June 4, 2011 § 6 Comments
I’m done with finals, and have a brief respite from school, so I can finally collect my thoughts long enough to write a semi-coherent blog post. I’ve also moved into an apartment, and two of my roomates are women who are heavily involved in SCAD’s (Savannah College of Art & Design) film department. One is a film major, the other is a dramatic writing major with a film minor. Both are amazingly talented individuals.
They both went to the Scademy Awards, which is SCAD’s version of the Academy Awards, in which individuals in the film department nominate studeint films for awards.
According to my roommates, not a single woman in the film department was nominated/won an award for their work.
There are approximately 1,000 students in SCAD’s film department. Surely there is at least one woman in the film/dramatic writing department who is making award-winning work.
SCAD loves to boast about preparing their students for the “real world”. But misogyny and underrepresentation of women within the film industry is not a “real world” quality that a very expensive institute of higher learning should be promoting.
March 21, 2011 § 3 Comments
I. What are the precise mechanics of a YouTube video “going viral”?
Black’s video was originally posted on February 10, but started garnering a significant number of hits about a month later on Friday March 11. A friend showed it to me in person on Tuesday March 15; over the next few days it spread quickly among my classmates, and many of Friday March 18′s Facebook status updates were devoted to parodies and references to the song. As I write this the official YouTube video has more than 30 million views.
II. Who is Rebecca Black?
She seems earnest and sweet; she apparently plans to donate much of her iTunes sales profits to “school arts programs and relief efforts in Japan.” How did she get involved with Ark Music Factory
III. Who wrote the song? (It wasn’t Black.) And who auto-tuned the shit out of it? Because: HA. Kudos on your career. To be honest, I completely agree with Rolling Stone’s assessment that the song is “an unintentional parody of modern pop.” And I’d love to hear more from the true creator of said unintentional parody.
IV. What’s up with Ark Music Factory?
I couldn’t find much definitive information about the label’s business model or how one becomes associated with it; all I know for sure right now is that their website’s child-porn aesthetic gives me the creeps.
V. Why are we so culturally infatuated with improbable images of young teen girls partying?
It seems that society is only interested in girls when we’re appearing carefree and having capital-F Fun. Alarmingly few people are interested in struggle or unsureness or complex emotion. Which is unfortunate, because to my knowledge that’s exactly the register in which women operate from the ages of ten to twenty (or ten to forever?).
VI. What’s behind the onslaught of hatred towards Rebecca Black?
It is now a well-established fact that “Friday” is not good. You are not contributing something new to the discourse by saying the song sucks. Offering criticism of Black’s creative work is fine; anyone who puts a piece of writing or song or video or whatever out into the world should expect as much in response. What’s disturbing is the criticism that’s been leveled at Rebecca Black as a person. Her situation is emblematic of a phenomenon faced by many female pop stars, in which consumers use “critique” of an artist’s work to not-so-subtly critique her. (For guys, quite the opposite. Even Chris Brown’s undisputed real-life actions didn’t yield substantial public criticism of his personality or moral code.)
Asked by ABC’s Andrea Canning about the meanest response to her video that she’s read, Black says: “I hope you cut yourself and I hope you get an eating disorder so you’ll look pretty, and I hope you go cut and die.” These words have nothing to do with “Friday” — and actually, they probably have nothing to do with Rebecca Black. These words are about the vitriolic hostility that women are routinely and reflexively shown whenever they step foot into the media’s public arena. I’ve seen the video over and over, and I’m left wondering: Why is our culture simultaneously so obsessed with this video and so seemingly angered by it? I guess the real question is, why are we so hungry for media from women we can hate?
October 5, 2010 § 1 Comment
Two years ago, the state of Colorado voted down a proposed “personhood amendment”, which would declare that “the term ‘person’ shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.” Evidently, anti-choicers can’t seem to take “no” for an answer, and Amendment 62 is yet again on the ballot this November.
Choice USA’s video points does a better job of poking holes in Amendment 62′s logic than I ever could.
Colorado readers–please fight tooth and nail against this anti-choice, anti-woman, and just plain idiotic proposal.
July 4, 2010 § 3 Comments
Good news! (Notice that I’m so overjoyed I had to add a new category — “This Makes Me Happy.”) At Hudson High School in upstate New York, two senior boys were crowned prom king and queen.
Amazing. In the same year that Constance McMillen was sent to a fake prom and had to take legal action to defend her rights, something like this happens. Obviously this doesn’t negate all the fucked up shit that has happened and continues to happen to LGBTQ teens across America, but it’s certainly refreshing.
So I say congratulations to Charlie Ferrusi and Timmy Howard. And I hope you had a great time at the Most Important and Magical Night of Your Teenage Life (as the awesome Jamie at The Seventeen Magazine Project has coined it).
May 23, 2010 § Leave a Comment
My friend (and frequent commenter) Dava passed along this awesome music video, a promotion for the human rights organization Calling All Crows.
The organization was founded by Chad Stokes Urmston, a musician, and Sybil Gallagher, a tour manager, as a social action and advocacy project of the Boston-based band State Radio. Urmston previously earned a place in my heart for his contributions to Dispatch, a delightful and experimental folk rock band that produced one of my favorite songs of all time. His latest venture with his current band is absolutely inspiring:
During their sold out, 25-city tour this past February, the band performed service projects in every town they visited, from serving lunch at a homeless shelter in Houston to building a community garden at an inner city elementary school in Washington, D.C. Calling All Crows…is committed to continuing the group’s socio-political dialogue once the music ends and the lights come up. In less than a year, State Radio and their fans have amassed over 1,800 hours of community service through projects that have local, national, and global impact.
The group sent their “good friend and Knights of Bostonia director Andrew Mudge to South Africa, India, Brazil and lastly, New York City to capture the power and perseverance of women around the globe.”
The music video really is wonderful. I love the overall visual style and, in particular, the dancing bit at the end. Check it out:
May 16, 2010 § 6 Comments
I just caught the trailer for the new film entitled 8: The Mormon Proposition and I was blown away. If a two minute and forty second trailer can bring out such a visceral reaction in me, imagine what the entire film can do! I remember when Prop 8 first passed, I was one of those people that was just in sort of a daze for a while, wondering how such blatant injustice and discrimination could have been allowed to occur… Watch the trailer below!
I looked into it, and there doesn’t seem to be a release date currently set. I think it played in a few film festivals, but when it will be available to the general public remains unclear. If anyone knows anything, please comment or feel free to contact me because I really really really want to see this.
May 7, 2010 § 2 Comments
April 15, 2010 § Leave a Comment
This video, made by Sasha (a good friend of the blog) and featuring many of my friends and classmates, explores that question. I’m terrible at embedding, but please go watch it. Like Amanda’s impromptu birth control quizzes, these conversations are eye-opening.
Fun (read: terrifying) fact: public schools in New York City have no mandated sex education. Yikes.
April 9, 2010 § 1 Comment
A lot of you are probably already familiar with Jay Smooth (Feministing links to him all the time), but in case you’re not, just let me say… He is incredibly, ridiculously, undeniably awesome and, as you can definitely tell from the title, I have a huge crush on him. He does web videos at Illdoctrine on topics such as pop culture, current events, and music. Anyway, his most recent video is one on Sarah Palin’s new show on Fox:
April 7, 2010 § 18 Comments
Oh no, wait. I could only think of 5 — and 2 of them are debatable. How depressing? I’m positive there are more out there and it’s quite likely I’m nowhere near as informed on the subject of children’s movies as I think I am or that more openly feminist-friendly children’s movies aren’t what we would exactly call mainstream. I could however think of a whole bunch of feminist un-friendly children’s movies (future list?). Sooo here goes. The top 10 top 5 feminist-friendly children’s movies: