How to Talk on the Internet (About Race)
Sometimes we on the ol’ Alibi blog (not to mention maybe any blog anywhere) don’t handle discussions pertaining to race (or sexuality, or gender) very well. The answer to this isn’t to stop talking about these things, but rather, to think about appropriate way to enter into and sustain such a conversation.
Jezebel has listed 10 rules for commenting on topics regarding race. I think the most important is number one: it’s not about you personally. Learn to think and respond beyond the realm of your own experience. Certain groups should also really ruminate on the “no whiners” rule.
Somehow, I know that posting something about creating civil discussions will prompt uncivil remarks, so if you need to, have at it. Or maybe you could refine these “rules” for our own piece of webdom.
It’s Earth Day!
And I didn’t get presents for anyone
Let’s all celebrate as the Earth turns 40 this year. Or it’s the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Still not totally clear on that. Will get back to you.
The Earth (Day) was founded by Gaylord Nelson. I know you’re going to be childish about his name, but back at the beginning of the Earth, people had names like Gaylord and Garbagina and Ima Butt and no one thought it was funny, because humor was invented in 1982 and has since then ruined those names. So just grow up, Johnson O’Dong.
Earth Day is very important, for reals, because we are a bunch of freaking buffalo in a china shop except for the fact that we just about killed all the buffalo, which makes the metaphor kind of ironic. What I mean is that we are not good for this place, Earth. If I start thinking about it too much I get depressed and feel bad for living in a house and using a washing machine and wearing clothes and growing flowers and asking my students to print their work because grading papers on a computer gives me a giant headache and so much more. Guilt is exhausting.
So what will I do to mark this day? I really do want to bike commute several days a week, so I’ll get going on that. I also want to grow some of my own veggies. I also think it would be nice if the Earth had an anthem. Maybe a rap. So, I’m going to be pretty busy.
This Blog Is Cool; or, Since the Internet Is Super-Literal--Read This Because It Talks About Hurley From “Lost”
This morning, I was pleased to stumble across Jorge Garcia’s blog (via Jezebel). Jorge Garcia plays Hugo/Hurley on “Lost,” so if you don’t watch the show, you may not care. Which, I just, I mean ... not watch “Lost”? What the hell?
If you started watching it but fell behind and are waiting until it’s over so you can watch it all on DVD, you’re excused. That’s fine; people have shit to do. If you’ve never, ever seen it, well then, you either have terrible taste or are a hippie so let’s just accept that we’ll never have a real relationship anyway. Not owning a TV is not an excuse. It’s 2010. iTunes that to your computer. No computer? Go to the library with a pair of headphones and have at it. Find a way, lazy ass.
But the group I really have a problem with are those who say, “Yeah, like I totally watched it but then it got really confusing. Like, a lot of people were saying things and sometimes in different places, so, I like was all, ohmygod I’m really confused. What time is “The Hills” on?” (I don’t know what “The Hills” is but Devin has talked about it in a way that indicates that it’s stupid. I wouldn’t know because I spend my time watching awesome things.)
I have no time for this group. You make bad TV and politics happen. Goodbye.
Everyone else, though, should check out this blog. Jorge seems super funny, nice and self-depricating. Here he is talking about the perfect way to eat a cupcake.
And my favorite so far (I just started): Dharma Bears invade his home.
He and a friend also have a new “Lost” podcast called Geronimo Jack’s Beard (hilarious). I haven’t listened to it yet because I’m at work and the computer is so finicky, if I ask it to do two things at once it takes a hit out on a close friend. I lost half my softball team before I figured out the connection.
Lady Porn Poll
What is lady porn? That’s subjective. Male porn is easy to identify--I won’t go into it. I was raised with a healthy fear of saying certain wenis-y type words. But Lady Porn is more difficult to pin. Sometimes, it’s a man on a horse. Other times, it’s a husband made of brownies.
Today we pit two candidates from different demographics (stages of being clothed) against each other to determine Who Is the Most Best in Terms of Lady Porn (I’m working on the name).
(Disclaimer: Not all ladies love men, and not all who love men are ladies. This is not intended to be heteronormative or exclusionary. The great thing about Lady Porn is that everyone can participate. Get gay grandma in on this!)
Vote for your favorite in the comments and please explain why you’ve chosen that particular person with a brain we’re not objectifying.
This Week in Ladies: Tina Fey on SNL
Last night I was at a BBQ at a friend’s house when a new acquaintance said, “God, who watches ‘Saturday Night Live’ anymore?” Answer: people who do not go out on Saturday nights past 10:30 because that’s really late and there’s early morning gardening and muffin-making to do. Answer: me.
Anyway, Tina Fey was the host of SNL this weekend. She is, obviously, super. Her superness has become so well known that if you are a white lady aged 19-50 who wears glasses and has half a brain that you use to talk about dumb shit you hate, someone is gonna call you Tina Fey, even if you’ve had this schtick for years before she was on t.v. but whatever.
Exhibit A: “Brownie Husband.” Reinforcing or making fun of stereotypes about single women in their thirties? My vote? The latter. Also, really hilarious.
Exhibit B: Fey calling Bombshell McGee a slut on Weekend Update. My vote? Not great for feminism. She goes after an admittedly slutty woman but leaves the uber-slut dude Jesse James alone, underscoring the old belief that men are going to cheat only if slutty women make them.
Here’s the discussion thread on Feministe.
Sassy Gay Friend
Sassy gay friends. If stereotypes are to be believed (so much easier than thinking!), gay friends will never let you wear something that makes your butt look big. This serious look at the phenomenon of straight lady/gay guy relationships asks, “What if Ophelia had a sassy gay friend?”
See more at The Second City Network.
Stuff in My Desk
To the left, we have a bottle of Move Free Advanced, which is glucosimine for my joints. This, along with the the bottle of vitamin C, was given to me by my mother. Thanks, ma! A wee (and much used) jar o’ ibuprofen, some smelly glittery lotion my students gave to me as part of a wedding gift two years ago, dried cranberries, a Luna bar (for my lady parts) and assorted things I find on the floor and put in my desk.
Arts? I Got Your Arts Right Here, You Bastard
What the hell are you going to do this weekend? It’s windy as crap out there, so hiking in the foothills is out (also, stabbings). Go see some damn art, then. In my vast experience, it’s nowhere near as dreadful as you may think. One time, I had fun.
Bless Me, Ultima at The Vortex Theatre
The Lion in Winter at the Adobe Theater
See what other productions are happening at the Albuquerque Theatre Guild website.
Polish up your nodes and head over to the Old Town’s Roasted Bean Cafe (1919 Old Town Rd) tonight for Opera and Broadway Open Mic night. Tango band to follow. What?!
On Saturday, St. John’s Methodist Church hosts Jazz Vespers, an informal worship service feature Burque’s best musicians. This sounds weird. I like it. Starts at 5 p.m. Here’s their website.
Check out our arts calendar for more. We worked so hard on it.
Women and Creativity: It’s the Real March Madness
Women’s History Month is almost over, but there are still a few events you can check out as part of Women and Creativity, the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s ambitious month-long showcase of females who do things.
Tonight, go to 9 for 5: Nine Albuquerque Poets at the NHCC Domenici Education Center. It starts at 7 p.m. and is free.
On Saturday, March 27, Explora! (1701 Mountain NW) presents Elizabeth Blackwell—Courage to be First, a play that looks at the life of the first female American doctor. Bad ass. Shows are at 1 and 3 p.m. and are free with admission.
Also on Saturday, 516 ARTS (516 Central SW) invites you to 516 WORDS, presented in conjunction with its current Form & Function exhibit. The reading features Lauren Camp, Jasmine Cuffee, Jamie Figueroa and Valerie Martinez. It all begins at 8 p.m. and costs you zero dollars.
This Oprah-Approved Book I Just Read
This week’s book comes from my attempt to read the books I own but have not read, which I’m estimating to be 12% of the total. Books that I begin and can’t get past page 50 are going to some sort of charity that keeps people who have poor literary tastes supplied. Books I finish will fall into two categories: 1.) Keep, because who knows when I’ll need to use a quote from it in an acceptance speech / book epigraph / ransom demand and 2.) Sell on the lucrative paperback black market.
The book in question is Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees which I read last week one afternoon when it was hot and I wanted to sit outside and read something that wouldn’t give me too many “thinking lines” on my forehead. My friend gave me this book two years ago before she moved. She also made me take a mini-vacuum that works in reverse and is for bullshit! The Secret Life of Bees came out in 2003, one of Oprah’s minions read it, and then America went apeshit for it.
It’s a heartwarming tale set in the South about women. Yes, that sounds exactly like 1,400 other books Oprah has approved. What makes this different? Bee metaphors. Rampant, uncontrollable, allergy inducing bee metaphors. Also, black people.
Set in 1964, the 14-year-old white protagonist, Lily, takes off with her black housekeeper, Rosaleen because of civil rights and mean dads and things. This isn’t to belittle the significance of the events in the ‘60s South, but more just to say that any discussion of the protests, voter registrations and arrests feels more like a plot device than a genuine exploration.
This wasn’t a totally horrible book. I liked some aspects, some descriptions, and the Black Madonna (I don’t have the energy to describe what this is). However, I thought the main character was largely uninteresting and derivative, while the others ranged from two-dimensional to unbelievable.
Tons of people loved this book. Like your mom. And your mom is a good person, and let’s face it, she’s read way worse stuff. So, where do I put this on my “Ladies Who Like Books and Are Ladies” scale? Let’s take a look at that scale:
1 (low): Eeek! A spider! Smash it!
2: I’ll go camping if you force me, but I’ll make a crinkly face.
3: Close eyes, think of England.
4: Well, just one more doughnut won’t hurt
5 (high): Scribble its last name after my first name on rose-scented paper
The Secret Life of Bees gets ... a ... 3!