Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Magic Kitchen!

I thought Valium was the 50s housewife's "mothers' little helper", not LSD?

Now you see her . . .

Funny, I don't remember them retouching Dan Rather or Walter Cronkite like that . . .

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Size Matters

I am not afraid to be fat. I DO NOT FEAR MY BUTT!! Okay, fine, maybe I do, a little. I mean, I have this lovely stack of "look-at-us-we're-skinnier-than-you'll-ever-be, and-have-more-expensive-clothes-than-you'll-ever own" magazines that I've been pawing through, and I do feel very reminded that my middle is more middle america than Vogue. But I can't say that I mind, and I'm certainly not alone. We've all seen the pictures of Pam Anderson (shown here) or Tyra Banks or even Oprah without their make-up on, and everyone knows that the glossy pages of a magazine are an airbrushed fantasy. And so I wonder, since most of us are aware that the images that we confront are an impossible standard, why do we beat ourselves up so much in the pusuit of these "ideals"?
Not that I'm advocating a cheeseburger in every hand and a complete lack of attention to appearance, but I wonder where moderation went when it left? Is it hiding out with those weapons of mass destruction somewhere? On the aforementioned "Top Model", there was a plus size model represented. They showed the height and weight of the girls at the beginning of the show, and guess what? This "plus size" model was within a very healthy range on the BMI- I looked it up! Is that what we've come to? Would Marilyn Monroe have been encouraged to have gastric bypass if she were around today? What kind of crazy world is this?
As women in this country, are we ever going to be satified with who we actually are, and not who we can starve and botox ourselves into becoming? And, this blog, does it make me look fat?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fast Food Fetish

Is watching America's Next Top Model while eating chips, dip, brownies and the ironic diet coke some sort of subversive self torture? Am I laughing in the face of the conventionally underweight body image, or am I watching one form of body injury while performing another? Are we actually holding ourselves to the impossibe media beauty standard while ensuring that we fall incredibly short? Am I laughing at this show or brainwashing myself?

I think that celebrating the human form is a beautiful form of expression, it's just that so much of the messages feel less like celebration and more like the "doublethink" that Orwell describes in 1984. Like that Carl's Junior ad camaign with the toothpick model manging on a burger as big as her airbrushed face while getting off on riding a mechanical bull or washing a car- that likely sold a lot more product than would a model of a healthy weight eating their baked potatoes and salads would. But do our puritan roots follow us as a culture so closely that beauty must be enexorably linked with torture? Are we a society of closet S & M fetishists? "Look like you've starved yourself, while actually starving yourself of nutrients with fast, cheap, and apparently sexy fast food loaded in sodium and fat". Leave it to the uppity female vegetarian to mouth off about all this . . . can you hear me around this bite of brownie?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Femininsm? Stolen thought

Quote of the day, stolen from the zine "the F word"

" We don't need to write ourselves out of popular culture, or deny the parts of ourselves that don't fit into the third wave feminist mold. As women, we don't want to be given any mold. That's the whole point." Erin Matson

I Heart Hating Bush

I freely admit, Michael Moore is my hero, I throw things at the TV during our commander-in-cheifs' speeches every once in a while, and I've marched in protests shouting "Not My President" at the very top of my lungs. He's so easy to hate- his manipulation of government and power are often so transparent that I often find it insulting that he doesn't try to cover it up more. I am also insulted that his speech writers aren't trying harder to convince me that he gives a shit about anything other than big business profit margins. But I was motivated the other day to attempt to climb inside the "red state" mindset. I mean, people did vote for the man. Not quite enough to actually elect him, but let's not get into that.

The interesting this is that as I attempted to search out pro-Bush sites, it seemed as though there were way less than anti-Bush. In fact, the Bush-is-the-anti-christ sites kept popping up. I did however find "Blogs for Bush"~ kind of an interesting smattering of ideas. I had no idea that Ann Coulter was a deadhead, for example. I never expected to have much more in common with the woman other than hair color. Too much wading into the politics of her site, however, made me want to hurl the laptop. But the proliferation of hatred for Bush across the internet got me thinking. The internet is likely a much more reliable look into the psyche of the masses- Rupert Murdoch has yet to get his grubby hands all over it (completely, anyway). So why, other than the obvious, do so many of us love to hate Bush? Do we need a bad guy to blame? Are all of the ills of the capitalist regime and outdated two-party system perfectly encapsulated by this one man? I'm no where near liking this guy, but I would be scared to wear some of the t-shirts that I came across. Of course, I found some equally scary right-winger shirts (the difference with those being that I didn't chuckle as I read them).

Anyway, point being, I think that we are so obsessed with duality that we're missing the point. Liberals versus Conservatives, Republicans versus Democrats, Red staters versus Blue~ is that really all that we can talk about? I'm wading through "What Liberal Media", and we recently rented "Outfoxed", and so I'm boning up on which news media are more prone to censorship than others. But the discourse is starting to feel more like a debate as to "who's on our team" rather than an expose on censored stories. The stories that do get censored are shocking enough, though, and the underlying right wing conservative agenda that the media execs filter through is frightening. But is this pitting of one side against another, and the enforcement of a two-party system keeping us distracted from the real issues? Is it just a means of keeping us engaged in the continuous war that Orwell described, in which society opresses itself with neverending war to keep the citizens occupied? Are we doing it to ourselves?

Maybe it's not Bush's fault as much as our own. We watch documentaries, and read articles, but then make the same apathetic choice to sit on the couch and be instructed as to what to do and think next by the panel of experts we rely on, provided by our media source of choice. Can you blame us? With bills to pay, a life to lead, and ads convincing us to constantly consume more and therefore create a need to work even harder, who has time to break this cycle? Who has the energy to think outside the box enough even to coin a more original phrase than "think outside the box"? I don't know, but I'm sure some expert out there will explain it to me.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Whistling in the Dark

I find myself wanting to publish more and more of my philosophical and political musings onto my little myspace page, and so I've decided to create a "Cindy's Universe" of the questions and answers that I come up with in the course of my ongoing investigation of the universe at large.

Who are we as a country? Who am I as a citizen? How do our own perceptions of "the truth" affect our collective conciousness? What is control, who has it, and why do we let "them" abuse it? I always say that we should practice conscious consumerism, but what about conscious citizenship? Does a Democracy really function if the information with which we vote is muddied or biased? Is there even a way to prevent this in our current Capitalist regime?

I do not intend this to be the retelling of the fairy tale that pitts the evil conservatives against the virtuos liberals, or vice versa. Instead, I wonder why we as humans are so obsessed with duality. Why just red and blue states? Make mine Green, please. Maybe with purple polka dots.

Not to suggest that I am not obviously immersed in my own strong viewpoints, or that one can ever observe the quantum electron without the observer, I am as culturally relative as everyone else, relatively. I am not going to attempt a "fair and balanced" diatribe in the great tradition of Big Brother Media, I mean, Fox News. I just want to talk about our country, and our global community, and what I feel like my responsiblities are as a citizen, as a human. How much is enough? When do we protest, when do we throw in the towel? Is my Starbucks latte the end of civilization as we know it?

I was at a party a while ago, where several members of an underground activist radio station were present. I was talking to a young girl, and she began describing how very much she enjoyed "protesting". She loved the shouting, the signs, the people banding together in demonstration. But, I wondered, along with my friend Kristin, demonstration against what? What are we yelling about? Why are we here? Who's listening? If it is in vogue to identify one as a member of a subculture that prides itself in it's watchdog status against the dominant power structure, then shouldn't we have an agenda? Because if the object is simply to not "be one of them", you know, those nasty Rebublican Conservative Fatcats smoking thousand dollar bills, then aren't we simply a part of the whole that defines them? For you Matrix fans out there, wouldn't that just make us a neccecary part of the programming, that aspect that needs to exist and rebel, but the "against what" doesn't matter?

I would like it to matter. I'm not anti-America, I live here, right? I'm a legal citizen, gosh darn it, and so therefore am safe from marauding minutemen and the INS, and I qualify for a decent wage. I was raised in suburbia, and I eat veggie dogs and watch fireworks on the 4th every year. But I am so disgusted by so many of the actions taken by government, by big business, that it's tempting to simply say, "Golly, what can the average citizen really do, anyway?" Or, "How hard is it to deport to Canada?" That power of one crap is really often just that, crap. Statistically, my vote really doesn't count. But if we check out, if we say, "I''m not even going to participate", then that's an even bigger load of crap. We participate every day in the functioning of our society, like it or not. We vote with our purchases, our conversations, our conscious or unconscious digestion of the media. What are we saying? Are we listening to ourselves?

And so that is what I intend this blog to be- a way for me to listen to myself, to my choices, to my role in society. I'm not going to change the world, change your mind, or even my own. I'm just whistling in the dark. Got a light?

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