Archive for January, 2008

28
Jan
08

Is there an Echo in here?

For the record, Echo, I would not walk past you. Come to mama.

28
Jan
08

Wrong on So Many Levels?

My apologies for the short/lagging posts. Start of the semester ya’know.

24
Jan
08

What this ad is really saying: Episode 3 (No F*&#ing comment!)

22
Jan
08

Blogging for Choice: 35 Years of Roe v. Wade

Roe turned 35 today. Will it make it to 50? 75? I can only hope so. In honor of the 35th anniversary of the decision a number of bloggers joined NARAL’s Blogging for Choice campaign. The assignment was simple: blog about why voting Pro-Choice is important to you.

First of all, I wish that so many things in life were not presented in binary terms. If one is pro-choice then they can’t be pro-life, you’re either with us or against us — you get the idea. It is a classic rhetorical trick and one that was exemplified to a disturbing degree in the last presidential election (Kerry questioned some policies and therefore was a flip-flopper). What I REALLY hate about it is that it forces an often uneducated choice about an issue and doesn’t allow for any sort of reflection or reconsideration of the issues. Critical reflection and the freedom to change one’s mind is integral to civic responsibility, in my opinion. But that’s not the point of this post. The point is to talk about why I’m pro-choice.

The answer is really fairly simple: I believe in having control over your body and what takes place within it. Bottom line.

An entire literature about the experience of embodiment exists, from experiences of performances (acting, singing) to experiences of emotion (happiness, rage), to experiences of disease (cancer, injury), to experiences of body modification (tattooing, piercing). In terms of the former, the occurrences within one’s body are considered paramount to identity. The way we view and understand our bodies is integral and inseparable from how we understand our self and our position in society. When we experience an injury or disease to our body we are often forced to face our own mortality or learn to understand our body and it’s strengths/limitations in new ways. For the latter, body modification has often been seen as a resistance movement or a reclaiming of one’s body against some form of oppression. The power to exert change on the body is perhaps the greatest and most central (in terms of the self) power of all.

Thus, a woman’s power to control what occurs in her body is, to me, central to her own understanding of her self and her way of positioning herself in society. The changes that occur in her body during pregnancy are not fleeting, the emotional experience does not disappear after nine months, the responsibility of a life (if she so chooses) continues indefinitely. For all of these reasons (and many more) it should not be in the power of anyone else to EVER make that decision for her. It is her body, it should be her decision.

In high school government class I remember my instructor saying that so much of our understanding of rights comes down to a simple phrase: “your rights end where mine begin.” I think that applies to this issue. You have the right to free speech, the right to protest against abortion, the right to vote for whichever candidate you want, the right to assemble, etc. But I have the right to make decisions about my body. And your rights (to stop me) end where my right (to retain the power) begin.

That’s my philosophical argument. But I also vote pro-choice because of the following terrifying examples of men who will NEVER understand what it means to be a woman, what it means to run the risk of getting pregnant, what it means to weight career options and timing in terms of having children, what it means to bleed every month. I don’t expect them to TRULY understand, how could they? But I do expect them to trust me, or at least respect me, enough to allow me to retain control over the one thing in life that I can call mine, no matter what: my body.

(Note: All of the clips below can be found on Media Matters, you can also click the image to follow the link to the full story)

Lest I give too much space on my blog to terrifyingly ignorant conservative men, the following images are from one kick-ass woman who understands how women’s bodies are treated in America:


And FINALLY, I’m pro-choice because I’m not naive enough to think that making abortion illegal will actually prevent abortions from occurring. Instead, my fear is that restricting abortion will disproportionately effect young women and women in lower socioeconomic positions who do not have the social supports or social/fiscal capital that will allow them to receive the adequate, informative, and caring attention they need.

Restriction out of fear and ignorance will get us no where and will do more to harm the women who need care the most. Educating young women and men about responsible sexual practices will do far more to prevent unintended pregnancy and ultimately limit the amount of women who must face this difficult decision.

20
Jan
08

Who Knew?

My new favorite site:

17
Jan
08

Time to PLUG-in

Voting is open for the annual PLUG awards. These awards honor artists in the independent music community, and fans worldwide are eligible to vote. The culminating event is a big show featuring some of the bands in NYC (I’m anxiously awaiting the announcement), and they also do smaller shows across the country. Follow this link to cast your votes! (I particularly appreciate the separate categories of “general” and “obsessive.”)

Relatedly, all of this makes me think of the recent articles from Wired magazine about the music industry. One, written by David Byrne, investigates how the industry is changing with the advancement of the internet and digital technologies. It also looks at the varieties of artist/label contract variations and their limits on creativity — with an important note as to how these limits can be impacted when technology changes. The second article consists of Byrne interviewing Thom Yorke about Radiohead’s legendary (and widely successful?) internet release of their latest album, In Rainbows. Byrne and Yorke discuss the trade-offs of their decision as well as how they were uniquely positioned as a band to make such a drastic move.

Reading these articles, frequenting communities like Hype Machine, listening to KEXP, watching friends’ shows, and obsessing over Pitchfork all has me feeling relatively peachy about the state of independent music. I’ve been mulling over this post for a long time, and trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to say. The bottom line is that I know there are a lot of curmudgeons out there who are lamenting the doom of the music industry and the lackluster performance of some of their favorite artists in 2007. But I think Byrne’s articles, and the quickly growing (and fanatically obsessive) online independent music community is a breath of fresh air. I’ve been exposed to more artists in the past year and a half than ever before, and it has been exhilarating. I occasionally get concerned that I pay too much attention to singles and not enough on the art-form of the album. But one of my (many) new year’s resolutions is to focus more on albums, and I’ve started this year with a little iTunes and emusic shopping (Kate Nash, New Pornographers, Jens Lekman, and St. Vincent — all simply fantastic purchases).

So, thanks, PLUG, and every other online community/website/forum devoted to spreading the gospel that is good independent music. You made me that much more giddy that when unpacking my new stereo I contemplated whether it was even necessary to plug in that FM antenna.

16
Jan
08

Leave Scrabulous Alone, Bitches!

Update: There are a number of “Save Scrabulous” Facebook Groups that you can join. Try this one…or these.

Oh my sweet goodness, I am just beside myself with fear over the fate of my newly beloved past time. I’ve currently got 12 active games going, I’ve won 7, lost 4, I track my stats, I watch my rank go up and down, I struggle for the ever elusive Bingo…I’m in LOVE! Don’t take it away from me!

Hasbro, those megalomaniacal gamers (ahem, BOARD gamers) have sent letters to facebook asking them to remove Scrabulous because it infringes upon their copyright.

NOOOOOOO!!! Please don’t take it away. Please Please Please. C’mon yo, it’s free advertising, and is probably getting more people into Scrabble than ever before. In my 22 games alone I’ve learned a new appreciation for the art of scrabble and have even considered purchasing a fancy schmancy wooden version of the original to have at home (you know, when JPR and I aren’t playing on separate computers 5 feet apart from one another). But seriously…people are excited…excited about WORDS!

WORDS! Aren’t we all lamenting about the downfall of a society constantly inundated with preggers celebs and exposed va-jay-jays?

C’mon Hasbro…for the betterment of humankind, get off it.




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