The biggest political feud grabbing us all by the balls and the throat? Nothing to do with Clinton vs. Obama or McCain vs. Romney. The real brass knuckles-switchblade-head smashing brawl is being waged between three titans of comedy.
Check out the Stewart/Colbert/Conan rumble:
Who Made Huckabee?
Feminism is about something very simple: equal rights between men and women. But in today’s world, and in highly scrutinized presidential campaigns, it gets very complex very quickly. Take this week’s campaign developments. Earlier this week the New York chapter of the National Organization of Women threw a rather undignified fit, pissed that the Kennedys are endorsing Obama. They went so far as to label the endorsement an act of betrayal. Real right-thinking, women-supporting, NOW PAC-toting candidates would vote for a woman because she’s a woman, they contended, and anything else is unacceptable.
This is just ridiculous and wrong on so many levels. First off – sure, getting the Kennedys was a coup. But how is that related to the feminist cause? Just ‘cus Ted is a staunch leftist doesn’t mean he has a strong track record of supporting the old females in his personal life. With this guy, its all about the name, and association with the storied Camelot of yore.
More important is the assumption that good feminists must automatically vote for Hillary. Only with a woman will we get all our crucial issues of abortion rights, civil rights and general equity protected properly. This is such a fascinating election in so many ways, not least of which is the ability to have this discussion in the first place. Heading into Super Tuesday, we’ve got the first “viable” woman candidate facing off against the first “realistic” African-American candidate. Yippee for us, right? Theoretically, we’ve grown up and into the new society we’ve always thought was possible. We’ve cast off the burkas of racism and sexism, and we’re all about the person inside. Right? But this kind of vitriol being exchanged between supporters (and the recent questionable volleys between the candidates’ camps) show we’ve still got major issues.
What it comes down to is this: equal rights between men and women means truly judging someone by effort, character, and merit. Gender, or race, or sexual orientation, is a secondary concern. Our votes are supposed to be carefully made, taking into account an entire range of ideas and past history. We’re supposed to consider who will be best for the country, in the context of this clusterfuck of international relations and quagmire of domestic issues. We shouldn’t blindly choose based on anything, whether it be party, or gender.
I’ve considered the two candidates as candidates, as people, as leaders. I’ve made my choice. And I feel like I still can keep my storied Feminist membership card after I vote for Obama.
Thoughts? Talk amongst yourselves.
And now, the inaugural edition of what will certainly be my insanely anticipated and influential take on the weekly cultural offerings. Take notes.
Tunes: I’ve been digging on Vampire Weekend this week. Sure, their buzz was ridiculous. They were touted as the second coming of every big indie band in the past few years, along with Paul Simon circa-Graceland. If you remove all that hype and just listen in, it’s entertaining, grooveable, and original.
Digging into the archives, I’ve been getting addicted to old school androgynous glam rock. Think Lou Reed on his first two albums, and David Bowie in the Ziggy Stardust era. Such weird, wonderful stuff, and the combination of pop, rock and sci-fi glory that is Ziggy is still mildly shocking and eminently enjoyable today.
Books: This week I finished Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. What struck me about this book was the starkness of the writing, the plain language, the step by step by step approach that seemed at once masterful and completely lost. I watched Didion search desperately for meaning at a time of tragedy, return to her journalistic education and seek out help in the only way she knew how. Of course, the painful and inevitable conclusion is that no matter how much “information” you can get, no matter how much “knowledge” you can obtain about death and grief and survival, it’s still not enough. It’s not a thick enough buffer to protect you from the reality of living without a loved one. Heartbreaking.
In two nightly gulps I finished a little novella by Joyce Carol Oates called Rape: A Love Story. It’s been a while since I read Ms. Oates, but I am continually in awe of her writing approach, technique and ability. This short snippet of a book felt just that - way too short. The story was extremely compelling, telling of a beyond-brutal attack in a small town and the repercussions. But I wanted more. At 153 pages, it felt like the book barely scratched the surface. It did get me thinking about my own writing, though, and encouraged me to continue taking some of the linguistic risks I take and experiment even more.
TV: JJ Abrams et al, how I love thee. You entertained and titillated me with Alias. You taunt and frustrate me with Lost. But I keep coming back for more. And you reward me for it. This week’s premiere of Lost was shocking (the ability of this show to continue to shock is shocking in itself) and rending. The Oceanic 6?? WTF?? And Jeremy Davies is here! Can’t wait to see what kind of douche he plays.
One other short take. I tried Torchwood last season, and gave up within a couple episodes. It seemed too monster-of-the-week-ish for me, too campy, lacking in emotion and compelling characters. But hearing that my boy Spike (James Marsters from Buffy and Angel) was making a guest appearance on the second season premiere as a bisexual bad boy was just too much. So I tuned in last week. And holy lord - there was hotness. There was male kissing. There was extreme fighting, and lots of drinking. All in a two-minute reunion scene between Capt Jack Harkness and his ex, Spike (of course he had another name, but I forget. He’s Spike). But even more, there was improvement in this show, in terms of storytelling ability and content. So I’ll keep tuning in. And hope Spike returns for more.