The blog is a mess, the archives aren’t showing up, entries are missing all over the place, the template is broken. When my dissertation prospectus is submitted, I might take a look. In the meantime, come see me on Google+ or twitter or my (woefully in need of redesign) vanity page.
Watch for regular blog updates (including the Return of 5 years of Archives!) in August, when I am done my qualifying exams and can return to a more regularly scheduled life. In the meantime, you can always check out the smart people on my links list.
If you have a few hours to kill, and a high tolerance for both pain and LULZ, there is no finer way to spend an afternoon than reading the ‘mansplaining‘ thread on Thus Spake Zuska. Be sure to read the comments, and the follow-up posts, including “Let me mansplain that Sports Illustrated Cover for you“ and my personal favourite, which follows up on some clueless commenter’s attempt to coin the term ‘femsplaining‘. Right after ‘anecdata’, ‘mansplaining’ is one of my new favourite words, which probably explains why this Margaret Wente column caught my eye. Male Answer Syndrome, as she terms it, is a form of mansplaining, and its why men blog, and women… well, who knows what broads do, but apparently having well formed opinions and articulating them isn’t it.
Margaret doesn’t have a blog, you see, and here’s why: because blogging is a guy thing. “Men clearly have an urge to blog that women lack,” she says, and her proof is that she doesn’t have a blog, and neither does her friend, Sarah. So, extrapolating from that excellent sample, she is able to draw inferences regarding the urge to blog in half of the population of the planet. Frankly, I don’t know why I slogged my way through graduate statistics and survey methodology classes, when I could just be doing this kind of incisive research design and analysis. Women don’t blog, because … well, because Margaret was shy in college and never raised her hand, and therefore women don’t feel the need to voice an opinion. Globe and Mail, I am actually a little ashamed to read you.
I saw this cover in the grocery store, and actually had to stop and take a breath and remind myself that its a tabloid, and that to get angry at a magazine whose level of discourse is pitch perfect for monkeys and those about to be assaulted by a dental drill is about as sensible as getting angry at the sun, for shining. Its what they do – push buttons for money.
I had a lot to say about this, but luckily, Melissa at Shakesville said it for me, and better, so I will just add two things. One: every day, as the parent of little girls, I am confronted by a reminder that our culture will never make for them the room they deserve to just be – to just be the people they are supposed to be. That everything about them will always be subject to the kind of scrutiny and interpretation that our culture revels in, when it comes to women. And two: the obsession in tabloid journalism regarding celebrity children is off-putting and creepy. A grown man, hiding in the bushes, snapping hundreds of photos of unsuspecting little children and selling those photos to the highest bidder. That is what this cover represents.
They are called Couture Pops; bedazzled lollipop sticks, upon which you screw in a flavoured ball of candy. Pretty young women who have found a way to create a dubious pastiche of a career out of showing up at events are paid to be product promoters, dutifully carrying their candy to events and being photographed sucking on them while walking the red carpet.
I am not even sure where to start, unpacking that photo. Male gaze, sexual objectification of women, sexualizing the accoutrements of children? Or maybe it is enough to state the obvious: we live in a culture where a young woman’s paid job can be giving a simulated blowjob to a piece of candy while walking the red carpet in order to be photograhed by the media.
“Morning commute” radio in Chicago is a piss-poor assortment that sounds something like this: all-male crew spewing misogyny, all-male crew spewing misogyny, and Eric and Kathy, a male-female crew, spewing (slightly less) misogyny than the rest of their cohort. Never heard them? Let me summarize. Every day, their conversation goes like this: Eric says something awful about women, or makes fun of gay people, or comments on Kathy’s breasts, or calls their traffic reporter a spinster, or talks about how he is a caveman who doesn’t understand his wife’s need to use hair conditioner (essentially, he is completely ripping off Tim Allen’s entire ’80s stand-up routine), and then Kathy squeals. That’s it. Their whole schtick.
I don’t know why I listen, except I keep hoping that one day, Eric will grunt out one of his misogynist conversation openers, and then the air will go dead for a moment, and then Kathy will say, very quietly, “Eric, stop being such an asshole.” It never happens, and reading this interview gives a pretty good indicator why.
This won’t be the final design, and there is a lot of behind the scenes stuff to be done on the server, including installing new dBase software, along with a few new tricks and goodies. But … after a year’s absence, the site is back. I still need to put together a header graphic, and tweak the css, to appease my inner font-snobbery, but at least it is a start.
The archives though, may be lost. They were backed up onto a drive that corrupted due to fire damage (its been an exciting year!), and may be unrecoverable, which is a shame, because they go back for years, and include such gems as my prediction that blogs were a passing fad.
Watch this space: the relaunch is January 2010. And thank you in advance for your patience as I muck around with the template, etc.