Monday, March 30, 2009

A Poop In The Traveling Pants

I passed part of yesterdays 10+ hour flight by watching Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (because I was on a plane and needed comfort TV and those girls are all great actresses, that's why, y'all).

I recalled reviews calling it the lesser leg of the Pants movies. I can't recall the reasons given, but I would agree for at least one large, glaring, unforgiveable reason.

These films are aimed at tweeny girls - probably 11 to 18 (and their moms and older fans of smarter tweeny films, like me). Such films aren't required to be educational or to adopt moral or political stances - but sometimes they do. Or should. Whatever.

In this film (slight spoilers ahead) one of the character's boyfriends says "I love you" and the decide to go all the way. That's fine. No problem with that (for the sake of this argument) - the girls are all over 18 and in college and this couple used a condom, so fine, fine. After they go all the way, the boyfriend comes out of the bathroom with the unsettling and rightly freak-out! news that the condom broke. This is a terrible thing. And it happens. And it would make any safe-practices couple rightfully concerned.

So what do this otherwise savvy, smart (if too moody - which is her Character Flaw) girl and her boyfriend do? NOTHING. They just worry. She worries and worries. She sees babies and pregnant ladies everywhere. She works at a video store where the words "I'm late" come up ironically and often. She worries and worries some more. She breaks up with her boyfriend because she can't hang with it all.

Anyone see where I'm going with this?

Why didn't this smart girl get her ass over to the student health center and get a Plan B prescription? Better yet - is New York a state where you can get Plan B over the counter? I don't know! But if it is - hit a damned druge store you stupid girl! Seriously, writers, what the hell? Was that intentionally left out because it might be too controversial or just because no one thought about it? If the condom breaks, then the sooner you get to Plan B, the better. Is it a guaranteed baby-stopper (not aborter! NOT ABORTER!)? No. But it sure as hell makes more sense than walking around New York very worried.

She doesn't get knocked up, by the way. But she and the writers should get knocked in the head for letting this character behave out-of-character-ly and ignorantly and missing a chance to educate the audience.

Don't Know Why Ralphs Scores, But Then Again, I Adore Tesco

Tim Gunn gets L.A.

Smart guy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Frustrated Jurors Frustrating Justice

Fascinating if totally predictable "these days" piece on mistrial by iPhone touches on what might be wrong with the so-called adversarial process to begin with.

It's all a bit of a sham - er - a legal fiction anyway, this process of carefully selecting what gets in and what stays out. Jury theory has never seemed really plausible anyway. Maybe other lawyers would disagree. But get them a few drinks and probably not.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Feminist Reading Day: On Breastfeeding

I always enjoy Hanna Rosin's writing - this time, on the overinflated benefits of breastfeeding. After discussing much of the science - the real science - which gives inconclusive results regarding the benefits of milk - she gets into the sociological side of things:

About seven years ago, I met a woman from Montreal, the sister-in-law of a friend, who was young and healthy and normal in every way, except that she refused to breast-feed her children. She wasn’t working at the time. She just felt that breast-feeding would set up an unequal dynamic in her marriage—one in which the mother, who was responsible for the very sustenance of the infant, would naturally become responsible for everything else as well. At the time, I had only one young child, so I thought she was a kooky Canadian—and selfish and irresponsible. But of course now I know she was right. I recalled her with sisterly love a few months ago, at three in the morning, when I was propped up in bed for the second time that night with my new baby (note the my). My husband acknowledged the ripple in the nighttime peace with a grunt, and that’s about it. And why should he do more? There’s no use in both of us being a wreck in the morning. Nonetheless, it’s hard not to seethe. . . .

The debate about breast-feeding takes place without any reference to its actual context in women’s lives. Breast-feeding exclusively is not like taking a prenatal vitamin. It is a serious time commitment that pretty much guarantees that you will not work in any meaningful way. Let’s say a baby feeds seven times a day and then a couple more times at night. That’s nine times for about a half hour each, which adds up to more than half of a working day, every day, for at least six months. This is why, when people say that breast-feeding is “free,” I want to hit them with a two-by-four. It’s only free if a woman’s time is worth nothing.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A Public Confession. Begging Your Forgiveness

I have joined Facebook.

It feels dirty and wrong.

Okay, it's not that I think there's anything inherently wrong with Facebook. I just don't think I need it. The upside to an often confusing name is that there aren't many of me. So I'm easy to Google. I got web presence. (And now I sound like a "Hey! Google me! ass. Don't google me, that's not my point.)

But in recent weeks several people I respect tremendously have said, via e-mail, "hey, are you on facebook? I can't find you." If they are doing it, I will do it to. These are people worth following down such paths.

I'll learn and use privacy settings ASAP, I can assure you.

But I'm not going to spend a lot of time there. If you're reading this, you already know where I am and how to find me and contact me.

Monday, March 02, 2009

p.s. to previous post

"Another wiseacre has convinced himself that making people laugh is exerting some kind of power over them."

That's part's true. To assert that it isn't power, but rather, acceptance, confuses power and acceptance as either mutually exclusive or opposing or argumentative forces.

That is all.

For now.

Reading Assignment: Yes, There Will Be A Test

Girls aren't funny.

vs.

What in the hell is she talking about. Still?