Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

I love Facebook fights. <_<

February 28, 2011

A friend of mine, generally open-minded and accepting, recently posted the Yahoo! Finance article “Ways Your Appearance Affects Your Paycheck” on his page. The article begins with the incredibly privileged statement, “How successful you become is mostly up to you. Success also depends on how you’re perceived by others. Numerous studies have shown looks can impact career advancement,” and then lists several qualities that will “earn” you a higher salary, including symmetrical features, the “right” height and weight, an “appropriate” degree of attractiveness, and so on. Cue Facebook Fight.

Me: “This is disgusting.

Me: “And the use of that picture in conjunction with this article is hilariously sad, because it’s from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Which, skewed as it is by capitalism, is still a call to value the beauty of real people instead of holding them to standards of perfection that are not only impossible to reach (or maintain), but offensive (often racist), as well.

Friend: “I didn’t think it was THAT bad. It doesn’t explicitly say, ‘If you’re prettier you get a raise.’ In fact, it even says if you’re ‘TOO pretty’ it can actually be bad. It just gives tips on what to wear and how to present yourself, and it’s not something that everyone can’t do. Like no beards, or smile, or don’t be overweight.”

Me: “‘Skinny women.’ That right there’s actually a huge chunk of what’s wrong with it. Not everyone can (or should) be the same weight. It’s not like there’s one ideal weight for everyone. This article isn’t just about presenting oneself professionally, it’s about how people with symmetrical features or the “right” body type, and also people who conform to society’s gender and sexual expectations, are more highly-paid than those who don’t measure up in terms of physical appearance and those who aren’t interested in altering their appearance, quite literally, for the Man. If two women hold the same job, should the femme one have a higher salary than the butch one? Why is salary based on appearance and personal expression? It should be about skills, qualifications, talent.”

Friend: “I do agree about the skinny women thing and I don’t think everyone should be skinny, but I do think everyone should be healthy. And I’m all for equality and self expression and individuality, and I think it’s sad that more of our society isn’t, but I think it’s on it’s [sic] way. 100 years ago, women and people of alternative ethnic backgrounds couldn’t hold the same positions as white men did. Look how much things have changed since then, our president is black (my lambo is blue), we have female senators, CEOs, etc. I think the same thing is about to happen for people with alternative sexual orientations. They just take time though.”

Me: “I want people to be healthy too. Especially the people I love. So. Is an unhealthy weight grounds for paying someone less money than a person with the same job description but a healthier weight for their body type? (And that can only be determined by a doctor, contrary to popular opinion. Not everyone who’s considered “overweight” actually is.) Is it an employer’s job to regulate the weight of their employees? Or their health? If that’s the case, what about all the people with other health issues–cancer, diabetes, pregnancy, depression, etc.? You’re right, we’ve come a long way, but there’s still much room for improvement. There are still glass ceilings that haven’t been shattered. Women can head powerful corporations, but women as a whole still earn 77 cents to a man’s dollar. If you live in the right state, you might be able to elect queer politicians, but queer kids are still being bullied to death, literally, and much of mainstream pop culture does nothing but drive home the point that people who are different are wrong. Part of the process toward social progress is fighting the harmful things we find in our culture. There WON’T be progress without teenage lesbians suing their schools for the right to wear tuxedos to prom, people refusing to participate in a system that bases worth on physical appearance over innate qualities, etc.”

THE END, he didn’t want to play anymore. v_v



September 25, 2010

Maggie Gallagher Meets St. Peter

September 1, 2010

Not that kind.


January 11, 2010

Without further ado, let me hasten you to this video, which I freely admit is my new instant favorite. I’m not kidding. Ladies and gents, I give you “White Man” by the Michael Gungor Band*!

*Except now they’re changing their name to Gungor.

Actually yes, this is offensive. Only without the quotation marks.

December 23, 2009

[via, originally from the Boortz Blast…can you tell?]

No, I didn’t write this. I wish I did. Because it’s the painful truth. And you know how much I love to stir the puddin’. This list was actually forwarded to me from a friend of mine…Ain’t this the truth? -Neal Boortz

1. If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

2. If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

3. If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
If a liberal sees a foreign threat, he wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

4. If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

5. If a person of color is conservative, he sees himself as independently successful.
If a person of color is liberal, he sees himself as a victim in need of government protection

6. If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
If a liberal is down-and-out, he wonders who is going to take care of him.

7. If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
If a liberal doesn’t like a talk show host, he demands that those he doesn’t like be shut down.

8. If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
If a liberal is a non-believer, he wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it’s a foreign religion, of course!)

9. If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
If a liberal decides he needs health care, he demands that the rest of us pay for his.

10. If a conservative slips and falls in a store, he gets up, laughs, and is embarrassed.
If a liberal slips and falls, he grabs his neck, moans like he’s in labor and then sues.

11. If a conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
If a liberal reads this, he’ll delete it because he’s “offended”.

Me again, your lovely ship’s Cap’n. I’ve taken the liberty of numbering these little laugh riots for easy reference. Here’s a short list of things I find offensive (sans quotation marks) about this friendly piece of spam…

-The use of male pronouns when referring to hypothetical people of any gender
-The implication that all conservatives are quiet, respectful and polite, and all liberals are rude, conniving bitches
-The implication that all conservatives have sensible, measured reactions to everyday events, while all liberals take everything to the extreme and make mountains out of molehills
-The implication that the conservative mindset is obviously superior to the liberal mindset
-The implication that all conservatives want is the freedom to live their life the way they want to, and all liberals want is the freedom to control everyone else’s lives for them
-The implication that people from other nations who disagree with us or don’t like us are therefore our “enemies” and should be dealt with accordingly…because the US must (and deserves to!) rule the roost
-The further implication that, since conservatism should be the default ideology and liberal the aberrant, liberal people are actually enemies of the US themselves and should also be dealt with accordingly (How dare you  not hate foreign people! Prepare to defend yourselves!)
-The implication that non-heteronormative people don’t deserve equal rights, they should be grateful for whatever scraps we throw them because as we all know, human rights don’t really exist. We should start using the term “human privileges”
-The implication that all people of color need to do to really be equal is vote Republican
-The implication that voting Republican is the roadmap to success for everyone, while voting Democrat is the road to hell
-The implication that conservatives love hard work and would work hard all day for free (unless, that is, you were giving their salary to someone else…) and liberals are lazy bums who watch television all day and can’t be bothered to get a job
-The implication that only conservative people have brains, and only liberal people can be leeches
-The implication that it’s always within a person’s grasp to lift themselves out of poverty, and therefore the poverty that still exists is evidence of some kind of moral failing
-The implication that it’s easy to find work…if one is lacking money, one simply needs to choose at leisure one of multitudes of available jobs
-The implication that all conservative people possess level heads, always remain calm, never lose their temper when faced with someone of an opposing political persuasion, while all liberals want to banish their opponents…from Planet Earth
-The implication that the only legitimate religion in the US is Christianity and all other religions are “foreign religions”
-The implication that adherents to said “foreign religions” should be content to see their religious freedoms and protections legislated away while we write Christianity into the Constitution and enforce it as the national religion
-The implication that being a Christian is somehow the same as being a patriotic American…God and the US of course are working toward the same goals! All the time!
-The implication that health care is neither a necessity nor a right that belongs to all of us as humans, but rather an exclusive luxury available only to those with big enough wallets, and that’s the way it should be
-The further implication that since health care isn’t a human right, we, the wealthy West, have no obligation to do anything about world crises (for example, AIDS)
-The implication that this whole email forward is hilarious and anyone who doesn’t think so is a lamo idiot who deserves to be put under house arrest so the rest of us don’t have to look at his or her ugly face anymore
-The implication that this whole email forward is true
-The unfortunate divisions and stereotypes this email forward does nothing but reinforce. It’s not us vs. them, blue vs. red. Or it shouldn’t be. And you wonder why we can’t accomplish anything?

It’s a hammer of justice, it’s a bell of freedom.

September 17, 2009

Jen Nedeau of says:

“This just in–Mary Travers–of Peter, Paul & Mary has passed away tonight. We don’t talk that much on about how women can bring truth to the female experience through their music, but Mary Travers was definitely one of those women who could translate the needs and wants of women through her voice and spirit.

“I grew up in San Francisco. I listened to the music of the ’60s in order to understand what came before me in the neighborhood I grew up in–the Haight-Ashbury. The death of Mary Travers reminds me again of how much time has passed since that revolutionary era and makes me yearn for the next cultural uprising to come–one that includes music, politics, and a desire for peaceful change.”


September 16, 2009

That was literally my (audible! My dad, who’s across the house, asked me what’s wrong) reaction to this sad piece of news:

Mary Travers, a Member of Peter, Paul and Mary, Has Died at 72

Mary Travers, whose ringing, earnest vocals with the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary made songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” enduring anthems of the 1960s protest movement, died on Wednesday at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut. She was 72 and lived in Redding, Conn.

The cause was cancer, said Heather Lylis, a spokeswoman.

Ms. Travers brought a powerful voice and an unfeigned urgency to music that resonated with mainstream listeners. With her straight blond hair and willowy figure and two bearded guitar players by her side, she looked exactly like what she was, a Greenwich Villager straight from the clubs and the coffee houses that nourished the folk-music revival.

“She was obviously the sex appeal of that group, and that group was the sex appeal of the movement,” said Elijah Wald, a folk-blues musician and a historian of popular music.

Ms. Travers’s voice blended seamlessly with those of her two colleagues, Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey, to create a rich three-part harmony that propelled the group to the top of the pop charts. Their first album, “Peter, Paul and Mary,” which featured the hit singles “Lemon Tree” and “If I Had a Hammer,” reached No. 1 shortly after its release in March 1962 and stayed there for seven weeks, eventually selling more than two million copies.

The group’s interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” translated his raw vocal style into a smooth, more commercially acceptable sound. They also scored big hits with pleasing songs like the whimsical “Puff the Magic Dragon” and John Denver’s plaintive “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”

Their sound may have been commercial and safe, but early on, their politics were somewhat risky for a group courting a mass audience. Like Mr. Yarrow and Mr. Stookey, Ms. Travers was outspoken in her support for the civil rights and antiwar movements, in sharp contrast to clean-cut folk groups like the Kingston Trio, which avoided making political statements.

“There was a real possibility that we would lose the entire Southern market over the issue,” Ms. Travers told Robbie Woliver, the author of “Hoot!: A Twenty-Five Year History of the Greenwich village Music Scene,” an oral history. “But we felt that the issue was more important than the Southern market.”

Peter, Paul and Mary went on to perform at the 1963 March on Washington and joined the voting-rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965.

Over the years they performed frequently at political rallies and demonstrations in the United States and abroad. After the group disbanded, in 1970, Ms. Travers continued to perform at political events around the world as she pursued a solo career.

“They made folk music not just palatable but accessible to a mass audience,” David Hajdu, the author of “Positively Fourth Street,” a book about Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and their circle, said in an interview. Ms. Travers, he added, was critical to the group’s image, which had a lot to do with their appeal. “She had a kind of sexual confidence combined with intelligence, edginess and social consciousness–a potent combination,” he said. “If you look at clips of their performances, the camera fixates on her. The act was all about Mary.”

Mary Allin Travers was born Nov. 9, 1936 in Louisville, Ky. When she was 2 years old, her parents, both journalists, moved to New York. Almost unique among the folk musicians who emerged from the Greenwich Village scene in the early 1960s, Ms. Travers actually came from the neighborhood. She attended progressive private schools there, studied singing with the renowned music teacher Charity Bailey while still in kindergarten and became part of the folk-music revival as it took shape around her.

“I was raised on Josh White, the Weavers and Pete Seeger,” Ms. Travers told The New York Times in 1994. “The music was everywhere. You’d go to a party at somebody’s apartment and there would be 50 people there, singing well into the night.”

While at Elisabeth Irwin High School, she joined the Song Swappers, which sang backup for Mr. Seeger when the Folkways label reissued a collection of union songs under the title “Talking Union” in 1955. The Song Swappers made three more albums for Folkways that year, all featuring Mr. Seeger to some degree.

She had no plans to sing professionally. Folk singing, she later said, had been a hobby. At local clubs, friends like Fred Hellerman of the Weavers and Theodore Bikel would coax her onstage to sing, but her extreme shyness made performing difficult. In 1958, she appeared in the chorus and sang on solo number in Mort Sahl’s short-lived Broadway show “The Next President,” but as the ’60s dawned she found herself at loose ends.

“I was a bad waitress with a private school education, which meant that I was illiterate,” Ms. Travers told The times in 1994. “And I certainly couldn’t type though my mother suggested I learn. I think her quote was: ‘Mary, get a job. No one ever made a living singing folk songs.'”

By chance, Albert Grossman, who managed a struggling folk singer named Peter Yarrow and would later take on Mr. Dylan as a client, was intent on creating an updated version of the Weavers for the baby-boom generation. He envisioned two men and a woman with the crossover appeal of the Kingston Trio. Mr. Yarrow, talking to Grossman in the Folklore Center in Greenwich Village, noticed Ms. Travers’s photograph on the wall and asked who she was. “That’s Mary Travers,” Grossman said. “She’d be good if you could get her to work.”

Mr. Yarrow went to Ms. Travers’s apartment on Macdougal Street, across from the Gaslight, one of the principal folk clubs. They harmonized on “Miner’s Lifeguard,” a union song, and decided that their voices blended. To fill out the trio, Ms. Travers suggested Noel Stookey, a friend doing folk music and stand-up comedy at the Gaslight.

After rehearsing for seven months, with the producer and arranger Milt Okun coaching them, Peter, Paul and Mary–Mr. Stookey adopted his middle name, Paul, because it sounded better–began performing in 1961 at Folk City and the Bitter End. The next year they released their first album.

Virtually overnight Peter, Paul and Mary became one of the most popular folk-music groups in the world. The albums “Moving” and “In the Wind,” both released in 1963, rose to the top of the charts and stayed there for months.

Ms. Travers, onstage, drew all eyes as she shook her hair, bobbed her head in time to the music and clenched a fist when the lyrics took a dramatic turn. On instructions from Grossman, who wanted her to retain an air of mystery, she never spoke. The live double album “In Concert” (1964) captures the fervor of their performance.

On television the group’s mildly bohemian look–Ms. Travers favored beatnik clothing and Mr. Yarrow and Mr. Stookey had mustaches and goatees–gave mainstream audiences their first glimpse of a subculture that had previously been ridiculed on shows like “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.”

“You cannot overemphasize those beards,” Mr. Wald said. “They looked like Greenwich Village to the rest of America. They were the first to go mainstream with an artistic, intellectual, beat image.”

Although the arrival of the Beatles and other British invasion bands spelled the end of the folk revival, Peter, Paul and Mary remained popular throughout the 1960s. The albums “A Song Will Rise” (1965), “See What Tomorrow Brings” (1965), and “Album 1700” (1967) sold well, as did the singles “For Lovin’ Me” and “Early Morning Rain,” both by Gordon Lightfoot, and Mr. Dylan’s “When the Ship Comes In.” The gently satirical single “I Dig Rock and Roll Music” (1967) reached the Top 10, and “Leaving on a Jet Plane” (1969), their last hit, reached No. 1 on the charts.

Mr. Yarrow, in a statement on Wednesday, described Ms. Travers’s singing style as an expression of her character: “honest and completely authentic.”

Mr. Stookey, in an accompanying statement, wrote that “her charisma was a barely contained nervous energy–occasionally (and then only privately) revealed as stage fright.”

In 1970, after releasing the greatest-hits album “Ten Years Together,” the group disbanded. Ms. Travers embarked on a solo career, with limited success, releasing five albums in the 1970s. The first, “Mary” (1971) was the most successful, followed by “Morning Glory” (1972), “All My Choices” (1973), “Circles” (1974) and “It’s In Everyone of Us” (1978).

Ms. Travers’s first three marriages ended in divorce. She is survived by her fourth husband, Ethan Robbins; two daughters, Erika Marshall of Naples, Fla., and Alicia Travers of Greenwich, Conn.; a sister, Ann Gordon of Oakland, Calif.; and two grandchildren.

Peter, Paul and Mary reunited to perform at a benefit to oppose nuclear power in 1978 and thereafter kept to a limited schedule of tours around the world. Many of their concerts benefited political causes. “I was raised to believe that everybody has a responsibility to their community and I use the word very loosely,” Ms. Travers told The Times in 1999. “It’s a big community. If I get recognized in the middle of the Sinai Desert I have a big community.”

It was a faithful community. Musical fashions changed, but fans stayed loyal to the music and the political ideals of the group. Ms. Travers once told the music magazine Goldmine, “People say to us, ‘Oh, I grew up with your music,’ and we often say, sotto voce, ‘So did we.'”

Now go away and leave me alone with my record player. I’m mourning.