Autism Douchebaggery

Radio personality Michael Savage stated this week that Autism is ‘a fraud, a racket. … I’ll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out. That’s what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they’re silent? They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.’ ”

I’d like to see Michael Savage transport a five year old autistic boy on the F train on Friday evening during rush hour, and see who’s screaming and crying like an idiot…. my guess, and from personal experience, it would be him. Asshole.

Full scoop here, and thanks to Gurf for the link.

El Salto

While I was at Yale I participated in a project entitled El Salto, or The Leap. My co-collaborators and I chose pieces of music and literature which, when stripped from their original purposes and placed next to other forms of media resulted in a new experience for the listener.

For me, as a student of the Institute of Sacred Music, I was in constant contact with music, art, and writing which I found to be both beautiful and challenging, but I was not a firm believer in the Christian faith. I found as much aesthetic value in a Nick Drake song as I did with an aria from Bach’s St. John Passion. Finally, we were working on a non-churchy non-preachy venue for experiencing ‘new’ music in a completely new context.

Robin McClellan, fellow composer and collaborator has uploaded a video on El Salto. The video is not of the highest quality, but he gives a great explanation into the motivation behind this idea. We’re hoping to start it up again in the city, now that we’ve all left the ivy-league nest. I’ll be sure to keep you posted. (And the singing you hear is me, including a segment of my loop pedal performance of Bjork’s Desiring Constellation- which I STILL don’t have a decent recording of!!! And be sure to check out Robin’s El-Salto song at the end, inspired by Gaelic congretational Psalm singing.)


Psssstt….. someone remind McCain that he voted AGAINST requiring insurance providers to cover birth control costs. You can see he’s kind of scratching his head there…didn’t I vote on that, wait,did I even attend that vote?…..Errrr

Disappointed in my Bitches

I’m a loyal subscriber to Jezebel, and in particular to Tracie Egan, or Slut Machine, her Jezebel pen name…. I first stumbled upon Tracie’s writing for VICE magazine last year, in which she convinced them to fund her rape fantasy. I had some serious issues with the whole concept, first as a rape victim, secondly as one who is concerned with the fucking LACK of prosecution in rape cases, third, as someone against blurring the lines of legitimate rape, the whole concept of gray rape, remember that?? and finally as a feminist who’s interested in the psychology of sexuality. Despite the raciness of the post, I was hooked on her writing both on her personal blog and on Jezebel, on her ability to describe crusty yeast infections, on her willingness to share and in fact over-share so much of both the excitement and ho-hum-ness of women’s daily lives. She wrote the way I wanted to write, blah blah blah.

Jezebel has been a bit disappointing recently. It’s not just a women’s site for news… and I can’t in good conscious call it feminist, although within the celeb tabloid gossip they tackle the same issues that the more hardcore sites like Feministing, the Feministe, and the F Word do…they just have a lighter, more comical, and sometimes completely destructively insensitive response.

Such is the case in the following video from Lizz Winstead’s show Thinking and Drinking, in which Tracie and Moe were invited to speak. They both showed up drunk, despite the fact that lots of women had paid to hear them talk about issues that they knew would be on the table… they ended up making total asses of themselves…

Ridiculous generalizations about the type of men who are rapists, the IQ’s of the type of girls that get raped…it’s pretty pissed off a lot of patrons, and showing up drunk for a talk is kind of disrespectful to your audience. I’m open for a lot of interpretation on various feminist issues, and non-consensual sex is definitely an issue that extends beyond feminism… callousness from the Jezzies is thoroughly disappointing. Can we all agree that rape is a problem, and not one to be taken so lightly? I’m all for humor, but insulting your readers and indulging in victim blaming is probably not the best way to keep them coming back to your site.

Wall-E Review: From a Feminist’s perspective

Despite the names Wall-E and Eva (the female protagonist) these two characters are predominantly genderless, and one has to question why Pixar decided to go with a male name, especially when Wall-E’s character could be seen as the more stereotypically effeminate of the two, (watching musicals, dancing, yearning for a hand to hold) and Eve was a little trigger happy for the first 45 minutes… Perhaps it was an attempt at gender fluidity? or perhaps the time has still not come for a female protagonist cartoon, and not one starring a princess in a far away kingdom needing to be rescued by a handsome prince!

Despite that, I thought that Wall-E and Eva stood on completely equal footing. Wall-E, again the more effeminate character longed for companionship until Eva was sent from outer space to seek out “life” and return it to the Axiom ship, where grotesquely obese humans suck meals from slurpy cups and ride around on hovering lounge chairs while high paced media is superimposed over their natural surroundings.

I’m not going to comment on the consumerism angle, cuz everyone else already has, but for me, the Eve symbolism was pretty awesome. Eva (which is the Latin form for Eve, first woman) comes from some heavenly source, and is kind of a bad ass chick robot femme fatale on a mission. When that mission is completed, and “life” is found, it is placed inside her “womb” she falls silent, having fulfilled her reproductive duties… After Eva brings life back to the Axiom, a new plan is revealed, and the pinnacle moment of the movie, I thought, was when her programming ordered her to report to the Captain’s deck with the plant and she deliberately said no. System Override. Free Will in action, baby!

Eva’s physical form is actually pretty womby. Completely footless, she could easily be seen as a giant hovering egg, with pretty blue LED eyes. In the Greek myth Pandora, we know that the original translation for pythosis not a box, but a large olive jar used to store foods for the winter. ‘Box’ has the obvious genital slang, but a roomy, womby jar has quite a different sense of symbolism. When Pandora opened the jar/box, the evils of the world were let loose, only elpis, or hope remained. Or, from within the vagina only comes trouble for man, except hope (life) clinging to the jar the way a fertilized embryo clings to the uterine wall. It is in this sense that Eva is the bringer of hope to Wall-E.

It’s not a perfect retelling of the classic first woman narrative: For one thing, Eva is not sent be Wall-E’s helpmate, nor is she created from Wall-E’s spare parts, AND she comes pre-named! I’m not sure if there’s some fancy schmancy name for womb imagery, like yonic is for the vagina, but Wall-E was rife with roomy womby visuals, and I thought it kicked ass.

More on the Coffee you Hate to Love

My love-hate relationship with Starbucks just escalated to borderline destructive…. Yesterday morning I entered a Starbucks directly across the street from the South Tower at Columbus Circle. I was greeted by an employee with a headset who took my order, barked into her headset alla taco bell drive thru style, handed me my drink card and my coffee was ready for me by the time I approached the counter. Not bad. Brilliant in fact, ‘well played’ I thought to myself…

This morning, when I arrived for my coffee, the line was literally outside of the store, so I had to wait with the lady who asks for your spare change for the homeless. Now, I don’t give spare change away to anyone, so when I ignored her, amongst her ramblings of statistics, she managed to get in a “Always concerned with yourselves…” to which point I looked at her, yanked my headphones out of my ears and asked, “Really?” because really, standing here in my Target flip flops, in desperate need of a legitimate haircut, amongst the Coach bag clutching mani-pedi robots, I was hardly the enemy.

So yes, when I finally entered the house of coffee, the headphone chick took my order, but didn’t give me my drink card. I watched as a light went off in her little head as she counted (with fingers) how many people in that line just wanted regular coffee, and took off like a flash. A barista to save the day!! And here I thought, for like the MILLIONTH time, that Starbucks should really think about having a specific line for fru-fru drinks, and an express line for people who just want COFFEE. No “grande soy half caf cinnamon dolce latte, no whip, heated to 125 degrees- in a venti cup….” I have nothing but hatred for you bobbleheaded little androids!!

And after all of the line shenanigans, I still had to wait over in that side section as I watched the whole team of baristas with headsets maneuver like little worker bees, and there was something sooo disturbing about it.

Please indulge me: As I stood there, again wearing the Target flip flops, waiting for my oh so difficult to procure medium cup of black cofee, a woman approached the counter and ordered a “half caf soy latte”- the register attendee repeated back “half caf soy latte”-the woman in head set “half caf soy latte”-barista in back “half caf soy latte”, who after making the half caf soy latte hands the beverage back to the headset woman who repeated “half caf soy latte”, as she handed the beverage back to the register guy who then reiterates that her beverage is indeed a “half caf soy latte”. I watched this exchange for five minutes this morning as I waited for my grande cup of black coffee, and you have no idea how tempting it was for me to just run behind the counter, grab a medium cup, pull the freaking nozzle and pour my fucking cup of coffee…It was dark… and way darker than this Pike’s Roast blend shit they’re ladling out like yesterdays oatmeal to orphans.