…but when looking at this, the boyfriend and I have just about everything covered.
…but when looking at this, the boyfriend and I have just about everything covered.
It’s thanks to her that I still keep this blog (and haven’t gone underground to start all over) and quit with the anonymity bag I insisted on carrying for so long. Also, it’s completely her influence that has me aiming toward grad school. When I need advice, I bribe her with tomatoes.
Dr. B, my academic and blogging mentor of sorts, is celebrating her fourth blogiversary! Go give her some love.
Amanda goes off on Democratic naysayers:
Despite the fact that Digby learned everyone on the reality of the Democrats actually treating their base’s interests like they matter more than the interests of people who will never, ever vote for a fucking Democrat even if their balls were in a vise, I have discovered in a quick perusal of the blogosphere that the urge to explain to women that our job is to follow and accept what crumbs may be thrown our way and then get on our knees and start sucking in lavish gratitude has overruled common sense. Granted, I may be overstating the case. No one actually said, “We may reciprocate after endless amounts of support with no end in sight, but don’t count on it and be grateful we at least pretend to give a shit.” But I’m pretty good at reading between the lines. Depressing indeed…
Moral of the story: Red America is not impressed by Democrats who say, “We hate women’s rights, too!” Some red Americans hate women. Most don’t. So this “move to the right”, aka, away from justice, on women’s rights is a meaningless gesture that will not win votes but will result in women losing their rights. So, now that we know reality, I am forced to believe that anyone who wants to “move to the right” on women’s rights maybe, just maybe, has their own reasons for doing it. Translation–if you’re against women’s rights, just come out and say it and quit telling women that you promise you’re selling out groups like NARAL for our own good.
Out of boredom and blogging uninspiration, I brought back one of my old favorite images. Here’s to the new redesign. If you notice any quirks, let me know.
Also, because I’m selfish and now have a decent internet connection, I brought back category and date archives along with my Flickr badge. Now if I can only convince Jill to get one…
One of my favorite all-time magazines is back on the shelf with its annual music issue. I’ve shilled for this magazine before when came back to the shelves after it’s second time going under. Bear with me — it’s hard to keep my excitement tempered when it comes to this thing.
The Oxford American is a modern perspective on the American South. Each issue is themed, ranging from southern food to southern movies — the upcoming issue is on Southern art and architecture — and provides social, historical and critical commentary to various aspects of these themes. This summer brings their annual music issue. It comes with a free, full-length CD and wonderful, quirky articles on the artists, their relationship to the music industry, and how they are geographically and culturally grounded in their eras.
The magazine’s website states:
The last OXFORD AMERICAN Southern Music Issue we released, in 2003, won a National Magazine Award (beating out ROLLING STONE, among others) for “outstanding achievement” in a “single-topic issue.” The judges noted that “like the bluegrass artist who bends his notes in all the right places, THE OXFORD AMERICAN finds perfect pitch in its annual Southern Music issue.” We’re grateful for that attention. But our new 2005 Southern Music Issue, if we may be so bold, is even better.
I’d agree. Their last issue was almost exclusively unknown artists, with the exception of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Mansfield, that would be completely new names to non-music junkies. However, this issue features several well-known names and people whose connections to the music industry lay primarily in the background.
Take, for instance, this version of “Take Another Piece of My Heart” by Aretha Franklin’s older sister Erma, an accomplished singer in her own right. As the author of the accompanying article states, it is difficult to compare Erma’s voice with Janis Joplin’s, who made the song famous, without concluding that Joplin is a no-talent hack who “clumsily aped the black style and the debaser of work original to someone who was her better.” Ouch. But true.
And this song by Sammi Smith, the artist who beat out Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, and every other country music artist out there to make number one on the Country Music’s 500 Greatest Singles list. Brilliant stuff.
And one of my favorites, having just come from Graceland, is this live version of Elvis’ “Suspicious Minds,” sung to a Vegas audience weeks before the song was released as yet another tacky single which Elvis tried to use to boost his floundering credibility as an artist. As the OA website states,
You’ll probably love this performance since there’s nothing Las Vegas-schlocky about it; both Elvis and his band sound insanely red-hot. As Alan Light, former editor of SPIN, VIBE, and TRACKS, says in his perceptive companion piece, on this track Elvis “sang like a man with something to prove.”
But aside from the music, the best part of this annual music issue are the accompanying articles. The articles are written by people who clearly love music and the context in which this music is made. One in particular stands out to me, written by a young father travelling with his young son in Europe, listening to a Howard Tate song in preparation for writing this article. As he and his son listen to and share this song with one another, the author pontificates on Howard Tate’s short career, ended with drug abuse after the death of his young daughter in a house fire, and the sad situational irony of having acclaimed notoriety with a song titled “Where Did My Baby Go?”
Another article that was a special treat, as a lover of Johnny Cash, is the overview of the life of Cowboy Jack Clement, a man who wrote and produced many of the classic country songs we know and love, and his special relationships with many artists who reached legendary status because of Clement’s own artistry. In particular, I love hearing Johnny Cash sing backup for Clement on a song Clement wrote that Cash made famous. This version was recorded shortly before Johnny died last year.
All this is to say that this magazine is a gem, full of excellent creative and critical writing, and is deserving of our humble eyes after rising from the dead not once but twice. Trust me. It’s wonderful.
If you happen to take a look at the magazine at my insistence, drop me a line below and tell me what you think.
The gas station six blocks away from my house lists gas prices at $2.60 a gallon, which means almost forty dollars to fill my tank.
I’m a “real man.” Score.
Which rad old school 70’s glam icon are you? (with pics)
brought to you by Quizilla
At BAGnewsNotes, Giving Darwin the Finger is a visual analysis of the recent TIME magazine cover that frames God against a thoughtful chimp.
Alley Rat’s post on women and intellectual invisibility is something that hits home for me. “I just said that five minutes ago and you’re going to pretend that you thought it up all by yourself to impress your ‘evolved’ friends? Fuck off.”
Mythago details the ink advantage. One reason why having tattoos is cool: your kids can’t lose you in a crowd.
Aunt Jenna is on top of some very bad news for racists. Texas is now the
third fourth state to have a minority majority.
From Women’s eNews, Nevyn O’Cain writes about his experience accompanying his wife, a sexual assault counselor, to a Catholic hospital. They don’t know whether or not the survivor will be given emergency contraception.
At the Progressive Working Group, Terrence looks at bloggers and political activism, and what happens when the gatekeepers refuse to acknowledge their roles at the gate.
Hullabaloo: Pro-Choice Veterans For Truth
I understand that we all need to stick together, but if I were NARAL I’d be getting very, very concerned about some Democrats’ willingness to “soften” their stance on the issue of choice because it’s allegedly hurting the party — you know, moral values and all that. I might just think it’s smart to show some muscle. There is no way I’d blindly trust anyone in this environment to fight this battle for me.
There is a great example of how this works over the long haul and it comes from the grandaddy of all single issue groups — the NRA.
An absolutely essential article,
Gloria Feldt: Roberts and Roe
From 1977 to 2000, there were 675 blockades, 365 invasions, 322 death threats, 502 bomb threats, 112 assaults and batteries, 40 bombings, 16 attempted murders and 8 murders in the name of “life.” I personally was stalked, picketed at home and subjected to death threats, in addition to enduring bomb and arson attempts, vandalism, and an invasion at the health centers for which I was responsible.
The year Bray was decided, 1991, was smack in the middle of this period years. It was a pivotal time, before any murders had occurred. It was a moment of opportunity when the violence and harassment could have de-escalated if law enforcement at all levels had joined together and taken strong stands against it.
One of the things I learned during this time was that local law enforcement takes many cues from the Justice Department, and further, that the Justice Department has a unique capacity to bring law enforcement at all levels together, to enhance the effectiveness of local law enforcement when it is overwhelmed by massive actions like OR. They can proactively set a pattern of enforcing the law and keeping the peace.
Instead, the Bush I justice department — with Ken Starr as its chief litigator and John Roberts as his top deputy, strategist and chief arguer — did no such thing. Indeed, they chose to do just the opposite.
Also, Amanda has a number of NARAL-related links and commentary from pro-choice activists, just avoid the comments.