Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sorry, Jane, we’ve moved on

Once upon a time, there was a magazine for girls called “Sassy,” and apparently, it was good.

Look, it was before my time, and I’m not really one for fashion features. But I have to respect any magazine that had cover lines like: “A day in the life of Miss America, indentured servant,” “Do you need armpit hair to be a feminist?” (Spoiler alert: No, but feel free to skip shaving if you’re so inclined), “13 reasons to stop dieting” and “Can anyone on ‘90210’ act?” Hah!

Sassy ran articles about abortion and STDs, attracting the ire of the religious (not-so) right, and treated teen girls like they had brains. It even inspired a generation of female journalists — seriously, there’s even a book called “How Sassy Changed My Life.” Can you imagine anyone writing anything like that about CosmoGirl?

So I was kind of psyched when I saw this article in the LA Times about Sassy’s original editor, Jane Pratt, starting up an online women’s mag. Or I was, until I clicked over and read it.

Here are some real-life, honest-to-god headlines:

  • My Rapist Friended Me on Facebook (and All I Got Was This Lousy Article)
  • My Spin Instructor Quit and I’m Kinda Freaking Out
  • I’m A Lonely, Insecure Wreck With Really Good Skin
  • Why My Boobs Are Huge
  • I Spent Two Weeks In A Mental Institution, But Left With Better Hair

This is a joke, right?

It gets worse. Jane Pratt writes a column about how someone in a salon said she looked (gasp!) old, and that prompted a torrent of tears. And if that’s not bad enough, the article included this paragraph:

Just like when I was being emotionally abused and calling women’s shelters and battered women’s hotlines every night in fear for my life a number of years ago, I knew that it would one day make me better able able to help other women in that situation. But both experiences still sucked really badly in the moment.

Wait, did she just compare getting called out for some crow’s feet to being in a abusive relationship? Seriously?

Look, I get it, you can talk about personal stuff on the web. But this site “for women” seems to be a tone-deaf cult of personality, an echo chamber for — I was going to say “old,” but that would make Jane cry — writers who were once wunderkinds to convince themselves that they’re still funny and hot and hip.

And I get that you can take a very personal tragedy and see the humor in it, or come at it from an unexpected direction, but jeebus, they’ve got some cracked-out angles. For example, that article entitled “Why My Boobs Are Huge”? That was about having a miscarriage.

The mind reels.

So sorry, Jane. I think I would have liked Sassy back in the day, and I respect you for what you’ve done. But I can’t imagine wanting to read you now.

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Couldn’t resist…

Just had to post this classic Stephen Colbert nugget on the heels of my last diatribe. Yo soy residente del Colbert Nation!

“Machete” and the rise of the Mexicans

I finally saw Robert Rodriguez’s brrrrrilliant Mexploitation flick Machete last night, thanks to Netflix. This on the heels of  TDS finally adding a Senior (sorry, Señor) Latino Correspondent.

But I digress… MACHETE! Of course, the Anglo Elite of S.G. would never allow it to be shown in theaters (sorry, make that the ONE theater) here without clutching their pearls and moaning about how they were assaulted by the very thought of the film, which was CLEARLY the first step in an all-out race war. Our resident Border Militia Bubbas would have piled into their pickups and set up a perimeter around the multiplex to ensure that no uppity Mexicans would get the idea to start hacking and cleaving their way through their betters, or at the very least demanding some minimal rights of equal treatment and protection under the law.

We’re dealing with two contradictory lines of thought (and I use the term loosely) in our charming little burg and others like it. On one had, the Bubbas and Real Housewives believe that our Latino population should be happy — grateful! — for the opportunity to serve as their housecleaners and gardeners and busboys, and to not mind one bit when they hear terms like “wetback” thrown around in casual conversation, or are pulled over twice as often as white drivers. Papers, please — but no offense!

On the other hand, they’re terrified that one little spark — say, a jubilantly gory splatter flick starring a craggy ex-con whose ancestors came from South of the Border — will prompt anyone whose last name ends in -ez to to grab the nearest sharp implement and murder all whiteys in their beds.

The Bubbas and Housewives whisper (audibly) about how they have to protect themselves — they’re under siege because “they” resent “us” (gee, I can’t imagine why), and “those people” are just plain violent by nature. I mean, just look at all the killing going on just over across the Rio Grande! (And to THAT I say…well, that’s another post.)

But maybe, just maybe, Bubbas and Housewives wouldn’t have to worry about The Rise of the Mexicans if they stopped creating the very situations and grievances oppressed people tend to rise up against. After all, if they treated everyone justly and with respect, they wouldn’t have to worry, right?

Or, in the parlance of the movie: If they didn’t f*ck with every Mexican they met, they wouldn’t have to worry about f*cking with the wrong one.

P.S. Viva la revolución, cuál no será televisado.

R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron

Notes from the Notpocalypse

Harold Camping has announced that his math was a bit off (its rocker), and that’s why we’re all still here after the Apocalypse that was supposed to happen on Saturday. New and improved end-of-the-world date: October 21. I’ll pencil it in.

You gotta wonder, though, if Camping and his ilk have really thought this whole Second Coming thing through. Granted, I’m not particularly religious, but if you’re even vaguely aware of what that Jesus guy did back in the day, I’m not sure he’s someone the Rapture-ready right wingers would want around.

Think about it: Jesus was a long-haired hippie / commie / rabble-rouser who hung out with prostitutes, lepers and outcasts, and who fought the moneylenders in the temple. If he showed up in the 21st century, he’d be rescuing women and children from sex traffickers, curing AIDS (as leprosy isn’t such a problem as long as you avoid armadillos), changing water into wine (or, more likely, wine into better wine, or Two Buck Chuck into really good artisanal cocktails) at a same-sex wedding, blowing up the Too Big To Fail banks, and generally standing up for the oppressed. The folks I see here throwing His name around are much more likely to be oppressing than oppressed.

But who are we kidding — the very people who are expecting to be whisked up into heaven here are the same ones who think Jesus was a blue-eyed blond. If some swarthy guy with a “Hello, my name is Jesus” badge showed up here, they’d tell Hay-zeus to get to work watering the lawn and trimming the hedges.

Thanks, Mr. Sulu!

Hello, world…

… because I know there is a world beyond the Red State Hell of S.G. and the brainless, McMansion-dwelling human Bratz dolls and gangsta-wanabes that surround me. I just have to remind myself that it’s only a few more months before I can flee this particular circle of Hell and escape to a place where:

  • Books are for reading, not for burning
  • People pay more attention to my brains than my boobs, my purported sexuality, or my parent’s bank account
  • My purported sexuality isn’t even an issue
  • People my age actually think about things that matter instead of just parroting their parents, who are parroting Papa Bear O’Reilly or Grizzly Mama Palin
  • O’Reilly, Palin, Beck and their lot are justly regarded as morons
  • Jon Stewart is acknowledged and worshipped as the god that he is

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

But until then, good people of the internet, I ask you to keep me sane. Remind me that there’s a THERE out there. That I won’t always have to put up with girls whose highest aspiration in life is to be Paris Hilton. That there are places where casual, reflexive racism isn’t the norm. That people actually care about politics, injustice, equality… things that matter. That there are people out there who actually have more than two brain cells to rub together.

Help me, Internet, you’re my only hope!