Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

World Cup Blogaround

Okay, theoretically it shouldn't be hard for both England and the US to beat both Algeria and Slovenia, so if that happens does that mean a Group C playoff, or that the team with the most goals is awarded first place? So little time, so many FIFA rules I don't feel like looking up. Might as well do a relatively short blogaround:

• I'm glad I added Roger Ebert's columns to my Bloglines subscriptions, I always seem to be bookmarking them. Highly recommended are his remembrances of racism growing up and his beautiful explanation of how Twitter has helped him communicate better now that he can't use his mouth.

• Yesterday was the 22nd (I think) anniversary of my first marriage, which is on my mind a lot what with the insipid coverage of the separation of Al and Tipper Gore. I agree with all the bloggers who say one cannot know what goes on within a marriage or why the participants decide to part, and particularly with folks like Miriam at Feministing who asks, "why does it have to be framed as a failure when a marriage ends?" I certainly don't consider my decades-long friendship with Steve (ten years of which also included our marriage) to be a failure at all. Sometimes people just move in different directions, and can both acknowledge that as adults without there being any fault or animosity. I just wish some of our couple-friends at the time could have understood that.

• Speaking of friendships going back over decades, my old buddy Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast makes a great point in response to Amanda's post about food and its relationship to income level - the time factor. She notes, "Either we are working ourselves to death in jobs we already have, sometimes multiples of them, or we are out of work and have gnawing terror of the future." As long as I have a job and hour-plus commute I'm not going to cook that often because, as much as I may enjoy it, by the time I get home I'm often too tired to do anything that requires any prep (and increasingly I spend my weekends catching up on errands or collapsing so that rules out food prep as well). I'll either make a cheese sammy or throw in a frozen dinner, and Rob opens up tins. Yeah, self-prep would be much preferred, if I had the energy. Staying financially afloat takes precedence. Oh, and I mentioned earlier about how Jill was the person who introduced me to the work of The Firesign Theatre about 30 years ago - well, now she's introduced me by way of her blog to someone else of whom I'd never previously heard; meet the late great Himon Brown.

• Tristero at Digby's place presents tales from the new Depression to which I can really relate, and has the same response I did to a recent Frank Rich article about President Obama's tendency to listen to self-picked authorities rather than actual experts.

• The Rude Pundit hits the nail on the head that a President and a CEO are and should be two very different things; I would argue that their jobs are diametrically opposed, which is why the idea of a corporate oligarchy is so odious to me. It's utterly undemocratic.

• As the manmade environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico continues to grow, the FAIR blog catches USA Today chiding the media for its lack of coverage about how oil spills have quadrupled during this century, completely ignoring its own role as part of that media cover-up. Also ignored are ideas from celebrities with actual experience in dealing with underwater navigation, and it was like pulling teeth to get them to listen to other celebrities with clean-up solutions. 'Cause, you know, they're just actors and directors, they have no political savvy.

• Nowadays if you follow pop culture there are certain things you can't avoid. I have no interest in seeing Sex and the City 2, or 1, or the TV show, or even reading Candace Bushnell's work, but I read reviews. One of the more interesting reviews of SATC2 was by Maria Bustillos at The Awl, who notes that The real problem isn’t that the women of SATC2 are mature; it’s that they are not." Odd how that doesn't seem to be a problem with long-in-the-tooth dudebro movies. And I totes agree with Melissa McEwan that there's no way Sarah Jessica Parker is ugly by mainstream standards. I find her body type too waiflike and her face a little elongated for my particular taste, but that's a matter of personal preference rather than cultural standards of beauty (and on the whole I prefer to gaze at men rather than women anyway so my opinion here is fairly useless).

• Also at Shakesville, SKM links to the Ms. Magazine blog interview with Feminist Hulk and his alter-ego. Both Robin and I love Feminist Hulk, and if J ever needs an artist for FH's witticisms I know where he/she can find an experienced one who's drawn the Hulk for years!

• This great softball story from Susie made me kvell. Maybe this sort of sportswomanship is the reason women's sports aren't accorded the same place in our society that men's sports are; by and large they seem far more honorable and, you know, sporting.

• Other stories of interest include Laura's recounting of a drug raid on a neighbor's home, and Peter's full-circle return to playing Dragon's Lair, this time for an enraptured daughter.

• While NYC mass transit commuters face service cutbacks due to a shortfall in "tax revenue from real estate transactions" (what the hell? why is the MTA allowed to dabble in real estate instead of providing not-for-profit service to NY residents? One may as well ask what business any public service utility has in, for instance, investing primary income in the stock market instead of using it to pay for infrastructure improvements) - but hey, we get new maps! - California, with more than its share of budget woes, has yet to get its mass transit act together, either locally (Sean Carroll talks about a great proposal to Get L.A. Moving) or in terms of longer distances (Mark Evanier links to proposed speedy train routes linking L.A. to Las Vegas). Yet another area where other developed countries laugh in our face.

• Ah, the comics industry. For every writer (and to give him credit he's known more for writing screenplays and TV shows than for comics) who achieves a raised consciousness like John August who takes the Bechdel Test using his scripts and finds most of them wanting (via Melissa Silverstein), there's an editor who still doesn't get why readers protest the lack of diversity in a fictional universe populated by "green, pink, and blue characters" (Brown Betty's reaction to Ian Sattler's remarks is pretty comprehensive).

• Elsewhere in pop culture, Lance Mannion examines the Russell Crowe/Kate Blanchett Robin Hood and its relation to other depictions of the legendary outlaw-or-was-he?, and the Good Roger Ailes reports on another musical act, this one from north of the border, taking action against misuse of their songs by Republican politicians who don't believe copyright laws (or heck, most laws in general) apply to them.

• One controversy on which I really don't want to weigh in is what happened with Helen Thomas, except to say I completely agree with Mark Evanier's take, and I think it's a shame that this will be what Thomas is likely to be remembered for.

• Bully examines the pictorial history of the Avengers table (love the Ikea bit at the end!), and takes us back to cheesy '70s TV with Encyclopedia Bull, Bovine Detective, which may or may not be a Quinn Martin Production.

• Lastly, Henry at Crooked Timber asks if A-list political bloggers who turn pro also turn their backs on (and delink) non-A-listers. I think there's certainly some of that going on, but I'm happy as long as wonderful people like Digby and Kevin Drum continue to link to me so that I know this phenomenon isn't universal. (And I'm sure it would also help the linky-love if I had the capacity to blog more often.)

There, and I've also ironed grand total of two shirts while I've been at this. Onward to Sunday afternoon!


Dwight Williams said...

I don't understand the MTA-real estate angle anymore than I understand why the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has a real estate arm!

Jill said...

The answer to that is "Yes". People like Atrios and other snotnoses decided that the reason they get all this traffic is that the rest of us suck That is why I have a section called "Heathers" on my blogroll with no links. Chris Bowers was another one of these, then he friended me on Facebook, so go figure. Thank Goddess for people like the awesome Skippy and the late great Jon Swift, who never forgot where they came from.

Elayne said...

I experienced similar (Facebook friending but no blog linking) from Barbara O'Brien, whom I've even met in person a few times and who lives the next town over from me. Little by little I'm eliminating from my blogroll a number of bloggers who no longer link to me. But like you, I'm grateful for folks like Skippy who keep the mutual-bloglink torch burning.