January 25, 2011
January 24, 2011
January 23, 2011
January 21, 2011
Laugh at this and the fact that I now need an extra keyboard to type.
January 20, 2011
Tonight, I watched the mid-season premiere of NBC's new Thursday night comedy block line-up. Watch this video, in which I talk about the newest episode of Community.
Sophie Perrault can be reached at email@example.com. Currently, she is studying Philosophy and Media Studies at Austin College, but hopes to go to film school in the near future. She enjoys movies, cats, and calling you out.
What a poor, delicate angel! Seriously, I may just be confusing these Hollywood types with hipsters, but shouldn't they have a basic understanding of irony? Managers of several celebrities also went into an offended frenzy after Ricky Gervais' comedy as host of the Golden Globes this past weekend that included digs at Angelina Jolie, Charlie Sheen, and scientologists, among others. Can't these people take a joke? I, for one, was impressed that an awards show actually had good writing, for once.
Everyone needs to calm down, lighten up, and learn to take a joke. I remember when I first learned about Armond White while browsing the boards at Rotten Tomatoes. Several pages of commenters anticipating the release of Toy Story 3 raged about the insolence of White and threatened violence if he prevented the film from a 100% Tomatometer rating. And this was before they had seen the movie. Maybe people should enjoy reading some of his reviews for the humor and appreciate the value of an opposing point of view. And as for the celebrities? They can get over themselves.
Sophie Perrault can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Currently, she is studying Philosophy and Media Studies at Austin College, but hopes to go to film school in the near future. She enjoys movies, cats, and calling you out.
Whole Foods has been on the market since 1980 and is getting pricier every year. In fact Carolyn Malcoun has just wrote a news letter on what to and what not to buy from Whole Foods. What we havn't realized though is that everything there is $1 to $2 more than every other grocery store out there. We could be saving hundreds every year! This could mean a lot to the poor and college students who work for minimum wage. The quality of products must be better than other places right? Not exactly, you can find toothpaste and food for cheaper at other stores such as Walmart. Walmart may be the best place for college students to save money on a vast amount of products that are usually on sale. So we should all look out for coupons hanging under products and discounts to save money.
But the officers in question pulled two people over for a traffic violation, saw that they had a record with drug offenses, and searched them. First off, that's either not the whole story, or it's not entirely legal. That's unwarranted search and seizure and the constitution protects you from it. You can waive it and allow them to search you without a warrant, and cops frequently try to convince you to do this, through manipulation, but I think it'd take a hell of a lot to convince a woman to let you search her when she's got fourteen grams of meth all up in her business.
Adele's new album drops on Monday but has already leaked onto sharing sites. Her latest single, "Rolling in the Deep" is slated to become the number one song this week in the UK as well. With such a big year already happening for Adele, the album marks a new direction in her musical prowess with a clearer sound and cohesive lyrics that surely will involve more listeners.
In a world full of scantily clad female pop stars, Adele rises against the standard of showing tits and ass to move a record on the charts. Adele, who has a full figure frame sings about heartache and the pains of moving on from her boyfriend in her latest album, 21. It also successfully empowers women and let's the public know that big girls have problems too.
Within the music industry body images are rampant. Skinny super stars are the creme of the crop like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. However, Adele is different from this and with that she receives less coverage than other pop stars. This cheapens the outlook of musical diversity by saying. "if you don't have the looks, then don't try" and to bigger girls that they too are of less self worth in the eyes of creativity.
Cody Chavis can be reached at: facebook.com/cody.chavis. In his free time, he loves watching the Real Housewives, listening to Girls Aloud at excessive amounts and doing too many tequila shots.
This is a Political Post. You can Save Time By Skipping the Article and Proceeding Straight to the Comment Flaming.
January 19, 2011
Good news, horndogs! If you've ever wanted to see this in a slinky catsuit, you're in luck! Anne Hathaway has been cast as Cat Woman in Christopher Nolan's third Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. All comments I've come across on the topic address the young actresses' looks rather than acting skills. Isn't it great that a character that has such a complex comic book history can be written off as a sex object? I don't see anyone getting excited about the announcement that Tom Hardy is going to be playing Bane in the film.
With Anne's recent choices to go nude in Love and Other Drugs and on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, her Hollywood stock has risen enormously. Personally, all of her acting stock plummeted in my book after her disastrous stint hosting SNL last fall. But don't bother getting her an acting coach to take on this multi-faceted and mysterious villain, Nolan; the costume designers will be too busy taking measurements to figure out all the perfect places to put holes in her suit.
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January 17, 2011
How would you describe your life story in 5 sentences?
My childhood was largely shaped by traditional Armenian culture, my parents immigrant experience and their liberal values. Between my family and other social influences I was lucky to be instilled with a sense of self confidence and to start thinking critically about the world. During high school and college, I joined with other students fighting for queer rights and an end to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Since then, I have involved myself in a number of social justice movements and have actively been working for gender equity.
Have you always been a strong feminist or do you remember the time in your life when these issues started becoming important to you?
I wasn't always a strong feminist or a self identifying feminist at all. Like many women, I would say things like "I believe in equal rights but I'm not a feminist." And sadly, I may have even uttered the conservative, anti-feminist backlash term "feminazi" a few times. I had been a part of the anti-war student movement throughout college, but it wasn't until I attended Z Media Institute and took a couple of classes with Lydia Sargent that I began to think twice about my dismissal of feminism. Sargent spoke a lot about her experiences during the feminist and anti-war movement of the 70's, and it connected with a deeper understanding of the struggle that my generation has inherited. I learned about the alternative history of the women's movement, not just the white-washed one that we hear about most commonly. Most importantly, I learned about how social systems of power and privilege work to oppress women (and many other marginalized groups). I read as much as I could from authors such as bell hooks, Allan G. Johnson and Tim Wise. The institutional model for understanding the world that these authors so eloquently and accessibly provide changed everything for me and is foundational to the analysis I use in my Feminist Frequency videos.
You describe yourself as a fangirl in addition to being a feminist. What are some TV programs or films that you geek out over with positive feminist values?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is probably my favourite show because in our limited media landscape Buffy serves as one of the only widely recognized feminist characters on TV. The show is of course not without its criticisms and problems (ie. race and sexuality and Spike) but overall it is brilliantly written with strong female characters and story development.
Veronica Mars is another show that I adore (well, until the third season). I love how witty and technologically savvy Veronica is, and I love even more that violence is rarely if ever used on the show to solve conflicts. Like Buffy, Veronica Mars isn't without its problems, and there are some very big ones that the writers remain accountable for. But it is still a show I come back to often because of the strength of Veronica's character. I speak more about why I like the show in "Why We Need You Veronica Mars".
One of the first things I look for in a TV show is the inclusion of prominent, fully developed female characters. For that reason, I like shows such as Star Trek: Voyager with Kathryn Janeway and B'Elanna Torres, Farscape's Aeryn Sun, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Avatar: The Last Airbender. I also really enjoy Olivia Dunham on Fringe and River Song on Dr. Who. I am especially drawn to shows that have themes of social justice, gender justice, shows that question and lament the use of violence, and shows that have humanist themes.
In your video, “Toy Ads and Learning Gender,” you call for the elimination of advertising for young children altogether. Do you think advertising is as polarized for adults and/or has the same negative effects? Or should adults be savvy enough to understand the way advertising panders to them?
I believe advertising has damaging effects on adults as well. I often hear people say that advertising doesn't work on them, or they can see right through it, but if that were actually the case the advertising and marketing industry wouldn't spend a ridiculous amount of money on psychological and neuroscience research. Advertisers know exactly what they are doing and it is a critical part of advertising that they make you think it's not working--believing you are unaffected by it is what the advertisers are hoping for. A particularly damaging aspect of advertising is not just that they are trying to make us buy products that we don't want or don't need, it's that advertising reinforces archaic, regressive and stereotypical values, especially when it comes to gender, race and sexuality. The values, myths and messages carried inside advertisements are built on a shared cultural understanding: the status quo. Critical to effective advertising is presenting this shared understanding of the world and sadly, the status quo is full of inequalities and awful stereotypes of gender, race, sexuality, class and ability.
In my Retro Sexism video there is a Twix commercial with a man who is gawking at three highly sexualized young women having a pillow fight in the street, and when he is confronted by his wife about his behaviour, he lies to cover up his sexism--this funny and obvious lie is the punch line of the ad. The commercial is propagating a myth that men are inherently sexist. The joke can only be funny if we believe that it's just "in their nature", and furthermore what's more problematic is the implication that there is nothing we can do about it. It is the myth that men and women are just different. This of course isn't true, but the commercial wouldn't be effective if sexism were not so deeply embedded in our social understanding.
Again, advertisers are not just selling us candy bars, they are selling back to us myths about ourselves that we already assume to be true. It's this reinforcing of the status quo that is damaging to us as individuals and limits our potential for progress and change.
I recently read your Master's thesis, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You: Strong Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy Television,” and was wondering if you had an opinion on this week's announcement that the Wonder Woman remake by David Kelley was rejected by all of the major networks. More specifically, what archetypes do you think Wonder Woman fits into? Does she embody more female or male characteristics? And do you think any of this has to do with the rejection of the program?
I haven't actually seen the full Wonder Woman series so I can't comment on which archetype she falls into, but I am a little concerned to hear that David E. Kelley wants to remake it in light of his track record with female characters ie. Ally McBeal. Over at Salon.com, Mary Elizabeth Williams talks about this further in her article "Will David E. Kelley dumb down Wonder Woman?"
Particularly in light of the recent shooting in Arizona, what effects do you think Sarah Palin's images, actions, and ideals are having on American women? Is the “Mama Grizzly” ideal positive or destructive for women?
I think Jessica Valenti talks about this wonderfully in her article "The Fake Feminism of Sarah Palin" written last year after Palin started spouting the word "feminism" when she spoke to an anti-abortion group. Palin is attempting to use the language of women's rights to push traditionally patriarchal, conservative values. The political movement that she is the spokesperson for is attempting to destroy affirmative action, roll back gay rights, destroy the social safety net, advance corporate interests and their profits, regress immigration laws and take away women's reproductive rights. This conservative political vision is destructive and regressive to women, even if the person who is advocating them happens to be a woman or a "Mama Grizzly".
Our society's economic and political power is structurally unequal and oppressive. Therefore, many of the women who reach high governing positions have had to emulate male, patriarchal behaviours meaning they are actively working against making any positive social progress. We need to be clear that while these conservative women are rising to power, they are not challenging male domination and male power. And it is precisely because they are not challenging it that there is space made for them in the boy's club.
You've achieved success as a web designer, a blogger for Bitch Magazine, and with your own website and video series. Do you have any more irons in the fire or major goals for your life?
I'm working on a number of projects right now so you'll have to stay tuned to see what's next! But my most current project is a collaboration with Anne Jonas of Nist.tv highlighting feminist online video creators, which will be released in the Spring.
Tracie Egan Morrissey is the ultimate head bitch in charge. Starting her blogging career with tales of the sexual exploits she was experiencing in New York City with, One D at a Time, she quickly rose to prominent status throughout the blogosphere. Her career took off when Gawker hired her for their prominent feminist blog, Jezebel. Building on that success, she started a vlog series with her friend Rich Juzwiak entitled, Pot Psychology where they give advice high. Over the past couple of years she has experienced wonderful success from getting married to landing a book deal with the vlog series. I recently had the pleasure to discuss all of this with her.
Before beginning career in blogging Tracie had an interesting side job.
How did you get your writing children’s books job and how long did you have it for?
Well I was working at the circa women magazine, Bust and I had really wanted to work there forever and I had been an intern since it was a zine. But, I needed to do something on the side to afford living in New York City, so I had some friends involved with urban publishing. It was a special market for kids who had trouble reading, the age range was, like, kids in seventh grade but I had to write on a third grade level. They were also over topics I had no idea about, like “Weapons of Mass Destruction in North Korea” so it was an interesting experience.
You’re considerably different than Slut Machine. Do you feel that since you’ve gotten married you are now trying to rebuild a blogging identity?
I mean I’m still the same. The first blog made me look crazier than I was because it was this tiny facet of my life being magnified. Undeniably it was apart of who I was. I got bored exploring that aspect of my life right around the time that I got married. I’ve felt like if I just kept trying to keep it going it would be false. But, I don’t think I’ve really changed, I’ve just matured from that time period. Also, typepad was a pain in the ass, and tumblr is so much easier with all the buttons. I just wanted an escape from Jezebel and have a different release.
How many posts a day do you do, the time it takes to: research/write/edit?
I think, I used to do way more posts a day. In the beginning there was less money and more people working. I now do fewer posts a day but with a lot more work put in. On average I do five posts and it all depends on how much media I have in it. For instance, a Jersey Shore recap is 3 or 4 hours, and a majority of that is with media. The “10 Things You Missed On TV” takes forever, because I’m watching TV all week and then I compile it all together on a Friday, and it takes around ten hours.
Gawker was recently hacked, how has it affected you personally, did you recover anything lost…etc?
It affected me in no way at all. The only thing I had to do was change a couple of passwords, which was annoying but also helpful since I forgot a few. I don’t use the same password for everything. Its stupid if you do. At Jezebel we don’t use campfire, like Gawker does it’s this group IM that they use and I just think they hacked into that. I also don’t think we were a target since they probably thought we were dumb girls.
What’s the dynamic of the Jezebel staff like? Is it hard not being in an actual office together?
Gawker does have an office that they want us to come in and use when the place is finally finished for about three days a week. I don’t like it all, but some of the girls come especially the ones who don’t have air conditioning during the summer. I’ve honestly been once in four years to work, but we have our editorials meetings and staff parties of the sort. Dodai and I have been there the longest now there and we get along so well because we have so much in common.
Would you ever make Pot Psychology a television show?
I don’t know if we were ever to make a pot psychology TV show, but I would like to do a DVD. We were offered a book deal awhile back, and we turned it down, because it would be hard to do it. But then we got offered again and just figured out what we should do. But, I wouldn’t mind a DVD thing though. I’m happy to do the book, I’m definitely happy about the money.
Do you ever get contacted about the reality stars you write about?
Parents have contacted me from Toddlers and Tiaras and they actually like it. But, people who are on reality TV like the attention though so it’s not that big of a deal. The only time I was scared was when I had to interview Caroline Manzo at fashion week. And we had just said some shit about her. Though stars like Jill Zarin of Real Housewives of New York City loves what we write even if we do say shit about her.
What do you think of blogging being taught in schools now?
My last year of school I took a course called online journalism. They told us we would never get jobs the field and this was like right at the dotcom boom. They also told us if we ever got a check from these company that we had to cash the check fast. And that’s why I got into magazine. But now how stupid were they? The future of journalism is on the internet now. If you want to get a job after college, you have to know how to use the internet. You have to know to html and photoshop to be efficient in both of those to get ahead.
What would be some good advice on dealing with staff issues?
People will listen to you more if you’re not offensive. Because ive been so pentiglent in the past. Its so hard not chewing out. If he doesn’t know the difference between a transsexual and a lesbian then he needs to learn it; maybe learning with pictures. But also, I wouldn’t tip toe around what you think about the work. Especially if you have to do this as a job, and then when its associated with your work as well, and you don’t want to be associated with someone that sucks.
She probably gave me some of the best advice I'd ever have!
What would be your best advice for someone getting into the field?
Well, I would say that the way that I did it, from making a transition from magazine to blogging is probably a really good way. Just start your own blog and write what you know. I wrote what I knew and what I could do to get my attention. It’s also salacious, because if it’s not going to get attention then you aren’t going to get hired. And my blog did that with Gawker. You should also work really hard first and foremost on your own projects and hopefully it will all work out. At the same time, I would probably suggest someone move to a bigger city, because that’s where the media companies are and it would just be easier to meet these people and to show them your work.
control that you have with animation, but i like collaborating with
people too, which is what Live-action offers. I try to alternate between
RM: The only new film I have coming up is Bobby Yeah - all those other films
on the Animus website are - for now - dead. I still hope to make
Pandy-Monium one day, but it will have a different title. I'm no longer
affiliated with Animus films, so i don't know why those dead films are
still listed on there. Nothing to do with me... Bobby Yeah will be done
in a few weeks. I just need to do the final sound mix and picture grade,
then it will start showing at film festivals. It is unequivocally the
best film ever made, so look out for it.
RM: Overtaken was great fun to make. We arrived at Jersey (a small island in
the English Channel) with no idea of what we would be making, then we
had to pick out of a hat a genre and a title, and were given a couple of
actresses. We then had to deliver the finished film 48 hours later. So
it wasn't just filmed in 2 days, it was also conceived and edited in
that time too.
We just went and shot a load of improvised material, then spent the
first night editing it and figuring out what the story could be,
suggested by what we'd shot. Then we spent the second day shooting more
stuff that would make sense of it. Then, when we edited it together, it
made absolutely no sense, so with about ten minutes to go before the
deadline, i improvised that voiceover, which was an attempt help it make
more sense. The greatest challenge was to make something that was both
original and entertaining, yet still made some kind of sense. I'm not
sure how much we succeeded.
Me: What are your top five feature length horror movies?
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
The Tenant (1976)
The Unknown (1927)
Lost Highway (1997)
The Shining (1980)
I also really love 'Don't Look Now', 'Seconds', and 'Audition' so that's
my top 8 horror movies! (Seconds isn't so much a horror film, but it's
still sort of horrifying. Actually, not sure how much of a horror film
Lost Highway and The Unknown are either, but they're all pretty scary!)
Me: Speaking of feature length, Jeremy Knox's review of Monsters says that you're working on a feature film. Can you tell us a little about it?
it takes forever to make these things happen.
One of them is a psychedelic horror film set in Fiji, about dead
children avenging colonial atrocities, but that isn't financed yet. I'm
sick of waiting, so I'm shooting a zero-budget feature this year with a
Canon 5D, with the same team who made Overtaken. That one's a about a
girl who moves into her dead Aunt's flat and starts being haunted by a
man made of dead skin cells...
RM: Monsters was, in my mind, a bit of a failure - it's not as crazy and
scary as it should have been. I just didn't have the time - or the
experience - to do it properly. It should have been way more delirious
But as for techniques - the plan was to blur the lines between the
reality of what was happening to that kid, and the fantasy of what was
going on in his head, so that you'd never be sure when he was imagining
things. Kids have very over-active imaginations, and when you're scared
as a kid, your mind gets carried away and things can get very scary in
your mind. I'd like to remake that film one day and do it properly!
A: I don't think I would be able to name that one distinct movie that sparked my curiosity but I can say that I was always delighted to learn any little thing I could about how film making worked. I used to watch out for anything that would give me a glimpse into the action taking place behind the camera such as silly goof ups or a boom mic in frame, something that allowed me to understand the humanity involved in such a highly perfected art form.
A: I don't believe any of my work to be my best and I hope that I never will. I believe that we must all strive to keep perfection or the thought of satisfaction out of our life so we can continuously progress and create beauty out of the flawed. If I had to choose, I would say that Insignificance, a story about a contract killer's moral dilemma, has to be my favorite but not my best.
A: My parents were always big family video fans. We don't have many pictures of us but we sure have a lot of video. For my, film making started more through the technical elements of the trade, such as the functions of different cameras or the use of advanced technologies to create some of the simplest effects. I started experimenting with all kinds of short little clips. My brothers and I used shoot goofy little action movies and make ourselves disappear and reappear or duplicate ourselves, all kinds of silly things and at first I thought of it as a toy and then I started to love the idea behind it all, the idea of capturing a moment, real or fabricated, and reliving it over and over again, the closest thing to immortality that we could achieve.
A: There are many weird things we do, but one time while I was directing my feature, I was getting frustrated with the performance of one of my actresses and I had tried all day to guide to give me the particular emotional response I was looking for and it wasn't happening. We came onto set the next day and I had planned to try and reshoot her scene one final time at the end of the day. The scene required her to slowly go from a happy, cheerful person to a crying, depressed person due to emotional trauma and she was not able to connect to the emotional trauma of losing everyone she loved. So I started telling everyone on set to stop talking to her and every time she took a shot for the other scene we were currently shooting, I told them all to pretend like it was horrible. Poor girl was tormented all day by all of her friends and by the end of the day, right when we about to take that shot, she felt so lonely and abandoned that the performance just poured out of her and it was one of the best scenes in the movie.
A: Hopefully doing what I do now at a bigger scale and helping others achieve their dreams in the film making field. At the end of the day, film is an art and I feel like we are all innately drawn to the idea of expressing ourselves through art or hobby and it is a healthy activity that everyone should take part in.
Make sure to check out his videos and movie Godboy which hit theaters in spring of 2010.
January 13, 2011
portrayed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Elaine is truly one of the boys and often dominates her group of friends. With the dunces that are George and Kramer, Elaine is the only one of the friends that can match Jerry's wit. She isn't afraid to speak her mind. Elaine tells off her boss, throws George's toupee from a window, and dramatically tells her boyfriend (Puddy) that she will see him in Hell.
Elaine also tends to have a bizarrely strong impact on those around her. Many of her business ideas are picked up by others and result in their downfall. For instance, she suggests the entire city being required to wear name tags. Lloyd Braun incorporates the idea into his mayoral campaign and loses as a result. Perhaps most importantly, however, Seinfeld manages to portray Elaine as a serial dater without making her out to be an idiotic slut. Kudos.
There are some songs that are about releasing your inner girl, but did anyone ever stop to think if there are any for the homo's and the lezzies? Well, I totally did and I compiled a (great) list of songs that truly help you turn your heart rainbow instead of red. While most of these songs have to do with the physical manifestation of releasing your inner gay, there are of course songs that reflect the emotional needs as well.
5. Sugababes-About A Girl
While one might not consider this about releasing your inner gay, it totally is though. The main lyrics “you don’t know about a girl” ring true in this overall message. You don’t know shit about her. She wants everything, even if it means a hot girl. She is also going to go to many lengths to achieve it. That’s pretty typical for a horny lesbian or a tweaked out gay man. Overall, this song is about letting loose and having some fun with whatever you can find yourself getting into; a rule I always live by.
4. Tina Turner-Whats Love Got to Do With It
But seriously, what does love have to do with it? Gays and lesbians are notorious for looking past this concept when doing most things in their lives. Tina sings straight to the heart about this trial of wanting something when there isn’t going to be love involved. It also plays on the part that love can only be physical, something that is rampant in gay society with hooking up sites like manhunt.com and many others. However, like she says, “love is only a second hand emotion” so, go out and getcha some no strings attached ass.
3. Le Tigre-FYR
These feminist rockers have made one of the best tracks about equal rights in the history of music. This song is definitely for the inner lesbian that wants to rage all night and eat some snatch at the end of the day. While it covers many different subjects from national health care and black reparations, this track is a must for Riot Grrrls, flannel wearers, and suppressed homosexuals for a good rage.
2. Girls Aloud-Something Kinda Oooh
This is a sexy song for exploring the night with someone. It’s a better version of “I Kissed a Girl” due to the fact that it actually talks about getting real nasty, and not simply a faux lesbian peck. The longing for something different inside of her/him is important to recognize in this song. Not giving a shit about your name or seeing you again is also pretty big in the gay world so this song is perfect for your gay day.
The epitome of gay, of course Cher had to be on this list. I actually have a personal relationship with this song. It was my favorite in fourth grade and really helped me identify that I was different and that I did want to believe. This is really important for all the closeted homo’s out there, who often sit around thinking about what they should choose. This song gives them hope. Replace the theory of loving someone with wanting to be loved…and you just might kiss a guy…or girl.