Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kanye, Taylor and Beyonce

So one of the cool things about this 30 commentaries in 30 days thing, (note if you don't know what I'm talking about go down a few entries to the one entitled: Challenge) is that I suppose I will eventually catch up to what's happening in the world today. My partner Laura points out that I'm way behind the times with the Joe Wilson Commentary. Well, I will have to say that I am guilty as charged. I mean the Joe Wilson Story was like so 20 days ago. The good news is now I'm talking about Kanye, Taylor and Beyonce and I'm like only 17 days behind. So I think I'm catching up. At this pace by the time I'm done with the challenge, I'll be 5 days in the future. I guess this is a win for everybody.

Anyway. So unless you live under a rock at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, you know about Kanye's interruption of Taylor's Swift's acceptance speech for best female video. I know what you're thinking, what the hell is significant politically about this. The answer... Not a whole lot. But two points.

Point A: Despite the fact that Kanye was rude to a nineteen year old woman on national television, he was right. No he wasn't right for being rude, but people, Taylor Swift's Video is awful. I mean terrible. If you haven't seen it, Taylor plays the role of an "unattractive girl" trying to get the attention of a boy that's in love with a cheerleader. So young girls can grow up thinking: I should look like a skinny cheerleader and if I don't there is no hope for me because Taylor Swift looks like a skinny cheerleader and some hot stud thinks she's ugly because she wears glasses.

Point B: Beyonce's video for Single Ladies is truly brilliant. If you haven't seen it, watch it on YouTube. Than watch Mexican Breakfast by famous choreographer Bob Fosse and you will find that Single Ladies is a tribute to Fosse and his wife Gwen Verdon, arguably the best dancer on Broadway in the 50's and 60's. So what this says to me is that at least there are some people creating legitimate art even while simultaneously re-inforcing the patriarchal paradigm of marriage and relationships. I know that doesn't say a whole lot but it's the VMA's what do you expect?

So what's the conclusion? Beats me. I just figured I would share a few thoughts on this subject. I will have to call myself out and say that this commentary doesn't have a whole lot of Tofu to it. But it's only my second one of thirty, so get off my back!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Joe Wilson and why I didn't vote for Obama

So If you read my previous post, you'll see that I've challenged myself to write 30 commentaries in 30 days. So here is my first one...

Joe Wilson. Y'all know who he is. He's the dude that interrupted Barack Obama at his congressional address on Health Care. He screamed out YOU LIE!! when Obama mentioned that his health care plan wouldn't cover illegal immigrants. The ironic part about this event is that it highlights why I didn't vote for Obama. That's right a right-wing conservative was able to illustrate the key reason in why I didn't vote for Barack.

No. It's not because I think that the right wing has the answers or that Joe Wilson is a symbol of down home good values. And actually it's not because I feel that illegal immigrants should be covered by the same coverage as me, although I certainly do feel that way. It's because of the outrage expressed by some republicans at Wilson's outburst. When John McCain was asked what he thought of Wilson's antics, McCain called them "unacceptable" and stated that he should "apologize". Several other republicans reacted similarly as well as many congressional Dem's.

So I got to thinking what's the big deal. I surmise one of two things from Wilson's insistence that Obama is pulling our leg. One, he is a xenophobe that truly believes that the president is lying and that his insurance plan will cover illegal immigrants, resulting in mass migrations from every brown country on the planet followed by fire and brimstone, and therefore Wilson is the one soul standing between us and the Apocalypse. Or two, he is a xenophobe that knows the president is not lying but is convinced his constituents will believe that Obama's insurance plan will cover illegal immigrants, resulting in mass migrations from every brown country on the planet followed by fire and brimstone, and therefore they will see Wilson as the one soul standing between us and the Apocalypse. I assume that the answer is number two. Anyway what's the big deal with him vocalizing his opinion?

I mean after all how many of us would have loved the opportunity to scream at the top of our lungs towards GW Bush, something like "Iraqi Baby Killer" or "You're not even from Texas" or "Fuck Dick Cheney". I did a little bit of lazy person research into the matter and according to the Chicago Tribune, no one has ever screamed at the president in a joint session before. That said in 1856 Democratic Rep. Preston Brooks beat Sen. Charles Sumner with a heavy cane in the Senate Chamber, but I digress. Again I ask what is the big deal? I mean don't we want to yell sometimes at the people we strongly disagree with? Would I be upset if someone yelled "you lie" when Bush declared that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? No.

So here is the big deal: respect for the presidency. Opposition parties aren't suppose to disrespect the president out of respect for the office. But I believe that is code language for "we will be in that office one day." And that's the point. No matter what liberal, commie, propaganda, Obama is pushing, remember that we will be back and than we can spread our christian conservative propaganda all we want, wink-wink.

And that's why I didn't vote for Obama. Because I believe that the Democrats and Republicans have an agreement that allows for each party to continue to play tug-o-war with the power structure in a manner that ensures that the two of them will always be in control. In the end this means that we will once again have a republican president. Look at the names of potential republican candidates out there and ask yourself if you're excited. And than ask yourself if Obama has done anything to challenge the two-party system and the basic foundational principles that keep the republican/democratic partnership in control. Finally take note of the fact that Joe Wilson has raised $2 million since his tantrum in congress and his opponent Rob Miller has raised $1.5 million and ask yourself: Is there a better way to spend $3.5 million in our efforts to improve society? Or is it really more productive to continue to pour money and time into this never ending seesaw?

The challenge...

So last night I saw Julie and Julia. If you haven't seen it I recommend it. Meryl Streep is ridiculously good as Julia Child. If you've never heard about the movie it's about Julie Powell and her journey through Julia Childs masterpiece, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Basically Julie Powell is feeling lost and decides to cook every recipe in the book in one year and blog about it everyday. That's right 365 days and 500 some recipes. This was the defining moment of Julie's career and now she is a professional writer and has a movie made about her.

So it reminded me about what a slacker blogger I am. I write a blog and than say I'm going to write another one and than I slack off until I feel embarrassed that I've slacked and finally I overcome the embarrassment and I write another entry. And this happens every month. So now, thanks to Julie Powell, I'm committing to writing 30 commentaries in 30 days. That's right I said it. I'm not talking about poem's of the week or best of romantic comedies. I'm talking political commentaries that are filled with meaty subjects or at least tofu and tempeh. So here I go. Hold me accountable people.

And ohh yeah to make the challenge even more interesting. I will be on tour beginning October 16th. It is extremely difficult for those of us without an IPhone to blog when you are spending 8 hours or more in a car followed by an evening performance. But I'm out of control what can I say....

I know Julie, you blogged for a year straight with barely an interruption and cooked like 500 recipe's to boot, but quit raining on my parade. Anyway I'm shooting for realistic attainable goals.

Here goes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Romantic Comedies

So here is the question. What is the best Romantic Comedy of All time? I know this may not be considered an essential discussion in terms of radical politics but I think this question needs to be answered. In my mind there really is only one answer:

When Harry met Sally

But several people have attempted to refute this claim. None of these individuals can make as passionate claim as I can. But nonetheless I will allow some time for discourse on this subject before we crown When Harry Met Sally.

And for the record my argument is simple: When Harry Met Sally will destroy all other romantic comedies in any form of battle known to human kind. Period.

So here I some of the other contenders our there:

Boomerang (one of my favorites)
Barefoot in the Park
Say Anything
High Fidelity (John Cusack is the real deal)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (I haven't seen it yet but just acquired it, legally of course)

And that's about all I've got. Feel free to give your suggestions.

Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan rule the world!