From frustrated to verklempt, it’s been quite a week. I never really crossed over into crying territory, but my eyes were definitely more moist and leaky than usual. Let’s move from worst to best, shall we?
Feminspire posted this roundup of recent legislative developments regarding women’s reproductive health. You know that dream where you are trying to escape, but every possible out is blocked? Brick walls, doors that don’t go anywhere, and definitely no voice to scream with. That’s how this made me feel. I could feel my chest getting tighter with each item, and frustrated tears forming in my eyes.
This is the kind of legislative action that originally opened my eyes to the disfunction of the pro-life movement. This is not about the sanctity of life anymore, folks. An excellent essay was written on this at Common Dreams last year: Pro-Life or Just Pro-Sperm? And of course, Libby Anne’s personal journey: How I Lost Faith in the Pro-Life Movement.
Roger Ebert died yesterday. It wasn’t incredibly unexpected, but I was surprised by my personal reaction. (tears. again.) Salon re-posted his essay I Do Not Fear Death, and it’s really beautiful. I have a huge amount of admiration for people who understand the interconnectedness of all things, and I think Ebert was one of those people. He also understood the incredible power of stories and film to influence peoples’ lives. His writings on these things resonate with me and give me hope.
And, of course, his final written words, “So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.”
Kid President took a trip to the White House to meet President Obama. It’s a cute video overall, but the moment that got me is at 1:10. This man showing this little boy a program from Dr. King’s March on Washington in the Oval Office. There they are. There are the tears.
(however, really, dude? Really.)
And finally, my most triumphant tears of the week. I was sent a teaser track from The Campanellis new album Camp Optimist. They are some of my dearest friends, this is their first album, and it’s so damn good. Life is so much easier when your friends are talented. You don’t have to pretend to be a fan, and sit through painful shows at shitty bars. And I’ve gotta say, it’s especially fun when they play power pop.
Again, I really did not predict that I would actually get worked up over this. How silly. But as each piece came in, and I heard Jon and then Paul and Dan and Keith and Joel, doing what they love and doing it well, it just got to me. Enjoy.
This has been my lunch spot for the past two days. Sure, it’s a little sparse, but that blue sky is just raging.
I took Wednesday off this week just because. It turned out to be one of the first truly beautiful days so far. I took a walk downtown, renewed my license and library card, bought a stack of records at Vertigo, and enjoyed some tasty sushi.
From the Interwebs:
That Just Means He Likes You
It’s generally accepted as common knowledge that when kids are violent with each other, “That just means he likes you.” (I’ve heard it said for girls as well, though much less often.) So where is the line? When does it stop being cute? Or does that just morph into the hunter/prey romance narrative we’re taught?
How did society become so oblivious to the fact that we were conditioning our daughters to endure abusive treatment, much less view it as romantic overtures?
Justice Alito’s Quote of the Day
In the SCOTUS deliberations on marriage equality this week, Justice Alito expressed concern that same-sex marriage was just too new and that society should move ahead on it’s own time through elected representatives.
“[W]hen the Supreme Court struck down the bans against interracial marriage in 1968 through Virginia vs. Loving, SEVENTY-TWO PERCENT of Americans were against interracial marriage. As a matter of fact, approval of interracial marriage in the US didn’t cross the positive threshold until — sweet God – 1991.”
The reason we don’t leave it for the people is because rights of marginalized people shouldn’t be dependent on whether privileged people choose decency over the maintenance of undeserved privilege.
The Objectification of Jon Hamm
A really interesting thing has been happening to Jon Hamm recently. He’s being treated like an actress. And it’s weirding him out. As it should. Hamm is an outspoken advocate for women, so perhaps this random role-reversal can shed some light on the ridiculous and reductive things the media does to female celebrities.
Pope Washes Women’s Feet in Break with Church Law
My views on the papacy and worldwide church structure aside, this act is very powerful. And the fact that there is actual backlash against something so incredibly and obviously Christlike is simultaneously horrifying and telling.
Less than 20 minutes after I post this, two delightful articles come to my attention. I’ve gotta share them with you.
Sometimes, with all the actual music stripped away, you understand why the vocals have been buried by bells, whistles and effects but equally there are moments when what remains is fresh, fascinating and a breathtaking world away from what we thought we knew. Here are ten naked vocals to illustrate the special alchemy each singer brings to the party.
The History of Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally’s Awesome Marriage
Sometimes there are celebrities who give off the vibe of being really awesome people. It might just be good PR, but this couple rocks it.
I (thoughtfully) spent my tax return on some fun things this week. Some spring wardrobe additions, a new camera lens (Sigma 50mm f/1.4), and a Casio keyboard.
I am an absolute music novice, but I’ve been thinking a lot about music creation lately (more on this later). So I’m starting from the beginning. So far I know about Forks and Chopsticks and how to play “You Are My Sunshine”. It’s gonna be a bit of a process.
Meanwhile, in other concepts completely foreign to me… I start a 401k next month. What up, adulthood?
Ok. Onto the things I dig.
What We Talk About When We Talk About God
Rob Bell’s newest book. I’m really enjoying it. Honestly, the only other book of his I’ve finished is Sex God. All the others I read while attending Mars Hill during his time as teaching pastor. It was just kind of repetitive, “Yep. I get it. You said this last week.” It’s nice to read fresh content that he’s written free of pastoral constraints.
Who Told You That You Were Naked?
I just picked this one up yesterday after watching a fantastic livestream discussion organized by Crunk Feminist Collective. The book is about reconciling theological and sexual ethics, specifically in the lives of black women.
There has been a lot of writing the past couple week around Steubenville, rape culture, etc. Here are a couple of my favorites.
5 Ways We Can Teach Men Not To Rape
Zerlina Maxwell went on Sean Hannity to debate the effectiveness of guns in rape-prevention. (Don’t even get me started.) She was then bombarded online with racially and sexually charged death threats and general vitriol. Regardless, she wrote this piece on Ebony. I would try to pull a quote, but it’s all great. Go read it in full.
A Letter to My Sons About Stopping Rape
I love the way this is written. Been struck lately by how important it is to teach kids about bodily autonomy and respect from birth.
Cabin-Time x Wilderness
Here’s a pretty thing for you. Cabin-Time is a roaming creative residency where some beautiful things are created. My friend Carson created this gorgeous video during their last session.
Tongue Tied - Tina and the Total Babes
Been trying to force Spring into being by listening to as much upbeat rock’n’roll as possible. Cheap Trick, The Detroit Cobras, The Ramones, etc. This particular hook has been in my head all week. One of those crank-it-and-dance jams.
And finally, Jean Claude VanDamme smelling some chocolate. Happy Friday!
(On her height) “Years ago, one casting agent told me that the only roles I could play were lesbians and aliens.”
"Dogs tether you to the earth in some really good way. And exercise, of course. And martinis. And sexy high heels. That’s it. Good work, a nice pair of heels, a martini, a dog and a man - not necessarily in that order."
WATCHING: The West Wing
I used to watch this with my folks every Wednesday night. I think it was on Wednesdays. I remember bits and pieces, but this re-watch has been amazing. I’m almost done with season 3. My dreams are filled with walk and talks and my ipad is filled with silly things like The Washington Post, White House Press Releases, and US Government flashcards.
And the characters. Oh, the characters. There’s no point making a list because I love them all. I will give a quick shout out to my girl, CJ Cregg. I love her so.
LISTENING: The Xx - Coexist
I got this album for Christmas and I finally gave it a listen last week. I was not expecting to be so affected. It’s entrancing. It’s sweet and terrible and dreamy and actually caused me physical pain in my chest.
Do yourself a favor, grab some over-the-ear-headphones, put this on, lay on the floor, and float away.
(I would recommend limiting your repeat plays, however, or you might slip into a deep melancholy. Just a heads up.)
READING: The Revolution Was Televised by Alan Sepinwall
A fun little cultural study looking at the origins and runs of twelve different TV shows that have brought television where it is today. The list: Oz, The Sopranos, The Wire, The Shield, Deadwood, Lost, Buffy, 24, Battlestar, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad.
DIGGING: “Death by Mel” by Emily Roz (via popculturepirate)
"144 polaroid images of everyone Mel Gibson killed in his movies, in chronological order."