Fighting with the Sky

Posts Tagged ‘creativity

This morning I received an email from my friend who lives in Pittsburgh containing a link to this cartoon:


This is an editorial cartoon from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Rob Rogers. I think it does a good job at portraying the motivations behind the shooting at LA Fitness last week.

I have chosen not to write a lot about this horrible event because I feel like other people have done a better job at summarizing and analyzing the event than I could. So here, I will provide links to some articles that I find particularly interesting about the event:

Once more with feeling: Media Must Report Gender Motivation for Mass Shooting [WIMN’s Voices]
Women At Risk [New York Times]
George Sodini: Misogynist and Racist [Womanist Musings]
Men’s Rights Activists, Anti-Feminists, and Other Misogynists Comment on George Sodini
[Alas, a blog]
The Sodini Killing [FBomb]

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Movie Monday is a weekly feature that highlight a movie every Monday. I watch a lot of movies, so this is my way to share my “expertise” with you. In the inaugural Movie Monday post I will be reviewing the new movie Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.


Two amazing women, mouth-watering food, and a great story are what make up Nora Ephron’s new movie, Julie & Julia. What started out as a story about cooking and eating delicious food turns into a story about self-discovery and empowerment.

Meryl Streep steals the show with her portrayal of Julia Child. Amy Adams plays Julie Powell, a 30-year-old woman trying to reinvent and find herself after she realizes that she hasn’t really reached any of her goals.

Julia Child herself was a pretty amazing woman. She loved to eat good food so took it upon herself to go to cooking school to learn how to make delicious food. She faced her all male class at Le Cordon Bleu and thrived. She stood up to the school’s administrator. She wrote a cookbook and didn’t give up on getting it published.

Julie Power, on the other hand, was pretty unremarkable until she set on this road of self-discovery. She started a project, with a correlating blog, dedicated to cooking her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year. 365 days, 524 recipes. Of course she didn’t know it was about self-discovery when she started, she just wanted to do something with her life. Powell found herself in the life and recipes of Julia Child.

And the other main character — the food. I love cooking so I melted like the pounds of butter they went through during all of the cooking scenes. And I’m pretty sure I started to drool in the theater because the food looked so good!

I was told that the review of Julie & Julia on NPR’s Fresh Air said that there was no character development. I don’t know what they were thinking about. Julie Powell went from a shy, self-depricating woman to someone who is confident and loves life, all through her connection with food and Julia Child. Julia Child went from a secretary and someone’s wife to developing a passion for cooking and making a name for herself. There’s plenty of character development.

And now on to some of my favorite parts of the movie:

  • Any scene with Meryl Streep: she’s one of my favorite actresses. As Julia Child, she was charismatic and funny. I was laughing throughout all her scenes.
  • Changing the song “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads (one of my favorite Talking Heads songs) to “Lobster Killer”
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub: I love her in whatever she does and her relationships with Julie Powell reminded me at points of my relationships with one of my friends
  • The promotion of blogging as a form of self-expression

I think is movie is definitely feminist. It’s made by and starring some awesome women. It’s all about finding your passions, doing what you love, and finding yourself along the way. Part of my values in feminism are all about the right to self-expression as well as allowing and encouraging women to follow their dreams and do what they love.

I highly recommend this movie. It’s well made and has a good message. When I saw it, the theater was packed, primarily with middle aged women. But this is definitely a movie for all ages (well, maybe not all — there are sexual references and cursing) and sexes. Finding yourself and doing what you love should be a message that everyone should get behind!

Further Reading:
Julia & Julia By the Numbers [Women & Hollywood]
Julie & Julia Need More Julia, Only a Dash of Julie [Jezebel]
Julie & Julia [Women & Hollywood]
Julie & Julia: A Film Review [Entertainment Realm]

This post was inspired by an open thread at Shakesville. I agree with most of the things said in this post, but just want to expand on them a little further.

*If you are invested in So You Think You Can Dance and haven’t yet watched the finale and don’t want to know who the winner is, I suggest you come back to this post after you have watched the finale.

I’m a sucker for dancing and reality competition shows, so it’s amazing that I hadn’t really watched So You Think You Can Dance until this season. I have to admit that I love it. The finale was on last night and my favorite dancer, Jeanine, won.

While I do love this show and think that it is a great platform for dancers, there is one thing in particular that bothers me: the treatment of the female dancers, especially by judge Nigel Lithgoe. Nigel has a tendency to make pervy comments and the female dancers always seem to look uncomfortable after them. One comment that stands out to me was this past Wednesday night, the first part of the finale where the top 4 dancers perform. Jeanine and Kayla’s dance partly involved them shedding layers as they went through the dance, ending in a simple leotard (I tried to find a video of this dance on YouTube, but was unsuccessful). It was a beautiful dance. But Nigel had to go and ruin it by saying “I wish it went on longer.” This dance was the same length as all of the other dances. I interpreted this (and so did the other judges and dancers, it appears) that he wanted it to go on longer because he wanted them to take off more clothes. Female dance costumes are already sparse enough, we don’t need a creepy old man making comment about taking more clothes off.

Also during the first part of the finale, Nigel made a comment about Brandon and Kayla’s broadway piece that was completely unnecessary and not relevant to the judging process. At the end of the dance, when Brandon was supposed to be having a heart attack, Kayla through her leg over him. Nigel then made the comment that if a beautiful blond had thrown her leg over him when he had his heart attack he would die from another heart attack. That had absolutely nothing to do with judging the dance, just Nigel being a creepy old man.

And is it really necessary to constantly ask the two married contestant, Melissa and Randi, if their husbands would approve? Their husbands seem to be pretty supportive of their dancing and therefore probably understand the nature of male/female pairs dancing. While it might not be pleasant for them to watch at some points, I’m sure they understand. And does it really matter what they think about it anyways? These women are doing what they love to do, so their husbands should be supportive and it shouldn’t really matter in all cases. And would they be asking male contestants what their wives think? No, because men are “supposed” to play the field and these dances are just a demonstration of that.

So, enough about Nigel being a creepy old man. Let’s go onto some of the things that I really liked about this season. Being dance and the fact that every couple (until the last episode) was a man and a woman, it is kind of expected (though not always appreciated) that the female will take the submissive role in the dance. Despite this fact, there was one dance that really stuck out to me about female empowerment. It was the dance of the final three women, Kayla, Jeanine, and Melissa, that portrayed them as superheroes (I cannot remember who the choreagrapher was at this point, it was the woman with the mohawk-like hair, if anyone remembers her name).

Some of my favorite dances throughout the season were the ones that had some form of social commentary or message. The first was the dance about addiction (choreographed by Mia Michaels) performed by Kayla and Kupono. It was a very powerful piece and was a really good representation of the love/hate relationship of drug abuse. One of my other favorite dances was about the fight through breast cancer (choreographed by Tyce Diorio), performed by Melissa and Ade. It was really moving, especially how it brought all of the judges to tears, even Ellen Degreneres, who was guest judging that night (I’m thinking of writing a Breast Implications post on this dance, so I’m not going to comment on it too much right now).

It is great that this show is a platform not only to further the career of amazing dancers, but also for social commentary about drug use, cancer, and so much more. Despite some of the misogynst aspects of the show (that are prevalent through out all reality tv, well, tv in general), it is always entertaining to watch.

Do you like So You Think You Can Dance? What do you like about it? Do you think Nigel’s pervy comments are related to his judging and therefore “acceptable”?

As part of our project on the (in)visibility of breasts, we hosted a boob art event at the Beloit College Women’s Center (one of the special interest houses). This event was intended to celebrate the beauty and creativity of breasts by placing paint on our bare breasts to create imprints on paper.

Organizing the event was slightly difficult. Because we were using campus funds for our supplies (donated from the Women’s Center), we could not technically exclude anyone from the event. But we wanted the event to be women only to make it a safe atmosphere for women to be topless. We had to be kind of discreet about advertising. We relied mainly on word of mouth, but we also created a invite-only Facebook event that we sent out to our friends with the instructions to tell all of their friends.

In the end, we had a pretty good turn out. We held in on Spring Day* so that people would most likely be available. We had probably between 20 and 25 people come during the two hour period when the event was held. Most of these people were friends with one of us. We had a couple people come that none of us new, which was great and meant that we were doing something that was of interest to the rest of the campus community.

When we started we were behind closed doors with a sign on them saying “Knock First.” We wanted to make sure that everyone felt comfortable in the environment. I’ll admit that even though I had come up with the idea and helped to plan the event, I was a little nervous and self-conscious about getting started. I’m not used to standing around topless in public. When we started there were around 5 of us. We tended to focus solely on what we as individuals were doing instead of looking at what others were doing. But once we got used to being in a room with topless women with paint all over them, things started to change. People came in and out, as was intended. And by the end of the two hours, the doors were open, we were wandering around the house, pictures were being taken, and we didn’t really notice that everyone was topless…it just became normal.

To the left is a picture of one of my creations.

This event really showed the creative and unifying power of breasts. We all became closer that day because we were creating art together with our bodies. Breasts (whether naturally given or not, whether taken away or not) connect all women. Breasts can also make beautiful art, as we witnessed that afternoon. I probably made around 10 paintings that day and loved everyone of them. They were beautiful because my body made them. My breasts had always just kind of been there, but this seemed to give them a different, creative purpose. I highly recommend that all women out there try this activity once in their lives. It’s empowering to see your body make beautiful art. It’s also empowering and a bonding experience to create this art with a group of beautiful women.

*Spring Day is a Beloit College tradition. It is held on a Wednesday in late April every year. Classes are cancelled and a carnival-type thing is held. There is a dunk tank, inflatable play things, tye dye, and various other booths sponsored by campus clubs. It’s one of the best days of the year, if the weather is agreeable. This year it was gorgeous. Just thought I’d make you a little jealous of my college 😉

Since today is a lazy Sunday for me and might be for others as well, I decided to make today’s edition of “Breast Implications” all about some of the creative pieces we included in our zine. We have a poem, a funny re-make of a song, and a recipe in store!

*********************

New Boobs by Lynski*

It must have been tough to be teased by your peers
As you were doomed to a life in training brazziers
Flapjacks and “AA” the usual taunts
But soon you’ll have perfect jugs you can flaunt

As you have decided to go under the knife
Think what a difference it’ll make to your life
After the surgery when you wake up
Instead of 2 saucers you’ll see a C cup

As you are snuggled in your private room
Your head will be swimming with thoughts of bazooms
You’ll throw out the small bras with a great cheer
For hope of the bigger ones soon to appear

Boobs, breasts or hooters you’ll have 2 of the best
But be warned it is painful if you’re thumped in the chest
It’ll be hard not to laugh when you see your new swellers
Bouncing about as you ride your fella

You can try your new bra that you bought in the town
You’ll hardly believe it when you finally look down
And see for the first time your cleavage will meet
But don’t be alarmed if you can’t see your feet

Finally with boobs when you lay down at night
If you find they have vanished you may bet a fright
Don’t panic if you can’t see your dream pair of tits
They haven’t gone far, their in your armpits.

*written for a friend about to undergo breast implant surgery.

**************************

Do Your Boobs Hang Low?

Do your boobs hang low? Do they wobble to a fro? Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow? Can you throw them over your shoulder like a continental soldier? Do your boobs hang low?

Do your boobs hang high? Do they reach up to the sky? Do they droop when they are wet? Do they stiffen when they’re dry? Can you semaphore your neighbor with a minimum of labour? Do your boobs hang high?

Do your boobs flip-flop? Can you use them for a mop? Are they stringy at the bottom? Are they curly at the top? Can you use them for a swatter? Can you use them for a blotter? Do your boobs flip-flop?

Do your boobs hang out? Can you waggle them about? Can you flip them up and down as you fly around the town? Can you shut them up for sure when you hear an awful bore? Do your boobs hang out?

Do your boobs stretch wide? Do they reach from side to side? Can you use them as a parachute or wings that let you glide? Can you cast a cooling shadow over most of Colorado? Do your boobs stretch wide?

Are your boobs too big? Are they heavy as a pig? Do they bruise your cerebellum when you dance an Irish jig? Can they function as the anchors for a fleet of oil tankers? Are your boobs too big?

Are your boobs real small? Barely visible at all? Do they look just like two peanuts stuck onto a bowling ball? Can you store them in a thimble when you’re feeling rather nimble? Are your boobs real small?

Are your boobs quite clean? Do they have a lovely sheen? Did you harvest all the vegetables that grow down in between? Did you wash out all the soil after all your farming toil? Are your boobs quite clean?

Are your boobs too thin? Do the breezes make ’em spin? Can you shine a light right through tem like the finest onionskin? Can you wrap up a salami? Do they fold like origami? Are your boobs too thin?

*******************

Boob Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 48 Hershey kisses

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees
  2. In bowl, cream the butter. Add peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Beat in milk.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients to peanut butter mixture. Beat until incorporated.
  5. Cover and chill batter for an hour.
  6. Roll batter into 1 inch round balls. Roll each ball in a bowl of granulated sugar. Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes. Immediately upon removing from oven, place chocolate kiss in center of each cookie

Makes about 4 dozen cookies!

This comes via RH Reality Check. I thought it might be appreciated.


The artist is Mikhaela Reid and you can find more of her work on her website The Boiling Point.