Monday, June 28, 2010

Why not?

(Image descrpition: A baby primate of the gold/orange and very furry variety [anyone that knows the exact name feel free to let me know!] clinging to an adult. Looks like the Firey's in The Labyrinth, hence the caption reads "Shake Mah pritty lil head, Tap mah pritty lil feet")

As inspired by Ouyang Dan, I present my first Monday Random Ten.

Who knows? maybe it will get me posting regularly again. :D
This list might end up being a bit Ani heavy, as I am a squealing fangirl. I'm not the biggest fan of how she tends to go all gender essentialist regarding her definition of women as "menstruating and fertile" but that being said, anyone who can write a song using the word "patriarchy" gets a good mark from me. Kind of like how I admire Type-O Negative ::sniff:: for being able to work the word "Nosferatu" into a song without being utterly ridiculous

1-Little Plastic Castle~Ani Difranco
2-L'Innocent~"Kooza" from Cirque du Soleil
3-Simple and Clean(techno remix)~theme from Kingdom Hearts
5-Captain Ward~Tempest
6-20th Century Boy~Placebo (covering T.Rex)
7-Walk on the Moon~Great Big Sea
8-Its Oh So Quiet~Bjork
9-Before I'm Dead~Kidney Thieves
10-Stars and Stripes~K.M.F.D.M

I wanted to find video of Tempest performing "Captain Ward" but all I could find was a recording with a picture of the album cover:

Lyrics: (Note- this song is based on a Scottish folk song. The lyrics as recorded for the original are not the lryics used in this version, but I can't find an exact transcript and I can't hear the words well enough to produce one that isn't line after line of "indecipherable." So, my apologies for a lack of accurate lyrics on this.

Come all ye jolly mariners

That love to tak' a dram

Which go an' seek for Captain Ward

That o'er the seas did come.

He wrote a letter to his king

On the eleventh o' July,

To see if he wad accept o' him

For his jovial company.

"Oh na, oh na," says the king,

"Such things they canna be,

They tell me ye are a robber,

A robber on the sea."

He has built a bonnie ship,

An' sent her to the sea,

Wi' fower an' twenty mariners

To guard his bonnie ship wi'.

They sailed up an' they sailed doon,

Sae stately, blythe, an' free,

Till they spied the king's high Reindeer

Like a leviathan on the sea.

"Why lie ye here, ye tinker,

Ye silly coordly thief?

Why lie ye here, ye tinker,

An' hold oor king in grief?"

They fought from one in the morning

Till it was six at night,

Until the king's high Reindeer

Was forced to tak' her flight.

"Gang hame, gang hame, ye tinkers.

Tell ye your king fae me

Though he reign king upon good dry land,

I will reign king upon the sea."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I stink. Fucking get over it.

(Note: If you arrived here from Spearhead, welcome. Please be polite to others, and if all you get out of my story here and the stories of physical assault in the comment thread is "heh heh heh stupid feminazis," then I encourage you to check your moral compass and try to find something resembling empathy. If you can't or won't treat others humanely, then I encourage you, kindly, to shove off back to whatever rock you crawled out from under because you sure as shit are not welcome here. -The Management)

I have a HUGE chip on my shoulder about societal expectations for body odor.

I don’t wear antiperspirant or most artificial perfumed deodorants. I stopped wearing them five years ago when I stopped shaving my pits. Originally, my decision came from the recent loss of a dear family member who had died from her second round with breast cancer at the age of 32. She was 27 when she received her initial diagnosis. By the time she died, her doctors had performed two mastectomies and removed the lymph nodes from her left arm. I decided that I was reducing as many of my risks for cancer as I had control over considering the world we live in, including no longer purposely shoving chemicals into my lymph nodes to stop them from doing what they are designed to do.

When I made that decision, I lost a few friends because they found my choice “judgmental” of them, and I lost a lover of two years because he found my scent “disgusting.” A year, two years before this, those losses would have devastated me. But that year, my cousin being gone gave me a clarity that until then, I had not known was possible. In my clarity, I had one, exceedingly calm reaction.

Fuck them. If this is a deal breaker, consider the deal fucking smashed to itty bitty fucking pieces.

It was then that I began to truly see how USians and others to whom we have exported the damaging parts of our culture are expected to remove ourselves so completely from the basic biological processes of the human body. Especially if its a process that is highly gendered, like how we freak the fuck out over menstrual blood, or how men smelling like sweat is mostly okay, but MAUDE FUCKING FORBID that a woman smell like anything other than “Orchid Pussy Breeze,” or how “real” men are hairy and “real” women are bald from the eyebrows down (but they have to be that way BY “CHOICE” and conscious action, cause if they have a medical condition that causes them to lose their hair, well, thats just icky.) The processes exist for a reason, they have a purpose in the grand scheme of species function. But we are expected to do everything we can to escape those processes in very specific ways. We are expected to smell like chemicals instead of like our own bodies. We are expected to silence those cues from our bodies because they are coded as “offensive” to others even when we don’t find them offensive at all.

Lip service is given to the idea that we can “opt out” of these things, but the prevailing message when we do so is that we are lazy, unhygienic (this one really gets me. I’m unhygienic for not stripping all the fucking hair from my genitalia except what is the purpose of that hair? TO KEEP FUCKING DIRT OUT OF MY GODDAMN MUCOUS MEMBRANES! SO WHICH IS MORE HYGIENIC FUCKERS!?), dirty, and don’t deserve to be treated like people. I, and others that I know, have actually experienced direct action from employers because we refused to wear deodorant or shave either legs or armpits. I have been told “thats just how the world works” (which is a phrase that I loathe with every fiber of my being) with zero ZERO ZERO acknowledgment or awareness that this is just one fucked up corner of the world and that this shit doesn’t occur in a vacuum.

And how does this mindset translate into even worse judgments on those people who are left to the fringes or completely outside this concept of “humanity” due to not having time or access to luxuries like clean running water for drinking and bathing, or deodorants, or razors? People who have to focus on basic fucking survival, which shaving and perfuming are not? What about people who are fucking allergic to perfumes and artificial scents? Are they supposed to just grin and bear it because the idea that humans are just another animal offends your delicate fucking sensibilities?

I may “stink,” but at least I smell like myself, and not some mega corporation’s marketing team’s idea of what I should smell like.

(cross posted to my tumblr and a few other places, so if you see this twice, I apologize in advance.)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Where I Stand

I am an American Jew. Part of why I ignored that part of me for a very long time is because I hated the occupation of Palestine and I didn’t want to be associated with it at all.

It took me years to realize that running from it was not possible and that I had a responsibility to stand up and say “you don’t do this for me.”

I cannot remember a single military action taken by the Israeli government during my lifetime that i agreed with. All the ones I can remember just make me angry and sick, because the widespread disrespect of basic human rights is something that I cannot reconcile within myself and when there is a claim that it was done to protect me, well…thats even worse.

I understand the passion that so many Jews have for having a “place for us.” I understand the feeling of being attacked and outnumbered. I do. I am only here because my great grandmother saw the writing on the wall and worked her ass off to get as many of her family members out of Poland as she could before getting out became no longer possible. Without her tenacity, I would not exist. When people talk about the Holocaust, show pictures, records…the weight of “I came that close to never happening” is tremendous. I look at pictures on records written in German of people that look just like me and my sisters who were killed before they even hit their 20’s. I still deal with ignorant shit from privileged assholes who think that the word “kike” can be used in my presence without repercussions simply because I am not religious.

That grandmother was also the one who taught her children that no one should suffer as her family that did not escape suffered. She did what she could to reign in and focus the anger of her children at how they were treated by Christians in the US, and what they saw happen to their people in Europe. She taught them (and they taught us) that we have a responsibility, in the name of the dead, to demand justice for all people.

Attacking supply ships is not justice. Creating permanent refugee camps is not justice. Choking off basic supplies necessary for survival is not justice. Taking someone’s home is not justice. Advocating genocide is not justice. Any system of ethics that finds a way to justify these actions and consider them righteous is sick and needs healing or amputation. I cannot support those actions or any government that partakes of them, especially not with the spirit of my grandmother behind me and the knowledge of the debt that I gladly owe her.

I don't hate Israel, and I don't hate my own Jewish identity. I also don't think that "shoot first and ask questions later" is viable public or foreign policy, and I do not appreciate it being done in my name or the name of my family.

If we are God’s chosen people…maybe its time Zie chose someone else.