Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Guerilla Girls on Pussy Riot

via The New York Times, August 26, 2012.

“Pussy Riot are our kind of girls: feminist activists in masks making trouble,” Kathe Kollwitz and Frida Kahlo, pseudonymous Guerrilla Girls, wrote in an e-mail. “But,” they added, “we live in a very different culture where art is not as dangerous, and we can pretty much do what we want...

One really inspiring thing about Pussy Riot is that they always make it clear that their actions are political and feminist,” the Guerrilla Girls wrote. “The world needs more feminist masked avengers. We urge everyone to make trouble, each in her own way.”

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Legitimate rape" and the one-sex system

Todd Akin, Republican candidate for the Missouri Senate seat, revived this medieval theory about rape and conception over this past weekend. Vanessa Hoggie gives this old, discredited, but still-alive-in-some-medieval-circles theory a thorough look, on The Guardian's blog.

This was a long-lived legal argument. Samuel Farr's Elements of Medical Jurisprudence contained the same idea as late as 1814:

"For without an excitation of lust, or the enjoyment of pleasure in the venereal act, no conception can probably take place. So that if an absolute rape were to be perpetrated, it is not likely she would become pregnant."

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fifth Annual Gayness Cure Walk

From The Onion:

raising funds and awareness to help cure, and eliminate, 
the "debilitating psychosexual disease" of gayness.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Coffee and the housewife job of the fifties (plus a stewardess asks you to fly her)

Housewife discovers the mountain and gets to keep her job.

"Your coffee, sir!"

"he's always crabbing about my coffee, I could cry."

"I'm Maggie, fly me."

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Isle of Flowers

Furtado is not so much portraying deliberately malevolent actions but the insularity of the bourgeoisie, who are protected not only from the stink and disease of their rotting waste, but from the realities of existence at the edge of an unequal society where pigs as a commodity rank higher than the poor who must scavenge after the fat porkers. Eisenstein move over.

Read more here.

And then, lest you think that the story of the tomato is only about Brazil, check out the latest episode of "Splendid Table" (from American Public Media). You can hear Barry Esterbrook, author of Tomatoland, talking about Florida tomatoes.

Among other things, you'll learn that Florida tomato growers use pesticides very heavily, about eight times as much California growers use. Laws regarding the exposure of workers to pesticides are frequently violated and ignored.

Esterbrook tells us that recently at one tomato work camp in Florida, three women, who were all pregnant at the same time, were forced to work in the fields. All three gave birth to very badly deformed babies.

Slavery also remains endemic in Florida's tomato fields, to this day, according to the US District Attorney for South Florida. Over the last 10-15 years seven cases have been successfully prosecuted and 1200 enslaved tomato workers have been freed. But slavery continues to exist, and who knows how many slaves are working to produce the tomatoes we purchase from Florida, because it is very difficult to prosecute. It is difficult for the enslaved to speak up.