the gatekeeper... of course, the ironic part is that it means that it's still the boy deciding the terms of the relationship, but hey. There's an interesting twist there. And admitting that teenage girls do have sexual desire is pretty crucial.

--

Speaking of reading against the grain, Judy Dushku, Eliza's mom, is an active member of the Mormon Church, but also a progressive, feminist-oriented strong woman by Eliza's account. I've always been curious about what seems - to me - like a slight contradiction in terms, so I found this quote from the Boston Globe interesting:
Judith Dushku isn't just disappointed, she's embarrassed. "This ugly conflict between my church and those who advocate for legal gay marriage troubles me terribly," says Dushku, an associate professor at Suffolk University and the mother of "Dollhouse" actress Eliza Dushku. She's referring to the Mormon church's support for Proposition 8, the ballot measure banning same-sex marriage that passed in California. (Local Mormons who helped finance the initiative include Michelle Ainge, wife of Celts exec Danny Ainge, and members of Mitt Romney's family.) A lifelong member of the Mormon church - her ancestors pushed handcarts to Utah to establish a place of worship - Dushku says she was "deeply ashamed" by the behavior of Mormon leaders in the days leading up to the vote. (The church sent letters, held video conferences, and from the pulpit urged members to donate money and time to the pro-Prop 8 cause.) "This is completely counter to my whole life of experience with Mormons. These are not a people that are narrow and parochial," she said. "This is not what I expect." An active member of the Mormon church in Weston, Dushku risks excommunication by speaking out. But she says others feel the same way. "Many Mormons feel deeply disappointed in what our church has done with its wealth and influence," she said. "The idea that Mormons are unified around this issue is not my experience... Many people are embarrassed."
greenie_breizh: (buffy)
Linus is NOT Windows.

So very valid and interesting points made in that post (especially about user friendliness). Despite the slight video issue I'm still having and tiny things I haven't figured out yet, I am satisfied of my switch to Ubuntu. It's maybe a little more code-oriented than I'd like it to be, but that's mostly because I'm still unfamiliar with the system. Overall, I've managed to resolve several issues in the past few days and there's great satisfaction that comes from doing that. I just like all the ways in which I can customize the system.

A lot of the stuff that I'm enjoying would be available on Macs, but ultimately for me the BIG "seller" for Linux is the fact that it's open source. Yes, it's a little more complex to get around than either a Microsoft or Apple OS, but . That's really always been my main problem with Apple - especially since their computer are systematically more expensive than PCs for equivalent hardware - they're out to make money just like any other company and I don't really see a reason to support their business much more than Microsoft except they're the hip underdog.

--

Joss about faith. I love these quotes, especially the longer one about America not recognizing atheism and assuming that not having faith means not having a belief system and thinking 'anything goes', which couldn't be further from the truth. It's just that there are no foundations upon which to build, but to me it also means that it's a change to strive for a coherent belief system that can evolve and challenge itself as we grow and learn.

--

In more personal news:

- I cooked myself curry (thanks to Brad's recipe!) on Friday and it was really nice to have a 'real' dinner that didn't involve pasta. On Saturday I went to Brad's for games and had an awesome time again (DungeonQuest is an hilarious game) and he'd made delicious chocolate cupcake that came with peanut butter icing and chocolate glaze. All veagan and thus inherently healthier, of course. :p

- All the cats are up for adoption: Billy, Zoe, Maddy, Maxxie (hit previous to see the girls) and Lily. Not Meimei Chloe because I am officially trying to adopt her, even though it still scares me because it's a big commtiment and I'm afraid to not do right by her. I hope being aware that this is a serious thing to do means I will be a better owner, but truth is this is unchartered territory for me. I mean, Caramel was never primarily my responsibility, but my parents'... Meimei Chloe's life would be entirely in my hands. For 15 years, maybe more. That's a long time, I think I have to acknowledge that. More when the adoption becomes official.

- Kenda (Roomie #2) witnessed a robbery at the bakery next door last night. o_O It was really interesting to see the whole process, the police came for a statement and everything, they managed to catch the guys.

- I have finally gotten around buying all 7 seasons of Buffy in one beautiful, beautiful boxset. (Bought from .com instead of .ca because companies continuously try to screw over Canadians - this boxset is $187 USD and $240 CAD, wtf.) I've also acquired Battlestar Galactica Season 1 through 3 for a really reasonable price considering how expensive they try to sell you every single season. So basically today was my Day of Supporting the Quality Entertainment Industry. :D
greenie_breizh: (gay)
I've talked at length about the same-sex marriage debate that's been going on in Massachusetts since the Supreme Court ruling in November 2003 that it was unconstitutional in the state of MA to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. Well, this is (hopefully) going to be the last post on the topic, at least as far as MA is concerned:
Today, MA lawmakers have finally rejected the possibility of putting an anti-gay amendment to the vote in the 2008 ballot. Proponents of the amendment can start rallying support again and try and put the vote on the ballot in 2012, but "with public opinion polls showing Massachusetts voters becoming increasingly comfortable with same-sex marriage it is considered unlikely any amendment would be approved."

Seems that same-sex marriage doesn't lead to the total destruction of society as we know it. Shocker.

I wish I'd been there demonstrating outside the State House. Would have been a lovely echo to 2004, and one that would end on a much more positive note, too. Now let's hope other states or the country as a whole can learn from this valuable lesson.

Anyway, while I'm on the issue, might as well spam you with it. Recently was the 40th anniversary of the Federal Supreme Court Ruling "Loving vs. Virgina" which ruled that denying interracial couples the right to marry was unconstitutional in the US. If you look into it, the whole interracial marriage struggle is eerily similar to the challenge same-sex couples are taking on today.

In the same spirit, I highly recommend visiting the website for Faith in America, a group that fights against religion-based bigotry. "Don't accept bigotry disguised as religious truth."

They have great posters to promote their ideas, all available in pdf form on their site:
- A simple history lesson
- Religion-based bigotry has been used by those who wanted us to believe...
- Christ and His Disciples confronted it centuries ago...
- Sexual orientation is not chosen.
- Whose standard?
- Do you know someone who's homosexual?
greenie_breizh: (silence)
We talk about tolerance and accepting differences when we go to see kids in schools. We talk about not having the right answer, about debating to try and get people thinking.

They, the Evangelists, they talk about war.

They talk about battle and all I want is for humans to understand each other, accept each other.

Stop believing in the ultimate truth that doesn't exist.



Maybe what scares me most is that this documentary, Jesus Camp? Doesn't actually scare me. Rationally it does, but it's like I know, I expect this. I feel numb and I shouldn't. It should be revolting.

But I'm even surprised anymore.

Pop song

Jan. 29th, 2007 11:09 pm
greenie_breizh: (snark)
Just to depress y'all a little.

It just scares me how easily you could sing along to that song and look normal.

Whoever preaches hatred like that, towards anyone? I have no respect for you. You don't even deserve to have your opinions respected.
greenie_breizh: (tribute)
Seen first on [livejournal.com profile] fan_elune's LJ :

Julie Banderas VS Phelps matriarch

What sickens me most with people from the Phelps Church is that they will never lose. You can never achieve a perfect nation, so they will always have something to complain about. And since they will never actually rule (thank God), they will always be able to say we got it wrong and they would have gotten it right. How easy and righteous their position is.

And forever, they'll keep on spreading hatred.

But hey, we'll be spreading tolerance and respect right back at them.


And I am totally in love with Julie Banderas.



The... strength and emotion of her reaction, how much it mattered to her, and how she would not let herself be overwhelmed. She had a reply for everything, she knew her Bible by heart and she would not yield or capitulate in any way. And she comes out so much stronger than Phelps by suggesting respect is stronger than hatred.
I just love how intense she was about it. Me thinks we need many, many more people like that. (But WTF is she doing working for FoxNews?)
greenie_breizh: (veronica mars)
Interesting article about Veronica Mars and Buffy over here. Don't forget to read the comments, because they make extremely valid points. The cynicism of VM is actually something I enjoy, but I love Buffy's slightly hopeful outlook too.

This website keeps surprising me. It's called Faith in America and it's meant to fight religious-justified bigotry, basically by saying, the Bible was never meant to condone discrimination. I haven't had a chance to read through all the material, but the ads are pretty striking, to start with. I wonder what kind of impact it will actually have on Christians.

We've been going to the movies. I saw La doublure, which I really liked. Gad Elmaleh is adorable, and both girls were gorgeous. Plus, it actually was funny (not hilarious, but still). Yesterday was Rent, which I felt a bit unsure about because musicals aren't really my thing. I enjoyed it, and I have to admit the music's growing on me (we've been listening to the soundtrack ever since pretty much) though there's usually always one bit of the song that I like a lot less than the rest of it, which is too bad.

What's happening in Rennes (they're blocking the university for another week) is making wonder what's really gonna happen at my university. I should really go see what's happening tomorrow.

Oh, and [livejournal.com profile] littlegothsin - d'you want come to the Nuit Rose next weekend then? :)
greenie_breizh: (political)
An excellent, hilarious, jossian article about the future of TV by Joss Whedon. My favorite bit? Unfound and CSI : Des Moines. Hehe.

Less with the funny, and more with the political : Intelligent Design Flunks in Pennsylvania. In those moments I know there's a reason why I haven't given up on America just yet. Thank Joss for people like Judge Jones, Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall or many, many of the Americans I've had the chance to meet.

Anyway, also expect a post about Le Jeune soon, but maybe friends-only. I should resist the urge to go play the Sims and go read and sleep work a bit on my phonetics.

PS : that song rocks
greenie_breizh: (Default)
First of all a cool link to the whole "Bible condemns Homosexuality (and other minor things)" here.

Then, thank Joss for looking out for me again. Yesterday I received an email saying that there'll be a Senior/Faculty dinner and reception and students should invite faculty. Maybe I just can't read or maybe they weren't very clear, but to me it meant that I was supposed to go to all the teachers I really like and say, 'hey, i'm inviting you, so come!'. So this morning I go to Dr Moore and do just that, and as we keep talking a little I realize I got it wrong and you're only supposed to invite one faculty member because you're actually supposed to *go with* them and not just know they're around, somewhere. This is all very uninteresting for most of you I'm sure but basically my point was : lucky I asked Dr Moore first, because who else? So I'm happy :) :)

Also, watching Manufacturing consent : Noam Chomsky and the media and it just showed a cool quote :

Those who have put out the people's eyes reproach them their blindness. (John Milton, 1642)

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