Friday, January 30, 2009

Poor Jessica Simpson...

And I mean that with all seriousness. I am not being sarcastic or facetious at all...

What some people may not know about me is that I am a just as enthralled by pop culture, as I am by politics/social reform. I think it adds for an interesting mix when I can bring the two together. In all honesty, I wish I could be a cultural critic, and I can. I just need to have a lot more background knowledge, because I want to be able to back up what I'm saying. That's how I think. It's the history major/women's studies minor (soon to be grad student I hope...) nerd in me...

Ok, back story. Apparently every one's favorite former Mtv reality star, tuna fish mistaker, and Cowboys jinxer (sorry I live in Dallas and still can't get over the influence she has over Romo) Jessica Simpson has picked up some weight, and performed at a Chili festival last weekend. Ok. So? Well fans (if you would call someone a fan who openly criticizes you that) and the media have been in a ruckus over her weight gain. Ok? I'm trying to find out why this is bad and going to make her star fade even faster. She gained weight, but she is still healthy and very pretty. I have seen the pictures, and I am seriously trying to find out what is wrong. I mean I didn't like the outfit, but that's neither here nor there. Her sister, Ashlee, and her husband, Fall Out Boy drummer, Pete Wentz, as well as my favorite Armenian-American Kim Karadashian (haha), have made comments on the media's negative depiction of not only Jessica, but all women. Yes it is not sending a positive example to young girls, teenagers, young women, heck any woman, for the media to consistently blast women in the public for their weight or beauty. We should have seen this coming with the Tyra Banks and Jennifer Love Hewitt nonsense. But I guess what is more disturbing is the fact that the media does it to a point where these female celebrities become addicted to God knows what in order to attain some unnatural standard of beauty. Remember Lindsey Lohan and Nicole Richie's epic battles with weight to the point they had to go to rehab.

As I sit and type this, I try to think of a way to wrap this up, but my mind is just wondering. Ok so it's something that Kim Kardashian said about Jessica Simpson that opened the can of worms. In the article I read today, it stated that Kardashian claims that she is twice the size of Simpson, and she is like she now wonders what do people think about her. Ok now this is where the woman's studies and history major nerd part in me comes out. Think about some of the famous ethnic minority female celebrities? Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce (whose weight goes up and down... but she is famous b/c she sang out being Bootylicious), Tyra Banks (who was also criticized for gaining weight... but that's another blog), Kim Kardashian, and Selma Hayek to name a few. They are all sex symbols, and why? The curves. Ok now think of a curvy modern White female celebrity that is considered a sex symbol? No seriously, I am thinking. Scarlett Johansson? Not really. That makes no sense that I literately can't think of one. And Pamela Anderson and her over-sized silicone chest doesn't count as curvy. No, wait. Jennifer Love Hewitt was named television's sexiest star last year, so there's my one.

On the other hand, think of legendary White sex symbols... My personal favorites b/c they are stunning and loved their work, Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, and both are and were considered curvy women. Monroe was a size 12 for crying out loud, and considered the sexiest woman who ever lived. So how have we moved from there to now? Jessica Simpson isn't even a size 12, and she is getting dragged through the mud and called fat left and right. While Kim Kardashian is claiming to be double the size of Simpson, is never referred to as fat in the media and people always applaud her for her body. So wait, what? There's a racial beauty double standard? Clearly there is.

I don't mean to be controversial or anything of that nature, it's honestly the truth. Look at the people that are considered sexy now. And put then put them in a "White" and "Minority" category, and while there are some that don't fit (Halle Berry, for one, is not that curvy), the fact still remains that women of color are allowed to have extra weight on them in certain places and folks, across the racial and class spectrum, love it. Then just think about people in your life as well, and see if it rings true. Why is that? Is it considered exotic? Is having a fuller figure and embracing it, but not being quote on quote fat, sexy b/c society believes one is promiscuous? B/c having hips and a behind is not fat, for a little fyi. I do wonder! Good questions, and I can't answer them.

I think about the FB note that my friend Mickey wrote last week, and it makes me even more upset b/c some thin women of color have come to not accept their bodies b/c they are ridiculed and mocked for being skinny. It's like they aren't living up to the minority beauty standard. It's all a bunch of nonsense. Word to the wise, accept your bodies ladies. Don't let society, your family, etc bring you down b/c what you look like. I follow the old saying "real women have curves" and Jay-Z logic "My physical is a shell", and always have even before he articulated it, so I never had any major body issues. I mean we all have insecurities, and things we want to improve, but that's life. I know what matters is what I believe in and how I treat others. Yes it is corny, but what matters is what's on the inside. I wish people would come to accept that and themselves, especially all my sistren. And yes that's a word. Hahaha.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why I am a Lefty...

I should have probably done this as my first full blog, but such is life...

I had a great conversation with an important figure in my life today, and I had to explain to her why I subscribe to liberalism, progressive politics, leftist thought... It's all the same to me, and I use the words interchangeably. I shall summarize the key parts...

First and foremost, I am a woman. The modern conservative movement, while it's followers doesn't articulate that they are necessarily sexist, I don't believe that most who do claim to be conservatives fully support gender equality or know that it is not going to destroy the moral fabric of this country. And while I am not saying that all Conservatives are staunch Christians, but some are. Well here is my question to you: In the Bible, when God creates Eve from Adam's rib, doesn't it state that God was creating a partner? I know we are well aware of what a partner means and what responsibilities it entails, so one would have to support gender equality. It makes no sense to me. I am not even a Christian (well I am, but I prefer to use my denomination name instead-Rationalist Unitarian- and I don't buy the supernatural aspects of religion), and that seems like it would be one of the first things to recognize b/c it's one of the first acts in the Bible. Then, the same way I feel about race, I feel about gender? (It's below...) Holy smokes. We are equal. What? Yeah, we are. Men and women have different physical abilities, but that doesn't make one better than the other. Seems like I beat the same dead horse all the time...

Two is the issue of class. This is the whopper. I think it is more important than gender, and especially race, because the saying "we are products of our environment" is a definite truism. But with that comes the power that the elite/business class has over the rabble/working/lower classes. It's very frustrating, and although I don't agree with communism, I see the appeal of it. It makes much more sense than the bourgeoisie ruling over the proletariat. Haha. Go Marx and labor unions. Class is so overlooked, but shapes so many of our interactions, thoughts, beliefs, etc. It's amazing to me that people don't constantly revolt. Again I don't feel like beating a dead horse...

Three... RACE. News flash folk... Study sociology. Race is sociological, not biological. We are all equal. OMG. Did someone really just admit that? YEAH I DID. Get over it. I side with the left b/c granted we aren't perfect in race relations and in a sense, there will always be ethnic/tribal/nationalistic tension, but they get that and acknowledge that there is a system of racial hierarchy in the world and it should be abolished. I kept it short b/c people over-hype race. I talk about it all the time, because people don't understand that it is trivial. We are all different colors. Embrace it. I wonder what is going to happen when people are all the same color, which is slowly but surely happening, and/or when people of color realize that we are the majority? Interesting... I hope colorism won't become the predominant ideology...

Four, I guess this is pretty much a spin off of two, but I hate capitalism. I don't like what money has done to so many seemingly nice individuals. People that came from working class backgrounds turn their back on their roots and community b/c they got a little money. I have issues with that. Why? It's capitalism. I firmly believe that capitalism breeds greed. I have seen it happen too many times. I understand it is the economic system of this country, and you know, I'll live with it, but it needs to be regulated. CLEARLY. That's why we are in this mess now. Greed gets out of control... So pass a darn stimulus package, Congress.

So that's me in a nutshell... Go lefties...



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stimulus Drama...

Politics is nothing but drama. It's worse than Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy, and Desperate Housewives put together.

News flash… Congress Dems and Republicans continue to battle with each other over the stimulus package. Oh I guess that isn’t a news flash. The Republicans nor Democrats will always battle each other, because they are power freaks. This is going to hurt American families and workers. Put your egos aside, and yes the bill may not contain everything that you want in it Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner, and guess what kids, you will just have to get over it. I thought the whole point of Congress was to support and fulfill the wishes of their constituents. Maybe they need a news flash… We are all hurting. Our economic foundation is crumbling. And don’t you all want to be re-elected? If you all continue to bicker with each other and stand by as the economy continues to tank, please don’t think that we will forget your lack of action. Learn to compromise, because in reality, neither side is right on this one. Sure. It can contain a decent size of “cash in hand” tax cuts to attempt to please the Republicans, b/c that will “help” every worker out, but also the bill needs to be a 2009 version of New Deal acts. That’s why I like Obama, because he clearly saw how FDR helped Americans make it through the Great Depression. We saw that the other stimulus/bail out plans haven’t worked. They didn’t work. They gave us a check, and we paid bills with it. They threw billions at the banks and financial markets, and they didn’t loan us money. The New Deal worked b/c it put so many people to work. And yes I know, trust me, that World War II is the full reason for our economic recovery in the 1940s, and the US suffered some economic difficulties after the end of the war, but you can’t deny the impact of the New Deal. Yes I agree with family planning, but don’t put it along with this bill. Come on, Dems. I support you all, and this is what happens. It’s so ridiculous. Pass a clean bill. I don’t even want to blog more about it. It’s just so frustrating. I type this as I sit and listen to CNN segment on the cumulative grade on American infrastructure is a D. From wastewater storage, levees, inland waterways, dams, schools, and mass transit, we are failing. Put people to work to fix these issues and provide us with energy alternatives, so we don’t have to depend on shaky regions in the world for oil and more importantly, stop damaging the Earth. It seems like not many people get what is going in. I’m too annoyed at this point. Shout out to Obama again for understanding the need to bring us all together to make it through this. Quick lesson for Pelosi and Boehner to learn: Try to legislate from the middle. Geniuses. And I don’t mean that in a nice way…



Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekly wrap-up...

Well it's not likely that everyone in the world doesn't know about the biggest news story of the week... BUSH IS OUT OF OFFICE!!! Well, granted that is true, but of course, I am just kidding. I am beyond thrilled that he is no longer our President, but he is moving to Dallas and moving right up the street from my stomping ground. Oh yay. Hopefully we can run into each other at Whole Foods or something and have an interesting conversation. That may actually be awesome.

But as we all know, the major story of the week/year/decade, heck I don't know ever in American History (ok... too far?), was the realization of the American Dream on January 20th 2009, with the inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th President. I mean can people even fully understand the magnitude of this? The United States of America has an African American president. Hello. I don't want to beat a dead horse, and you all know I can b/c I am a good lefty and a history major, but that is incredible. I am so proud of all or us, whether you voted for him or not. My patriotism isn't sky high normally, but at that moment I couldn't help but bask in the glory of our American values finally becoming a reality for all of us. It's not exclusive anymore, well that's debatable b/c he is still a man, pretty much well-off now, Ivy league educated, and of mixed race, but that's not what's important. And please do not think I would ever undercut President Obama's historic candidacy, victory, and presidency, but it's great now to think that the Presidents Club is open to well-qualified people and the basis of race is no longer a road block. Next gender... Oh the day!!!

And yes I did admit above that I am not normally the most patriotic person, because I think so much of time we as Americans are pompous and don't embody the values that we have in our founding documents or preach to others. But to see all the people there in D.C. to witness history and wish him well in office, and to even hear/see the former nay-sayers show respect for this peaceful transition of power from two vastly different individuals choked me up for a second. It made the cynical liberal in me go away. This is why I will never leave America, well never give up my American citizenship. We have a government that does respect differing ideas, and civil war or anarchy aren't going to break out in cities across the country when your candidate doesn't win. So props to Americans for showing maturity and respect. Of course the partisan bickering is starting back up again, because President Obama has made some huge choices already, but it's almost to be expected.

One thing I wanted to just touch on was something I heard about the other day... The President and First Lady's affection for one another. I am no advocate for PDA, trust me, but I think it's very positive for their daughters to see them lovingly embracing each other, and heck it's good for other people to see it as well. Despite my pretty staunch views on feminism, I do believe in the sanctity of marriage (for both hetero- and homosexuals) and it shows their children that yes life has changed greatly, but your parents are the same and still love each other. I think it's great. But someone said that people were feeling uncomfortable about it. Well it's the photographers that are catching these images, and the media that display them all day. Tell them to stop showing it all the time. Tell them to stop focusing on Michelle's style of dress or Aretha Franklin's hat. I think it's interesting that our politicians have reached this hyper-celebrity status, but at the same time, we need to show him the respect that any other president has been shown. I get it. The Obamas are like the political version of Brad and Angie-good looking, smart, charitable, well-liked, but a certain point it goes entirely too far. Demand that the media remain objective and focus on the issues. How about you do that!! Don't put down the president for loving his wife. HELLO! That's what you are supposed to do. He's not weak for it. He is a real man, because he loves his wife and isn't afraid to show it. It's not political posturing or other nonsense that I heard. They are married and love one another. End of story. We should all wish to find a spouse that we can share those moments with one day. Shall we say hating? Lol...

Back to politics, I also was so happy to see Hillary Clinton, our new Sect. of State, take her place in the State Department yesterday morning. I supported Sect. Clinton at the beginning of the campaign, before Bill's moments of ignorance and her supporters just got out of line, so I was glad to see her embrace her position in the Obama administration. What was more amazing was the audience outside of the State Dept. where she held her press conference. She had a good size crowd of supporters come out to see her do well, also. So good luck to her, as well. Sect. Clinton understand the need for diplomacy, so she is a perfect fit, and will do well at her new job.

I just would like to say that we need to realize that President Obama doesn't have a magic wand, and it is going to take time to rebuild America's economic foundation, but we have to have patience and not give into the cynicism on either end of the spectrum. Save your money, but still remember you can buy the goods you need. Go out to eat, but cook at home most days. Just be responsible with your money, and we will all manage to make it out of this. And more importantly... URGE YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES TO PASS THE STIMULUS PACKAGE QUICKLY!!!! I'm out...



Monday, January 12, 2009

An Ode to my Sisters...

This is going to be long, but quite interesting.... I hope you all read this and appreciate it!

So I was watching "The View" this morning, like I do every available morning, and they had on conservative queen Ann Coulter to talk about her new book. Well I knew it wouldn't start off right b/c the ladies had a fine, tactful segment about a quote that Coulter made that basically said that famous bi-racial celebrities/figures have abandoned their White mothers and identify with their Black fathers, who literally abandoned them. Ok... WHAT? She claims that Halle Berry's Oscar acceptance speech and Barack Obama's autobiography are insensitive disses to their mothers... No. Berry praised forgotten Black Hollywood legends in her congratulatory moment, and Obama writes about the dreams of his father in his first book. I just first want to address this... I am not bi-racial, so I can't fully speak on that aspect of it, but I think I can put it in other words to show a bit of similarities. I am the daughter of two working-class, Black parents, who worked very hard for us to live in middle-class neighborhoods during my life. After the first semester of 6th grade, my family moved to Plano, an affluent and at that time, a predominately White suburb of Dallas. The years of formation in my life were surrounded by White people, but I knew that I was a Black American and indulged in my own ethnic culture as well. I never had an issue with it, but to members of my own ethnic group, I was seen as "acting White." Whatever! I was a product of my environment, and I think Obama, Berry, and Alicia Keys, who was also mentioned on the show, are as well. But I think that they have an even more difficult task then the very assimilated minorities in this country. I always knew I was Black and that was that. I was and am proud of it, and wouldn't change it for anything. However, bi-racial Americans unfortunately don't have the opportunity to claim pride in both ethnic heritages, because society only views them as Black Americans or Mexican Americans or Asian Americans, etc., depending on their ethnicity. This isn't new. So I don't understand why Ann Coulter needed to go so far into saying that they are dissing their White mothers who took care of them, because society pretty much made them identify with their Blackness. I thought that was the most ludicrous mess ever. I thought the ladies handled themselves very well, and I applaud them for being so classy and tactful. Coulter should learn a lesson.

Another person was mentioned on the show, and I wanted to do this a long time ago, but never came around to it... Talk about Sarah Palin. Once again, I am a hardcore Progressive, but I am also objective. In my opinion, overall the media doesn't have a leftist slant, but I think the coverage of Sarah Palin was sexist at times, and it was the so-called left-leaning channels and Democratic commentators who did make the sexist comments a good portion of the time. Yes, I will admit that! My respect and admiration for President-elect Obama nor my own political persuasion can't stop me from seeing that. I am a feminist, and I think my position as a woman trumps my racial status, and possibly even class, so yes I recognize that. But what also needs to be said is that Sarah Palin jumped into the national political scene, and she wasn't ready for it. Sorry! She wasn't and she needs to blame herself for that. But in her defense, there is something that is very like-able about her. I call it her "folksy" character, but that wasn't going to make her a qualified VP, or President for crying out loud if John McCain were to become ill. *And on that note as well, I was very tired of people saying how old McCain was. I am guilty of it myself a few times, but people were almost basking in the idea of him passing away in office if he were elected. It was quite disgusting.* But back to the task at hand, so much of her criticism came from the fact that so many saw her as a hypocrite. She became the poster child for not economic conservatism, which it seems like she knew little about, but rather social conservatism; family values, overzealous religious actions and beliefs, which in many times leads to intolerance for the LGBT community, science, and non-Christians, and a lack of gun control. But what she couldn't nor shouldn't hide is the fact that her teenage daughter was unwed and pregnant. Why does it matter? Well, she represents the portion of the population that blames the liberal politicians and activists for destroying the sanctity of family and marriage, but if one embodies these so called liberal issues themselves and truly believes what one says, well Mrs. Palin is a hypocrite. And yes I know that not all conservatives/Republicans believe that, but I am addressing to the hardcore/extreme right-wing followers. That's why people attacked her so viciously. Was it called for? Not really, but she was going to be the second in line to inherit this diverse, great nation, and she seemed very narrow-minded and uninformed at times. In regards to her daughter, personal attacks on Bristol and her baby should have been left out of it. That wasn't called for at all.

The main focus of this was supposed to be about the nonsense Coulter was shouting about when it came to single motherhood. But first, I would like to again applaud the ladies on "The View" for challenging a very rude and desperate to sell her book Ann Coulter. More specifically, I think Elizabeth deserves a bit of credit, because she is seen as the one who never speaks out against her fellow Conservatives, but she asked the million dollar question: Why not say something about the fathers who abandon their families? Yes, why not ask that question instead of attacking women who do their best to raise their children alone? In a perfect world, a child would have two parents, biological or adopted, gay or straight, but that's not reality. We have to face the fact that just won't happen all the time. So instead of being insensitive and intentionally controversial like Coulter or throw Bible verses (I mean that with no disrespect, I've seen it happen too many times) or teacc abstinence-only education in public schools, let's promote responsible sex/reproductive education in high schools and communication with their parents, so teens are wiser about their sexual activity and the repercussions of it. I don't even feel like beating this dead horse anymore. It's just very upsetting that people think like that.

But I titled this blog "An ode to my sisters," because I was inspired to write this for them. I have three amazing sisters, and my two oldest sisters are single mothers. They didn't follow the same path as I did, but they are intelligent, beautiful women in their own right, and when I hear total nonsense like this being spouted out about single mothers, I take offense to it. I try not to preach, but I think that a lot of us need to think about what we say before we say it. I'm done.



Thursday, January 8, 2009

Random commentary...

This morning President-elect Obama gave a major speech about the economy and the stimulus package that he is proposing to Congress. I thought the speech was on point, but the pundits as usual like to pick apart everything that is said and criticize it. It's not needed all of the time folks. It's sad that my CNN folks were the main ones doing so. :/ It's rather annoying to say the least. I think the package is more than a good step in the right direction, so rather than whine and berate the man, let's see what will happen. The issue with the tax cuts for middle/working class families is a non-issue to me. I think that giving American families money during a time when so many in need is not a political move, but a smart, considerate move. No one said recovery would be easy, and I don't agree with everything that President-elect Obama says all the time, but I think it's a good move! So I say thank you! One concerned citizen to another!!! :)

Another topic... I am quite tired of hearing about Burris. While I do think that he is mighty full of himself (the mausoleum is a bit much, sir), he was legally appointed the as the junior Senator from Illinois. It's honestly that simple. Yes Blagojevich is a piece of crap and should be jailed for trying to sell Obama's vacated seat, but he is still in office and still has the authority to appoint someone. Of course people were hoping that he wouldn't do it, but he did, so we have to deal with it. Senator Reid is really full of himself as well for speaking out so much against this man. I am quite disappointed with the Democratic leadersip of the Senate. We are in power, and now we are sucessfully proceeding to tear the party apart with this nonsense. Good job Dems! :(



Monday, January 5, 2009

Obama, Obama, Obama... The Middle East Edition!

So I just want to be completely upfront and honest... I think that President-elect Barack Obama is genius, and I am an avid supporter of his and his pending administration! I went to rallies, donated, bought clothing items/buttons/stickers, and debated to the point to where I had to basically leave a job b/c things got pretty out of control and so much personal disrespect was shown over politics! It was all behind the simple notion of our American democracy being held by responsible people, and I felt, like so many others, that Obama was the right person for it and I am not apologetic for it! :)

Anyway, I am a lover of politics, and I stay glued to CNN, MS NBC, and watch Fox News at times, as well to see how the other side thinks! :) So today, I was watching CNN after Jeopardy, which is sadly my morning routine, and I was particularly aggravated by a piece that they had on about Obama's silence in the Israel/Gaza violence. The segment pointed out how Palestinian and Hamas leaders have been upset by Obama not making statements about the 10 days of lop-sided Israel violence, and how he is drawing criticism from world leaders and also how Hilary Clinton, the soon to be Sect. of State :), has been mute about it as well... News flash folks... He is not the President yet, nor is Hillary the Sect. of State! And as much as I can't wait for Bush to be out of office and for the inauguration for America's first African-American President, that occurs on January 20th. The transition team has released statements that clearly state "There is one President at a time, and we will respect that." I don't understand why for some people to absorb. So the segment goes on the note that Obama issued a statement about the Mumbai terrorist attacks last month, and I had to think about it for a second and I was like "yeah he did"... Then as I continued to think about it, and I know it may seem callous to the global community, but Americans were targeted in those attacks, and for him to be the incoming American commander in chief, that was appropriate for him to do so. Just like it is appropriate for him have this amazing transition team in place to be ready on day one to handle the economic situation, and have press conferences about the economy as well.

The violence in Gaza is beyond unfortunate, and the real victims of the senseless violence are the Palestinian and Israeli citizens, who are being put in danger and sadly so many have died. And for what? Religion and territory? I wonder what God/Allah thinks about that?

And on that topic as well, yes Hamas did start the initial fighting, but they are up against Israel, a country that has the backing, technology, and weaponry of the Western world. Violence isn't going to solve anything. It's a lop-sided conflict. Diplomacy is the only resolution, and as much as some don't want it to occur, the nation of Palestine needs to be put back on the map. I am an admirer of the Jewish community for their ability to stick together through the toughest of times and come out triumphant, but I think Zionism was just another form of neo-colonialism. Thanks the United Nations! You don't establish a nation and move hundreds of thousands of people in on top of an already existing nation. Sorry! It doesn't work like that. This where the bitterness and Islamic extremism come from! I am a history major, and yes knowing about these subjects helps, but it seems obvious that there is wrong on both sides. And now we have innocent children and everyday citizens on both sides losing their lives b/c of this 40+ year long occupation. Once again, diplomacy is the only resolution. And how about Hamas/Palestinian leaders not criticize Obama, who once again is not in office until my little sister's birthday JANUARY 20TH, and look to Bush and his administration for some help in their last days in office. Or maybe they too realize that Bush is a lost cause! Lol...




Hello all! I never seemed like the person who would want to blog frequently, but since I do have a lot to say, I am going to use this medium to spread some of my personal "truths" and opinions! Just beware that most of what I will talk about is political or social-oriented in nature and I lean to the left, so this may not be for the Bush/McCain crowd! I do, however, promote and welcome healthy, respectful discussion and dialogue! I just ask you don't take me there, b/c that's not going to fly! But welcome nonetheless! I hope you all enjoy!