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Month: April 2014

Prop 1 Karma

These signs went up in the Northgate area, on the meridian of Northgate Way and 5th avenue. Who put them there? Did they get permission? Did they have to pay for it? What would have happened if Paul and I had gone out one night and removed all the “No on Prop 1” signs like we talked about? I know what the anti-Prop 1 sign is supposed to communicate. But what I got out of it was this: Sixty bucks, really? Damn, you right wingers are petty. I’m not really surprised that Prop 1 failed, any more than I was…

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Under the Skin


Short answer: atmospheric dark fantasy with some memorable scenes and Scarlett Johansson naked, but slow and lacking in story. Cautiously recommended, as long as you’re prepared to be kinda bored.

Longer thoughts below — spoilers ahead.

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Zombies of the patriarchy


Here are some ridiculous things that conservative anti-feminists recently had to say about feminism:
Conservative Women Celebrate Women’s History by Criticizing Feminism.

I can’t believe how much staying power these narratives have. The anti-feminist right has been making the same claims since I was a kid.

I’ve never understood why they do it, especially the women. I sorta get why some dudes would be — patriarchalists, I guess? — since a patriarchy puts them in charge of everything, and people like power. And I get why people who were raised that way and don’t know anything else would just accept it and try to get on with their lives. But I don’t get why women who could choose to be something else, choose to be patriarchalists. What do they have to gain?

I also wonder why patriarchies and patriarchal thinking are so common. Why doesn’t it ever seem to go the other way? Matriarchies are rare, and I literally cannot think of a single toxic, oppressive example on par with the toxic patriarchies that are still depressingly plentiful.

(Some wags out there will no doubt suggest that the women’s studies department of many colleges could be regarded as a toxic matriarchy, but I think that kinda proves my point. How much power does any women’s studies department actually have?)

I see various theories floated for why patriarchy seems to be a kind of default — oh, it’s because men are stronger, or because women use too many of their resources taking care of babies. But those theories never seem to adequately explain the phenomenon. After all, it’s not like tiny, weak, single-parent men or tall, childless, ass-kicking women are automatically excluded from participation in the patriarchy.

So this is my theory: the patriarchal instinct is driven by an urge to seize control of the reproductive capacity — which necessitates diminishing the autonomy of the women who are “keepers” of that capacity. It’s a deep-down, gut-level, sub-rational primate kind of thing, which gets turned into elaborate abstract social narratives and structures. You know, because humans do that.

(It gets long and I talk about sexual assault. But there’s a gif at the end!)

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Sunday Morning Coming Down

Walking Tours of Northgate: Tour #1: My house to QFC Vintage photographs taken on December 1, 2013, starting at 8:47 in the morning 1. Head south on 3rd Ave NE This little spur of 3rd Avenue Northeast starts at Northgate Way and terminates at 115th in a permeable cul-de-sac. Why do we call them that, anyway? Huh. It means, literally, “bottom of the bag” in French. Cul-de-sacs are also called “dead end streets,” which is also the name of a fairly awesome Kinks song. 2. Cut diagonally through Hubbard Homestead Park from 3rd to 5th and 112th The pedestrian walkways…

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