Saturday, September 20, 2008


Written by ME,

At the age of 24, all of my curiousities on feminist studies have finally disapated after an entire day at a free conference. I got to sit through several speeches, most people reading their dissertations in regards to the panels they were representing. From 8AM to 6PM, with an hour break for lunch, topics ranged the geneologies of feminism to who feminism represents, but even within those topics, speakers varied on their stances as well as within their own identities of what being a " feminist" meant to them. One even identified as a "womanist". To many in the outside world this word carries little to no significance as compared to it's more radical associate "feminist." I'm still a bit unclear of what being a womanist technically entails, but there is apparently a difference. As with all of feminism's varying schools from socialist feminism to radical feminism there are always differences, but also acceptable differences in terms of the individual's free personal interpretation and practice. This can get very tricky because since there are so many loose interpretations, ultimately there is not even a concrete definition for the word feminism itself. Even the speakers did not know when to use the words "woman" or "women" in most contexts since these words have yet to be appropriately defined and collectively agreed upon. I never realized how many parties of feminists there were, and how it seems they'll never agree on anything. Especially anti-feminists feminists. Honestly, that's like a tripple negative I don't even know where that would leave them.

There was a tremendous amount of information being shared, from the crisis in Sudan and ensueing genocidal rapes to Yoko Ono's percieviably feminine passivity through her cutpiece performance in 1964. In this piece, she invites an audience to cut pieces of her clothing off with a pair of the artists' own scissors. Transgender speaker, Judith Jack Halberstam, believed that through these kinds of performances which employed physical passivity through the removal of her clothes was ultimately an abstract process of being dismantled. Towards the end of a particular performance, more men come up to participate, and the viewer can feel a sense of mounting entitlement or unmasked aggressiveness until a final man comes up to tell Yoko Ono that, " this will be slow and painful," as he tries to cut her bra off. Her neutral expression finally gives an unsuspecting flinch. The speaker would also reinterate that by being willing to be dismantled whether physically or mentally, proved to be essentially anarchistic. That by destroying something to make something new is also possible, challenging the idea of a woman or women's reproductive role; to constantly reproduce and make new. It also questions the age old sentiment of either "Die free or die trying" when there is actually a myriad of alternate paths that are usually ignored and rarely considered. Which further reflects the problematic dichotomies of the world. That you are either one or the other, with or against, man or woman. There is never a forgiving scale for human deliberation. Judith Jack Halberstam referenced Kara Walker's work, her vivid, sado masochistic sillohetes successful in inviting her viewers to interpret images within the person's own palette of violent interpretation. Halberstam coins the term "art as bait" to these artists. J.A. Nicholls work was also mentioned as art being undone, unbecoming, suggested through the artists' gender varied subjects.

Uma Narayan was another speaker on the "Who is the Subject of Feminism" panel. She questioned the current posterchildren of imperialist feminist agendas. But more particularly, the neoliberal capitalist agenda that carries "feminist" traits. She felt that poor third world women and Muslim women were repeatedly being casted to the forefront of these "feminist" crusades as objects of rescue. Not only does our Westernized justification to save these women from the claws of their house hold patriarchs encourage the spread of democracy through deployment and use of a military force, where they ( GIANT BANKS AND CORPORATIONS ) eventually are able to offer microcredit to small, developing nations as a way to jumpstart small businesses. These neoliberal capitalists ironically describe these loans as "micro", when in actuality they are quite large to the people that take them out. Uma also shares that many of these people that are taking out these microloans, end up having to take more loans out just to pay back old debts. Which is what credit is, debt. Though in the United States we are no stranger to either concept. Afterall, when all is said and done and the world has been triumphantly globalized by the banking and credit systems, poverty will be essentially nonexistent. Except for the small fact everybody in the world will be a slave to debt. But more importantly, in these recent days, we are going to see how far limitless, unchecked credit will survive global economies, as well as local ones. Maybe the days of hiding money in your mattress and spooning a shotgun are not so outdated afterall.

Uma Narayan brings up the idea of "imperialist feminists" because, for example the banning of veils in France, while the hijab is interpreted as a clear token of female inferiority to western cultures, it is also essentially an immigrant's failure to assimilate. Imperialist feminism loosely translated is where one's own priviledged background gets in the way of others' fundamental rights. Uma also legitimately pointed out the correlating hypocricies of France's own intense cultural racism that are apparent in their governing immigrant policies. These policies have triggered national discourse which has in the past and still, manifested into explosive race riots.

Katie Cannon, a Professor of Christian Ethics, Associate Professor of Religion, and President of the Society for the Study of Black Religion spoke during the "Geneologies of Feminism" panel. She spoke of Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, theological ethics, and of course her own indepth, geneological history within the 288 years of "slaveocracy" in the United States of America. Of course when speaking on fundamental human rights in America, it is unlikely that you will not hear about the democratizing evil in this country that was carried out through an active 40,000 slave ships and a thriving slave trade that practitioners of so called "democracy" founded on 100 years of legalized white supremacy. To say that these types of historic foundations have ceased to permeate through our "westernized" and "civilized" societies, I think, is ignorant. One of the reasons why I believe there is still systematic oppression is because those in charge of public education, decide that essentially only certain people should be entitled to a quality education where one is taught to think for themselves. Which in America is not as accessible as it is alluded to. Whether that education be academic or not. You either think for yourself, or you don't.

"Those who cannot not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Yet with such blind arrogance certain "practitioners of democracy" still exist who only want to help themselves and and have adapted the ghost of "feminism" to get Sarah Palin elected as Vice President. Many women who identify with Palin as the next Vice President hopeful, merely identify with her on the basis that she also menstrates. If people were really educated enough to think for themselves they might realize her glaring inadequacies. Voting for the sake of Palin's vaginal novelty in the White House might find a better home on a T.V. show starring Geena Davis as President.

With the onset of rapid globalization, there are so many issues to break down to it's bare ethics and discuss, that even when these groups of feminists successfully articulate or identify the problem at hand, for me, the dialogue itself can be a painstaking headache because it is so fucking thorough. So thorough in an overwhelming sense where not only do I realize I am not as bright as I thought, but also that they try not to leave any contradictions out when speaking. So then I constantly find my brain completely hijacked and drugged on feminist enthusiasm, riddled with a few lasting comments, but mostly lost in the verbal frenzy and my own intimidation of trying to save the world from injustice. A lot of what I found throughout the conference was an underlying lack of cohesiveness within the stage of dialouge, including supporting questions and statements from the crowd.It was like people were bringing up so many different paradigms and ethical situations to the table, while I felt the most basic belief of what feminism meant wasn't clearly established early on. But maybe that's the point of these conferences is that feminism is constantly evolving, changing, unsettled. Perhaps it's not really the belief that the idea should be rigidly defined, but that it should be fluid, restless. The act of thoughtful dialogue in itself is where the movement succeeds. I find it deeply unfortunate that since feminism IS such a fluid and secular process, it can just as easily be sculpted into a cosmetic political trump for the benefit of those who really don't give a shit about it.

Friday, September 19, 2008


A tribute to all of Stephanie Tanner's dance moves. Even the ones that don't count. Made by somebody else I don't know.


I don't watch t.v. much apparently. I found these older clips from So You Think You Can Dance. I have to be honest,I'm kind of embarassed that I like this stuff. But fuck it, I'm into the idea of an "Homage to the Rabbits" group dance.. it's theatrical and fun. The spontaneous partnered Bollywood dancing caught me offguard because the dancing was pretty on point, but most suprisingly it was uplifting ( and that doesn't happen too much when you're watching t.v.) Basically, this is almost as uplifting as the time I watched Stephanie Tanner perform Boyz 2 Men's "Motownphilly" with her dance troope on Full House. Though shortlived, these clips revived my interest in potentially good t.v. shows. But I think if I were to follow the actual show, the good stuff would be few and far between. I'm probably better off finding them by accident on the internet.

Thursday, September 18, 2008




By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:18 PM on 15th September 2008

At least 23 Muslims were killed in a stampede in Indonesia today as they crowded an alley to receive a cash handout for the holy month of Ramadan.

The victims, who are believed to all be women, were among thousands who packed a narrow sidestreet to receive a cash gift worth just £2.36 each from a rich family.

Fearing they would be too late to receive any money, those at the back of the crowd surged forwards and pushed each other over, police said.

Desperate: The crowd surges forward and reach out for their gift

Crush hell: Almost 100 women jostle among a crowd during a stampede in Pasuruan, Indonesia's East Java province trying to grab the charity hand-out yesterday

In Indonesia, where more than 30 per cent of the population earn less than 18,000 rupiahs (£1.10) per day, the 40,000 rupiahs would be seen as a considerable gift.

‘They were afraid they wouldn’t be able to get the money,’ said national police spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira.

Women were seen crying out in pain and fear as the crowd packed into a fenced area outside the family’s house in Pasuruan, East Java province.

Religious Affairs Minister Maftuh Basyuni said that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had expressed his ‘regret’ over the loss of life and had blamed the organisers of the charity handout.

Ramadan horror: An Indonesian police officer and a hospital official stand near the bodies of stampede victims at a hospital in in Pasuruan. At least 23 people were3 killed in the crush

Cash handouts are a common form of charity favoured by wealthy Indonesians during the holy month.

‘It’s an annual activity from that family but there were a lot more people lining up today than in previous years,’ Pasuruan mayor Aminurrahman said.

He said there were at least 2,500 people in the alley but police put the number at around 5,000.

Muslims are supposed to abstain from eating, drinking and having sex from dawn to dusk during Ramadan.

At night they break their fast with relatively lavish family meals that often include expensive treats.

Many families are tightening their belts this Ramadan, with inflation running at above 10 per cent after a 30 per cent hike in subsidised fuel prices in May.

Indonesia is the biggest economy in south-east Asia but more than 30 per cent of its 234million people earn less than two dollars a day, and unemployment is around 8.5 per cent.
sad but true: these stampede photos always end up looking like shows i've been to.. yikes. this shit is about survival in its purest form, fuck! whats 30% of 234 million people?? like still 70 million on less than $2.00 a day, you couldn't even pretend you weren't totally fucked. if i wasn't listening to pentagram my third eye wouldn't feel so guilty about this.


Italian model plans to sell virginity for 1m euros
An Italian model who swears she has never had sex plans to sell her virginity for one million euros, or £792,000.

By Nick Squires in Perugia
Last Updated: 9:22PM BST 16 Sep 2008

Showgirl and men's magazine model Raffella Fico, 20, told an Italian magazine: "I can't wait to see who's going to pull out the money to have me."
Miss Fico, who appeared in the Italian version of Big Brother earlier this year, said she would use the cash to buy a house in Rome and pay for acting classes.
"I don't know what it's like to have sex," she told the magazine, Chi, adding that if the man who bought her virginity was ugly then she would quickly get over it.
"If I don't like him I'll just have a glass of wine and forget about it," said the aspiring actress from Naples - hometown of screen siren Sophia Loren.
Her family insisted that despite her good looks and sexy image, she remained a virgin.
"She's never had a boyfriend. I swear on my mother's grave. She's a devout Catholic and prays to Padre Pio every night," her brother told the magazine.
She is the not the first woman to auction her virginity for a large sum. An 18-year-old US student in San Diego, Natalie Dylan, recently told the Howard Stern show she would have sex for the first time for $1 million to pay her college fees.
In 2005 a Peruvian model, also 18, put herself up for sale to help pay her family's medical bills but ended up having second thoughts and turning down $1.5 million.
weird. shouldn't these kinds of highly publisized virginal reapings not be made so public? i thought it was against the law to prostitute your flesh. ok ok family medical bills are one thing and you might be blowing dogs for quarters anyway, but to buy a house and some fucking acting classes? She's probably like one of those supposed virginal catholic girls that just secretly take it in the butt anyway. Ask her brother. It didn't take him any time at all to sell out his mother's grave.


Rat's 'brain' used to power robot
A robot has been created which is powered by a rat's "brain".

By Kate Devlin
Last Updated: 1:14PM BST 14 Aug 2008

Electrical signals from rat cells have been harnessed to drive the robot, which is on wheels, around a laboratory.
By stimulating certain responses within the cells scientists have even been able to make the robot, or "animat", move.
The "brain" is actually rat brain tissue which has been artificially grown in a lab.
The scientists at Reading University hope that they can use the machine to understand more about how our brains work, and even to develop treatments for diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease.
To create the machine scientists first grew rat nerve cells in a laboratory.
These cells connect with each other, sending signals within around 24 hours.
After a week the scientists can detect activity similar to brain activity. Within two or three weeks the cells can be hooked up to the robot.
The team uses bluetooth technology, which allows them to send communication without the use of wires.
Scientists can also use sonar signals to cause the robot to swerve to avoid a wall, by triggering different signals in the "brain", reports New Scientist magazine.
The robots currently turn eight out of 10 times, but Professor Kevin Warwick, head of cybernetics at Reading University, who led the study, said that figure could increase substantially.
He said: "[The animat] is actively learning.
"The signals and the pathways are strengthening as each action gets repeated."
Prof Warwick said he believed that eventually the robot would turn 100 per cent of the time.
He also hopes to use the animat to try to understand more about how the brain works, for example how it remembers things, by capturing the signals.
However, these "brains" have a limited lifespan and currently live for only around three months, as long as they are regularly fed in temperature controlled incubators.
Prof Steve Potter, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, who has been involved in similar technology involving animals and robots, said that it was clear that brain cells have "evolved to reconnect under almost any circumstance that doesn't kill them."

Monday, September 15, 2008


how is this even a possibility that she could potentially become president? have all these years of inkblot tests, animal testing and technology yielded to this culminative point that in 2008 a hockey mom from wasaila with zero experience could somehow become president?i mean how can just ANYBODY be this close to being in the whitehouse? This IS NOT RIGHT. the fact that this very warped reality of our future could easily happen is so genuinely urgent it has only further proved what a fucking shit show american democracy can easily symbolize if people continue to think so shortsightedly.

that as progressive as we think we are, there are still people who are ignorant , choose to ignore, or have failed to ask these fundamentally important and legitimizing questions about her. because if they did, they would immediately realize she shouldn't even be on the ticket because she is NOT fucking qualified in the first place. It should be illegal that someone that underqualified is even considered.

Not to mention she's been the subject of so much shady ass shit, unless you want to pay $1300 for your next personalized rape test, or believe that it is okay to censor books in a library and fire the librarian for not agreeing with you. it should be an embarassment that the media relentlessly champions you as a former beauty queen and devout hockey mom which is somehow supposed to make you extra qualified for dealing with those grumpy political dictators and pesky enviornmentalists. I mean it's a fucking JOKE.

have people physcologically been engineered to just the right amount of collective shortsightedness, coupled with an overall lack of national dialouge on race and gender that this is ,ironically, the perfect time for someone that obnoxiously underqualified access to nucleur war heads? it's kind of weird to me that more people aren't bothered by this.