Archive for the ‘Words’ Category

I’ll Feel Fat If I Want To!

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

fat is a feeling

Facebook has responded to a petition by eliminating the status option of ‘feeling fat.’

If only I’d known about this option! And now it’s gone, thanks to political correctness.

The Change.org petition said this:

Did you know that Facebook lets you tell all your friends just how much you hate your body?

Uh-oh, body hatred! Make it stop!

And this:

Having these word choices completely normalizes using derogatory descriptive terms in the place of real feelings. How can a person feel ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’ when these aren’t actually feelings?” …What’s worse is that these adjectives are judgmental and forced on us by society to make women (and increasingly men) feel negatively about their otherwise healthy bodies!

fat is not a feeling

Well, Facebook is sorry and never again will it allow us to fat-shame our own selves. Here’s the Facebook statement:

We’ve heard from our community that listing “feeling fat” as an option for status updates could reinforce negative body image, particularly for people struggling with eating disorders. So we’re going to remove “feeling fat” from the list of options. We’ll continue to listen to feedback as we think about ways to help people express themselves on Facebook.

I’m going to call bullshit on this and I don’t expect a single person to agree with me. But still, this is a disturbing trend. It’s not good to censor feelings, and fat is indeed a feeling, no matter what any petition says.

I feel fat RIGHT NOW. I’m not actually fat but I feel fat. I also feel guilty much of the time. I feel depressed most days and often angry, too. Naming these feelings  actually makes me  feel better. I know that I don’t need to live in denial, that self-expression is healthy and liberating.

Positivity is nice but shouldn’t be enforced by word police. Fat-shaming is a big deal at the moment but it’s a made-up problem created by scolds, overly sensitive crybabies who think Everyone Is Beautiful even though we’re not all beautiful.

At the same time experts are urging people to talk about mental illness to dispel the stigma, Facebook is now telling us we can’t confess to feeling fat.

Fuckers. Fascists. Fat-phobic fascist fuckers.

P.S. You can’t ‘feel ugly’ anymore on Facebook, either. Because, I don’t know, it’s mean to people struggling with ugliness issues.

 

Banished Words for 2015

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

banned-words

Lake Superior State Universary has published its 40th Annual List of Banished words, “Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.”

Considering what an awful year it’s been for language, not to mention humanity itself, it is a short and vastly incomplete list, compiled from nominations received via the university’s website.

Here we go:

Bae
Polar Vortex
Hack
Skill Set
Swag
Foodie
Curate/Curated
Friend-Raising
Cra-Cra
Enhanced Interrogation
Takeaway
-Nation

I’m going to say meh to this list, even though most people might include meh on their own list. I’m also going to complain about the spelling of cray-cray.

Takeaway is a good choice. Bae, though, I’m really conflicted about, since it’s so stupid that I hear it as tongue-in-cheek even if it’s used with sincerity. I enjoy it in a perverse way, like when I hear someone say ‘conversate.’

So let’s get to the shit they overlooked. Just off the top of my head:

Unpack, used to mean find out more about the subject. I hate this. It’s the new ‘Drill-down.’

Folks, as in ‘Yes, we did torture some folks.’ Enough of folks, for fucksake! Let’s just say ‘people’ like we used to!

Bro- as a suffix. Brogrammers, Brodouches, we get it, now let it go.

Let it go is a prompt I never, ever want to hear again, ever, unless I’m holding on to a butterfly or something.

A Red Lip as in ‘wear with simple jewelry and a red lip.’  God, why?? Say ‘red lipstick’ unless you want to die.

 

Okay, I’m going to stop now before I get too worked up.

What about you, bae? What words and phrases need to be banned for 2015?

 

 

 

And For Our Jewish Friends…

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

hot-jewish ladies

In my 20s, a hundred years ago, I remember enjoying newspaper ads for grocery stores that said “And For Our Jewish Friends,” with photos of Hanukkah or Passover food. I enjoyed what I felt was the discreet racism of “Our Jewish Friends” and probably inferred a silent “You kikes!”

I thought this Jewish specificity was a thing of the past but nope, the clickbait above popped up yesterday.

So where are the Hottest Presbyterian Woman Under 40?  I couldn’t find them, but I did find fifty more Hot Jews, including many names I’ve never heard before plus Sarah Silverman, the poster girl for attractive Jewishness.

If you google the phrase “And for our Jewish Friends,” it crops up everywhere, usually a polite afterthought to an Easter or Christmas wish. “Hey Jews, look, we’re not excluding you!”

When will America single out Muslims and Buddhists in their holiday greetings or hot babe galleries? Until that happens, I resent the shout out to Jews.

Fuck you, Dominant American Culture! I’m not your friend. I don’t even believe in god. But here’s how I served some pastries at my housewarming party last week.

jesus-treats-housewarming-party

L’chaim and Merry Christmas, inshallah!

Dumbing Down

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

big-ass library

We are packing our shit and preparing to leave our house, the house where nobody likes to throw anything away.

I like the idea of a fresh start, in terms of starting over in a clean empty house and pretending that we’ll learn to not pile things on every available surface. We’ll want to keep things tidy because we’ll be motivated by the nice empty canvass of the nice empty house.

Ha.

But still, I am trying. I’m giving shit away and getting rid of stuff I can live without. So I started getting rid of old books, the kind that are really yellowed with tiny print and smell really musty. Eventually, I had boxes of books to take to the thrift store.

I realized that now when someone visits me, they won’t know I was once smart. They won’t have any idea of how well-read I am! Most of the fiction I bought over the years was in the form of cheap paperbacks, with a few rare exceptions when I felt justified in splurging on a hardback edition. I packed up dozens of wonderful moldy books that I would still recommend to anyone who likes to read.

All that Balzac, Zola, Bronte sisters, Goethe, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Nabokov, Iris Murdoch, Hermann Hesse, Tolstoy, Fitzgerald, Doris Lessing, Camus, all those great books that helped me to understand human nature while escaping the awfulness of being me.

If you know you’re not going to read those yellowed pages again, why should you keep them? Do people keep enormous ‘libraries’ of books just to remind themselves how much they’ve read? Or because books are too sacred to throw away? I really don’t know the answer. I will still have tons of books that are in good shape, because they’re newer or because they’re big art books made from high quality paper.

But people who meet me now will think I’m some idiot who just reads dictionaries and books about street gangs and mental disorders.

Meanwhile, my mind is now preoccupied with stuff I’ve never thought about in my entire life. Toilet seats! Kitchen cabinets! Media consoles! Wicker porch chairs!

It’s pathetic, these new preoccupations. We even discovered this TV channel where ALL THEY DO is buy houses, knock down walls, and argue about tile! It’s a whole new world, a world I never thought I’d relate to.

And it’s brought me and my husband a new kind of intimacy as we mock those losers who always talk about ‘natural light’ and always, always manage to say the word ‘granite.’

And Now I’m A Fucking Midget

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

PRINCESS tiny

I’m sad to say that Pico is gone, as you might have predicted. Life seemed so miserable for him.

I will blame myself for making the call, because I don’t know how long he would have lasted, despite the chronic pain and cognitive issues.

I miss him terribly but I’m not traumatized, because it seems like I’m already stuck with permanent PTSD that time won’t budge.

However! I am still capable of being dismayed.

I fucked up my back when I had to carry Pico inside from the backyard. He was only 40 pounds but I managed to lift him improperly.

So after whimpering (i.e. screaming) about my back for two weeks, I went to the doctor. The first blow was when she measured my height. I am supposed to be 5′ 6″ but now I measured 5′ 4 1/2″ for a loss of one and a half inches of valuable height!

Fuck me! I can’t believe this, even though I know that age and shitty bones lead to shrinking. What next? A dowager’s hump? I’ll probably go bald and whatever else is available to elderly women. I had to have ex-rays of my back, which revealed a degenerating spine or something that sounded like that. All those years of weightlifting, for nothing.

I’m going to get physical  therapy for my back, but for now I have two new prescriptions plus a bottle of Pico’s narcotic pain-killers.

To further drive home the old age thing, my husband and I were talking about TV hosts and we couldn’t remember Larry King’s last name. It was a moment of shared horror as our eyes met and we silently acknowledged that our brains have turned to mush.

Trying to retrieve Larry King’s last name was like gazing into an infinite black hole where a memory bank used to be. I hate Larry King now. I would say He’s dead to me, except now I’ll probably remember him as a symbol of senility, both his and mine.

Big Sister, Part I

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

sisters in matching outfits

Years ago, I read a book called ‘The Sibling Bond‘ after reading an enthusiastic review somewhere. I remember its theories and insights as uniquely thought-provoking. Now, it’s all just depressing.

The sibling bond is like no other relationship. It is fraught with everything under the sun – issues of identity, intimacy, security, fairness, all woven together in  a complex knotted mess.

I’m calling it a mess because I’ve had a major falling out with my sister, the sister I grew up with, the sister who was half of what my mom called “You Two Brats.”

In healthy families, children’s roles and identities are not fixed at birth or rigidly imposed early in life. In other families, however, parents fuse their children, treating them as if they were the same. The children are lumped together, treated as if they were each other’s twin despite differences in age, stage, sex and temperament. The children can become fused in their minds, because they are fused in their parents minds.

Sibling bonds will become intense when, as children, the siblings have had plentiful access, contact, AND have been deprived of reliable parental care.

I remember myself as an anxious, fearful child who looked to my sister for warmth and companionship. She was two years older, husky and athletic. I was skinny and clumsy and still can’t ride a bicycle. We ate together, bathed together, were punished together and rewarded together. When we fought and I tried to get our mother’s attention, she would scream, “You two fight it out!”

I gave up on the hope that my mother would intervene and protect me. So when my sister devised tortures to try out on me, I learned to accept my fate. The worst came at bath-time. My sister would take my cotton undershirt and hold it under the hot water tap until steam came off it. Then, I would have to put it on. It hurt and I cried but there was no escape.

The other bath-time torture was the wet bar of soap: She would order me to choose whether I wanted it “in the eye or in the mouth.” I remember the panicky brain work of making the choice. The choice was always wrong, naturally.

My sister had a huge problem with being copied. She became enraged if she perceived any copying. If I drew with a blue crayon, it might be construed as copying. She made up a thing to yell when she started to do something, meaning it was her idea and could not be copied. When she decided I had copied her, there was ‘slavery.’ It was actually called slavery.

Did everyone grow up this way? I really have no idea. But I loved my sister, because she was all I had. We made up a private language that we could speak a mile a minute. She taught me how to shave my legs. We both had to smoke our father’s cigar when he picked us up for Divorced dad dinners in expensive restaurants. We both had to endure his criticism of our hair and our teeth, and his self-congratulatory appraisal of his latest girlfriend.

Once, my sister was determined to get even with some guy for something, and the only way she could do it was to sleep with someone. I tried every argument to change her mind. When she announced that she planned to pick a stranger off the street, I told her to just use my former lover, a compliant stoner. She fucked him alright. She fucked him for around six months. At some point, I begged her to stop, but she wouldn’t. She told me that she wasn’t through getting even.

It was still a choice of the eye or the mouth, but without the choice factor.

We spent years of our lives, fused together or enraged at each other. We used to rely on each other to be what we called a Reality Guarantor, to compare our experiences or point of view. It was so reassuring. Whatever I might be worried about, she swore that it was nothing serious, it would go away or never happen or that she had it too and it wasn’t cancer.

Now we have crossed a line. Too many grievances have been aired. I see her as pathologically competitive and sadistic. She has rewritten my history, casting me as the villain in pieces where I was once the clear victim. Maybe it’s better to be the villain. The truth doesn’t matter to her, and I am the truth police, as everyone knows.

According to her, I’m the devil himself. “You think your shit don’t stink?” she shouted at me over the phone. Who even talks like that? Who are we, Mob Wives? Shouldn’t she at least say ‘doesn’t stink’?

 

 

‘No Mediocre’ Exegesis

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

I discovered this new video because it features my darling Iggy Azalea. I had no idea who T.I was, that’s how ignorant I am.

But now I know, and Knowing is the First Step.

Anyway, T.I. is somewhat controversial, but that’s due to his personal life. “No Mediocre” is just a standard rap song evidently, and yet it is so rich in poetry. Let me share some of the lyrics:

Right hand in the air
I solemnly swear
I never fuck a bitch if she don’t do her hair
No more, you won’t get no dick if there’s a bush down there
Girl I should see nothing but pussy when I look down there

Fair enough. Got it.

However, rap genius offers choices in interpreting the heartfelt couplet about dick with regard to bush.

rap-genius-mediocre

See? He has standards. But if a bitch meet the standards, here is what will happen:

Out here trying to find someone that better than my last go
Take her to my castle
Drown her in my cash flow

Okay! Again, got it. But I like this clarification from rap genius:

“T.I. would like to find a female that looks better than his last, if that’s possible since he all he fuck is bad bitches.”

And with a net worth of around $50 million, T.I. can afford to be discriminating with his bitches, and he don’t want no bitch that will settle for mediocre either. It’s all good.

The Mighty Hipster

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

How to be a hipster

To paraphrase a quote misattributed to Mark Twain,  Rumors of the death of the hipster are greatly exaggerated.

How many times have you come across a snide appraisal of hipsters, whatever iteration hipster is current at the time, with the conclusion that the species has hit rock bottom. Hipsters are so over, just look at them.

The last time I read something like that, hipsters were kind of effete and emo, remember them? And they had to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon for some reason.

Chris Sanderson, a trend forcaster, explains:“The hipster died the minute we called him a hipster. The word no longer had the same meaning.” Oh please, Chris, as if.  Then there was  a report last month from researchers at the University of New South Wales who discovered that the hipster look was no longer “hip.”

I’m down with Chris’s notion that there are now two types of hipster: “Contemporary hipsters – the ones with the beards we love to hate – and proto-hipsters, the real deal.” So, okay, the Real Deal means ‘us’ and the faux hipsters are ‘them’. That’s cool with me, I guess.

Hipsters were once people who rejected societal norms. White people who liked black jazz, people who read William Burroughs or Iceberg Slim. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t about a uniform that signaled you were cool and in-the-know.

I still like the definition of a hipster as someone who was into whatever you’re into, 5 years ago. He has moved on and you will never keep up with him. I can reliably turn to my Nephew Russell, who was riding a fixed bike years ago. He is too hip for Facebook, not to mention Twitter. Whatever browser he uses for the internet, you’ve never heard of it. Whatever coffee you drink, he knows a place to get better coffee and it’s not a chain, either. It’s a given that he despises hipsters.

This Sanderson guy, the hipster expert, predicts an ‘overhaul’ in hipsters as we now know them  He predicts “A more macho look, almost to the point of caricature, in a bid for men to reinforce their identity.”

Uh-oh, he’d better be wrong about this. The hipsters I’m seeing (whether proto, meta or crypto) are already bearded and scruffy enough to be woodsman and ax-murderers. Will they adopt an even more primitive look, like early cro-magnons? Whatever the next wave turns out to be, I’m confidant that the hipster will be here til the end, a survivor, like the mighty cockroach. Just more annoying.

Translate This Kanye Quote And Win a Buick!

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

stupid wedding picture

Okay, you are all too young to know the reference to this title but I’m paraphrasing a joke by Lenny Bruce who was making fun of – oh never mind. The important element is Kanye, as he is all too eager to point out.

So, Kanye is mad, for a change, and he’s making a big fuss. Some crap about Annie Leibovitz and a wedding picture she didn’t take.

Okay, so Kanye rants,

“Can you imagine telling someone who wants to just Instagram a photo, who’s the No. 1 person on Instagram, ‘We need to work on the color of the flower wall,’ or the idea that it’s a Givenchy dress, and it’s not about the name Givenchy, it’s about the talent that is  Riccardo Tisci — and how important Kim is to the Internet.”

My god, it’s like heaven when that idiot opens his mouth.

But here’s the part that needs translating:

“And the fact the No. 1 most-liked photo [on Instagram] has a kind of aesthetic was a win for what the mission is, which is raising the palette.” [my italics]

For the Buick (i.e., the edification of mankind, in this instance) What does Kanye think he means by “raising the pallette?”

Beyonce Studies

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Professor Kevin Allred godammit

Kevin Allred, a professor in the women’s and gender studies department at Rutgers University, is stirring up controversy with his signature course: Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyonce.

In a recent interview with NPR, he discusses the genesis of the course. “I read an article a few years ago by Daphne Brooks, a professor at Princeton, and she was arguing that the ‘B’Day’ album should be looked – politically, in kind of line with black, female protest singing throughout history.”

It’s nice to know that Professors at Princeton are thinking about Beyonce too.

Allred continues, “And I wanted to continue that and, like, think about all of Beyonce’s work, post and pre ‘B’Day,’ and her career in general as a way to engage students around these conversations about race, gender, sexuality and the politics of those categories in the United States, especially.”

So I’m, like, how many units is this class and like, what is the cost per unit? Will it help the students to pay back their college loans or what?

If I were teaching Beyonce Studies, I’d start with her transformation from a pretty African American girl to a sleek blond bombshell.

Beyonce Knowles

beyonce--2010

161553644JS00162_BEYONCE_LI

Does a Black woman have to look ‘whiter’ to achieve success with a mass audience? Why is the prevailing concept of female beauty still a busty blond? For all Beyonce’s talk about empowerment, I see a shrewd businesswoman selling herself as a non-threatening sex symbol. Where’s the power in that?

I have no idea what Beyonce means to our culture, but nothing about her piques my curiosity. I’m much more interested when something fresh or challenging manages to capture the public imagination, like Amy Winehouse or ‘Breaking Bad‘. Or when someone truly awful, like Taylor Swift, manages to make $1 million per show.

But that’s just me. I am obviously out of step with most of humanity.

If you’re thinking of taking Professor Allred’s course, you should familiarize yourself with his own dissertation project, for which he is now, ahem, ….

“interrogating U.S. black feminism through the sonic register, reframing debates over intersectionality versus assemblage through taking careful account of the sounds black women’s voices make, both live and recorded. He is particularly interested in the ways black female musicians – like Nina Simone, Odetta, Beyonce Knowles, Nicki Minaj, and Janelle Monae – manipulate their voices in order to resist racist and heteronormative power structures.”

Oh God. Like his hairstyle isn’t enough.