What a strange year this has been...I'd say the weirdest for me since 2001, and two months to go. I know it's been a hellride for many of you out there...so let's make it a special New Year's, eh? Let's start thinking about it. But first, Halloween, and then...the best election we've had to look forward to since 2002.
This year I discovered YouTube, which is a great way to get in touch with the youth culture:
And to unleash your inner vision; I've put up two more short videos, of my lovely French adventure and a trip up an Alpine glacier:
In the future I hope to put up all the short videos I've shot of so many bands I've lost count. Woo!
Last Thursday the always aware Miss Roth invited me to a screening of the yet unfinished "Sand and Sorrow" about the ongoing genocide in Darfur (sorry, no website...I will keep y'all apprised)...Halloween a mere game compared to how scary we can get when left to our own devices. Genocide was one sport of the 20th century we shouldn't let get much purchase in the 21st, or it rests on the head of my generation. It's small consolation that our tolerance for genocide has really declined in the last 50 years...perhaps because the weight of natural disaster makes it seem like overkill. Oops, was that a cynical remark on human nature?
Anyway, we've beaten back a lot of evil in the last few decades...we'll forget about the last 6 years, which hopefully were a wake-up call to GET OUR SHIT TOGETHER.
After the election I expect Girl Power, as the screed sez, to take up this issue head on. But first, something more immediately scary.
Halloween should be a municipal holiday in Los Angeles. Driving through the night, the windows rolled up against the first chill of the year, everybody out of their head and in costume, and Hollywood always on the right hand, we're made for it. I ran into (or let's use the gentler "met up with") plenty of old friends, saw righteous music, got more adventure than I'd bargained on and lost a lot of sleep. The highlight was a Day of the Dead festival at Hollywood Forever, the former Hollywood Memorial Cemetery ( http://www.hollywood-underground.com/hf.htm) where my grandparents & great-grandparents were mute witnesses. It was quite a scene...dozens of altars set up, lights, tents with people selling margaritas, tacos, cheap crafts, strange artifacts, a maze behind Rudy Valentino and three bands playing at once. I thought it was kind of ironic, the cemetery filled mostly by Hollywood pioneers, Armenians and Russian Jews...my own family, locked up in their crypts on the Jewish side of the cemetery, were probably just bemused by a huge Chicano festival right at their feet. As I cut around the crowds, I was usually the only one amongst the graves, mostly a bunch of good Midwestern and Southern rednecks who probably were aghast. I visited some of my favorites, Jayne Mansfield, the Atlas missile of publisher Carl Bigsby ( http://www.roadsideamerica.com/news/971116CAHOL.html), Catholic-hating Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, the great obelisk of General Otis, who founded the Times, and nearby the lonely memorial to the 20 employees of the Times blown up by radical unionists in 1910. It was a perfect way to begin a scary week.
Perhaps you found your own graveyard to play in?
A survey of the most popular costume choices for Halloween 2006.
I'm glad to see some semi-normality in that list...lots of commercial choices mixed in with the old favorites. This year I pulled out my old standby, "obnoxious hippie" (I only have the one long wig, and it's pretty long in the tooth); nothing like in the past, when I was ambitious...like doing Dr. Strangelove (with wheelchair), Bill Clinton with a land-mine around his neck, Angry Serbian War Vet, hippie bomber gone underground (my only drag outfit), and my masterpiece, Princess Di's driver (covering in ketchup with a steering wheel around my neck, calling "Princess! Princess! Je suis désolé!" into the crowd on Santa Monica Boulevard.) A drag queen in dressed as Princess Di, likewise covered in ketchup, had the nerve to moan, "Oh, PUH-leeze!"
Well, as my generation knows, these are tough times to have a sense of humor in, especially for the ladies:
Teens Call Hyper-Sexualized Media Images "Normal"
By Sandra Kobrin
Discrimination Against the Female Brain
By Caryl Rivers
Violence Against World's Women "Pervasive": UN Report
But ironically, that's why we can use girl power against the monsters on the left and the right:
War, Scandal Could Make This "Year of the Woman"
By Liz Marlantes
Ladies, listen to the politician who loves you best (and I'm serious):
Clinton Urges Dems to Question Criticism
The Associated Press
Elections May Leave Bush an Early Lame Duck
By Peter Baker and Michael A. Fletcher
The Washington Post
America's Point of No Return
By Robert Parry
Get in that voting booth:
following to access the sent link:
Generation Y gets involved - USATODAY.com*
Or it's Guantanamo for all of us:
Bush: Thousands Of Registered Democrats Needed For 'Extremely Important' Mission
Remember that girl power makes you different:
Companion to a 2005 BBC television series about gender differences that considered the question, "Are men and women's brains wired differently?" Features the "Sex ID test, a series of visual challenges and questions used by psychologists" in the television series, and articles on topics such as empathizing, handedness, and facial attractiveness. From the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
"The Dating Surveillance Project is a collection of videos and video stills gathered by wearing a hidden camera on [the artist's] dates." The artist claims she is so busy working two jobs that she has no time in her schedule for romance unless she makes it into an art project. Includes still images and a short video. From the California Museum of Photography, University of California, Riverside.
Well, not so different...I was watching "Escándalo" the other day...and I mean, are Julieta Venegas Percevault and Bebe Rebolledo Vila somehow related?
Well, maybe not. But that leads to another question...even with a guitar...
Are Women Human?
By Stuart Jeffries
The Guardian UK
Sure they are, 'cause only humans can fuck with each other (sorry, Mom) like this (thanks, Geri and Sabrina and about ten other women):
- My husband sent me this article. I'm going to frame it and put it in the kitchen (where I belong, barefoot, apparently) so I have a constant reminder of what it takes to make a happy home for him.
- I'll have to stop throwing up first.
- Too funny!
Yeah, everything is better in this century. Now we create imaginary landscapes (and I give these an 8 on the creepiness scale):
When the reality is very different:
A Guide to Womenomics
Study: US Mothers Deserve $134,121 in Salary
By Ellen Wulfhorst
Vegas Sex Workers Demand Rights, Respect
The Associated Press
The War on Sex
By Cristina Page
But we live in a Christian nation, according to some (thanks, Sean):
THIS WAS IN A TAMPA NEWSPAPER
Think about this: If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone----- YOU'RE PART OF THE PROBLEM !!!!
Will we still be the Country of choice and still be America if we continue to make the changes forced on us by the people from other countries that came to live in America because it is the Country of Choice??????
Think about it! All we have to say is, when will they do something about MY RIGHTS?
I celebrate Christmas...........but because it isn't celebrated by everyone.............we can no longer say Merry Christmas. Now it has to be Season's Greetings.
It's not Christmas vacation, it's Winter Break. Isn't it amazing how this winter break ALWAYS occurs over the Christmas holiday?
We've gone so far the other way, bent over backwards to not offend anyone, that I am now being offended. But it seems that no one has a problem with that.
This says it all!
This is an editorial written by an American citizen, published in a Tampa, FL Newspaper. He did quite a job; didn't he? Read on, please!
IMMIGRANTS, NOT AMERICANS, MUST ADAPT.
I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Americans. However...... the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the "politically correct! " crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.
I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to ! America.
Our population is almost entirely made up of descendants of immigrants.
However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.
This idea of America being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Americans...... we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.
We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language.
Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!
"In God We Trust" is our national motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women.......on Christian principles............. founded this nation..... and this is clearly documented.
It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools.
If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home........because
God is part of our culture.
If Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don't like Uncle Sam, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.
We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from.
This is OUR COUNTRY,
our land, and our lifestyle.
Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion and we will allow you every opportunity to do so!
But once you are done complaining...... whining..... and griping....... about our flag.......our pledge..... our national motto........or our way of life...I highly encourage you to take advantage of one other Great American Freedom......
THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.
It is Time for America to Speak up
If you agree -- pass this along; if you don't agree -- delete it - You are in the WRONG Country!
I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) it will also, sooner or later get back to the complainers, lets all try, please
Woo hoo, there are the fighting words. THAT'S HOW WE BEAT THE INDIANS! Here's a message I'd like to append to the Florida redneck existential cry before I pass this to my friends:
Carmen Angelina Valenzuela Abortion Is a Basic Human Right
As Amnesty International considers whether to include access to abortion in the list of rights that it supports, a doctor who was tortured for giving medical aid to Guatemalan rebels says a woman's right to end her pregnancy must be considered a basic human right, one that saves thousands of women's lives.
ABORTION HOW TO (MOLLY BLYTHE)
Blog: Molly Saves the Day
Post: For the women of South Dakota: an abortion manual
But don't forget that if we Californians can assert ourselves, so can 49 other states:
States Step Up Fight on Abortion
By P.J. Huffstutter and Stephanie Simon
The Los Angeles Times
Bush Tells Abortion Foes, 'We Will Prevail'
The Associated Press
Gene Gerard Religion Running Roughshod Over Cancer Science
"The Food and Drug Administration advisory panel approved a vaccine for the human papilloma virus (HPV) last week. While public health professionals view the vaccine as miraculous, many conservative organizations oppose it on the grounds that it might encourage promiscuity among adolescent girls," writes Gene Gerard.
Merck Cervical Cancer Vaccine Faces Christian Right Scrutiny
By Julie Steenhuysen
Plan B and Plan B
By Kelpie Wilson
t r u t h o u t Perspective
Contraception in the Crosshairs
By Phoebe Connelly
In These Times
By Russell Shorto
The New York Times Magazine
So can plenty of other countries, most in fact, and more strictly than our Christians could dream:
El Salvador: Pro-Life Nation
By Jack Hitt
The New York Times
Nicaragua Votes to Outlaw Abortion
By Rory Carroll
The Guardian UK
Portuguese Parliament to Vote on Abortion Referendum
Feminist Daily News Wire
And then we assert the common rights we share as Americans (regardless of what they think in Florida, yeeeeccchh) to be a PAIN IN THEIR ASS (thanks, Irene):
Oh, this is a good one. Please share this with ALL your friends. I hope there are more helpful phone numbers to call soon. We have soooo many questions, don't we.
Exposing Anti-Choice Abortion Clinics
Misleading "crisis pregnancy centers" are appearing across America, aiming to limit or even prevent women from exploring all of their legal health care options with some even practicing criminal deception.
Merck is offering to donate $1 to cancer research for every pair of free "Make the Connection" bracelet kits ordered from them.
As will our friends:
Britain Defies US with Funding to Boost Safe Abortion Services
By Sarah Boseley
The Guardian UK
South Dakota Voters May Decide Abortion Ban
By Christine Vestal
National Battle Over Abortion Focuses on South Dakota Vote
By Monica Davey
The New York Times
So get out there and vote, girls and boys, and we're all over 18 now, so DO IT.
UN Secretary General - Time for a Woman
By Jessica Neuwirth
Women's Media Center
And don't complain about what happens if you don't let YOUR voice out; others will always step in and take that voice for you (thanks, Mike):
Republican Babe of the Week
Unless you've got a voice like Judy Garland...
THE MAN THAT GOT AWAY
The night is bitter,
The stars have lost their glitter;
The winds grow colder
And suddenly you're older -
And all because of the man that got away.
No more his eager call,
The writing's on the wall;
The dreams you dreamed have all
The man that won you
Has gone off and undone you.
That great beginning
Has seen the final inning.
Don't know what happened. It's all a crazy game!
No more that all-time thrill,
For you've been through the mill -
And never a new love will
Be the same.
Good riddance, good-bye!
Ev'ry trick of his you're on to.
But, fools will be fools -
And where's he gone to?
The road gets rougher,
It's lonelier and tougher.
With hope you burn up -
Tomorrow he may turn up.
There's just no letup the live-long night and day!
Ever since this world began
There is nothing sadder than
A one-man woman looking for
The man that got away....
The man that got away.
Vive le screed!