greenie_breizh: (quote)
I've been accumulating links in my tabs again, so it's time to share. :) But first, since I'm going to re-post a bunch of links that [ profile] zombie_process posted, I'd like to direct you to the original post first.

First up - public employees!
- A Letter to Scott Walker from a Wisconsin Teacher, which touches upon tons of really good points and issues that have been raised since Wisconsion public employees started protesting. On this topic, I have been watching this whole thing unfold mostly through the eyes of my facebook friends (someone reposted this excellent note, for example), Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, and the anti-teacher rhetoric is pissing me off. I just do not understand people who can't see the massive amount of work, dedication and energy that teaching (at ANY level) requires. More broadly, anti-public-employee rhetoric in general baffles me, but the anti-teacher stuff is particularly angering.

Always good - gender and race stuff!
- My son, the pink boy. It's both a reflection on raising a gender nonnormative boy and a rant against recent advice that Dr. Phil gave to a mom regarding her own gender nonnormative boy.
"Who's confused? My son knows exactly what he likes. When Sam was 4 and his male peers trick-or-treated as Batman and Spiderman and gorillas, Sam was a princess. At 5, he was a queen, regal and proud and full of the royal prowess that Disney offers all little girls. He liked feather boas and lip gloss and dancing. Did he think he was a girl? Nope. Was he confused about being a boy? Nope. Did he need to be taught what boys are supposed to like? Nope -- how boys are supposed to behave was abundantly clear from the trains and trucks we bought him before we realized he was a pink boy, the behavior of all the boys he knew, the messages on TV, and the judgments of all the Random Moms. He just liked what he liked, the way other kids did -- only his likes were different."

- Tomboy [article in French, video in French with English subtitle]An article and trailer/interview for what looks like is going to be a really fascinating movie about a girl taking on a boy identity for a summer. I can't wait to see it. I was a little uncomfortable about the director bringing in the notion of lying into it, but I like the way that the movie seems to approach the whole thing, from the perspective of the child's lived experience rather than trying to make a statement.

- A Bitch magazine article on race and this year's Oscars, in particular the (bland) tribute to Lena Horne. The author ends with a note that really strikes a chord:
"Lately, I’ve been reading how history has sanitized Rosa Parks by characterizing her as a sweet, apolitical lady who just happened to be too tired to give up her bus seat one day. In reality, Parks was a dedicated social activist prior to her arrest. She joined the civil rights movement, in part, to end sexual violence against black women. I’d hate to see history sanitize Lena Horne in the same way. Unfortunately, that prospect seemed likely during last night's ceremonies."

- A Salon article expressing disappointment about Natalie Portman would say on Sunday night that motherhood is 'the greatest role of her life'. Motherhood is one of those difficult topics, where it's hard to walk the line between embracing motherhood, respecting women who make the choice to be moms full-time, and still acknowledging that the concept of motherhood comes with very heavy string attached in our society. The problem (to me) is not that motherhood is necessarily problematic and oppressive, it's the way that people essentialize the experience and conflate it with 'real' womanhood. In short, when we continue to see and interpret motherhood as being the ultimate fulfillment in a woman's life that (1) tends to dismiss fatherhood, and reinforce the idea that it is less central to a man's life and (2) lessens the choices and lives of women who don't want to be mothers, or even just don't want to prioritize family above all else.

- Anyway, so I wanted to link to this other article which fronws upon the tendency in feminist-oriented circles to frown upon motherhood, and it's funny because I just don't see these two articles as fundamentally contradictory, in the end. (As a sidenote, I believe the author for this article is in a same-sex relationship, which very much can change how the dyanmics of motherhood play out.) I don't know. I want to believe there has to be a place for recognizing gendered dynamics and lamenting them, without necessarily throwing under the bus everything that's been traditionally considered feminine and womanly. In short, I want to be able to say motherhood as we understand it is problematic, without necessarily judging women who want to be mothers and want to prioritize this aspect of their life. Maybe I'm hoping for too much.

- Sort of in the same vein, but wildly more depressing, this article which responds to suggestions that Laura Logan (an American reporter who got assaulted while reporting from Egypt) should not have been sent to the field in the first place. Great great piece, both about the gendered and racialized aspects of this story.

And a miscellaneous link to finish.
- Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names. It's, obviously, not just about names and programmers, but actually highlights assumptions that people make constantly, and not just about names, when you think about it. Anyway, this whole post resonates with me because my first name (of French origin) contains two accents but my Canadian university (reminder: Canada is officially a English-French bilingual country) still can't handle it and replaces the characters with ? whenever I log in, and in my university email. Super professional, let me tell you.
greenie_breizh: (political)
I don't even know where to start with what's been happening with public workers (especially teachers) in Wisconsin and other places (especially Ohio) in the United States lately, or with the unrelenting attacks by conservatives on Planned Parenthood and issues relating to women's health. I can't even link to that many articles because I've been almost avoiding reading too much about these issues because they make me so profoundly angry, frustrated and disappointed. But if you are interested in reading more, I can at least recommend this piece by Diane Ravitch on teachers in Wisconsin, and this piece by Rebecca Traister on cuts to Planned Parenthood. (This is also a helpful overview of the responses from pundits to the cuts over at Salon.) If you are in the U.S., I would also urge you to sign this Open Letter to Congress on behalf of Planned Parenthood, and to consider donating to them.

If I get started on all the implications of this conservative push, I will never stop, and I have other things to get to today, so I won't start. I will just say that these moments of U.S. history are the exact reason I do not admire the country and despise its tendency to think of itself as the Best Country of All Times; these moments also make me so, so glad I ended up not attending grad school in the U.S., because I hate the thought that the decision would have been read as, 'one more person really wants to move here because we're awesome!'. Canada is far from perfect, and France regularly does its share to make me ashamed they delivered me my passeport, too (and France also has a tendency to think of itselfsuper highly, which doesn't help). But this kind of bullshit reminds me of just how awful the rhetoric gets in the United States; it's so bad (and maybe more importantly, it's given so much visibility and credence) that it almost feels like a parody of what you can hear elsewhere in politics. Ugh ugh ugh. I wish I could hope that it's going to 'get better', but I feel like there's actually very little to indicate that it will. And the saddest thing, to me, as a French citizen, and as someone who may well end up a Canadian citizen? Both these governments think that emulating the U.S. blindly is a GREAT idea.

So anyway, as usual, this has ended up as more of a rant than I was hoping. >.> The worst part is I know I shouldn't even care or whatever, but I feel so angry and tired and disappointed on behalf of all of my awesome American friends who deserve better than this crap.

To finish on a more positive note, President Obama and his administration are apparently continuing to grow a spine! : the Justice Department will no longer defend DOMA against lawsuits challenging it as unconstitutional. This is great news, although with limited effects for now, obviously; but considering court cases challenging the constitutionality of DOMA are making their way through the court system right now, it's a huge step forward. It also sends a strong message in favor of marriage equality, which is also very important.

EDIT: I also recommend this Tiger Beatdown article by "Grizzili Fetus". Funny in that way that doesn't make you laugh really, because it's too right on target.
greenie_breizh: (joss is boss)
I have papers to grade and a paper to edit before I leave next week and I have two hours of free time but of course I can't do any of it because I don't have anything with me on campus. I shall thus share a bunch of links.


A Joss interview. In my theory class we've been talking about the Holocaust/Shoah and the banality of evil, or rather the fact that it is very easy for average people to commit atrocities, so this part of the interview really resonated with me.

Q: And it's a similar idea of these mysterious people who seem very normal and slick, but are they ... evil?

A: Yeah. And we get to confront them with the consequences of what they do, and learn more about why they do what they do. Because very few people are entirely evil. I know it's hard to believe that after the last eight years of government in this country, but everybody has two sides, and I believe that not only are people often less or more righteous than they understand, but they often don't know what part of them is actually the good part. And a lot of the things that we prize in America might not actually be useful traits, and a lot of the things we vilify, to me, are not necessarily harmful, and that's something that's been in my work from the start.


Gorgeous photos by David Strick of the Dollhouse set. Can you believe the show's actually starting tomorrow? We've been talking about it for so long it's hard to believe.


Dan Savage's entry about his mom's death.I love at the end:
But I'm practical, like Mom, and I'd hate to see perfectly good tickets to a national tour of a hit Broadway musical go to waste. And it occurs to me that there has to be a teenage boy out there—in Chicago or close enough—who likes musicals and has a mother who loves him for the little musical-theater queen that he is. If you know that boy or you are that boy or you were that boy a decade ago or if you're that boy's mother or grandmother, send me an e-mail and I'll arrange to get these tickets to you.


What Teachers Make by Taylor Mali. It's a little simplistic and idealistic for a lot of reason, but I still like the overall message.


Speaking of, so I've finally seen Entre les murs (The Class) and it was amazing how much it felt familiar, like home, even though my own high school was nothing like that. I've personally encountered the attitudes we see in the movie from students during workshops a lot, and that's part of why I loved doing it so much, but still. It's not a whole lot of experience. Still, it spoke to me - made me frustrated and happy and it made me laugh while at the same time there's something so sad about it.

I'm going to buy the DVD - there's a lot of stuff in there that I want to pay closer attention to, about French education and the relationship between the teacher and his students, especially. I was surprised that I'd heard people mention the "gay incident" because it's so short and insignificant. The teacher addresses nothing. And I heard 'fag' said at other moments in the movie and no one, certainly not the teacher, picks up on it. So I'd gotten the impression before from other people that homophobia was poked at in the movie but to me it was more striking in terms of what is not done about it.

I'd be curious to read more about it - I know it's a mix of fiction and reality, anyone knows of a link that goes into detail about that?
greenie_breizh: (gay)
Joss goodness (though that's a bit redondant). *cuddles him*

In other Joss-related news, Nathan is going to be a guest-star on Lost! I can't wait!! We need to see the Firefly boys and girls in more things, seriously.

And hmmm. Pretty Mal/Simon fanart.

Things are moving ahead with the MAG. I met up with a nurse and a deputy headmaster this afternoon. Who were totally convinced to go ahead and plan debates thanks to my enthusiasm and oratory skills (*snorts*), but that also means I set them up for something really good and now if we screw up, we're gonna look kinda ridiculous. Oh well.

Also... look! It's me! It's also an article about homophobia, but who cares about that really. And I'm pleased with that one - not that it's extraordinarily good or anything, but at least it doesn't make us sound too ridiculous.

My Spanish teacher is on drugs. Except not really. (Well actually yes really because she's sick and is taking antibiotics right now, but... y'know.) But she's so hyper and bouncing around and so cute, seriously. I wanna bring a camera to class and take pictures as she rants, but I'm pretty sure people would look at me weird.
greenie_breizh: (trees)
Wheeeee!! It's amazing how great everything's been going for the past 2 weeks. Today was exciting more than sad, even though I supposed it kind of should have been, since it was the last day of classes. I guess it's because I wasn't really seeing anyone for the last time as hopefully I'll see all my teachers at the faculty dinner next week. Dr Moore was so nice to me... awww. Okay, she's on the list of guest to my Perfect Dinner now. She'll get the conversation on philosophical grounds, which is always awesome. I should have that dinner soon, cuz otherwise it'll end up being a banquet.

Got the yearbook today, sooo exciting!! My first and last yearbook ever! I'm pathetic being excited about it! It looks really cool, too, and it's HUGE. Seriously, it's as big as my huge French-English dictionary. But the cover looks awesome and the inside-I-probably-won't-have-time-to-read-till-I'm-back-to-Europe looks really sweet, too. Aww how much I wish I had that with my real "high school" friends, aka the BR crowd. I think even with my actual high school anglomates, it would have been super cool. Oh well. I'm happy about this one, big time! And I have a joey on my shoulder on my picture! Whee!!! I can't wait for everybody in France to see it. I wanna hug everybody.

I was running around a lot today. Got Ellen's book on audio from the library (I love the library, I should have spend more time there. I should have gotten my room in the library.) and it's really cool because I can empty the content of my drawers on my floor and laugh at the same time! Revolutionary!

Then had a really nice time talking to a teacher who's retiring about coming back here to be a teaching fellow. It just sounded so great and awesome and everything and I almost wanted to do it next year. Whiiiiz.

And just now had the best time with Ellen's show. God that woman is so funny and beautiful and amazing. She's definitely great on TV. I mean her books are good, but she's *hilarious* on TV. She has facial nexpression and a way to move around that are just great. I love her. And her talkshow doesn't rely on saying mean things about anyone and the guests seem to be having fun (and I know they're actors but still) and she seems such a nice person (who actually goes and offers her water bottle to someone in the audience who seems to be choking? isn't that awesome?!)... Wheee!!!

And now had the best time re-watching The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love with Hailey. Wheee! And tomorrow, Boston if everything goes well! Cool!!

Who cares about a messy messy room in those circumstances? Clearly not me ;)

Note to self : spend 5 mns on History exam at some point, though last paper seemed to send message that less work is better grade. Also, mount mount pics!
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)
greenie_breizh: (upbeat)
Life is a funny thing. Or just a rollercoaster I guess.

I had a wonderful conversation with Dr Moore this morning. She's just amazing, I mean - yeah. Amazing. Then my Netflix movies got here, which is very exciting, and the first one looks like it's going to be cute. (Love, notice my plain use of the adjective?) And also I got a postcard from my family which was really nice. And then I got some of my history paper done. And then, O Miracle, the eps Yod sent me FINALLY got here!!!!! After what, a month? So anyway. It's all very bad for my focusing on work, but it cheered me up.

Should probably go back to my paper and then my full evening - club meetings, photo lab, all that fun stuff.

Now if only I could put that icon into practice...


greenie_breizh: (Default)

November 2011

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