- New Music Discover: The Wailin' Jennys. LOVE the name. If you like female singer/songwriters with gorgeous harmony, you'll like this Canadian folk band. When they aren't singing traditional folk songs, they write songs independently, and take the vocal lead on songs they write.
- Movie Update: Son of Rambo. This British film about two boys that make a home movie about the son of Rambo on a search to rescue his dad is adorable. I started smiling during the opening credits, and that sense of enjoyment never left. The soundtrack added to the somewhat whimsical nature of the movie. Rent for a feel-good, upbeat movie experience.
- Book Recap: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Janie was right; this was a good book. Here are my three favorite quotes, one from each section.
"Still, despite all this, traveling is the great true love of my life. I have always felt...that travel is worth any cost or sacrifice. I am loyal and constant in my love for travel... I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, cocky, restless newborn baby - I just don't care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it is mine. Because it looks like me. It can barf all over me if it wants to - I just don't care."
"We're miserable because we think that we are mere individuals, one with our fears and flaws and resentments and mortality. We wrongly believe that our limited little egos constitute our whole entire nature. We have failed to recognize our deeper divine character. We don't realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist ad Supreme Self who is eternally at peace."
"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it and sometimes travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you...leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you are in distress, but continuing to pray when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to it's good attainment."
Bonus quote: "He's got a smile that could stop crime."
- Best News of the Week: I'm going to a Cowboys game! I love the Dallas Cowboys. My obsession started in high school for no apparent reason. I used to pain my fingernails blue and silver to celebrate the start of every season. In the majority of my high school pictures, I'm wearing a Cowboys shirt. I even took a Cowboys-themed senior picture. On a clear day, from a certain spot near my high school, I could look toward Irving and see Texas Stadium, something I did every time I drove past this spot. I have never been to a Dallas Cowboys football game. That changes on Oct. 4! My awesome sister somehow got her hands on two tickets for the game and game them to me as an early Christmas present. Best. Present. Ever.
- Political Rant of the Week: Sexism and Politics
(Yep, I'm going to rant every week. Whether you agree or disagree with me, hopefully you will do your own research and engage with this campaign. And vote, Wendy H.! No excuses! I'll try to keep them balanced, but right now it's the Republicans are doing and saying stupid, offensive things. I'm sure the Democrats will get their turn. Joe Biden has never had a successful bid for president for a reason.)
I start this rant by acknowledging that sexism, racism, ageism, etc. exist in this country and are part of the campaign narrative. I believe that true sexism should be challenged when it exists. False charges of sexism for personal, or in this case, political gain, should not be tolerated. And that is what the McCain campaign and the Republican machine are currently engaged in. It's insulting. I'm sorry, but asking someone running for president or vice president about their experience, qualifications, opinions and world view is not disrespectful or sexist. Now, the argument and discourse about the Palin can be a good mom/wife and VP can be sexist because Biden isn't being asked the same thing. However, Biden has made his commitment to his family part of the discourse because of his decision to take the train home every night to Delaware.
I just read an opinion piece in Newsweek that set off this rant. The author seemed to imply that asking female politicians tough questions is inherently sexist. She said she thought Charlie Gibson was sexist in his interview with Palin. She was offended that she and Palin were given a "foreign policy exam" in their interviews. The author, the first female every nominated for the vice presidency, said, "But who the the hell does he (Gibson) think he is, acting professorial and getting impatient and annoyed because she didn't know what the Bush Doctrine was. Frankly, I'd never heard it called the Bush Doctrine either, although I know what Bush's foreign policy is."
(CAVEAT: I read a transcript of the interview but did not watch it. I thought it was going to be aired much later than it was. So his tone and non verbals could have been sexist. I read the questions and thought they were fair.)
I did a Google search on the Bush Doctrine, and it's a fairly common term. Obama and Biden have each been asked how their doctrines would differ from Bush's. I can't see how the question was inherently sexist, and I think Palin did a decent job of answering the question, even if she didn't say exactly what Gibsom wanted her to. Does the author consider the fact that Palin in completely unknown and these questions are being asked so we, THE VOTERS, can make our minds up about her? No one is asking Biden these questions because he's been around forever and the media knows him. A Google search let me know everything I want to know about him. That is not the case with Palin. As a major and governor in Alaska, she hasn't had foreign policy experience. (The ability to see Russia from her state does not count.) She didn't even have a passport until 2007! Without these questions, how am I supposed to be an informed voter? It doesn't make me sexist for wanting to know her answers. No one said the media was being racist (or sexist) when they questioned Obama's experience and qualifications during his campaign against Hilary. So you can question a male's experience, but when you question a female's, it's sexist?
But this quote from one of McCain's spokesmen about Tina Fey's portrayal of Sarah Palin is a perfect example of what I'm ranting about. By the way, I thought the skit was hilarious and spot on and the only good thing about the season premier of SNL.
Fiorina: Well, I think that she looked a bit like her. I think that, of course, the portrait was very dismissive of the substance of Sarah Palin, and so in that sense, they were defining Hilary Clinton as very substantive, and Sarah Palin as totally superficial. I think that continues the line of argument that is disrespectful in the extreme, and yes, I would say, sexist in the sense that just because Sarah Palin has different views than Hilary Clinton does not mean that she lacks substance. She has a lot of substance.
So suddenly it's sexist to compare and contrast two politicians? Objectively, Hilary has more experience than Palin, not just different experience. How can reporting that be sexist? How can thinking someone lacks substance by sexist? That comment is just as bad as when the Republicans accused Obama of making a sexist remark directed at Palin when he made his comments about pigs and lipstick. Quit insulting my intelligence. Most people can recognize sexism when they see it an don't need people fabricating something.
Now, in all credit to Palin, I haven't read anything about her saying Gibson and every other journalist covering here is sexist. But she did say this about Hilary's claims of sexism during her campaign. "When I hear a statement like that coming from a woman candidate with any kind of perceived whine about that excess criticism, or maybe a sharper microscope put on her, I think, 'Man, that doesn't do us any good, women in politics, or women in general, trying to progress this country.'" So why is she letting McCain and the Republican machine cry "sexism" on her behalf?
It does do more harm than good. It should backfire on them, but it probably won't. It's going to make it harder to stop real sexism if we focus on false charges.
And that is my political rant of the week. And the end of my post. Did anyone make it to the end?
Friday, September 19, 2008
I'm a little bit annoyed with Blogger right now. I typed part of my post in Outlook and then copied it to Blogger. When I hit the "Publish Post" button, I was told my HTML was unacceptable. No matter what I tried, it wouldn't go away. So I had to retype this entire post. If you read it to the end, you will understand why I'm so annoyed.