Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Surprise! Snuggie's Back.

And now to lighten the mood. I don't always take myself too seriously.

As someone who takes an interest in fashion, and prides herself on dressing well (some of the time), going over photos of NY's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, I was shocked to realize that my taste has become less discerning. Well, that or those damn Snuggies have grown on me.

I saw this photo and my first thought was, this is a hot outfit. Kinda Cruella de Vil but, I like it. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that no, this is not some sort of floor-length coat/cape thing. And it's not a dress. It's one of those Snuggies, the wearable blanket. I remember when the Snuggie/Slanket/insert silly blanket name phenomenon first started, when people started to mock those campy commercials. And everybody said, "I wouldn't be caught dead wearing one of those outside the house." I for one, despite my propensity for freezing in 50 degree weather, never considered buying one, thinking that I was about that fad. Well, what do you know? Snuggie's catering to the fashionable crowd now.

You can read about the company's runway debut here:

So, what do you guys think? Would you leave the house in this get up? Or are Snuggies just as ridiculous as ever?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ignorance Heard 'Round the World

Bitch, please news in brief:

There have been so many things in the popular culture stratosphere that I have wanted to comment on but, with Internet connection issues and my (as yet undiagnosed) adult ADD issues, I just haven’t been able to link up to the old Blogger. Sorry about that. So many things to cover. These past few weeks have been crazy.

First of all, I have to address some of the drama my hometown of Rockford, Illinois has been dealing with for the past few weeks, maybe even a month. While I was at training for my new job, a fellow 23-year-old Rockfordian was shot to death at a church daycare center. Mark Anthony Barmore, who was said to be wanted on battery charges, was gunned down by local cops because he allegedly had a weapon in his possession and was resisting arrest. Tell me why this guy was shot mutliple times in the chest and in the back (I wish I knew the exact number, the reports on the local news site no longer contain this information). And wouldn’t you know it? He was found to not have any weapons on him. I don’t claim to know anything about being a cop but, isn’t it unethical to shoot some one who is fleeing? For a domestic disturbance, really? Those of you unfamiliar with Rockford, Illinois must know that it is an extremely divided city. Literally, you drive over the bridge from the east side to the west side and you see different street conditions, different neighborhoods and different colors. In the past few weeks, Reverend Jesse Jackson has been pushing for justice with the Barmore case. There have been talks with city officials, public cries of outrage, and even a march and a counter-march in support of the police. Healing Rockford seems to be Jackson’s new pet project, and really that’s OK with me. This is not the last we will hear of this case; I’ll keep you updated.
Jackson at Barmore's funeral September 3.

Next, Obama delivered his education speech to America’s future and a bunch of ignant people decided it would be harmful for their children to be addressed by the president. I actually heard people complaining about how they didn’t want their kids involved with politics, that it was dangerous for the president to talk directly to children because he might influence them. The speech might be to socialist blah blah blah. Really, is it so terrible for the leader of a nation to encourage future generations to stay in school and become upstanding citizens? Apparently so, which is why President Obama’s speech was actually banned by some school districts, including a few schools in Illinois. Sadly, President Obama is not the first to deliver such a message to the schoolchildren of America; both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. conducted teleconferences with school children during their presidencies.

Obama attempting to con children of America by telling them education is important.

All this talk about president brainwashing kids, and the idea that influencing kids to be responsible, to be communities leaders is bad, well that all just strikes me as veiled racism. For all this talk about “post-racial America,” I knew it was just a hollow phrase. Sure, we have a (half) black man in office. That doesn’t mean that prejudiced people won’t continue to express their prejudices.

Then, Obama spoke in front of Congress about his health care plan. And the Republican Party showed themselves to not just be disagreeable but, flat-out rude. Not every one behaved in such a fashion but, the actions of a few dragged the GOP down even further. Grand Old Party my ass. Somehow, by yelling “you lie” (really? Not even a ‘you lie, sir!’ He may as well have said, “Stop lying, you big liarface.”), Rep. Joe Wilson has turned into some kind of a martyr. I’m not really sure what his cause is. Those tea party people, the ones with all those signs proclaiming his awesomeness haven’t shown themselves to be for much of anything. Just against anything that threatens the status quo. "Liar, liar, pants on fire" might have been too harsh.

And I’m not appreciating those joker signs I’ve seen around town (as much as people made fun of G.W., his face was never pasted on a local telephone pole with some deragotary phrasing underneath). Those pictures of Obama as a witch doctor? Not cool. Quite frankly, when people feel the need to defend themselves so fiercly against being racist, there’s usually something to it, or else they wouldn’t care that much about what people think about them.

Just two example of the signs Tea Party protestors are marching around with. Racism is really not revolutionary, guys.

This has also been a week of people saying exactly what’s on their minds and getting in a shit-ton of trouble for it.

Former President Jimmy Carter had the balls to say what is on every tolerant person’s mind, that people are letting racism get in the way. It’s fine to dissent, to disagree with the president. But when your criticism takes the ugly turn and you start to use hateful, intolerant language, it begs the question, are you against the president’s policies or are you against the man himself?

Old people speak the truth.

And we all know by now what happened with Kanye. He just had to open his big mouth at the VMA’s. The thing about Kanye West is, he says whatever’s on his mind. And a lot of the time, he’s right. At least, he says what everybody’s thinking but won’t say out loud. Because it’s not polite. That can be a great thing if he’s say, standing up for a cause or bringing ignored social issue to the public’s attention (like the now infamous Katrina comment) but, when it comes to say, disagreeing with an award show recipient’s selection and stealing that recipient’s award speech, it’s uncalled for. Basically, it was a dick move. Believe me, I agreed with what he said (I had just shouted in outrage at my friend’s TV set that there was no way Taylor Swift had a better video than Beyonce) but, that does make it right. The most telling thing about the whole incident is that Beyonce’s video was the best of the year but where it received its most heavy rotation is Youtube. It is a freakin Youtube sensation. MTV barely plays videos anymore, so who actually cares what the outcome of the VMAs is? Beyonce sure as hell didn’t seem to care; she has Grammys. It was unexpected and funny when it happened but that was a week ago people, I’m over it. Talk shows, I know this is an easy joke but, come up with some fresh material.

And Serena Williams tried to make some cute joke on the VMA broadcast to get some better press after her big blow up Saturday night. For those of you who didn’t see it, I have to admit it was a surreal experience to watch. Tennis is all stiff-upperlipy and here was this girl who spent part of her childhood in Compton refusing to take a shitty call from a lineswoman. What she yelled at the lineswoman was inappropriate for sure. As with Kanye, it was just uncalled for. But, it got blown way out of proportion. Now the lineswoman was certainly well within her rights to report Serena but I have to wonder, in those high-stakes sporting arenas, aren’t the judges supposed to have thicker skins? Hadn’t she ever been threatened before. As I said, Serena crossed a line with her threat but, the lady didn’t need to be running scared like she was actually going to get a ball stuffed down her throat. Two days later, Roger Federer was cited for using inappropriate language at his match (sure he just swore, didn’t make any threats) and nobody said boo about it. It’s actually more shocking to me that the always nonchalant “reserved,” as the commentators call him, Federer swore than to hear Serena go off. We all know she’s aggressive and ridiculously competitive. I see her outburst as an extension of these two behaviors.

And I’m not trying to condone any of the inappropriate behavior exhibited by these celebrities; I just find it interesting that what they said received so much backlash. And yet, here we have all these narrow-minded people making all sorts of overt racial comments (which I feel are the most harmful to our society) that just fly under the radar.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gingers: the Ignored Minority?

Admit it, you've probably laughed at a ginger joke or two. Unless, as a natural redhead, you've been totally self-conscious of your hair color since you started grade school.

Even though I feel as though I've always been highly sensitive to minority issues, I've never given much thought to the plight of redheads. Clearly in the spectrum of natural hair colors, red is the least commonly occurring. Hair, for a lot of ethnic groups, has historically been a source of tension. I can definitely see how a young child's self-esteem could be damaged because he or she was excessively made fun of or made to feel different for having a less common hair color.
Too often, I have made light of the situation. Perhaps this is because the word "ginger" is so silly and rolls so nicely off the tongue in a pseudo-British accent. I have to admit: I'm not sure how offensive it would be to be labeled a "ginger." The BBC throws it around like it aint no thang but, I always thought the word carried somewhat of a negative connotation. Perhaps, as red hair is most common in the UK, the term has been re-claimed there, like "queer" but, to a lesser degree.

Regardless of how you feel about the word, check out this article from the BBC. It certainly made me rethink the definition of minority.

I had not realized that anti-ginger sentiment was so severe, or that people could be driven out of their neighborhoods based on the color of their hair. What can I say, humans are shallow creatures. At least, it's nice to see gingers stand up loud and proud.