Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"That's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight...

Losing My Religion..." No, that's not a link to an R.E.M. song, but rather to an interesting article this week by Jimmy Carter outlining his reasons for leaving the Southern Baptist Church (yay! better late than never, prez!).

In his own words: "It was an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service."

My only complaint about this article is that he so broadens the issue - covering more obvious instances of religious abuses of women's rights - that the subtleties of inequality in the denomination he has abandoned are barely addressed. While the issues he discusses are incredibly important and need to be payed more attention, I think he misses an opportunity to shed light on more hidden pathways of discrimination. It is often the subtle forms of suppression and oppression that go unnoticed and the views of the SBC on women are a perfect example of the kind of discrimination that is deeply ingrained in southern religious culture and deeply damaging to women.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And yet again... is 102. One hundred-freaking-two.

Dear Texas,
In the words of New Edition, cool it now.

Actually not bad advice in general, people.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dear Mr. South Carolina...

You, over there...the one in the senate...not the one with the Argentinian lover. Mr. L-Graham-R-S.C., you are obnoxious on so very many fronts. But I just wanted to let you know, every time I've heard this clip over the last few days, these are the thoughts that go through my head:

1. Listening to you talk is actually the one thing that could make an intelligent, tolerant, cool-headed judge, have a "complete meltdown."

2. The "drama's being created here" by your Republican colleagues is not "inneresting." It is shallow political play.

3. I feel unnerved by your speeches and by some of the things that you've said...

4. When it comes to your speeches, that is the most troubling thing to me...because you are a U.S. Senator and when you speak, you sound ignorant and arrogant. And that is a scary combination.

Also, Sotomayor's poker face just after the "meltdown" comment is priceless like a mastercard...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And I was just thinking, "You know, people don't dress up like 19th-century opera composers enough these days..."

Thank god for Rufus Wainwright! If nobody else remembers to grow a beard and dress up like Guiseppe Verdi, he's got us covered...



In case you didn't know, Rufus Wainwright wrote an opera. I know. For real. And it's called "Prima Donna." (Or, when art imitates life...) I just got around to reading the NYTimes review and this is my favorite part:

"Sure enough, while a crowd milled in the lobby before the performance, Mr. Wainwright arrived meticulously made up as Verdi, in a formal 19th-century black suit, complete with white silk scarf, black top hat and a bushy beard grown for the occasion. Mr. Wainwright’s companion, Jorn Weisbrodt, a German theater director, was dressed as a young Puccini in a cream-colored summer suit and a straw hat. The crowd erupted with applause, and lights flashed as people took pictures."

I find the whole thing highly amusing. Wainwright just seems like a really bored, really odd guy who happens to have the time and money to indulge his fantasy of being an amazing opera composer. So props to him for doing it up right (authentic beard and all) and making a spectacle of the thing (and also props to him for writing the libretto French). Let's be honest though, he probably isn't musically cut out for the task at hand. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong...

Anyway, happy Bastille Day! Eat a croissant!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Shoes on my feet, I bought 'em (or, happy 4th o' July)...

Happy Birthday, USofA...what is this, 233? I guess you're lookin' pretty good for your age. Perhaps a bit broke at the moment, but you'll bounce back. What with your inventive entrepreneurship, your future really is bright!

Case in point:

And just FYI, this is how my brain is independence day, so I've had this song in my head ALL DAY!

Really though, what's more American that Destiny's Child?
(Answer: Apple pie and baseball. But Destiny's Child is a close third...)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Spent a week in a dusty library..."

Well, maybe not a week, but at least a day.

Today was my bi-monthly day-before-thesis-meeting-scramble-day and I found myself in the west stacks of SMU's main library digging around for the writings of Wagner on Beethoven. (Incredible that those two have anything to do with a thesis on late-nineteenth century cabaret music, but you know, theses tend to meander into unexpected territory....) Anyway, in case your travels haven't taken you to said stacks, you should know SMU's Fondren library has these weird half-level "west stacks" that are shoved in between the regular floors. They are out of the way and scary and dusty and dark and have really low ceilings and one gets the feeling you'd never be found if, say, a shelf toppled over and pinned you down...

I've never visited these stacks in the daylight. I've always been there at some god forsaken time of night right before a paper was due. While still scary, it's not nearly as cave-like by day. Actually, not a bad place to escape the hot Texas sun.

I've loved Camera Obscura so long and so hard (oh, you Glaswegians and your good bands) and their new album is just as good as the case you haven't heard French Navy...

French Navy - Camera Obscura

And now, back to work...