Your Political Agenda is Uncouth

March 27, 2009 at 9:30 pm (News) (, , , , , )

I logged onto Facebook today to find a post by someone I considered a friend concerning this article. It’s about a freak accident in which two young women were killed in a plane crash; the plane crashed into a “memorial” for all the “babies” that have been “killed” with abortions. These young women are the daughters of a man who runs the largest abortion “business” in California. Innocent people died here in a freak accident. What did she have to say?

“Well I think THAT is a message from God if there ever was one.”

I am still shell-shocked from reading that. Innocent people – most of which had nothing to do with the abortions – die in a freak accident, and that’s what you have to say? You seriously believe your God is a vengeful God, the kind that somehow punishes some who are unrighteous by your standards, but who lets you spew hatred?

What happened to charity? What happened to compassion? What happened to kindness?

Religion is not about selectively adhering to principles. It’s all or none. If you act like a decent human being, do not mix fibers, don’t eat shellfish, do not have premarital sex – maybe then we can discuss the fact these people are not righteous by your standards. But I know you. You had premarital sex. You mix fibers. You eat whatever you want. You are unkind to others. You have no right and no place to claim others deserve to die for providing women with the service of CHOICE where their own body is concerned. What is right for you is not right for everyone else.

I feel like crying, honestly.

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Face Painting!

March 26, 2009 at 10:03 pm (Fun, Life) (, , , )

I’m easy and consider myself a good feminist, but there’s one thing I have to admit. Make-up amuses me to no end. It’s a way for me to draw on my face without people getting all weird about it. (Admittedly, I am not drawing penii on my face with lipstick, though MAYBE I should try that.) Since I have nothing else to blog about, I thought I might as well post my usual make-up routine. First, of course, I wash my face in the mornings – Neutrogena. While my face dries I insert my contacts so I don’t contaminate them with face cream or make-up, then I apply Bioré lotion. Then!

foundation1. Foundation! I use Almay Truly Lasting Color in Ivory 01; it’s still a little darker than it should be for my skin, but it’s the best I’ve been able to find so far; I just thin it out with some water. It’s not tested on animals either, so therefore awesome. Keep in mind it’s not heavy-duty coverage, it’s just supposed to smooth out your complexion. It does that for me.

blush

2. Blush! CoverGirl Instant Cheek Bones Contouring Blush in Refined Rose. I’ve replaced the brush for something larger with this, the smaller brush was just not good for blending at all. I usually start out with the middle shade directly on the cheek bones, from my smile line out to my hair. Then I work the darkest shade underneath that for a shadow effect. The lightest color comes on last and I usually brush it over the other two shades so they blend a little better.

eyeshadow

3. Eye shadow! For this, I employ Almay’s Intense I-Color trio of greens. Except I leave the purple out on most days, opting instead to blend the lighter green with the darker green on my eyelid. Sometimes I will use turquoise eyeliner (NYC Eyeliner Duo), mostly I’m too lazy, though. Some days I will go with Revlon ColorStay 12 Hour Eye Shadow in 07 Spring Moss, blending the two medium shades on my eyelid, then softly smudging the darkest shade over my eyelashes and sweeping the lightest shade up to my brow bone.

pink mascara

4. Mascara! This is where I get tricksy. I have long lashes, but they’re extremely light due to my natural blondeness. Just using one mascara does not produce the desired look, but this is a matter of taste. I like doing the thick tranny lashes as I’ve heard them referred to. So, to achieve this, I will first use Rimmel Lash MAXXX (Extreme Black) for the first layer; the applicator resembles a comb, so it also separates the lashes from another and is ideal for getting the lower lashes. You know, the ones that end up sticking together and looking weird and spidery? Those. I hate it when they do that. Now my lashes will be dark, but still very thin and lonely-looking. So I add a top coat of Maybelline’s Define-A-Lash in Soft Black (water proof). This applicator has thing rubber brushes that actually evenly apply color.

jellypop gloss

5. Lips! Since I’m referring to my daily routine, I will confess I do not use lipstick on a regular basis. I would like to, but I am chicken because the colors I like wearing are the bold kind. I save those for special occasions. To the left you can see Wet N Wild’s Glassy Gloss Jelly Pops. I own the flavor Just Peachy; they’re a new discovery of mine, but I’m very pleased with the smell, flavor and look because they’re not overwhelming, but still awesome. Another favorite is Rimmel’s Twist & Shine Lip Polish with its awesome shade 070 Twist It, which is candy apple red.

Tada! (My apologies if the formatting remains weird. This is the fifth time I’ve edited it and WordPress keeps fucking up the format. I give up.)

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Authority and Disobedience

March 25, 2009 at 11:13 pm (School, Writing) (, , , , )

Several of you may have already read this, as it was an assignment to be written for my English class. However, I need a space filler while I contemplate more interesting things to write about on here. We recently discussed the research study called the Milgram Experiment in less formal places. Officially, the published paper was (pretentiously) called “Some Conditions of Obedience and Disobedience to Authority.” If you follow the link, you will find a more detailed description of what the research was about, but a brief summary is appropriate.

After watching the Nuremburg trials, Stanley Milgram was stunned and somewhat appalled to find many of the Nazis on trial to either be unrepentant or unwilling to take responsibility for the atrocities they had committed. He posed himself the question “How far can a human be pushed until they reach a point at which they will disobey authority?” So he conducted a study with Yale in which he tested male subjects aged 18 to 40 from all types of educational and social backgrounds in the following situation: The subject was placed in a room with an experimenter who functioned as the authority. In another room was an actor – the fact it was an actor was not disclosed to the subject. The subject was to administer electroshocks to the actor when commanded by the experimenter.

Milgram found that it took an astonishingly long time for almost all of the subjects to disobey; many of them showed signs of psychological distress and extreme tension, but it was only at 120 V shocks that the first subjects began disobeying the authority. Many subjects continued administering shocks when absolved of the personal responsibility for hurting another human being or only verbally protested. Milgram was obviously appalled by these findings and raised the question that, if humans are so willing to follow authority, this kind of power in the hand of a government with malicious intent could be fatal. Then he proposed this: “Perhaps our culture does not provide adequate models for disobedience.”

My task was to work with the following assignment: “In paragraph 47, Milgram comments, ‘Perhaps our culture does not provide adequate models for disobedience.’ What do you think of this hypothesis? Are there such models? Ought there to be? Have such models appeared since the experiment was conducted? Explain your stand on Milgram’s statement.” I thought the topic was interesting enough to post here.

Models for Disobedience?

Disobedience is, in itself, an unpredictable form of refusing to conform to certain standards or to blatantly resist an instruction given by a third party or society. For Milgram to state that “Perhaps our culture does not provide adequate models for disobedience”  (467) is nonsensical. A model of for disobedience would imply a rigidly structured set of rules to be followed, therefore defeating the purpose of disobedience. Would a person truly be disobedient if he or she were simply complying with the laws of disobedience? Clearly the answer is “no.”

The act of disobeying is natural to humans, as we are a species gifted with the ability to form critical thoughts and reflect past, present and future. An intrinsic moral compass that allows us to compare reality to our ideological standards guides us. When our perception of what is right and what is wrong collides with what we witness in our lives, we are inclined to demonstrate our ability to disobey so long as we are fully responsible for our actions. This was the catch in both Milgram’s experiment and day-to-day life.

Closely linked to resistance, disobedience comes in many forms. It is possible to violently resist conformity just as it is possible to take a passive, more intellectual path to disobeying a strict set of rules. Depending on the circumstances, it is up to the individual in such a situation to rely on their own judgment. Disobedience can be as simple as not obeying a command or as complex as resisting the general societal consensus on what is right. During the Third Reich, disobedience was not simply disagreeing with what the government dictated, it was actively seeking to save individuals or raise awareness to the government’s inhumane practices. The lack of a model for their disobedience was apparent in the diversity of disobedience, ranging from assassination attempts to intellectual resistance from groups such as the White Rose, which was group of college students eventually executed for writing and circulating flyers condemning the politics of the Nazis.

One could argue that the extreme conditions and the indoctrination into a collective mindset would not be able to offer up a model for resistance in the first place, but at least it is plain as day that disobedience was not accepted as an appropriate phenomenon, which made it a valid act. Various forms of disobedience manifested themselves in pop culture in the last fifty years, all of which became moot once they were accepted as trendy. One such “model for disobedience” is punk. Punk was considered to be a real breakthrough for its time, delivering a message of anti-authoritarianism, anarchy, direction action and non-conformity. It quickly developed into a subculture of its own through which young people could defy the beliefs of the older generation by listening to loud music, protesting the establishment (The Man) with their dress and hair and radical politics. However, over the years, punk became a more mainstream phenomenon that pressured its followers into a pre-made mold of “disobedience,” which defeated the purpose of such actions. With the establishment of rules to be followed in order to disobey, the intentions become muzzy at best.

At the end of the day, disobedience is a matter of personal choice and it shaped by the beliefs and background of the individual. There can be no standardized form of disobedience because there is no standardized form of society.

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Dog Days

March 24, 2009 at 8:59 pm (Life) (, , , )

As I stood in the shower yesterday, still recuperating from a strenuous weekend in Pennsylvania and Ohio, I looked out the window. I can see into several yards through the bathroom window if I stand on my tip-toes, a dangerous endeavor in the shower, but I do it anyway. A few yards down lives a dog. I have never seen this dog personally, but C. told me about him or her after a day she spent gardening.

Every day I spend in this house with a resentful, ill-tempered cat makes me miss my sweet Lena more. Thinking about some lucky neighbor actually having a dog to come home to upsets me more than is probably rational. I really don’t know how to be without pets, but I know how to be without dogs even less – to the point where I have pretty much entirely blocked out the eight months we were dogless because it was just traumatic and sad for me.

puppy I am naturally more inclined to having dogs. I am horribly allergic to cats and most of the cats I have encountered in my time were not particularly nice to me. Avoidant at best, downright vicious at worst. Cats are independent and ungrateful around me; I am not attempting to start a debate on which pet is superior to another here. I am of the firm conviction that dogs, Golden Retrievers in particular, are the best choice for me. They are smart dogs that love to please and be around people, that are naturally goofy. They’re ecstatic for you to be home. They’re dogs that never, ever bite, but are large enough to have a big scary bark that will ward off intruders. They are willing and able to learn whatever you have to teach them.

Normally, I think they are more open towards strangers, but Lena has always seemed very fixated on me. I don’t mind this. It reinforces the fact that she is truly MY DOG, not the family’s dog. Yes, she lives with our family, as do I most of the time, but I am the center of her universe. She is not inclined to taking treats from strangers, she will start and jerk away when strangers approach, bark when we’re walking. She was not abused in any way. She is fine when people enter her home, but she’s just not a personable dog when not on her home turf.

It’s a nice feeling, knowing that there is someone who does love you unconditionally and likes having you around, no matter how awful a person you may be. My dog loves me for who I am, despite everything. I miss her every day and it’s currently becoming more and more uncertain when I will actually see her again. We used to be inseparable. Now I keep having this irrational fear that I have been replaced in her heart or that she has forgotten me. goofinessI KNOW this is ridiculous, dogs have good memories for their owners. That doesn’t mean I don’t get to be a weepy, clingy dog mom about it.

I really, really miss my snugglebug.

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Patience, My Dear

March 19, 2009 at 4:36 pm (Life)

I hate waiting.

There. I said it. I hate sitting around, twiddling my thumbs and waiting for things to happen. I realize that sometimes, this is what you have to do in life. That does not make me hate it any less. It also doesn’t mean I am good at waiting.

I fuss. I pace. I unpack and repack things. Some days are better than others, so I can sit down and read or listen to music. But mostly, especially when I’m waiting for people, I a fidgety bastard. I think I have everything I need packed, though, and that’s a definite bonus.

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Pinch? No Pinch?

March 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm (Fun) (, )

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! It’s never been a holiday or anything I would consider a big deal, and it’s not terribly different this year. I am staying indoors, pretending to still be recuperating from my horrific cold.

I also apologize for the crazy influx of YouTube videos lately, but I felt this was appropriate:

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CLASSIC

March 16, 2009 at 12:58 pm (Fun, Music) ()

I dare you to watch that video and not die laughing. Holy cow, I love The Darkness to bits. I am still sad about the fact they no longer exist, as Justin Hawkins had a hard time combating his addiction with that kind of lifestyle. However, there will always be hilarious music videos for me to watch.

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Bubonic Plague!

March 14, 2009 at 2:40 pm (Life, School) (, , , , )

I dislike PSAs. I truly do. Sometimes, however, they are necessary, especially when they are plain old common sense. OR SHOULD BE. Thus, excuse the following rant.

Ladies and gents, what I speak of is called basic hygiene.

When you are sick, please, don’t cough into other people’s faces. Don’t cough or sneeze, covering your mouth, and then shake others’ hands or touch them in other ways. When you are ill, carry hand sanitizer with you and use it before you touch something. When you use the bathroom, wash your hands. Don’t wipe your noses on your sleeves, don’t even put your hands near your eyes, nose and mouth because that is how you will become ill.

Most importantly, however, if you notice your health is deteriorating due to a cold and you happen to spend a lot of time in the music faculty, stay home. A large percentage of the music major population is made up by singers. When you pass on respiratory illnesses, a lot of people can be affected. I, for example, have a history of laryngitis on top of asthma and severe allergies. I am extremely susceptible to whatever bug you may be passing around. Do not expect me to be nice and charitable as you sit in the hallway waiting for our professor to start our chorus session, where fifty other students will be singing, as you whine “I have the flu.”

When I got sick, I decided I wouldn’t pass the “love” on. I wrote my professors a polite email stating that I was extremely sorry for not being able to come to class that day, but I was ill and didn’t think anyone else deserved to spend the day retching over the toilet. My voice teacher and chorus professor replied with a heart-felt thank you for demonstrating common sense. Please, could everyone else display this as well?

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Lovely Ladies Part III

March 13, 2009 at 11:16 am (Art, Fun, Music) (, , , )

Here I’ll be featuring the more alternative artists, the ones that defy all categories in general. I’m glad I decided to do this because it does make me very aware of my strange, distinctive and somewhat biased taste in music. Maybe, sometime when I am done with my midterms, I will dedicate a few posts to some of my favorite bands featuring male vocalists.

Let’s start out with Neko Case; this lady is a brilliant, very underrated lady I would like to hear on the radio AT ALL. Her lyrics are brilliant, if a little obscure, and she draws a lot of influence from country though what she does is really folk at heart.

The Duhks, I believe, have since switched singers, but I prefer this voice to the new one. She has an interesting, husky quality without falling into obnoxious territory. She clearly knows her style and executes it well.

I’m not so sure of her personality, but fact is, Carla Bruni is an immensely talented lady. I have a strong bias against the French language (and people, but let’s not get into that or we’ll be here all night). I like her soft, whispery voice and what I’ve read of her songs. It’s been a while since France has produced decent chansóns.

Happy Rhodes has an INCREDIBLE range; I’ve often heard this song mistaken for a duet between Annie Lennox and Kate Bush, when, in truth, it is one single person singing. “When The Rain Came Down” is a beautiful song I can listen to for hours on loop.

This song apparently a bunch of controversy in the UK for its dark, dark humor. Amanda Palmer is better known for her participation in the band The Dresden Dolls, who, according to their own description, produce Brechtian punk cabaret. I can deal with that description.

I have to admit I don’t know terribly much about Imogen Heap save for the fact she produces all her own music and had a record contract that was cancelled and then reinstated after her fan support remained strong. She strikes me as an interesting woman I would like to know more about.

I’ve listened to Inkubus Sukkubus for years now and had for some reason never bothered to look up music videos for them. Maybe because my knowledge of their existence preceded YouTube. Heavy on the Wiccan lore, but still neat.

Whenever I am at home, I am serenaded with this song by my younger sister. Karen Zoid is from South Africa, was born in Belgium, I don’t know much more about her; but I figured she deserved to be in the list somewhere. I also think anyone who’s ever flown anywhere knows exactly what she sings of.

Last but not least is Mariha. I tried to find better clips of her, but most of them are not embeddable and I hate to make people click their way through the internet. If you really want to hear a higher quality version, you can find it here; her song Absolutely Entertaining was done for the German movie Barfuss and I highly recommend it.

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Lovely Ladies Part II

March 12, 2009 at 9:39 pm (Art, Fun, Music) (, , , )

In continuation of favorite female artists! This time it is pop music because, yes, I listen to that sometimes. Honest.

What would a list be without the inspirational Kate Bush? I came by my love for her on my own, as my older sister, who grew up in the 80s and 90s, was more of a Sting enthusiast. Her song-writing is amazing, if obscure, and that’s awesome, just like her unmistakable voice.

Ladies and gentlemen: ANNIE LENNOX. I sincerely envy her recognizable, soulful voice, not to mention her charisma. (May I add that I cover the jacket she wears in that video?)

I would be a major ass if I didn’t include some of my favorite German artists. Judith Holofernes (yes, it is a stage name) of Wir Sind Helden is the lyricist; a lot of her songs hit home on very mundane matters. She is a brilliant woman with razor wit and an infectious smile.

More from Germany: Silbermond have done what hasn’t happened in a long time, which is actually make German music popular IN Germany. For a long time all you heard on the radio was music imported by big record companies from the US. With Silbermond came a veritable revolution of German popular music.

It’s Cyndi Lauper. Do I REALLY have to say anything?

I’m not going to lie. I have a bit of a girlcrush on Andrea Corr; she’s always seemed like a great person with a fantastic voice. She also sang for the Warner Bros. movie “Quest For Camelot,” which includes one of the best roles ever written for a female cartoon character.

K.D. Lang’s rendition of “Hallelujah” is probably my favorite, period. I enjoy the rest of her music as well.

What the hell would this list be without Kylie? She deserves a lot of kudos for what she’s accomplished, including beating the shit out of breast cancer.

I’m almost a little reluctant to put Duffy in this category because I’m not quite sure where she falls into, but I do have to settle for pop because she is very well-known at this time.

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